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We should examine ourselves constantly in the light of the Word.
And if we are not reading it in such a way as to be examined by it, we are not reading it correctly.
We must face these things.
Do I take the whole message of the Scriptures?
Am I taking the whole counsel of God?
Do I accept the teaching concerning the wrath of God as I do that concerning the love of God?
Am I as ready to believe in the righteousness of God as in His mercy – in the justice and holiness of God as well as in His compassion and long-suffering?
That is the question.
The characteristics of the false believer is that he does not face it all –
he just picks out what he wants and likes, and ignores the rest. In other words his outstanding characteristic always is that
he never faces completely and honestly the nature of sin, and the effects of sin, in the light of the holiness of God. The trouble with him is that
he never wants to feel unhappy,
he never wants to feel a sense of dissatisfaction with himself, or a sense of discomfort.
The thing he wants to avoid at all costs is being unhappy or being made to feel uncomfortable.
He does not like the people who make him feel uncomfortable, nor the passages in the Bible that do the same, so
he picks and chooses.
He is always out for ease and comfort and happiness – and
he never faces properly the biblical doctrine of sin, because it disturbs him and causes him disquiet.
In other words, the trouble with him ultimately is that
he does not really desire to know God.
He wants God’s blessing, but
he does not want God.
He does not really desire to serve God and to worship Him with the whole of his being,
he simply wants certain things that he believes God can give him.
To sum it up,
his real trouble is that he does not know the meaning of the expression ‘hungering and thirsting after righteousness’.
He is not interested in righteousness –
he is not interested in holiness.
He really does not want to be like Christ –
he simply wants to be made comfortable.
He is like the man in the picture who wants to build a house hurriedly, so that he can sit in his armchair and enjoy himself.
He wishes all to be well with him in this life and in the life to come, but
he wants it on his own terms and in his own way.
He is impatient, and dislikes all teaching and instruction that warn him that this is not sufficient if he really wants to have a satisfactory and durable edifice.
~ D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones (1899 –1981), “Studies in the Sermon the Mount” (Matthew 5-7)