RENOUNCING OUR OWN RIGHTEOUSNESS

“[H]is heart was lifted up and his spirit was hardened so that he dealt proudly” (Dan 5:20 ESV).

“Possibly you may be confident of your own strength, and may think that you are not in danger, that there is no temptation but what you are able easily to overcome. But you should consider that the most self-confident are most in danger” Jonathan Edwards (ref#229, p71).

“If when others who have fallen into gross sins should be inquired of, and should declare how it was with them, doubtless they would say that they at first thought there was no danger; that they were far from the thought that ever they should commit such wickedness” Jonathan Edwards (ref#229, p71).

“O faithless daughter, who trusted in her treasures, saying, ‘Who will come against me?’” (Jer 49:4 ESV).

“[N]ever can I swallow pride

My pride will swallow me

Unless I’m overwhelmed by grace

In forced humility” Doug Newton (ref#166, p132).

“God would rather let His children all into the devil’s hands than to see them proud. Better is that temptation that humbles than that duty which makes us proud. [A] Christian may get much good by temptation” Thomas Watson (ref#225, p202).

“The one great design of God in all His dispensations to His people, is to prevent and cure the pride of their hearts. We must condemn ourselves, before He will justify us; and renounce our own righteousness, if ever we will be made righteous” Richard Mayo (ref#225, p 237).

“[W]hen I see myself as I really am, nobody can insult me. It is impossible, because they can never say anything that is bad enough about me. Whatever the world may say about me, I am much worse than they think. Self-sufficiency, self-consciousness—oh, to get away from the self” Martyn Lloyd-Jones (ref#189, Nov 13th)!

“Restore to me again the joy of your salvation, and make me willing to obey you” (Ps 51:12 TLB).

REALIZING THE TRUTH ABOUT MYSELF

“To be humble as we should be, we must know ourselves. There must be no disguising of our true condition from ourselves or from God. Where love declines, there must be a cause; and, when found, it must be immediately removed” Octavius Winslow (ref#135, Jul 16th).

“Some people feel pure, but they are filthy and unwashed” (Prov 30:11-12 NLT).

“[T]here is none who does good, not even one” (Ps 53:3 ESV).

“[T]here is only one way I know to realise the love of God, and that is to realise the truth about myself. We have to be made worse before we can be made better; there are times when we have to be cruel to be kind. We may have to clean that wound before we can put in the oil that will soothe it. We must get rid of certain things, and that is a painful process. Therefore, the highway to realising the love of God is to realise the truth about ourselves. [T]hat is to realise that you are a hopeless, damned sinner, that you can do nothing about yourself. You can never put yourself right; you can never make yourself fit to stand in the presence of God. You must realise that you are altogether lost and undone and heading straight for hell, and that is where you would arrive, were it not that God in His infinite, everlasting love sent His only begotten Son not only into the world, but to the cruel death of the cross, so that you might be forgiven, that you might be saved” Martyn Lloyd-Jones (ref#332, p524).

“God loves: an open, honest confession of sin. Though He searches and knows all hearts, He yet delights in the frank and detailed acknowledgment of sin from His backsliding child. Is this all He requires of His poor wandering child? That is all! I am a backslider, a wanderer, a prodigal. I have strayed from Thee like a lost sheep. My love has waxed cold, my steps have slackened in the path of holy obedience, my mind has yielded to the corrupting, deadening influence of the world, and my affections have wandered in search of other earthly objects of delight. [A]ll we do is defaced with sin” Octavius Winslow (ref#135, Jul 17th).

“ [S]top having fellowship with the unfruitful works of this darkness, but rather be rebuking them so as to bring out confession and conviction” (Eph 5:11 Wuest)

“Keep back your servant also from presumptuous sins; let them not have dominion over me! Then I shall be blameless, and innocent of great transgression” (Ps 19:13 ESV).

SAINTS WHO SIN

“There never was a child that required schooling or education to learn deceitfulness, sensuality, passion, self-will, gluttony, pride, and foolishness” J.C Ryle (ref#363, p35).

“The fall made us all a danger to ourselves. Because of the sin in us, we think bad things, we desire bad things, we are attracted to bad things, and we choose bad things—and we are blind to much of this going on inside of ourselves. So not only do we need God’s presence and his wisdom to guide and protect us, but we also need his grace to rescue us” Paul David Tripp (ref#190, May 29th).

 “[T]here is no one who does not sin” (2 Chron 6:36 ESV).

“[W]e all start out as sinners. There’s nobody living right, not even one. [W]hatever is written in these Scriptures is not what God says about others but to us to whom these Scriptures were addressed in the first place! Our involvement with God’s revelation doesn’t put us right with God. What it does is force us to face our complicity” (Rom 3:9-20 MSG).

