Martyn Lloyd-Jones – The One Mediator

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“And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby.” Ephesians 2:16

In these moving and glorious words, the apostle continues his great statement of God’s way of reconciling men, and shows how yet another obstacle to that desired result is removed. The Ephesians, pagans as they were, Gentiles, were not only separated from the Jews, the commonwealth of Israel, they were also separated from God. And obviously there can be no true unity between man and man until there is this other unity; because the original division into Jew and Gentile was all in terms of relationship to God. So the apostle now goes on to show how this second matter also has been dealt with, and in the same way as before, by our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. But you notice that the apostle puts this in a very interesting manner. Instead of simply stating how the pagan Ephesians had been reconciled to God, he says ‘And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby’— both, Jews and Gentiles. Then he shows us exactly how this has taken place.

The teaching here is fundamental and vital, and especially as regards this whole question of unity and of peace. In its general form we can put it like this. All the minor and secondary divisions and separations and quarrels among men are ultimately due to the fact that all men are separated from God. Now that is a fundamental and a universal proposition. The world is full of divisions and distinctions, countries, nations, blocs, groups, curtains, one side and the other side; in the nation, classes, industrial groups, capital and labour, master or employer and servant, and so on; and within all these groups again, divisions, rivalries, envies. The world is full of divisions and separations. But according to the teaching of Scripture the really significant thing is that all these minor and secondary, third-rate, fifth-rate, tenth-rate divisions and separations and quarrellings are due to one thing only, namely, that all men are separated from God and are in the wrong relationship to Him.

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Martyn Lloyd-Jones – Faith On Trial: The Problem Stated

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The great value of the Book of Psalms is that in it we have godly men stating their experience, and giving us an account of things that have happened to them in their spiritual life and warfare. Throughout history the Book of Psalms has, therefore, been a book of great value for God’s people. Again and again it provides them with the kind of comfort and teaching they need, and which they can find nowhere else. And it may well be, if one may be allowed to speculate on such a thing, that the Holy Spirit led the early Church to adopt the Old Testament writings partly for that reason. What we find from the beginning to the end of the Bible is the account of God’s dealings with His people. He is the same God in the Old Testament as in the New; and these Old Testament saints were citizens of the kingdom of God even as we are. We are taken into a kingdom which already contains such people as Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. The mystery that was revealed to the apostles was that the Gentiles should be fellow-heirs and citizens in the kingdom with the Jews.

It is right, therefore, to regard the experiences of these people as being exactly parallel with our own. The fact that they lived in the old dispensation makes no difference. There is something wrong with a Christianity which rejects the Old Testament, or even with a Christianity which imagines that we are essentially different from the Old Testament saints. If any of you are tempted to feel like that, I would invite you to read the Book of Psalms, and then to ask yourself whether you can honestly say from your experience some of the things the Psalmists said. Can you say, “When my father and my mother forsake me, then the Lord will take me up?” Can you say, “As the heart panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, O God?” Read the Psalms and the statements made in them, and I think you Will agree that these men were children of God with a great and rich spiritual experience. For this reason, it has been the practice in the Christian Church from the beginning for men and women to come to the Book of Psalms for light, knowledge, and instruction.

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Martyn Lloyd-Jones – The Counsel of His Own Will

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In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will: that we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ. In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise, which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory. Ephesians 1:11–14

We continue our discussion of the Apostle’s great statement. He has announced that the great secret which God has revealed concerning His purpose is that in this present age, and in Christ, He has reunited the discordant parts, the separate parts, into which sin has divided the world and the whole cosmos. God is restoring the original harmony, in heaven and on earth, and He is doing so in and through our Lord Jesus Christ. In the dispensation of the fulness of times it is His purpose that He might ‘gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven and which are on earth, even in him.’ In these verses we are considering the ways in which God is doing this, and have already given attention to the first, and indeed in many senses the chief way, namely, the formation and the growth of the Christian Church. The Church is the new Israel, the spiritual Israel, the true seed of Abraham, and she consists of Jews and Gentiles. But the unity is established, as we have seen, by making these different people Christians, and the Apostle incidentally tells us a number of things about the Christian. We have already considered two of them.

