We who preach the gospel must not think of ourselves as public relations agents sent to establish good will between Christ and the world. We must not imagine ourselves commissioned to make Christ acceptable to big business, the press, the world of sports or modern education. We are not diplomats but prophets, and our message is not a compromise but an ultimatum. A.W. Tozer
Therefore let God-inspired Scripture decide between us; and on whichever side be found doctrines in harmony with the word of God, in favor of that side will be cast the vote of truth. --Basil of Caesarea
Once you learn to discern, there's no going back. You will begin to spot the lie everywhere it appears.

I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has strengthened me, because He considered me faithful, putting me into service. 1 Timothy 1:12

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

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Precisely! The presence of God, the Holy Spirit, living and working within the born again Christian, leads to a life of convicting the heart and mind of one's own sin, He leads the believer to repentance and total trust and belief in Jesus, and He shows the believer that the things of this world are the antithesis of our Father for the greatest life to come, is in Heaven, in the presence of our LORD and Savior.

The average church attendee says in his heart and with his mouth, "I am so proud," and "I don't do anything wrong." And sadly, most church attendees could not share the glorious Gospel with anyone else, because they themselves, do no even know it! So much for the priesthood of the 'church membership card.'