Saturday, January 2, 2016
Awareness of the Other
The one who is born again, the spiritual person, is aware of the presence of the Holy Spirit. Religious people are not aware of any presence; they just have a system, and they live within that and try to fulfill it and to carry it out. But the essence of true faith is an awareness of the presence. Or let me put it still more generally: it is the awareness of Another. You cannot get rid of this mystical element in the Christian faith. This is not mysticism alone, which is philosophical, but a mystical element. In other words this is experiential, this is personal. And if it is not personal, it is not true.
Not only do you see this personal element in the Scriptures, you find it also in the great hymns. The greatest hymns always have it. Look at them and always notice the dates. You will find that the hymns that are composed in periods of revival and awakening and reformation always have this personal experimental element very prominently. You can almost tell by the hymn when it was composed. If you read the hymns in the Victorian era when they did not know much about revival, you lose this, and they sentimentalize about their now inward moods and feelings—morbid, introspective sentimentality. The really great hymns always have this objectivity, this awareness of the Other.
Martyn Lloyd-Jones, “Experiencing the New Birth: Studies in John 3,” pg.170