Today's Expositor's Quote continues last week's from Martyn Lloyd-Jones' sermon on Romans 6:13. While not specifically addressed to preachers, the exhortation is particularly relevant to us:
In the second place, we must go on to realize that [sanctification] is a question of service. We persist in thinking of it in terms of 'my feelings' and 'my failure' or 'my success'. But Paul bids us look at it in terms of service! When you fall to that sin, the real trouble is not so much the particular thing you have done, or the badness of the thing. That is important, I agree; but there is something much worse; it is that you, for whom Christ died, have allowed sin to use a faculty that is in you. That is the way to look at it. Holiness is a matter of service, not of feelings and subjective moods and states, not a matter of experiences. We are meant to be serving the living God with the whole of our being; and no part of us is ever meant to be used, and must not be used, in the service of sin. We must not fraternize with the enemy. That is the New Testament way of teaching holiness. What most of us need is not a clinic, but to listen to the sergeant major drilling his troops, commanding them, warning them, threatening them, showing them what to do. The New Testament teaching is altogether different from the sentimentality and subjectivity that have controlled holiness and sanctification teaching for so long, and which tell us that is it is 'quite simple'. But it is not easy. 'Fight the good fight of faith' says the New Testament. Play the man. 'Quit yourselves as men'; 'Put on the whole armour of God'; 'stand in the evil day.' Those are all military commands; there is nothing of the clinic about them. We must get rid of that notion of the clinic and the hospital; and we must look at these things more in terms of God and His glory, and the great campaign which He inaugurated through the Son of His love, and which He is going to bring to a triumphant conclusion.
The thought, then, that should be supreme in our minds is that it is the King and His service that matters; and that what I must be concerned about is not so much the condition and state of my soul, as my relationship to Him, and my value to Him, and my value to His Kingdom. Let us get rid of the flabby, sentimental ideas, and this morbid interest in ourselves, and our desire simply for something to help us. Let us get rid of that approach altogether, for it is unscriptural and wrong. Let us look at the position, rather, in this manly, strong, positive manner in which the Apostle puts it here, as indeed he puts it in all his teaching concerning this matter of sanctification everywhere. It is only as we look at it in this way that we shall see the privilege of our position. Sin will then become unthinkable. We shall not allow it to reign in our mortal body, or yield any one of our faculties or members as 'instruments of unrighteousness unto sin', but, positively, we shall 'yield ourselves unto God . . . and our members as instruments of righteousness unto God'.
Martyn Lloyd-Jones, The New Man (Banner of Truth, 1972), p. 174-5.
[In light of James 3:1, how much more serious is it for those of us who are called to preach to fraternize with the enemy! How great is our privilege -- and how awesome our reponsibility. Who is adequate for this calling? Praise God, none of us alone, but all of us by His power at work within us -- Coty]
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