Saturday, October 1, 2016

True Christian Warfare, For we do not fight against flesh and blood.

D. Martyn Lloyd Jones

 If you don't read the sermons and works of Lloyd Jones then you are really missing something.  His series on Romans was a result of his teaching the book verse by verse to large audiences at his church.  This series took him ten years to complete it.  His preaching and teaching were expository, verse by verse.
The  excerpt below, was taken from Lloyd-Jones sermons of  Ephesians Every pastor should read the this series. The last  two volumes of this work, the Christian Warfare and the Christian Soldier helped me see how important it is to understand the wiles of the devil as he seeks to overpower, confuse and deceive the child of God. It is good to know that Lloyd Jones was a great preacher-teacher and a medical doctor all his life.

First let us look at the mistake of regarding the physical or psychological as spiritual.  Sometimes Christian people are in great trouble because they mistake what is nothing but a purely physical condition for a spiritual condition.  

Remember, we are body, soul and spirit.  Christians may be taken ill with some diseased condition and may not even be aware of it.  All that they know is that they do not feel as they used to feel.  A kind of lethargy overtakes them, they do not enjoy reading the Bible as they used to do, they cannot pray as they used to do, they are in a depressed condition.  They cannot understand themselves, and the devil comes to them and suggest that it is because they are slipping in a spiritual sense.
Perhaps he even raises the question as to whether they have ever been spiritual at all, and thus torments them and worries them and agitates them.  They are not able to concentrate as they did formerly, and they feel that they cannot be as active as they used to be.  The devil comes in and suggests that God is somehow displeased with them, that they are being punished, and so on.  So they find themselves in an agony of soul. 

An example will help.I remember on one occasion, some twenty five year ago, receiving a letter from a lady, asking me to try to help her, and to listen to her story.  She said that she had been experiencing the kind of thing that I have been describing--this kind of lethargy, her interest  not as it once was, an inability to do things.  She was in spiritual agony feeling that things had gone seriously wrong. She had heard of a certain well-known preacher who claimed to be an expert in matters psychological and spiritual, and she had written to him; and for many months he had been treating her by correspondence.   

But the lady, far from getting better, was getting worse.  When I met her one glance told me that she was suffering from pernicious anemia.  As the result of her anemia she had lost her energy and her power of concentration.  A person cannot have pernicious anemia and still feel bright and energetic and keen and enthusiastic.  Now if you try to help a Christian who is suffering from pernicious anemia. and not being medically treated for it, by merely telling her to pull herself together and to try to think beautiful and positive thoughts, not only are you not helping her, you are being cruel to her, you are aggravating the problem.  

 All she needed of course, was the recognized treatment for pernicious anemia; and she made a complete recovery in every way.  That is an example of confusion as between the physical and the spiritual, and regarding something that is essentially a physical condition and problem as if it were a spiritual problem.  Ignorance underlies this confusion, but the devil take advantage, (Lloyd Jones, D. Martyn), The Christian Warfare, Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, c. 1976, pp.228,229).

I hope this is of some help.
In Christ the Solid Rock,
Rev. Steve Bloem

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