Saturday, April 18, 2015

Martyn Lloyd-Jones on Pictures of Christ

Our Lord said in John 15 that we are bound to Him as are the branches to the vine; His life is in us, and it is a part of this blessed work of the Spirit. Then He goes on to work in us, sanctifying and perfecting us. "Work out your own salvation," says Paul in Philippians 2:12-13, "with fear and trembling. For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure." He even helps us in our prayers: "We know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered" (Romans 8:26). He then goes on to produce the fruit of the Spirit in us: "love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance" (Galatians 5:22-23).

The work of the Spirit is to make the Lord Jesus Christ real to us. So do not waste your time trying to picture the Lord Jesus Christ. Do not go and look at portraits of Him that are wholly imaginary. There is a sense, I believe, in which nobody should ever try to paint Him—it is wrong. I do not like these paintings of Christ; they are the efforts of the natural mind. If you want a photograph of the Lord Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit will give it to you in the inner man. Christ said Himself, in John 14:21, "He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him." That is the work of the Spirit—to make Christ living, to make us certain He is there, so that when we speak to Him, and He to us, the Spirit makes Him real, and He is formed in us.
—Martyn Lloyd-Jones, The Assurance of Our Salvation

In Life in God (Volume Five) in Life in Christ: Studies in 1 John, Martyn Lloyd-Jones observed
Of course, an idol may indeed be an actual idol. But it does not stop at that; would to God it did! No; idolatry may consist of having false notions of God. If I am worshipping my own idea of God and not the true and living God, that is idolatry.
Read "Keep Yourselves from Idols" by David Martyn Lloyd-Jones here.