Literature Ministries International
- By Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones
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MAN HAS NO EXCUSE
Against thee, thee only, have I sinned, and done this evil in thy sight: that thou mightest be justified when thou speakest, and be clear when thou judgest.
In the next step a man finds that he has absolutely no excuse or plea. David is telling God, “I haven’t a single excuse. I have no plea. There is nothing to be said for me. There is no reason for what I have done. The whole thing was the result of utter willfulness. I am altogether wrong. I have nothing to plead in mitigation.”
I want to emphasize this. I say that this is an absolutely essential part of repentance and of conviction of sin. I therefore plead with you to examine yourselves and examine your actions. Can you justify all you have done? Can you really put up a plea of mitigation? Let me take up the position of Nathan the prophet. What if I stood in this pulpit and described your love to you in a parable about somebody else? Would you see it? We must examine ourselves in this respect. Let me put it bluntly by putting it to you like this. As long as you are in the position of trying to justify yourself, you have not repented. As long as you are clinging to any attempt at self-justification and self-righteousness, I say you have not repented. Surely the man who is repentant is the man who, like David, says, “There is not a single excuse. I see it clearly. I have no justification. The things that I see in my life—I hate them. I had no business doing them. I did them willfully; I knew it was wrong. I admit it! I frankly confess it—‘that thou mightest be justified when thou speakest, and be clear when thou judgest.’”
Do you feel that God is rather hard on you when He condemns you? Do you feel that God would be dealing unfairly with you if you ever found yourself in hell? If you do, you have not repented. I would emphasize that the test of repentance is this—that a man having looked at himself, and at his own heart and life, says to himself, “I deserve nothing but hell, and if God sends me there, I haven’t a single complaint to make. I desire nothing better!” That is an essential part of repentance, and without repentance there is no salvation.
A Thought to Ponder
As long as you are clinging to any attempt at self-justification and self-righteousness, you have not repented.
From Out of the Depths, pp. 30-31.
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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