Now we come to consider, in the third place, the way in which all this has happened to us, how this has ever become true of us, knowing ourselves as we do. How does anyone become a Christian? How does anyone enter into this position in which he is ‘in Christ’ and a ‘joint-heir’ with Christ? Fortunately the Apostle deals with that subject also. He is not content with saying that this is true of us, he tells us how it has become true. And he does so, of course, because this was something at which he never ceased to wonder. As we proceed we find Paul using a number of terms which we have already encountered. We met them in verses 4 and 5. They include certain great terms and phrases which are to be found throughout the New Testament, terms which are absolutely essential to a true and ultimate understanding of the Gospel: ‘In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will.’ In verses 4 and 5 we find: ‘According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself.’ Such are the terms. We are here face to face with high doctrine, with some of the great profundities of the Christian faith and the Christian messages. Someone may ask: Why does the Apostle repeat these terms here, having already used them in verses 4 and 5? The explanation is not only simple but very important. In verses 4 and 5 the Apostle was taking a general view of God’s purpose, he was looking at it, as it were, from that eternal standpoint. Now he is not merely looking at it in general, but also in its particular application to us. There, it was the great scheme itself; here, it is the scheme as applied to us. But he still uses the same terms as he used there. They apply not only to the thought but also to the application.

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Martyn Lloyd-Jones – How Pentecost Stands as a Pattern for the Church’s Life

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The God Who Acts

In Acts 2 God starts the Christian church: “And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting” (Acts 2:1-2 KJV). God was continuing, acting in them and through them.

It is quite certain that we would not be considering this now were it not for the fact that God has continued to act. Men and women in their blindness and sin have done their very best to ruin the Christian church. If she were our creation, she would have disappeared long ago, like many another institution. People have misunderstood, they have gone wrong, they have preached error, and the church would have died. So why is there still a church?

There is only one answer: God comes in revival. God sends His Spirit again. Look at the Protestant Reformation. God, just as he sent his word to John the Baptist, sent it to Martin Luther; and when God sends his Word even to one man and gives him great power, he can awaken a great church with fifteen centuries of tradition behind it. Only one man—but it was enough. Martin Luther, called of God, given the message and filled with God’s Spirit, overthrew a church that had become quite pagan in its teaching.

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Martyn Lloyd-Jones – Faith On Trial: The Problem Stated

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The great value of the Book of Psalms is that in it we have godly men stating their experience, and giving us an account of things that have happened to them in their spiritual life and warfare. Throughout history the Book of Psalms has, therefore, been a book of great value for God’s people. Again and again it provides them with the kind of comfort and teaching they need, and which they can find nowhere else. And it may well be, if one may be allowed to speculate on such a thing, that the Holy Spirit led the early Church to adopt the Old Testament writings partly for that reason. What we find from the beginning to the end of the Bible is the account of God’s dealings with His people. He is the same God in the Old Testament as in the New; and these Old Testament saints were citizens of the kingdom of God even as we are. We are taken into a kingdom which already contains such people as Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. The mystery that was revealed to the apostles was that the Gentiles should be fellow-heirs and citizens in the kingdom with the Jews.

It is right, therefore, to regard the experiences of these people as being exactly parallel with our own. The fact that they lived in the old dispensation makes no difference. There is something wrong with a Christianity which rejects the Old Testament, or even with a Christianity which imagines that we are essentially different from the Old Testament saints. If any of you are tempted to feel like that, I would invite you to read the Book of Psalms, and then to ask yourself whether you can honestly say from your experience some of the things the Psalmists said. Can you say, “When my father and my mother forsake me, then the Lord will take me up?” Can you say, “As the heart panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, O God?” Read the Psalms and the statements made in them, and I think you Will agree that these men were children of God with a great and rich spiritual experience. For this reason, it has been the practice in the Christian Church from the beginning for men and women to come to the Book of Psalms for light, knowledge, and instruction.

The Value of the Psalms

Its special value lies in the fact that it helps us by putting its teaching chiefly in the form of the recital of experiences. We have exactly the same teaching in the New Testament, only there it is given in a more didactic fashion. Here it seems to come down to our own ordinary and practical level. Now we are all familiar with the value of this. There are times when the soul is weary, when we feel we are incapable of receiving that more direct instruction; we are so tried, and our minds are so tired, and our hearts may be so bruised, that we somehow cannot make the effort to concentrate upon principles and to look at things objectively. It is at such a time, and particularly at such a time, and in order that they (pay receive truth in this more personal form, that people who feel that life has dealt cruelly with them have gone-battered and beaten by the waves and billows of life-to the Psalms. They have read the experiences of some Of these men, and have found that they, too, have been through something very similar. And somehow that fact, in and of itself, helps and strengthens them. They feel that they are not alone, and that what is happening to them is not unusual. They begin to realize the truth of Paul’s comforting words to the Corinthians, “There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man” – I Corinthians 10: 13), and that very realization alone enables them to take courage and to be renewed in their faith. The Book of Psalms is of inestimable value in this respect, and we find people turning constantly to it.

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Martyn Lloyd-Jones – Why Do the Heathen Rage?

