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Effectual Calling and Regeneration by D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones

This is one of the clearest explanations I’ve read for effectual calling, regeneration and conversion.

Effectual Calling and Regeneration
by D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones

So, then, what is this effectual, internal call that we are speaking about? Well, the most we can say about it is — and this must of necessity be true in the light of these scriptures — that it is the exercise of the power of the Holy Spirit in the soul. It is a direct operation of the Holy Spirit within us. It is immediate, it is spiritual, it is supernatural, miraculous. And what it does is to make a new mode of spiritual activity possible within us. Without this operation we are incapable of any true spiritual activity but as the result of this operation of the Holy Spirit upon us, we are rendered capable, for the first time, of spiritual activity and that is how this call now becomes effectual, that is what enables us to receive it.

So as we consider what we mean by regeneration, the one important thing, it seems to me, is that we must differentiate it from conversion. And yet how frequently they are confused. But regeneration is not conversion and for this reason: conversion is something that we do whereas regeneration, as I shall show you, is something that is done to us by God. Conversion means a turning away from one thing to another in practice, but that is not the meaning of regeneration. We can put it like this: when people convert themselves or turn, they are giving proof of the fact that they are regenerate. Conversion is something that follows upon regeneration. The change takes place in the outward life and living of men and women because this great change has first of all taken place within them.


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What Are You Telling Yourself?

What are you telling yourself?

Are you listening to yourself and becoming more and more depressed?

What right have you to be depressed?

Do you think too highly of yourself and feel you deserve better?

The main art in the matter of spiritual living is to know how to handle yourself. You have to take yourself in hand, you have to address yourself, preach to yourself, question yourself. You must say to your soul: ‘Why art thou cast down’-what business have you to be disquieted? You must turn on yourself, upbraid yourself, condemn yourself, exhort yourself, and say to yourself: ‘Hope thou in God’-instead of muttering in this depressed, unhappy way. And then you must go on to remind yourself of God, Who God is, and what God is and what God has done, and what God has pledged Himself to do. Then having done that, end on this great note: defy yourself, and defy other people, and defy the devil and the whole world, and say with this man: ‘I shall yet praise Him for the help of His countenance, who is also the health of my countenance and my God’.

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Martyn Lloyd-Jones

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Whom Are You Bragging About?

D. Martyn Lloyd Jones put it this way: We are meant to talk to people about the Lord Jesus Christ and to tell them he is the Son of God and that he has come into this world in order to save men and women…. We are meant to tell men exactly why the world is as it is; we are meant to tell them about sin in the human heart and that nobody and nothing can deal with it save the Son of God…. We are very ready to talk about our doctors, and to praise the man who cured us when so many failed; we talk about some business which is better than others, or about films and plays and actors and actresses, and a thousand and one other things. We are always glorifying people, the world is full of it, and the Christian is meant to be praising and glorifying the Lord Jesus Christ.

Jesus the Evangelist by Richard D. Phillips


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How Does Your Church Attract The World?

Does your church try to attract the lost world by being just like the world?

Why would anyone want what they already have and are dissatisfied with?

The glory of the gospel is that when the church is absolutely different

from the world she invariably attracts it.

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Martyn Lloyd-Jones

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Kingdom of Heaven – Martyn Lloyd-Jones

You will find certain people saying that there is a difference between the ‘kingdom of heaven’ and the ‘kingdom of God’; but my difficulty is to know what the difference is. Why does Matthew talk about the kingdom of heaven rather than the kingdom of God? Surely the answer is that he was writing primarily for the Jews, and to the Jews, and his chief object, perhaps, was to correct the Jewish conception of the kingdom of God or the kingdom of heaven. They had got into this materialistic way of looking at the kingdom; they were thinking of it politically and in a military sense, and our Lord’s whole object here is to show that His kingdom is primarily a spiritual one. In other words He says to them, ‘You must not think of this kingdom primarily as anything earthly. It is a kingdom in the heavens, which is certainly going to affect the earth in many different ways, but it is essentially spiritual. It belongs to the heavenly rather than to the earthly and human sphere.’

