Literature Ministries International
- By Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones
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THE DESIRE TO SIN
I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil.
The church and the Christian and the gospel are not so much concerned about removing the occasions for sin as removing from man the desire to sin. “I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil…. Sanctify them” (John 17:15, 17). Our Lord is saying in effect, “I am not so concerned that You should take the occasion for sin away, but that You should take out of the man the desire to take advantage of the occasion.”
Do you see the difference? The gospel of Jesus Christ does not so much take the Christian out of the world as take the world out of the Christian. That is the point. “Sanctify them”: whatever the world is like around and about them, if the world is not in them, the world outside them will not be able to affect them. That is the glory of the gospel; it makes a man free in the midst of the devil’s work in this world.
Or let me put it like this: The gospel is not so much concerned about changing the conditions as about changing the man. Oh, the tragedy of the folly and the foolishness that has been spoken about this! People say, “But surely you must clear up the slums before these people can become Christians?” My friends, one of the most glorious things I have ever seen is a man who has become a Christian in the slums and then, though remaining in the same place, has transformed his home and house there. You need not change the man’s conditions before you change the man. Thank God, the gospel can change the man in spite of the conditions.
A Thought to Ponder
The Gospel of Jesus Christ does not so much take the Christian out of the world as take the world out of the Christian.
From Sanctified Through the Truth, pp. 17-18.
Today’s devo is taken from Walking with God Day by Day © 2003 by Good News Publishers. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Crossway Books, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.
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