“[T]he heart of the children of man is fully set to do evil” (Ecc 8:11 ESV).

“[Y]ou want your own way, and fight for it deep inside yourselves” (James 4:1-2 MSG).

“The idol of idols really is the idol of self. We make it all about us. We put ourselves in the center of the story” Paul David Tripp (ref#190, Aug 3rd).

 “[T]he power of sin has been broken, but the presence of sin still remains inside us and is being progressively eradicated by God’s delivering grace. We all still carry around inside us the darkness of iniquity, transgression, and sin. We have not yet fully escaped the dire danger that is us” Paul David Tripp (ref#190, Mar 18th).

“If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:8-9 ESV).

“Not only the sins I have committed and still commit, but the evil nature, the unworthiness in me, I have to mortify” Martyn Lloyd-Jones (ref#211, p48).

SINNERS SAVED BY GRACE

“Grace has given you a fleshy heart, one that is moldable by transforming grace. [W]hen you sin your conscience bothers you. [O]r you can erect some system of self-justification that makes what God says is wrong acceptable to your conscience. We are all so good at doing this. We are good at pointing to something or someone who justifies what we have done. What is deadly about this is that when you convince yourself that you are righteous, you quit seeking the grace that is your only hope in life or death. We are all in daily and desperate need of forgiving, rescuing, transforming, and delivering grace” Paul David Tripp (ref#190, March 30th).

“The battle with indwelling evil is still waged, the loving chastisement of a Father is still experienced, self-condemnation is still felt yet ’No condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus’ (Rom 8:1). The freedom of the believer is just what it is declared to be—entire exemption from condemnation” Octavius Winslow (ref#135, Nov 5th).

Today you are not alone against temptation because the One who is your Savior is also your fortress, your hiding place, and your defense. [Y]ou live in a world that has been dramatically broken by sin and does not function the way God intended. Because the world you live in isn’t operating as per God’s original design, it presents you with temptations everywhere you live. These temptations play to the sin and weakness that still lives inside you and that is being progressively eradicated by God’s transforming grace. [E]ven though we are God’s children, we lack the power on our own to fight the spiritual battles in which the world of sin and temptation engages us. As we face our vulnerability and weakness, there are things you and I should pray for regularly. We should pray for purity of desire, wisdom to recognize the enemy’s tricks, and strength to fight the battles we can’t avoid. [W]e need protection, not just from external temptation but from our own blind eyes and wandering hearts. [W]e are never, ever alone. God is with us He provides the safety we could never provide for ourselves. He fights on our behalf even when we don’t have the sense to resist” Paul David Tripp (ref#190, Feb 2nd).

“We know that none of the God-born makes a practice of sin—fatal sin. The God-born are also the God-protected. The Evil One can’t lay a hand on them. We know that we are held firm by God; it’s only the people of the world who continue in the grip of the Evil One” (1 John 5:18-21 MSG).

“Your sins and mine do not any longer belong to us; they have been taken from us; He has made Himself responsible for them. He is bearing away my sins and yours” Martyn Lloyd-Jones (ref#211, p55).

“[H]e walked through my death. And he didn’t simply die. He was condemned. He didn’t simply leave heaven for me; he endured hell for me. He, not deserving to be condemned, absorbed it in my place—I, who alone deserved it. That is his heart” Dane Ortland (ref#382, p192).

THE NEW BIRTH

“for my people have committed two evils: they have forsaken me, the fountain of living waters, and hewed our cisterns for themselves, broken cisterns that can hold no water” (Jer 2:13 ESV).

“How wonderful is the love of God in giving his Son to die for such wretches! And how strong and absolute is the necessity of a new birth, if we would be happy. The propensities of fallen nature are not eradicated in the children of God, though by grace they are made partakers of a new principle, which enables them, in the Lord’s strength, to resist and mortify the body of sin, so that it cannot reign in them. [E]vil is latent in the hearts of the best men” John Newton (ref#322, p111).

“[W]e know that we are children of God when we are deeply aware of sin within. Next there is a desire for God and a desire for the things of God and a desire to walk in the ways of God” Martyn Lloyd-Jones (ref#211, p28).

“[T]hough believers still have this indwelling propensity to sin, the Holy Spirit maintains within us a prevailing desire for holiness (1 John 3:9). The believers struggles with the sin God enables him to see in himself” Jerry Bridges (ref#244, p60).

“[P]ut off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, and be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness” (Eph 4:22-24 ESV).

