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prov·o·ca·tion - something that provokes, arouses, or stimulates. pant - to long eagerly; yearn. a collection of thoughts intended to provoke and inspire. these posts are hoping to encourage people to think, especially Christians, and pant even harder for the waterbrooks of the Lord. If you are not a believer in Christ Jesus, I welcome your perspective and encourage your investigation on these matters.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Lloyd-Jones on the Variable Aspect of Conversion

Note: I just noticed that Michael Haykin has written a biographical sketch of Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones in his Eminent Christian series. For those who have little to no knowledge of the one heralded as the greatest preacher in the 20th Century, I encourage you to read his post. To preface this quote, I have heard many a preacher/evangelist who has "standardize" certain measuring sticks for conversions. For example, one will say, "If you do not remember the place and time you were converted, then you are not a Christian." Others will tell you, "If you haven't felt the load of sin lifted off your back, then you haven't been forgiven." And still, others will equivocate will external movements with the internal work of converting a soul (as in walking down an aisle, praying a prayer, etc.). To these and others, Lloyd-Jones reminds us of the variableness of conversion.

“Now we have considered these things because there is always a tendency to standardize the variable aspect of conversion. Sometimes it works out in the evangelist, in his desiring everybody to become a Christian in the same way, and he is doubtful of the converts unless they are all the same. . . .Some people are always insisting upon the presence of a variable quality, which is not essential. Thinking it was essential, and not having experienced it, they say that they have never been converted. And this can lead to untold and unnecessary happiness . . . if we postulate something that is variable and insist upon it, we may do ourselves or somebody else great harm. We may tell other people that they are not converted because they do not conform to our particular standard. So we must be very careful that we do not go beyond Scripture and say things which the Bible does not say. Therefore, how vital, how essential, is it that we should have clear definitions in our mind.”

- From Martyn Lloyd-Jones (1899-1981) – a sermon entitled “Temporary, Counterfeit, and True Conversion”

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