What is this kingdom, then? It means, in its essence, Christ’s rule or the sphere and realm in which He is reigning. It can be considered in three ways as follows. Many times when He was here in the days of His flesh our Lord said that the kingdom of heaven was already present. Wherever He was present and exercising authority, the kingdom of heaven was there. You remember how on one occasion, when they charged Him with casting out devils by the power of Beelzebub, He showed them the utter folly of that, and then went on to say, ‘If I cast out devils by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God is come unto you’ (Matt 12:28). Here is the kingdom of God. His authority, His reign was actually in practice. Then there is His phrase when He said to the Pharisees, ‘the kingdom of God is within you, or, ‘the kingdom of God is among you’ (NAS “is in your midst” Luke 17:21). It was as though He were saying, ‘It is being manifested in your midst. Don’t say “look here” or “look there”. Get rid of this materialistic view. I am here amongst you; I am doing things. It is here.’ Wherever the reign of Christ is being manifested, the kingdom of God is there. And when He sent out His disciples to preach, He told them to tell the cities which received them not, ‘Be ye sure of this, that the kingdom of God is come nigh unto you.’ (Luke 10:9, 11, cf Luke 19:11, 21:31) 

It means that; but it also means that the kingdom of God is present at this moment in all who are true believers…In writing to the Colossians he gives thanks to the Father ‘who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son’ (see note Colossians 1:13). The ‘kingdom of his dear Son’ is ‘the kingdom of God, it is ‘the kingdom of heaven’, it is this new kingdom into which we have entered. Or, again, in his letter to the Philippians he says, ‘Our conversation is in heaven,’ or, `Our citizenship is in heaven.’ We are here on earth, we obey the powers that be, we live our lives in this way. Yes; but ‘our citizenship is in heaven; from whence also we wait for a Saviour’ (see note Philippians 3:20). We who recognize Christ as our Lord, and in whose lives He is reigning and ruling at this moment, are in the kingdom of heaven and the kingdom of heaven is in us. We have been translated into the ‘kingdom of his dear Son’; we have become a ‘kingdom of priests. (cf 1Pe 2:9, 10 1Pe 2:9; 10, Rev 1:6, Rev 5:10)

The third and last way of looking at the kingdom is this. There is a sense in which it is yet to come. It has come; it is coming; it is to come. It was here when He was exercising authority; it is here in us now; and yet it is to come. It will come when this rule and reign of Christ will be established over the whole world even in a physical and material sense. The day is coming when the kingdoms of this world will have become ‘the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ, when Jesus shall reign where’er the sun Doth his successive journeys run; His kingdom stretch from shore to shore, Till moons shall wax and wane no more.

It will then have come, completely and entirely, and everything will be under His dominion and sway. Evil and Satan will be entirely removed; there will be `new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness’ (2Pe 3:13), and then the kingdom of heaven will have come in that material way. The spiri­tual and the material will become one in a sense, and all things will be subject to His sway, that ‘at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father’ (Php 2:10, 11).  (Lloyd-Jones, D. M. Studies in the Sermon on the Mount)

Martyn Lloyd-Jones

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Do You Love The Brethren?

“To love those whom we do not like means that we treat them as if we did like them — to choose to act kindly toward them even though we do not like them….The Bible does not ask us to like the brethren, it asks us to love them, and that means, therefore, something like this: we may not like certain Christians. I mean by that, there is none of this instinctive, elemental attraction; they are not the people whom we naturally like; yet what we are told is that to love them means that we treat them exactly as if we did like them. Now, the men and women of the world do not do that; if they do not like people, they treat them accordingly and have nothing to do with them. But Christian love means that we look beyond that. We see the Christian in them, the brother or sister, and we even go beyond what we do not like, and we help that person. Love your brethren — that is the exhortation with which we are concerned?

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Martyn Lloyd-Jones on I John 3:16-18 in his book Children of God

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But God …

Ephesians 2:4-7

4 But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us,

5 even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ— by grace you have been saved—

6 and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus,

7 so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.  ESV

Not ourselves, not the church, not the preacher, not anything “But God…”. 

“With these two words we come to the introduction to the Christian message, the peculiar, specific message which the Christian faith has to offer to us. These two words, in and of themselves, in a sense contain the whole of the gospel. The gospel tells of what God has done, God’s intervention; it is something that comes entirely from outside us and displays to us that wondrous and amazing and astonishing work of God which the apostle goes on to describe and to define in the following verses.”

Martyn Lloyd-Jones, D. M., God’s Way of Reconciliation chapter 2, page 59


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Preconceived Ideas


There is nothing so dangerous as to come to the Bible with a theory,
with preconceived ideas, with some pet idea of our own,
because the moment we do so,
we shall be tempted to over-emphasize one aspect
and under-emphasize another.

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D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones in “Studies in the Sermon on the Mount

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Martyn Lloyd-Jones – “Spiritual Depression: Its Causes and Cure”

Martyn Lloyd-Jones’ Spiritual Depression: Its Causes and Cure:

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.

By John Piper. © Desiring God. Website: desiringGod.org


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