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Home New Testiment Studies 3# Martyn Lloyd-Jones on ‘Assurance’ - Text

3# Martyn Lloyd-Jones on ‘Assurance’ - Text

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3#  Martyn Lloyd-Jones on ‘Assurance’ No 1



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Editor's note: The brief introduction and text in colours are by Clay Lovegrove. He welcomes discussion by email. 



Big Assurance: You yourself, as a being and as a person are joined to Christ indissolubly. Because I have died with Christ I am saved. I am as surely saved now as I shall be when I am in the glory.

Big Encouragement: The way to overcome failure, is to realize that you are safe. Sin does not affect you yourself as a person, and it cannot bring you again into its realm and reign.

Big Challenge: When I sin I am behaving in an inconsistent manner - inconsistent because I am a Christian, not because it is doubtful whether I am a Christian.


Romans 5:20-6:14

Ro 5:20 The law was added so that the trespass might increase. But where sin increased, grace increased all the more, 21 so that, just as sin reigned in death, so also grace might reign through righteousness to bring eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Ro 6:1 What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? 2 By no means! We died to sin; how can we live in it any longer? 3 Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? 4 We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.

5 If we have been united with him like this in his death, we will certainly also be united with him in his resurrection. 6 For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin- 7 because anyone who has died has been freed from sin.

8 Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. 9 For we know that since Christ was raised from the dead, he cannot die again; death no longer has mastery over him. 10 The death he died, he died to sin once for all; but the life he lives, he lives to God.

11 In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus. 12 Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires. 13 Do not offer the parts of your body to sin, as instruments of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God, as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer the parts of your body to him as instruments of righteousness. 14 For sin shall not be your master, because you are not under law, but under grace.


Romans 8:1 , 28-39

Ro 8:1 Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus…

28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. 29 For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. 30 And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified.

31 What, then, shall we say in response to this? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32 He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? 33 Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. 34 Who is he that condemns? Christ Jesus, who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. 35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? 36 As it is written:

“For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.” 37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

The New Man: An Exposition of Romans Chapter 6

D. M. Lloyd-Jones

Copyright © 1972 Lady Catherwood and Mrs Ann Beatt. The Banner of Truth Trust, Edinburgh & Carlisle.

Pg 4-5, 84, 91-92


Moreover the law entered, that the offence might abound. But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound: That as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord. Romans 5:20-21


In Christ we are under the reign of grace, our future is guaranteed, we have certainty. That is the Apostle’s whole point, that this wonderful act of justification is an initial move which leads to all the other blessings and guarantees them all. He deduces them all from justification. That is the theme which he works up to the stirring climax at the end of chapter 5.

But the Apostle has not finished with the matter, and will not do so until he reaches the end of chapter 8. For the moment, however, he pauses. He has not finished with the great theme of chapter 5, but he feels that it is necessary that he should stop for a moment, and turn aside to deal with an extremely important question. At the end of chapter 5 he has made a momentous statement; he has said that the Law ‘came in that the offence might abound’, but he adds that, though the offence did abound, ‘grace did much more abound’. Then comes the further statement, that as we are under the power and the dominion and the reign of grace, nothing can prevent our final salvation. But here Paul anticipates a difficulty, and he wants to make his meaning plain and dear. He has just said something that can be easily misunderstood; indeed there were many at the time who were misunderstanding it, and especially the Jews. And not only unbelieving Jews, but many Jews who had been converted and had become Christians were in difficulty about the matter. The Apostle, as always, is anxious to help his readers to understand his message aright. So in order to prevent false deductions being drawn from his teaching he takes up this question immediately in order to make it clear once and for ever.

In other words, the statements made in verses 20 and 21 of chapter 5 raise two special problems at once, and both are connected with the question of the Law. The first difficulty is this: will not this sweeping statement about grace, and the apparent setting aside of the Law, encourage people to sin, and to sin even more than they did before. In other words, and introducing the technical term, is not this kind of teaching likely to lead to what is called antinornianism, that is, to lawlessness? Are not people likely to say: ‘Very well, if you tell me that where sin abounds grace much more abounds, does it not follow that the more I sin the more I shall know of the grace of God? Therefore, in a sense, the more I sin the happier I shall be, and the more I shall understand these matters; what I do doesn’t matter. Isn’t this teaching going to encourage people to sin?’ That thought arises immediately in the minds of people.

But then there is a second question. If the Apostle speaks like this about the Law, was the Law then altogether useless and valueless? Why did God ever give the Law to the children of Israel? What was it meant to do; what was its place and its function in God’s great plan and scheme of redemption? Now a thinking, intelligent Jew, whether unconverted or converted, would be very liable to think along those two lines as he listened to the climax at the end of chapter 5. So the Apostle pauses at once in his tremendous argument about assurance, and about the finality of justification, to deal with these two possible difficulties.