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Psalm 2:1 – Why do the heathen rage, and the people imagine a vain thing?

I should like to call your attention this evening to the message of the second Psalm. One of the two readings at the beginning of the service. The second Psalm which begins with these words: “Why do the heathen rage? And the people imagine a vain thing.”

Now I can well believe that there are many in this congregation at this moment, who are wondering to themselves as to what this old Psalm, which was probably written nearly three thousand years ago, has to do with us living in 1979. The vast majority of the people of this country, as we are aware, certainly would take that view. They no longer attend places of worship, because they feel that it is utterly pointless to do so! That in our modern world with its teeming problems – its increasing crisis and it’s dim and dismal outlooks – they feel that this old book has obviously got nothing to say to us – and cannot possibly be of any help or of aid to us. Well now, I want to deal with that position and I want to not only justify our gathering together in a building just such as this on a Wednesday evening, but I want to show you that not only is the message of this book, which we call The Bible, relevant to the modern man and to the modern problem – but I want to go further and I want to show that nothing else is relevant – that THIS is the only book which throws any light upon our problems and our predicament – and the only book that holds out any hope for any one of us in this modern world.

Now this Psalm is a very remarkable one – as I say, it was written very nearly three thousand years ago by David the king of Israel. He was writing primarily for his own age and his own generation – and he was concerned about the situation and about the whole condition of mankind in his time. And he describes it and he deals with it. But not only was he doing that – because he was a man of God, he was doing something further – he was describing ….. The Whole State and Condition of the Human Race! Ever since that early point in its long story, when it turned its back upon God and began to experience its terrifying problems. This Psalm not only describes what conditions were like in the time of David – it is an equally valid and good description of what times have been like on many a previous occasion – and what they were like on many a subsequent occasion.

I asked our friend to read that section out of the fourth chapter of the book of the Acts of the Apostles, because you will have noticed that there this Psalm was quoted. That passage was dealing with the early Christian church. She had only just come into being, but she was being persecuted.

Two of the leaders – the Apostles Peter and John, had been arrested – they had been arraigned before a court – they had been condemned – and they had been threatened that ‘if they persisted in preaching about this Jesus of Nazareth and His message that they would be put to death.’ Then they were let loose and they went back to their own company – the members of the church – and reported what had happened to them. We are told that the moment that the church heard that they lifted up their voice to God with one accord and they began to pray. They hadn’t been praying for long before they began quoting this second Psalm – and what they said was this……… “What David said – What was said through the voice of Thy servant David – is equally true today – “The heathen are raging, the people are imagining a vain thing – The kings of the earth are setting themselves and the rulers take counsel together.” They said…………….”It is against You and against Your Christ that they are doing the same thing now.”

David was not only describing what was happening in his day, he was giving a valid and an accurate description of what was happening when the Lord Jesus Christ was in this world. The conditions in the first century and indeed this is a description, I say, of the state of mankind in many another age – and I want to show you that it is a particularly accurate description of the state of affairs obtaining in this country – and in the world at large at this present time. Now that is the remarkable thing about this book which is called The Bible. It is not only God’s book, it’s a book of history – it’s a book which gives us the story of the human race – explains why it is as it is – and as I say, holds out the only hope of an adequate and a real solution.

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D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones – Effectual Calling and Regeneration

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Effectual Calling

As we now proceed to consider in detail what exactly it is the Holy Spirit does to us in the application of redemption, I would remind you that I am not insisting that the order which I shall follow is of necessity the right one, and certainly not of necessity the chronological one.

‘So how do you arrive at your order?’ asks someone. My answer is that I mainly try to conceive of this work going on within us from the standpoint of God in eternity looking down upon men and women in sin. That is the way that appeals to me most of all; it is the way that I find most helpful. That is not to detract in any way from experience or the experiential standpoint. Some would emphasise that and would have their order according to experience, but I happen to be one of those people who is not content merely with experience. I want to know something about that experience; I want to know what I am experiencing and I want to know why I am experiencing it and how it has come about. It is the child who is content merely with enjoying the experience. If we are to grow in grace and to go forward and exercise our senses, as the author of the epistle to the Hebrews puts it (Heb. 5:14 ), then we must of necessity ask certain questions and be anxious to know how the things that have happened to us really have come to take place.

Gospel Call Universal, Effectual Call Particular

My approach therefore is this: there is the truth of the gospel, and we have seen already that it is a part of the work of the Holy Spirit to see that that truth is proclaimed to all and sundry. That is what we called the general call — a kind of universal offer of the gospel. Then we saw that though the external or general call comes to all, to those who will remain unsaved as well as to those who are saved, obviously some new distinction comes in, because some are saved by it. So the question we must now consider is: What is it that establishes the difference between the two groups?

