Monday, April 21, 2014

Book Review: Sanctified Through the Truth

Sanctified Through the Truth. (The Assurance of Salvation #3) D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones. 1989. Crossway. 153 pages. [Source: Bought]

For years, I've felt I ought to read Martyn Lloyd-Jones. I've felt that if I ever gave him a proper chance, he's a theologian, a writer, I would LOVE. That is very much the case. 2014 is turning out to be the year that I discovered just how wonderful, how rich his work is. Sanctified Through the Truth is the third book in the Assurance of Salvation series by Martyn Lloyd-Jones. The first volume was Saved in Eternity. The second volume is Safe in the World. There are four books in the series. Through all four books, (almost) every verse of John 17 is covered or discussed. The third volume, Sanctified Through the Truth covers John 17:17-19. Other volumes have definitely covered more verses, but, being so focused, so narrowed in focus is not a bad thing! I never really considered how RICH and how DEEP these verses were before.

Lloyd-Jones is on a mission. He's trying to clearly define sanctification and what the Bible means when it speaks of sanctifying or sanctification. The Bible speaks of believers being sanctified. The Bible also speaks of the Lord Jesus Christ being sanctified. Lloyd-Jones covers both in this volume. And when necessary he supplements his work by examining other scriptures on the subject. So even though the primary Scripture is John 17:17, he doesn't rely on that one little verse alone for his discussion.

The Special People of God (John 17:17-19)
Sanctification and Evangelism (John 17:17-19)
"For Their Sakes" (John 17:19)
God's Work Through the Truth (John 17:17)
Sanctification--A Continuous Process (John 17:17)
One All-Inclusive Truth (John 17:17)
The Truth About God (John 17:17)
The Truth About Sin (John 17:17)
New Creatures (John 17:17)
Christ In Us (John 17:17)
The Doctrine of the Resurrection (John 17:17; 1 Corinthians 15:33)

Of the three volumes I've reviewed so far, this may in fact be my favorite!!!

Favorite quotes:
At all costs the church must keep her message pure and clean, and she must take her stand upon the purity of the gospel and upon that alone. Indeed I do not hesitate to go so far as to say that the church, claiming as she does that the gospel is the power of God unto salvation, must be prepared to say that her gospel will work in spite of the world, whatever its state, whatever its condition; that even if hell be let loose on the face of the earth, her gospel is still powerful. (359-60)
If we are concerned about the present state of affairs we must all ask ourselves this question: If my life is not influencing others and bringing them to Christ, why is it not? (373)
You and I can only be sanctified because the Incarnation is a fact; we can only be sanctified because the suffering and death, the resurrection and the risen life of our Lord were all facts. (386)
Before you and I could ever be sanctified, the barrier between us and God had of necessity to be removed. Sanctification ultimately means being like God, sharing the life of God, being in the right relationship with God and having perfect communion with him. Sanctification does not just mean being rid of certain sins. (386)
We must never base our doctrines upon experience, but upon the truth. That is the main reason for not accepting this attitude of letting any man believe what he likes. The Scripture tells us to prove the truth… Our duty, therefore, as Christian people is to discover, as far as we can, the teaching of the Scriptures. (393)
The main characteristic of people who are sanctified is that God is in the centre of their lives. That is the first thing we may say about them. Before we get them to say what they do or do not do with regard to a particular action, we must be clear about the central, primary, most vital thing, which is how the truth sanctifies us. It starts by holding us face to face with God and it tells us the truth about him. The Bible is primarily a revelation of God. It is not primarily interested in man, but in God. It is designed to bring man to a knowledge of God, and so it tells us about him. (433)
Why should anybody come to Christ? What do people do when they come to him? What do they mean when they say they believe on him? How can that possibly happen apart from some understanding of sin? You cannot give yourself, or your heart to Christ, you cannot surrender, you cannot use the term, "Take him as your Savior" unless you know what he is to save you from. So it is surely utterly unscriptural to indulge in any sort of evangelism which neglects the doctrine of sin. There is no real meaning or content to the term "Savior" or "salvation" apart from the doctrine of sin, which has this tremendous emphasis throughout the Bible. (445)
If our understanding of the death of Christ upon the cross does not make us hate sin and forsake it, and hate the world and forsake the world, and give ourselves unreservedly to Christ, we are in the most dangerous condition possible. To imagine that Christ died on the cross simply to allow us to continue living a sinful and worldly life in safety, comes, it seems to me, very near a terrible form of blasphemy. (458)
It is a fatal thing to expect Christian conduct from people who are not Christians. The Bible never asks that. The Bible knows that the natural man, the man born with human nature as it has been since the fall of Adam, cannot possibly live such a life… All the appeals made in the epistles for conduct and behavior--and we must never be tired of pointing this out--are always made to Christian people. (474)
What a man believes is ultimately going to determine his life. (491)
© Becky Laney of Operation Actually Read Bible

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