Thursday, May 3, 2012

On Very Good Terms With Ourselves

D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones (found in Proverbs: Wisdom That Works by Ray Ortlund, Jr., 22, emphasis added):
You will never make yourself feel that you are a sinner, because there is a mechanism in you as a result of sin that will always be defending you against every accusation. We are all on very good terms with ourselves, and we can always put up a good case for ourselves. Even if we try to make ourselves feel that we are sinners, we will never do it. There is only one way to know that we are sinners, and that is to have some dim, glimmering conception of God.
Isaiah received more than a dim, glimmering conception of God:
In the year that King Uzziah died I saw the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up; and the train of his robe filled the temple.
There was no possibility of defending himself. Opening his mouth, he could only condemn himself.
... And I said: "Woe is me! For I am lost; for I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts!"
Being blinded by the white-hot radiance of God's glory opens our eyes. Rather than being on good terms with ourselves and putting up a good case, all of the sudden the call to deny ourselves, take up our cross and follow Jesus makes complete sense. It is freedom and life to kill the compulsion to defend ourselves. No need to assume the role of personal defense attorney when...
...we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. He is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world.
God's glory, shining supremely Christ in the face of Jesus Christ, puts us in touch with reality. We feel it. We know it. We know how sinful and excuse-less we are. Our mouths are stopped. Then we also feel and know the burning sweetness of atonement that touches our lips. And our mouths are filled with something new. Not our case. No self defense. But the excellencies of our Advocate who, by blood-bought grace, is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all our unrighteousness.

How sweet is it that God, by grace, in Christ, can put slippery, spin-doctor lawyers like us on very good terms with himself!

1 comment:

  1. Chris, you've spoken the truth. How good it is that the great hope of the Gospel is that we can "come and die" to ourselves and our need to defend our record--Christ is our advocate indeed! You're in good company with Tozer, as he writes in the Pursuit of God:

    "First of all he should put away all defense and make no attempt to excuse himself either in his own eyes or before the Lord. Whoever defends himself will have himself for his defense, and he will have no other; but let him come defenseless before the Lord and he will have for his defender no less than God Himself. Let the inquiring Christian trample under foot every slippery trick of his deceitful heart and insist upon frank and open relations with the Lord.

    Then he should remember that this is holy business. No careless or casual dealings will suffice. Let him come to God in full determination to be heard. Let him insist that God accept his all, that He take things out of his heart and Himself reign there in power."

    I thank the Lord for your words and your heart, Chris. Jenn and I are the better for having you in our life, even for the little amount of time we have actually spent with you. Hopefully we will visit again before long.