Face to Face with Christ
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"Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?" The Lord of the universe asked this question of a notorious persecutor named Saul. Listen as Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones recounts this divine confrontation and transforms an enemy of the cross into a child of God. When cutlure screams for autonomy from God, the grace of God rips away the mask of cultural christianity and in a heart of self-examination, a soul is saved. Now, as one who is forgiven and at peace with our Savior, the Christian learns to be silent, to listen and to submit to our Savior's will. No one is saved as a family or a nation, but only as an individual spared from the wrath of God by the conviction of sin and the forgivenss of the Savior. The question is then asked, are we pleased with what we see? Is the peace of God visible in our lives?
The circumstances of life can turn dire in a matter of moments. The fascade of life gets ripped away and in an instant the saving grace of God stands in clear contrast to the path that leads to destruction. Paul was on that path. As he traveld the road to Damascus, God broke through with a blinding light and dropped the persecutor Saul to his knees. Listen as Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones explains the inward change that happens when one gains a clear view of our Savior's face and hears the words of Jesus. The hatred, depravity, and desperation that once filled the heart is replaced by peace, contentment and faith. Outside circumstances cannot change the heart. That is where the gospel does its work. New life begins when the light of Christ tears away the autonomy of life and reveals our desperate dependency on the Savior. It is then that we know true victory over sin, death and the devil.
What must I do to be saved? Is it enough to know the facts of the gospel? Is it enough to feel guilt over sin? Can knowledge save anyone? The world today is filled with false conversion, people who know about Jesus, but do not actually know Jesus. Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones opens Acts 9:6 and brings us face to face with the saving power of the gospel. It is the gospel that produces contrition, the sense of fear and trembling that comes when sin is exposed and the need for forgiveness is made clear. More than a temporary emotional experience, true conversion involves the will, heart, and the mind. True repentance abaondons the former life and looks back with gratitude and thankfulness for the patience of Christ in saving sinners. The love of Jesus surrounds His child and brings a peace that surpasses all human understanding. The saved child of God now looks at hell and realizes he has been saved from it, by our gracious and loving Lord.
The world wants salvation in addition to the current way of life. It wants to remain in sin while enjoying the hope of heaven. Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones despels this myth by confronting the cold heart that hears of Christ's work on the cross yet remains emotionally unmoved, entrenched in sin. Salvation involves a grief over our sin that demands our immediate, eternal separation for God in hell. True conversion requires the conviction of the heart and mind over the grief of our sin, the guilt that we cannot escape and results in a triumphant faith that fears sin because of the price paid by our Savior. The saving truth of the gospel changes everything and leaves us with joyful praise from a new heart overflowing with the love of God. The proof of savlation flows in obedience to His Word and passionate affection from our King.
“Lord what will you have me to do?” This reveals the very heart of Paul! Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones presses that the beliefs of a Christian's heart will be proven by what we practice. Before his salvation, Paul, previously known as Saul, went about persecuting Christians. But at salvation, he, just as every true believer must, surrendered his will to God instead of arguing against the gospel or searching for loopholes to avoid obedience. Lloyd-Jones explains the powerful peace we receive when we are finally ready to listen and to learn. Just as a child is curious to understand the world around him, so are new believers hungry to understand our Savior. At salvation, Paul saw the utter failure of his efforts. His self reliance vanished and he turned to God humbly asking “Lord what wilt thou have me to do?” He surrendered his will to the One glorious Father who died for him and for us. The proof of our salvation is in a willing and eager heart to do the will of our Father.
Paul's conversion experience; a new creation; the nature and constitution of of man misunderstood; the Biblical conception of man; man's state of darkness; man's need of Jesus Christ; Christians receive certain knowledge.
The conversion of Paul a pivotal point in history; Paul's mastery of life; this new life available to all; the common factors in the conversion experience; the hound of heaven; the new creation; the example of Ewan Roberts.
The marks of Christian conversion; why some are not Christians; conversion is personal; the need for God's revelation; Paul's sincerity before conversion; the danger of religion; the new man.
The importance of knowing whether we are Christians or not; conversion; the profoundest change imaginable; Christianity not an addition; but a complete change; a new standard of values; the non-Christian view of life.
Unbelief through ignorance; unbelief a condition of the soul; the test of subsequent life; Christianity in the world; Paul before conversion; fake dogmatism; unbelief is active resistance.