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Home New Testiment Studies 7# Martyn Lloyd-Jones on ‘Power’ - Text

7# Martyn Lloyd-Jones on ‘Power’ - Text

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Martyn Lloyd-Jones on ‘Power’

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Big Deductions:

(1) If you reckon yourself to be ‘dead indeed unto sin’, and ‘alive unto God’, you shall never again allow sin to cause you to wonder whether you are saved or not. Rather, every time we sin, we sin deliberately and as a child of God.

(2) Irrespective of what you may feel you must say to yourself, ‘I have finished with the realm of sin, I am exclusively in the realm of God’.

(3) I lose my sense of hopelessness because I can say to myself that not only am I no longer under the dominion of sin, but I am under the dominion of another power that nothing can frustrate. I am no longer left to myself, I am receiving power from the Head, the life of God is in my soul, and I am filled with a joy which turns into further strength.

(4) I know that whatever may be true of me and of this world at this present time, the purpose of God is sure and certain; nothing can stop it — nothing whatsoever!

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

 

 

 

Romans 6:8-14

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.

 

Ne 810 … Do not grieve, for the joy of the LORD is your strength.

 

Ro 51 …our Lord Jesus Christ, 2 through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God.

Ro 828 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.

 

Eph 1 4 For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight.

Eph 5 25 …as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her 26 to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, 27 and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless.

 

Heb 12 6 because the Lord disciplines those he loves

 

1Pe 58 Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. 9 Resist him, standing firm in the faith

2Pe 318 But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

 

1Jn 32 …But we know that when he appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. 3 Everyone who has this hope in him purifies himself, just as he is pure…

1Jn 44 …You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.

Rev 12 10 …For the accuser of our brothers, who accuses them before our God day and night, has been hurled down. 11 They overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony; they did not love their lives so much as to shrink from death.


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 143-147


In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus. Romans 6:11

 

‘How does all this help me?’ asks someone. ‘You expound this verse, saying that it is not experimental. How then does it help me to fight sin? That is what I want to know. I want something practical, but you have taken so much time on the doctrine. How does it work out?’ Here is the beginning of the answer. If you reckon yourself, as you should, to be ‘dead indeed unto sin’, and ‘alive unto God’, the first effect will be that next time you fall into sin you will not raise the question as to whether you have ever been a Christian or not. Doubtless we have all done that many times. We fall into sin, and the devil comes and says, ‘You thought you were a Christian, but this proves that you have never been a Christian’. And we listen to him and believe him, and then go back to God and plead for pardon and forgiveness as if the relationship had been broken, as if we had ‘fallen from grace’ and are again ‘under sin’ and under condemnation. If you really understand the meaning of this eleventh verse of chapter 6 of this Epistle you will never do that again. ‘Knowing this, that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; death hath no more dominion over him. In that he died, he died unto sin once, but in that he liveth, he liveth unto God. Likewise reckon ye also yourselves.’

You cannot go in and out of grace; you cannot be saved one day and not be saved the next, and go back and forth. You are either under the dominion of sin and Satan, or else you are under the dominion of grace and of God. If you are a child of God you remain a child of God, and when you sin you do not cease to be a child of God. When your own child deliberately does the opposite of what you have told him to do, he does not cease to be your child. He is sinning as a child, he does not become a stranger because he has sinned. The same is true of us as Christians when we sin against God. So if we realize this, we shall never again allow sin to take us right back, as it were, to the beginning, and cause us to wonder whether we are saved or not. We must realize, rather, that every time we sin, we sin deliberately and as a child of God. We are no longer merely breaking or offending against the Law, we are now wounding love. That is much more grievous, but it is not a legal offence.

Secondly, if we understand this verse and the argument implicit in it, it gives us a right view of ourselves and our standing, both in relationship to sin, and in our relationship to God. Irrespective of what you may feel if you are a Christian, you must say to yourself, ‘I have finished with the realm of sin, I am exclusively in the realm of God’. You must say that to yourself, hold it before yourself, remind yourself of it. That is your position in Christ. Whatever your feelings, say that to yourselves, believe it, hold to it, act upon it.

Thirdly, to realize this, therefore, takes away from us that old sense of hopelessness which we have all known and felt because of the terrible power of sin. You have said, ‘I am never going to do that again. I am going to read my Bible regularly, I am going to pray constantly, I am going to do this and that’. Then you go back and commit the same sin again and you say, ‘Who can stand up against such a power? “O wretched man that I am! Who shall deliver me?” Sin is too strong for me, it gets me down, it is in my very members, what can I do?’ The only way I know of to get rid of that sense of hopelessness is the teaching of this chapter and especially this verse. Thank God, I do know it, because this sixth chapter has been to me, since I came to understand it, the most liberating chapter in my whole Christian experience.

