Lloyd-Jones makes an interesting point when saying that if all the Christian life entailed was accepting salvation and going to heaven then the New Testament letters would never have been needed, and there would be no real need for the church.
His point is that we all struggle with life and will continue to struggle with life regardless of whether we have professed Jesus as Lord and Saviour. Simply, being a believer is no guarantee that life will be smooth sailing.
He goes on to say that if you have never had trouble in your life, never battled through anything, are you really a believer? Upon becoming a Christian there will be things in our lives that we want to let go of, get rid of, or just plain run away from.
15 The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the foremost. 16 But I received mercy for this reason, that in me, as the foremost, Jesus Christ might display his perfect patience as an example to those who were to believe in him for eternal life.
1 Timothy 1.15-16
There will be things we all want to get rid of in our lives, some may take more time than others and this is ok. We know from the full counsel of Scripture that the forgiveness that Jesus offers is total and complete, and it is in this truth that we need to rest. Maybe, though, there is something in your life that you look back on and cannot understand how you could be forgiven for?
This one sin can really get people down. They look at the testimony of others and say ‘Praise God, what a transformation!‘, but struggle to understand that they are also forgiven from all of their own past.
When we differentiate between sin (this one is worse than that one), we fail to take God at His Word. We fail to understand that Jesus died for the sins of the entire world, including the one sin that you feel you will never be forgiven of.
The shed blood of Jesus covers all sins and you are completely forgiven.
Lloyd-Jones summarises well, and this is a great thought for us to take into today:
“You and I must never look at our past lives; we must never look at any sin in our past life in any way except that which leads us to praise God and to magnify His grace in Christ Jesus. I challenge you to do that. If you look at your past and are depressed by it, if as a result you are feeling miserable as a Christian, you must do what Paul did…He glories in grace and says the grace of our Lord overflowed for me with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus.”