I was starting into D Martyn Lloyd-Jones’ collected teachings called Studies in the Sermon on the Mount. The similarity of our concerns about the state of the church struck me. He explains why he felt the need to teach through this material:
And as I understand this sense of compulsion, I feel the particular reason for doing so is the peculiar condition of the life of the Christian Church in general at the present time. I do not think it is a harsh judgment to say that the most obvious feature of the life of the Christian Church today is, alas, its superficiality (Kindle Locations 50-52).
His collection of sermons on the Sermon on the Mount was released in 1959. Now sixty years later, it seems that we are in a similar position today.
Perhaps the greatest continuity is the stories of spiritual struggle in the Bible. We still relate to these stories today. They capture the drama of God working in people’s lives - and the indifference, opposition, and casualness with which people respond to God’s activity. I’m struck by the lethargy and resistance that the Israelites have to Moses’ leadership even after the ten plagues strike Egypt, and they miraculously cross the Red Sea!
Do you think these issues remain fairly constant in every generation, even if the form or shape they take continues to differ? How does this discourage you - or encourage you?