How does it work? It works in this way. I lose my sense of hopelessness because I can say to myself that not only am I no longer under the dominion of sin, but I am under the dominion of another power that nothing can frustrate. However weak I may be, it is the power of God that is working in me; and it is God’s purpose to deliver me from every vestige and trace and remnant of sin, until I become faultless and blameless. I know that that is true. There is a power working in me which is against sin and sin’s power. I have been taken out of the realm of sin and I am being purged and purified, God is working in me. However great the power of the devil may be, I know that this power is greater: ‘Greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world’ (1 John 4: 4). When I say that, and believe it, I can smile at the devil, I can defy, I can resist him and see him fleeing from me. I can resist him, ‘steadfast in the faith’. I used to be terrified of him, but no longer! Oh yes, if I were still alone I should be terrified; but Christ is with me, I am in Him. Therefore I need fear nothing that the devil can do to me. I can defy him, though he is ‘a roaring lion roaming about seeking whom he may devour’. In Christ I can resist him. ‘They overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony’ [Revelation 12:11].

To realize all this, furthermore, leads to a sense of joy and of hope. When you realize these things you begin to smile; you stand up, you shake yourself. You say, ‘What a fool I have been for being so depressed for so many years! Why did I ever allow the devil to tyrannize over me? Why have I listened so much to ‘the accuser of the brethren?’ You stand up on your feet, and you begin to rejoice. You may indeed indulge in a holy laughter as you realize your position, and what is happening to you. ‘The joy of the Lord’ comes in, and as Nehemiah reminded his hopeless people, ‘The joy of the Lord is your strength’ [Nehemiah 8:10]. When we are miserable and unhappy and defeated and pessimistic and morbid and introspective we are in no condition to fight and conquer the world, the flesh, and the devil. You cannot do your daily secular work properly if you wake up in such a condition. If you wake up feeling dull and lethargic and unhappy, and sorry for yourself, nothing seems to go right. You cannot write letters, you cannot add up columns in your ledgers, you cannot use a typewriter properly; but if you are feeling well and happy, everything comes so easily and you go through your work like a knife through butter. ‘The joy of the Lord is your strength.’ Well, this is the way to that joy. It is to realize that this is true of me, that I am ‘dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God’, and that because I am in Christ this power is coming down through the ligaments of supply to me. I am no longer left to myself, I am receiving power from the Head, the life of God is in my soul, and I am filled with a joy which turns into further strength.

Lastly, and as we have seen in the exposition, I know that whatever may be true of me and of this world at this present time, the purpose of God is sure and certain; nothing can stop it — nothing whatsoever! That is the great message of this Epistle to the Romans, as indeed it is of the whole Bible. God has set this plan of salvation in process, and neither devils nor hell nor the whole universe can stop it. ‘We rejoice in hope of the glory of God’ because we are ‘dead indeed unto sin, and alive unto God’. We are going to glory, and nobody can stop us, nothing can frustrate God’s plan. The devil has done his utmost, but he has been defeated, and his doom is certain. Once you are in the scheme, the plan, the purpose of God, nothing can stop your ultimate glorification. I must quote Toplady again -

 

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.

 

Nothing is so important as to realize that, though you may be ignorant and weak and frail and fallible, and though the world, the flesh and the devil are mighty and strong, God is still working in you, and His object is to make you ‘holy and without blame before Him in love’. Christ died. What for? For the church, his bride. He will look at her, present her to Himself as it were, and then present her to God ‘without spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing’.

What fools we are to listen to the devil! How wrong-headed we are when we say, ‘Doesn’t this mean that we can continue in sin that grace may abound?’ The answer is that you cannot continue in sin. Child of God, I warn you to be careful. If you try to live a life of sin, then be prepared for the application of the words, ‘Whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth’. He will not allow you to continue in sin, He will pull you up. He may strike you with illness, He may rob you of a loved one, He may smash your business, He may ruin some bright hopes and prospects you may have. He may level you to the dust, He will not let you go. He has set His mark upon you; you belong to Him, and He is going to perfect you; and nothing is going to stop Him.

You are ‘dead indeed unto sin, and you are alive unto God’. If you but realize that, if you but keep on holding it before yourself, and never forget it, it will make you such that you will not fall as you have been falling, you will see everything in a new light, and you will say with the Apostle John, looking forward to the future, ‘Every man that hath this hope in him, purifieth himself even as be is pure’. And He will give you the power to purify yourself. He is working within you, and He will show you how to do it. He will lead you on and on, and you will ‘grow in grace and in the knowledge of the Lord’; you will increasingly be ‘conformed unto the image of his Son’. ‘Reckon ye also yourselves likewise to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God, through Jesus Christ our Lord.’

 

O for a thousand tongues to sing

My great Redeemer’s praise,

The glories of my God and King,

The triumphs of His grace.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 20 January 2015 15:27  

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