That is exactly what he does in chapters 6 and 7. We can say, therefore, that these two chapters are a kind of parenthesis between chapter 5 and chapter 8. The theme of chapters 5 and 8 is one and the same, and is continuous. Chapter 8, you remember, starts with the words: ‘There is therefore now no condemnation to them that are in Christ Jesus.’ That is a link with the end of chapter 5, not with the end of chapter 7. Chapter 8 begins where chapter 5 leaves off. Chapters 6 and 7 come in between. They are not a digression, they are a parenthesis; they are an interruption of the main argument in order to clear up subsidiary difficulties that have arisen in connection with particular statements…


Knowing this, that our old man was crucified with him, that the body of sin might be dis-annulled that henceforth we should not be slaves to sin. For he that is dead is freed from sin. Romans 6:6-7


…It is wrong to go on to the practical before we have finished with the theoretical, but lest someone is really unhappy about all this, let me say this for your encouragement and comfort as we go along. This is how it works out. I find that many Christian people are unhappy because every time they fall into sin they raise again the whole question as to whether they are Christians at all. They fall into sin and immediately begin to say to themselves, ‘Is it possible that I am a Christian at all? If I really were a Christian how could I possibly sin like this?’ That is the error the Apostle nails here. He says: You must not do that, you must not raise again the whole question of your salvation every time you sin. You yourself, as a being and as a person in the sight of God, are in Christ. You are joined to Christ indissolubly - ‘planted together in the likeness of His death and of His resurrection’, and (as he will add in the grand climax at the end of chapter 8) there is nothing, ‘neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature which shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord’.

The difference such teaching makes is this, that if I grasp it truly when I fall into sin, I shall not again ask ‘Am I a Christian or not ?‘. I shall say ‘Of course I am a Christian, my old man has been crucified, I am justified, I am a new man in Christ, I am accepted of God, I am a Christian’. What then about that sin? Thank God it is something that cannot separate me from Him. This is not something that affects my salvation, I do not need to be converted all over again; I am a new man. Why then do I sin? Because sin is in my members, because this ‘body of sin’ remains. But I am sharing in a salvation that will even rid me of that. I realize that I am behaving in an inconsistent manner - inconsistent because I am a Christian, not because it is doubtful whether I am a Christian. That is why Paul is so anxious that we should realize that ‘our old man’, our old self, was crucified, that he has gone. I must never bring him back again in thought by wondering whether I am a Christian. That is simply to bring back ‘the old man’ that has been crucified, that died, that was even buried, and has gone for ever


…Both Paul and Peter are saying the same thing, namely, that the man who has died with Christ has once and for ever as a being, as an entity, as a soul, finished with sin. He should never again raise the question of his justification or of his forgiveness or of his final arrival in glory. ‘Whom he justified, them he also glorified.’ ‘Being justified by faith, we have peace with God’ - yes, ‘and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God’. Though we are still here in the body, and though we know that sin is in the body, and though we fall into sin, because I have died with Christ I am saved. I am as surely saved now as I shall be when I am in the glory. Augustus Toplady has seen it -

The terrors of law and of God

With me can have nothing to do;

My Saviour’s obedience and blood

Hide all my transgressions from view.


Then he goes on to say -


My name from the palms of His hands

Eternity will not erase;

Impressed on His heart it remains,

In marks of indelible grace.

Yes, I to the end shall endure,

As sure as the earnest is given;

More happy, but not more secure,

The glorified spirits in heaven.


They are more happy. Why are they more happy? Because they no longer have sin in the body. They know no failure now; they no longer need repentance. ‘More happy, but not more secure.’

That is what the Apostle tells us here. The way to overcome depression, and the way to overcome failure, is to realize that you are safe, and that you are going there. ‘Every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure’ [1John 3:3]. But if you are not certain about this, every time you fall into sin you will say, ‘I wonder whether I am a Christian after all. Have I ever really been converted, born again?’ And immediately you are down in the depths of depression, and the moment you are depressed the devil has a very easy target. He gets you down again and again, and you remain on the ground, grovelling in the dust. ‘What is the cure for that? The cure for that is to realize that, whether you have sinned or not, you are in Christ; that sin does not affect you yourself as a person, and that it cannot bring you again into its realm and reign; that sin only remains in your mortal body, and that - even that - because you are in Christ, is going to be entirely set free. The Apostle goes on to say: ‘Now if we be dead with Christ we believe also that we shall live with him’, and much else. But so far he is only dealing with the negative half of verse - ‘that we have been planted together in the likeness of his death’. That is almost enough in itself. It tells me this - that I, as a man, as a being, as a personality, as an entity, have already by my death with Christ finished with the realm and the rule arid the reign and the dominion of sin. Any man who has died is automatically, axiomatically, inevitably, free - ‘freed from sin’.


Clay Lovegrove welcomes emails - Copyright 2013

Last Updated on Tuesday, 04 February 2014 15:12  

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