Monday, March 24, 2008

The whole object of being a Christian



Preaching on Romans 7:1-4, Martyn Lloyd-Jones said, "We must realize that as married to the Lord Jesus Christ we are in a position to know his love in a way which no one else can do. It is to his bride that the bridegroom reveals and manifests his love. 'Therefore,' says the Apostle Paul, 'husbands, love your wives.' How? 'even as Christ loved the church and gave himself for it.' That is how husbands are to love their wives. The words give us some indication of his love to us as Christian people. It is his peculiar, intimate love; it is a manifestation of his feelings, of his affections, which he shows to no one else. This is the peculiar treasure and privilege of the bride. Christian people, it is because we do not know our Scriptures that we live as we do; it is because we are ignorant of these Scriptures that we too often live as paupers instead of realizing that we are married to a Prince. The manifestation of his love! What do we know about that? A hymn reminds us that, 'The love of Jesus, what it is, none but his loved ones know.' The world knows nothing about that! It cannot know. It has never felt it; nor can it do so. What the world will know is 'the wrath of the Lamb.' Do you know the love of Christ? He has promised to show it. He said, 'I will manifest myself unto you.' He does not manifest himself to any but the bride.

Has he spoken to you? Has he said to you, 'As the lily among thorns, so is my love among the daughters'? Has he ever said to you, whispered to you, 'My beloved is mine'? Read the Song of Solomon and see how the bridegroom expresses his feeling to his bride, his love. How lightly we skip over these great statements so that we may argue about our pet ideas and theories! In one sense the whole object of being a Christian is that you may know the love of Jesus Christ, his personal love to you; that he may tell you in unmistakable language that he loves you, that he has given himself for you, that he has loved you with 'an everlasting love.' He does this through the Holy Spirit; he 'seals' all his statements to you through the Spirit. 'The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirits' (Romans 8:16). He tells you directly. You believe it because it is in the Word; but there is more than that; he will tell you this directly as a great secret. The Spirit gives manifestations of the Son of God to his own, to his beloved, to those for whom he has gladly died and given himself."

D. M. Lloyd-Jones, Romans 7:1-8:4, pages 60-61.