And the way to answer that question, it seems to me, is to say that the call of the gospel, which has been given to all, is effectual only in some. Now there is a portion of Scripture which is a perfect illustration of this. The followers of Christ who were even described as ‘disciples’ were divided up into two groups. One group decided that they would never listen to Him again. They left Him and went home. And when He turned to the others and said, ‘Will ye also go away?’ Peter said, ‘Lord, to whom shall we go? Thou hast the word of eternal life’ (John 6:67–68 ). The one group disbelieved and went home, the others, who had heard exactly the same things, stayed with Him, wanted to hear more, and rejoiced in it. What makes the difference? It is that the word was effectual in the case of the saved in a way that it was not effectual in the case of the unsaved who refused it.

This, then, is something that is quite obvious. We can say that in addition to the external call there is this effectual call, and that what makes anybody a saved person and a true Christian is that the call of the gospel has come effectually. Let me give you some scriptures that establish that. The first, Romans 8:28–39 , is a great statement of this very thing. ‘We know,’ says Paul, ‘that all things work together for good to them that love God … ’ Not to everybody but ‘ to them that love God ’. Who are they? ‘To them who are called according to his purpose,’ and Paul goes on: ‘For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.’ The saved are described as those who are called. And they have been called in a way that the others have not. That is, therefore, a scriptural statement of this effectual call.

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Book Review – Great Doctrines of the Bible

Great Doctrines of the Bible

There are certain theological topics that can be stated as being of foremost importance. Among those which should fall into that category are studies on the Godhead, the Church, and events that will precede and encompass the final days of humanity on earth as it exists today. Subsumed within those “big ideas” are a number of other discussion points which on their own right deserve a great deal of attention. When it comes to matters of doctrine, the Godhead, the Church, and events of the last days are right up at the top.

Recognizing this, noted pastor Martyn Lloyd-Jones delivered a series of lectures on matters of doctrine. These lectures served as the basis for what would become the three volume series written by Jones aptly called Great Doctrines of the Bible. Crossway Books has thankfully encapsulated all three volumes into one handy volume, thus providing a compendium and comprehensive tool for readers to engage when studying the aforementioned issues of the faith.

This is quite a collection and given together these three volumes run just short of 1000 pages, it will make for many hours of enjoyable reading. I have longed enjoyed the overall style of how Lloyd-Jones approaches Scripture as he is an excellent combination of theological acuity and practical application, both born out of the heart of a pastor for his flock.

Lloyd-Jones saliently begins his discussion of these great doctrines by rightly noting, “The Bible is a book which has a very definite objective. All its teaching is designed to a certain end; it is concerned with putting before us its doctrines, the particular truths which it wants to emphasize and to impress upon the minds of all of us.” These truths weave their way throughout Scripture and being able to recognize how they tie the entirety of Scripture into a coherent and consistent message that focuses on the gospel is of utmost importance. Lloyd-Jones contribution found in these three volumes is a marvelous and necessary guide to help believers root themselves and to understand these vital truths.

His theological methodology is founded in a love for and in the authority of the Bible. He does recognize that at times a variety of theological opinions exist on matters of doctrine. This is especially true when it comes to eschatology (doctrine of last things). With that said, he correctly avers “there must be no disputing about the person of Christ, about the miraculous and the supernatural, about the substitutionary death upon the cross and about the literal, physical resurrection. There is no argument there. This is final; this is absolute.” To that I shout a hearty amen.
Lloyd-Jones covers a great deal of doctrinal ground in these three volumes such as the existence and being of God, the moral attributes of God, good angels and the devil and his fallen angels, creation, the fall, sin, redemption, the Godhead, atonement, and matters of eschatology. He discusses all these issues in great detail utilizing as noted earlier a style that is both scholarly and accessible.

I greatly appreciated his discussion on a number of matters, but to note a few specifics, he rightly notes in relation to the topic of sanctification that when the Apostle Paul speaks of us being dead to the law, it does not mean God’s law is no longer important for us today. Conversely, “The law cannot touch you. Christ has died, He is the end of the law once and forever for sin. So the law has nothing more to say to me by way of condemnation.” He also states that the law continues to define sin and outlines how we are to live in obedience to Christ. Lloyd-Jones wonderfully declares, “We are married to Christ and we ought to bring forth the fruit of a good and a sanctified life.”

There is much to appreciate in this collection of theological truth. Martyn Lloyd-Jones has provided a tremendous treasure trove of vital biblical truths, one which I will return to many times in the future. His ability to relay deep theological doctrine in a way that can be appreciated and understood by both scholar and layman is a true gift. Moreover, his underlying aim was not only to share doctrine, but also to help the reader incorporate these truths into everyday life. These volumes are dripping with that approach and thus I highly recommend this collection for all believers.