“In every believer’s heart there is a constant struggle between the old nature and the new. The old nature is very active, and it loses no opportunity of plying all the weapons of its deadly armory against newborn grace; while on the other hand, the new nature is ever on the watch to resist and destroy its enemy. Grace within us will employ prayer, faith, hope, and love to cast out the evil. It takes to it the ‘whole armour of God’ (Eph. 6:11) and wrestles earnestly” Charles Spurgeon (ref#34, June 2nd AM).

“The spiritual healing of the Great Physician is only ever esteemed by those who acknowledge that they still suffer from the spiritual disease of sin” Paul David Tripp (ref#190, Feb 24th).

“[P]ut on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires” (Rom 13:14 ESV).

“For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life” Dane Ortland (ref#382, p190).

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THE SOUND CONVERT

“The sound convert takes a whole Christ, and takes Him for all intents and purposes, without exceptions, without limitations, without reserve. He is willing to have Christ upon any terms; he is willing to have the dominion of Christ as well as deliverance by Christ” Joseph Alleine (ref#225, Oct 16th).

“The general condition and appointment of their life, the whole level of their existence, is one of righteousness; they are righteous people, holy people, not perfect people” Martyn Lloyd-Jones (ref#211, p78).

“Although Christians are free from the condemnation of the law, sin nonetheless continues to dwell within, and all genuine Christians should be profoundly aware of how far they fall short of God’s absolute standard of righteousness. Christians are delivered daily from the indwelling power of sin by walking ‘not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit’ and by the indwelling presence of ‘the Spirit of God [who] dwells in you’” ESV Study Bible (ref#125, p2169).

“We are growing in grace and in the knowledge of the Lord; we are increasingly being made to conform to the image of His Son. We are being delivered—we have been, we are, and we shall be ultimately. The glorification is coming when He will take away our sin altogether” Martyn Lloyd-Jones (ref#211, p56).

“[T]hey fall into sin occasionally, but they do not stay on the ground—they get back to the high level. They know that they have sinned; they hate sin and repent and confess their sin and the blood of Jesus Christ again covers them, and back they go walking in the light. [T]hey know there is a seed of righteousness in them. [T]hey have been translated into the kingdom of God’s dear Son” Martyn Lloyd-Jones (ref#211, p79).

TRUE CHRISTIAN OR FAUX?

ASSURED OF HEAVEN

“It is not one or two good actions, but a consistent conduct, that tells whether a man is a true Christian….A Christian may stumble, he may even fall, but he gets up and walks on in the way of God’s commandments; the bent of his heart is right, and the scope of his life is straight, and thus he is considered sincere” George Swinnock (ref#225, Dec 11th).

A characteristic of a Christian is: “A man who is born again does not use the world’s opinion as his standard of right and wrong.  He does not mind going against the world’s ways, ideas, and customs.  What men think or say no longer concerns him….He finds no pleasure in things which seem to bring happiness to most people…He fears offending God more than offending man” J.C. Ryle (ref#222).

“I start…from the standpoint that I have been made a child of God by the grace of God in the Lord Jesus Christ.  I am destined for heaven; I have an assurance that I have been called to go there and that God is going to take me there, and it is because I know this that I am preparing now.  I must never regard that as contingent and uncertain in order that I may make it certain.  It is exactly the other way round: it is because I know I am going to meet God that I must prepare to meet Him” Martyn Lloyd-Jones (ref#211, p41-42, underlining mine).

FATHER, I am “…spiritually and vitally united to Christ…” Charles Ross (ref#241, p120) therefore I behave like Him.  I don’t try to act like Him.  I am like Him.  In my walk with CHRIST I no more strive to be like Him.  That no longer concerns me; CHRIST has taken care of that.  Instead my walk is to prepare to meet Him in heaven.

A characteristic of a Christian is: “A man who is born again is careful of his own soul.  He tries not only to avoid sin but also to avoid everything which may lead to it.  He is careful about the company he keeps.  He knows that evil communications corrupt the heart, and that evil is more catching than good…He is careful about the use of his time; his chief desire is to spend it profitable” J.C. Ryle (ref#222).  And to spend it profitable is preparing to meet Him in heaven!

TRUE CHRISTIAN OR FAUX?

NOT REAL

“There are many today who are sincere, but they are not real; they are not hypocrites, but perfectly honest and earnest and desirous of fulfilling what Jesus wants of them, but they really cannot do it because they have not received the Holy Spirit who will make them real” Oswald Chambers (ref#83, p85).

“It is the Holy Spirit alone who by His indwelling can make a spiritual man” Andrew Murray (ref#272, p25).

 “…I bear them witness that they have a zeal for God, but not according to knowledge” (Rom 10:2 ESV).  “…they trusted…and argued that because they were zealous they were therefore of necessity right….they rejected the knowledge the Gospel was offering them because of that very ardor.  The conflict in their case was between zeal and knowledge, between sincerity and truth” Martyn Lloyd-Jones (ref#189, May 27th).

