Do not tell me about your good works, I am not interested.

“Do not tell me about your good works, I am not interested. Do not tell me you are a church member, I am not a bit interested. Are you glorying in the cross? Is this everything to you? Is this life to you? Are you ready to die rather than deny this glorious message? That is what a Christian is, and unless we glory in the cross we have not seen it and what it means, and if we have not seen it, we do not really believe in it. And if we do not believe in it, we are yet in our sins, and should we die like that, we will go to judgement and we will go to hell. Your eternal, everlasting destiny, depends upon this one thing. Have you seen that God has provided there the only way whereby you can be forgiven and become a child of God, and go on to inherit the glories of eternity? May God have mercy upon us all, and by his Spirit open our eyes to see the glory of the cross.”

Martyn Lloyd-Jones, The Cross (p. 83)

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The Life of God in the Soul of Man

[For Paul] everything always ends in Christ and with Christ. He is the final point, He is the explanation of Paul’s living and his whole outlook upon life … Christ is all-sufficient for every circumstance, for every eventuality and for every possibility … he is introducing us to what in many ways we may describe as the cardinal New Testament doctrine. The Christian life … is not just a philosophy, it is not just a point of view, it is not just a teaching that we take up and try to put into practice. It is all that, but it is something infinitely more. The very essence of the Christian life, according to the New Testament teaching everywhere, is that it is a mighty power that enters into us; it is a life, if you like, that is pulsating in us. It is an activity, and activity on the part of God …

[Christians] are not just men who have taken up a certain theory and are trying to practise it; it is God doing something in them and through them … our highest thoughts, our noblest aspirations, our every righteous inclination is from and of God, is something that is brought into being in us by God Himself. It is God’s activity and not merely our activity (Philippians 3: 10) … You find [Paul] saying exactly the same thing in other Epistles (Ephesians 1:19, 20; 2:10) … You remember also the great statement at the end of the third chapter: ‘He is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us’.

Now, that is typical and characteristic New Testament doctrine, and if we have not grasped it we are surely missing one of the most glorious things about the Christian life and position … We come back again to what I am never tired of quoting, namely, John Wesley’s favourite definition of a Christian. He found it in that book by Henry Scougal … The life of God in the soul of man … The Christian is not just a good, decent, moral man; the life of God has entered into him, there is an energy, a power, a life in him and it is that that makes him peculiarly and specifically Christian.

~Martyn Lloyd-Jones, Spiritual Depression, pp. 291-2

We become weary … ~ Martyn Lloyd-Jones

‘Ah,’ we say, ‘the same old thing week after week.’ That is our attitude towards our life, and … we become weary … If you regard the Christian life as a dreary task you are insulting God … If you and I come to regard any aspect of this Christian life merely as a task and a duty, and if we have to goad ourselves and to set our teeth in order to get through with it, I say we are insulting God and we have forgotten the very essence of Christianity. The Christian life is not a task. The Christian life alone is worthy of the name life. This alone is righteous and holy and pure and good. It is the kind of life the Son of God Himself lived. It is to be like God Himself in His own holiness. That is why I should live it. I do not just decide to make a great effort to carry on somehow … How have I got into this life — this life that I am grumbling and complaining about, and finding it hard and difficult? … there is only one answer … because the only begotten Son of God left heaven and came down to earth for our salvation; He divested Himself of all the insignia of His eternal glory and humbled Himself to be born as a babe and to be placed in a manger. He endured the life of this world for thirty-three years: He was spat upon and reviled. He had thorns thrust into his head and was nailed to a cross, to bear the punishment of my sin. That is how I have come to … this.

… ‘Be not weary in well-doing.’ My friend, if you think of your Christian life … with this sense of grudge, or as a wearisome task or duty, I tell you to go back to the beginning of your life, retrace your steps to the wicket gate through which you passed. Look at the world in its evil and sin, look at the hell to which it was leading you, and then look forward and realize that you are set in the midst of the most glorious campaign into which a man could ever enter, and that you are on the noblest road that the world has ever known.

Martyn Lloyd-Jones Spiritual Depression, pp. 199-200

Saying Farewell to the Past

Would you like to be rid of this spiritual depression?

The first thing you have to do is to say farewell now once and forever to your past.

Realize that it has been covered and blotted out in Christ.

Never look back at your sins again.

Say: ‘It is finished, it is covered by the Blood of Christ’.

That is your first step.

Take that and finish with yourself and all this talk about goodness, and look to the Lord Jesus Christ.

It is only then that true happiness and joy are possible for you.

What you need is not to make resolutions to live a better life, to start fasting and sweating and praying.

No! You just begin to say:

I rest my faith on Him alone
Who died for my transgressions to atone.

-D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones, Spiritual Depression, p. 35:

Weariness on the Way

‘Ah,’ we say, ‘the same old thing week after week.’ That is our attitude towards our life, and … we become weary … If you regard the Christian life as a dreary task you are insulting God … If you and I come to regard any aspect of this Christian life merely as a task and a duty, and if we have to goad ourselves and to set our teeth in order to get through with it, I say we are insulting God and we have forgotten the very essence of Christianity. The Christian life is not a task. The Christian life alone is worthy of the name life. This alone is righteous and holy and pure and good. It is the kind of life the Son of God Himself lived. It is to be like God Himself in His own holiness. That is why I should live it. I do not just decide to make a great effort to carry on somehow … How have I got into this life — this life that I am grumbling and complaining about, and finding it hard and difficult? … there is only one answer … because the only begotten Son of God left heaven and came down to earth for our salvation; He divested Himself of all the insignia of His eternal glory and humbled Himself to be born as a babe and to be placed in a manger. He endured the life of this world for thirty-three years: He was spat upon and reviled. He had thorns thrust into his head and was nailed to a cross, to bear the punishment of my sin. That is how I have come to … this.

… ‘Be not weary in well-doing.’ My friend, if you think of your Christian life … with this sense of grudge, or as a wearisome task or duty, I tell you to go back to the beginning of your life, retrace your steps to the wicket gate through which you passed. Look at the world in its evil and sin, look at the hell to which it was leading you, and then look forward and realize that you are set in the midst of the most glorious campaign into which a man could ever enter, and that you are on the noblest road that the world has ever known.

Martyn Lloyd-Jones Spiritual Depression, pp. 199-200