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« Heart Aflame - May 16, 2010 | Main | Thankful Thursday »

The "special" Christian 

My friend and I are reading together through Lloyd-Jones's Studies on the Sermon on the Mount.  We have finished the first of the two volume work.  We just finished reading about Matthew 5:43-48, and specifically about v. 47.

Lloyd-Jones talks about what makes the Christian "special."  My friend and I talked about that word, and how it has become abused.  To Lloyd-Jones, that word may not have carried the same kind of baggage as it does today.  Today, everyone is special.   Recently, there was a community-wide day of service for the less fortunate conducted by one of the local evangelical churches in my town.  Other churches, including mine, were involved.  There was a "Princess Tea" for about 200 mothers and their daughters.  Each little girl who attended was given a tiara.  There was a brief address to the crowd there, where the little girls were told that they were all "special."  In the words of Inigo Montoya, I don't think that word means what you think it means.

If everyone is special, then, that word doesn't apply any longer.  I think when Lloyd-Jones used that word, he used it as it was meant to be used, unlike the rather easy way we throw it around today.  Anyway, I know what he's getting at, and as my friend and I read, we benefitted greatly from this chapter where Lloyd-Jones compares the natural man and the Christian man.   I liked this:

What is it that makes the Christian a special person?  What is it that accounts for this uniqueness?  What makes him do more than others?  It is his whole outlook on sin.  The Christian man has seen himself as utterly hopeless and condemned; he has seen himself as a man who is utterly guilty before God and who has no claim whatsoever on His love.  He has seen himself as an enemy of God and an outsider.  And then he has seen and understood something about the free grace of God in Jesus Christ.  He has seen God sending His only bogotten Son into the World, and not only that, sending Him even to the death of the cross for him, the rebel, the vile and guilty sinner.  God did not turn His back on him, He went beyond that.  The Christian knows that all this happened for him, and it has changed his whole attitude towards God and to his fellowmen.  He has been forgiven when he did not deserve it.  What right then has he, not to forgive his enemy?

What makes a Christian different from anyone else is this realization of sin and forgiveness.  The more we see the gravity of our sin, the more thankful for His grace we will be.

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