“There can be no doubt at all but that these qualities—zeal and sincerity—are being exalted in our day precisely as they were by the Jews of old.  Knowledge is being depreciated, almost despised.  Clear, logical thinking and exact definitions are discounted.  Doctrine and dogma are taboo and regarded as being almost the enemies of truth, and even good deeds are not given the prominence they had a few years ago” Martyn Lloyd-Jones (ref#189, May 27th).

“…knowledge…draws us to the kingdom of heaven or takes our affections from the world, and leads us to Jesus Christ…when we do not know what the salvation means that was purchased by our Lord Jesus Christ, we belong to the world and are profane” John Calvin (ref#164, Nov 9th).

A characteristic of a Christian is: “A man who is born again…believes that Jesus Christ is the only Saviour who can pardon his soul, that He is the divine person appointed by God the Father for this very purpose, and beside Him there is no Saviour at all….trusting in Him, he believes that his sins are all forgiven.  He believes that, for the sake of Christ’s finished work and death on the Cross, he is reckoned righteous in God’s sight. (Rom 4:20-5:1, 8:1)” J.C. Ryle (ref#222).

TRUE CHRISTIAN OR FAUX?

SPIRIT CHECK_5

“Make sure that the light you think you have is not actually darkness” (Luke 11:35 NLT).

Am I willing to consider ideas about Christianity that are not spelled out in the Bible?

 “Let no one disqualify you, insisting on asceticism and worship of angels, going on in detail about visions, puffed up without reason by his sensuous mind” (Col 2:18 ESV).  “Stand by the roads, and look, and ask for the ancient paths, where the good way is; and walk in it, and find rest for your souls….” (Jer 6:16 ESV).

Do I compare myself to other people?

“…I am not like other men—robbers, evildoers, adulterers…” (Luke 18:11 NIV).  “…’None is righteous, no, not one…no one does good, not even one.’” (Rom 3:10,12 ESV).

Do I let GOD guide me all day long?

“God fills the whole universe; therefore, there is no room for another god.  If He reigns in my heart, there will be no space for another reigning power….If this is not the case, O Lord, pardon my sad offense and unite my heart to fear Your name” Charles Spurgeon (ref#34, Nov 14th AM).

Do I really “know” CHRIST or just know of Him?

“I am not asking whether you believe certain things; that is possible intellectually. Rather, I am asking have you life, are you in the realm of life, do you know God, do you know the Lord Jesus Christ?…When you pray, do you know that you are speaking to God” Martyn Lloyd-Jones (ref#211, p90)?

Is serving GOD more important than loving everyone around me?

“If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels…If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge…if I have a faith that can move mountains…If I give all I possess to the poor…but have not love, I gain nothing” (1 Cor 13:1-3 NIV).

“If your faith does not reshape your life, it is not true faith” Paul David Tripp (ref#190, Oct 5th).

TRUE CHRISTIAN OR FAUX?

SPIRIT CHECK_2

“Make sure that the light you think you have is not actually darkness” (Luke 11:35 NLT).

Did I, on my own, decide to become a Christian?

“…his purpose is not a hit-or-miss thing dependent on what we do or don’t do, but a sure thing determined by his decision, flowing steadily from his initiative….” (Rom 9:10-13 MSG).

Do I have any evidence that I’m a Christian?

Understand now, that just because you consider yourself a Christian doesn’t mean you are in GOD’s eyes.

Do I praise JESUS but then not do what He says?

“…you are near in their mouth and far from their heart” (Jer 12:2 ESV).

Am I sure that the love of GOD is in me?

“Unforgiving people have not been forgiven themselves; those who are forgiven are so broken by it that they cannot but forgive others.  They are children of God, and they act like God” Martyn Lloyd-Jones (ref#211, p115).

Do I gladly give an account to the LORD of the good things I’ve done?

“…all our righteousness (our best deeds of rightness and justice) is like filthy rags…” (Isa 64:6 AMPC).

Do I read Scripture and pray daily?

“Has studying the Word of God become dull and tedious to you?  Have you become so busy that reading the Bible has only become perfunctory?  Are the sorrows and cares of life intruding on your prayers as so many thorns?  If so, beware lest the thorns of life gain such root that they choke off your faith.  Take the hardness of your heart to the Lord and ask him to soften it and pour new life into it” John Calvin (ref#164, June 26th).

“If true conversion involves fleeing from our evil desires and corruptions and devoting ourselves obediently to God, it should be our regular practice to examine ourselves to make sure that, by God’s grace, we have indeed done these very things” John Calvin (ref#164, May 7th).