Commentaries

Jesus Didn’t Come to Abolish the Law

[T]here are many thoughtful and intelligent persons, and not altogether destitute of piety, who imagine, that Christ has lowered the demands of the moral law, and purchased for us the liberty of being saved by a new law of sincere obedience: they think that for his sake our sincere obedience will be accepted, instead of perfect obedience: and that the defects of our obedience will be made up by the merits of Jesus Christ.

To such persons I would say, Read the words of our text. Christ says he did not come to destroy the law; and you affirm that he did; that he has softened its rigours, and dispensed with those high attainments which the perfect law of God requires. You will reply perhaps, If these things be not dispensed with, how are we to be saved? I answer, They are not dispensed with, no, not one of them: it is as much our duty to fulfil the whole law of God as it was Adam’s duty in Paradise: nor, if we would be saved by the law, can we be saved on any lower terms. But of salvation by the law we must not entertain a thought: we are condemned by the law, and must flee as condemned sinners to Jesus Christ, that he may wash us from our sins in his blood, and clothe us in his own unspotted robe of righteousness and salvation. Some will exclaim, What new doctrine is this? I answer, this was the way of salvation revealed to Adam after the Fall; and it has been continued in all successive ages, till Christ himself came. Then was this mystery more clearly revealed to the world; and from henceforth the voice of God to every human Being is, “He that believeth on the Son of God hath eternal life; but he that believeth not the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abideth on him.”

Lay aside then your erroneous notions respecting a mitigated law and sincere obedience; and seek salvation in God’s only dear Son, in whom alone it can be found.

– Charles Simeon

Advertisements

The Bad News Must Come Before the Good News

We have to be poor in spirit before we can be filled with the Holy Spirit. Negative, before positive. And here again is another example of exactly the same thing – conviction must of necessity precede conversion, a real sense of sin must come before there can be a true joy of salvation. Now that is the whole essence of the gospel. So many people spend all their lives in trying to find this Christian joy. They say they would give the whole world if they could only find it, or could be like some other person who has it. Well, I suggest that in ninety-nine cases out of a hundred this is the explanation. They have failed to see that they must be convicted of sin before they can ever experience joy. They do not like the doctrine of sin. They dislike it intensely and they object to its being preached. They want joy apart from the conviction of sin. But that is impossible; it can never be obtained. Those who are going to be converted and who wish to be truly happy and blessed are those who first of all mourn. Conviction is an essential preliminary to true conversion.

– Martyn Lloyd-Jones, Studies in the Sermon on the Mount, p. 45.

Sermon Text for July 2nd – Matthew 5:1-12

I’ve been wanting to do this one for a long time. This Sunday we’ll be starting a study of the Sermon on the Mount.

1 Seeing the crowds, he went up on the mountain, and when he sat down, his disciples came to him. And he opened his mouth and taught them, saying:

“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

“Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.

“Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.

“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.

“Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.

“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.

“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.

10 “Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

11 “Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. 12 Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

Martyn Lloyd-Jones’ study is probably one of my favorites – it’s a terrific devotional read!

Click here for the sermon audio.

The Nature of Worldly Corruption

“…having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire.”

– 2 Peter 1:4

 

As a result of sin and the fall, man no longer lives the life that he have been living before; he has become alienated from God and the godly way of life, and the world in which he lives is likewise in a state of corruption. In other words, the world in which we live is a world that is inimical to our best and truest and highest interests; the world is for ever trying to come between us and God. If we listen to the world, as we all do by nature, it makes us not only think less and less of God, but even makes us feel that God is against us. It may even create an enmity against God, and a hatred of God within us. It gives us a positive liking and longing for the things that are hurtful to us, the things that debase us, the things that lower us, the things that drag us further and further away from God. Such is the corruption that is in the world through lust. The characteristic of man’s natural life is that its is a life lived according to desire. Man by nature does not ask, ‘Is it good, is this god-like, is this pure, is this clean, is this elevating, is this spiritual?’ He asks, ‘Do I like it?’ He is governed by his desires, by that which pleases him, and by that which panders to his lower nature. That is what Peter means by corruption – it is the corruption that results from lust or inordinate desire.

– D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones, Expository Sermons on 2 Peter, pp. 16-17.

Not Just Any Ol’ Prayer

By praying the Lord’s Prayer we are being made into a people whose journey is a sign to the world that God has not abandoned the world to its own devices but is present as a people on the move, a people moving out from their old ways and means, ordinary people who have been given the extraordinary authority to be part of the divine assault upon the realm of evil as those who “cast out many demons, and anointed with oil many who were sick and cured them” (Mark 6:13).

– Stanley Hauerwas & William Willimon, Lord, Teach Us, p. 14.

How We Can Learn to Forgive Others

If we know not what we ourselves merit at God’s hands, we shall be ready to think much of any injuries which we receive from others; but if once we become sensible of the greatness of our debt to God, and of the obligations he has laid us under by the free offers of his mercy, we shall feel no difficulty in exercising forbearance and forgiveness. Resentment cannot long dwell in the bosom of one who has tasted redeeming love. Let it then be our study to obtain a thorough knowledge of our own depravity, and to imitate the longsuffering, which we ourselves so richly experience.

 – Charles Simeon, Horae Homileticae: Matthew,p. 483.