This book is available for purchase from Crossway Books by clicking here.

I received this book for free from Crossway Books and the opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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Tim Keller and Mark Dever – Why Lloyd-Jones Matters Today

Few preachers have impacted Reformed evangelicalism like Martyn Lloyd-Jones (1899–1981). Though he died 34 years ago, his writings and sermons continue to shape Christians today. Why does the ministry of this 20th-century British minister continue to resonate with us, and what is his relevance for church leaders today?

In this new 11-minute video, Tim Keller (TGC vice president and pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian Church in Manhattan) and Mark Dever (TGC Council member and pastor of Capitol Hill Baptist Church in Washington, D.C.) tackle this question. Watch as the two evangelical leaders—who never knew Lloyd-Jones personally—talk about the enormous imprint he’s made on their preaching. In this wide-ranging conversation they consider whether Lloyd-Jones was Christ-centered, how to mix exposition with evangelism, what Lloyd-Jones got wrong in Preaching and Preachers, and more.

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Martyn Lloyd-Jones – Denying Self and Following Christ

lloyd-jones-in-study_2 In this chapter I want again to consider verses 38-42. We have already studied them twice. First, we looked at them in -general, reminding ourselves of certain principles which govern the interpretation. Then we considered the statements one by one in detail, and saw that our Lord’s concern is that we should be set free from all desire for personal revenge. There is nothing which is so tragic as the way in which many people, when they come to this paragraph, become so immersed in details, and are so ready to argue about the rightness or wrongness of doing this or that, that they completely lose sight of the great principle here expressed, which is the Christian’s attitude towards himself. These illustrations are used by our Lord simply to bring out His teaching concerning that great central principle. `You’, He says in effect, `must have a right view of yourselves. Your troubles arise because you tend to go wrong at that particular point.’ In other words, our Lord’s primary concern here is with what we are, rather than with what we do. What we do is important, because it is indicative of what we are. He illustrates that here, and says: `If you are what you claim to be, this is how you will behave.’ So we must concentrate not so much upon the action as upon the spirit that leads to the action. That is why, let us repeat it again, it is so essential that we should take the teaching of the Sermon on the Mount in the order in which it is given. We have no right to consider these particular injunctions unless we have already grasped, and mastered, and have submitted ourselves to, the teaching of the Beatitudes.

In this paragraph we have our attitude towards ourselves presented in a negative manner; in the paragraph that follows it is presented positively. There our Lord goes on to say: `Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy. But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you.’ But here we are concerned with the negative, and this teaching is of such central importance in the New Testament that we must consider it once more.

We have already found more than once that the Sermon on the Mount is full of doctrine. There is nothing quite so pathetic as the way in which people used to say some thirty or forty years ago (and some still say it) that the only part of the New Testament they really believed in and liked was the Sermon on the Mount, and that because it contained no theology or doctrine. It was practical, they said; just an ethical manifesto, which contained no doctrine or dogma. There is nothing quite so sad as that, because this Sermon on the Mount is full of doctrine. We have it here in this paragraph. The important thing is not so much that I turn the other cheek, as that I should be in a state in which I am ready to do so. The doctrine involves my whole view of myself.

No man can practise what our Lord illustrates here unless he has finished with himself, with his right to himself, his right to determine what he shall do, and especially must he finish with what we commonly call the `rights of the self’. In other words we must not be concerned about ourselves at all. The whole trouble in life, as we have seen, is ultimately this concern about self, and what our Lord is inculcating here is that it is something of which we must rid ourselves entirely. We must rid ourselves of this constant tendency to be watching the interests of self, to be always on the look-out for insults or attacks or injuries, always in this defensive attitude. That is the kind of thing He has in mind. All that must disappear, and that of course means that we must cease to be sensitive about self. This morbid sensitiveness, this whole condition in which self is `on edge’ and so delicately and sensitively poised and balanced that the slightest disturbance can upset its equilibrium, must be got rid of. The condition which our Lord is here describing is one in which a man simply cannot be hurt. Perhaps that is the most radical form in which one can put that statement. I reminded you in the last chapter of what the apostle Paul says about himself in 1 Corinthians iv. 3. He writes: `With me it is a very small thing that I should be judged of you, or of man’s judgment: yea, I judge not mine own self. ‘He has committed the whole question of his judgment to God, and thus he has entered into a state and condition in which he just cannot be hurt. That is the ideal at which we should be aiming-this indifference to self and its interests.

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