Lloyd-Jones on Dispensationalism

Romans 8:17-39: The Final Perseverance of the Saints I came across this helpful quote on old-school dispensationalism in chapter 17 of D. M. Lloyd-Jones’ sermons on Romans 8:17-39.

“It is important that we emphasize that the plan of salvation did not come into the mind of God after the fall of man.  It was in his mind even before the creation of the world.  The plan of salvation was not conceived after the Fall.  There have been no readjustments in God’s plan.  Some have taught and still teach, a notion of a series of readjustments in God’s plan….”

“This erroneous teaching is carried even further in the notes of a certain well-known edition of the Bible, [notes] which do not hesitate to say that even when eventually God sent his Son into the world the plan had to be changed.  They assert that the Son came and preached the Kingdom of God, and offered an entry into the Kingdom of God to the Jews simply on the terms that they should believe on him and his teaching.  Had they done so the Kingdom of God would have been established there and then.”

“But unfortunately the Jews rejected the offer, and on that account God had to introduce another way through the death of his Son.  And so the Church came into being.  The Church had never been thought of before; it came in as an after-thought, as a temporary expedient, because the Jews had rejected the teaching of the Kingdom of God and the offer of entry into the Kingdom.  The Church and salvation through the death of Christ are a kind of improvisation.  The death of Christ need not have taken place if the Jews had believed the message of the Kingdom.  God’s plan had to be interrupted.  The ‘prophetic clock’ was stopped for the time being, and after this ‘church age’, which is a digression, God’s plan and purpose will be continued again.”

“Such notions are a complete denial of the biblical teaching concerning the ‘purpose of God’ conceived in eternity before the foundation of the world and the creation of man.  They represent the teaching which is known as ‘dispensationalism.’  We must be clear about these things.  God’s purpose came into being before the foundation of the world.  There is nothing contingent, nothing temporary or expedient about it.  It does not come into being because of something unforeseen.”

D. M. Lloyd-Jones, Romans 8:17-39, chapter 17.

rev shane lems

Affliction: The Christian’s Great Teacher

 Though affliction, trials, suffering, and sorrow are difficult to bear in this life, they are not meaningless for the Christian.  In fact, as Paul says, God can uses affliction for our good (Rom 8).  Thomas Watson, in All Things for Good, lists several ways how affliction works for the good of God’s people.  I’ve slightly edited them here.

1) Affliction is our teacher.  Affliction teaches us to know ourselves.  In prosperity we are for the most part strangers to ourselves.  God makes us know affliction, that we may better know ourselves.  We see corruption in our hearts in the time of affliction, which we would not believe was there. 

2) Affliction draws the Christian away from the love of the world.  In prosperity the heart cleaves partly to the world, partly to God.  Then God takes away the world so that the heart may cleave more to him in sincerity.

3) Afflictions conform the Christian to Christ.  God’s chastening rod is a pencil to draw Christ’s image more lively upon us.  Was Christ’s head crowned with thorns, and do we think to be crowned with roses?

4) Affliction takes away the dross of sin.  Just like a doctor sometimes prescribes painful methods to get rid of tumors, so God uses afflictions as the painful medicine which heals many spiritual diseases.

5) Afflictions help loosen our grip on the world.  When you dig away the dirt from the root of a tree, it is to loosen the tree from the earth.  So God digs away our earthly comforts to loosen our hearts from the world.

6) Affliction is a sign of God’s fatherly love.  God disciplines those whom he loves.  Every stroke of the rod of affliction is a badge of sonship.

Watson lists a few more ways that affliction is one of the teachers God uses in the Christian’s life.  Again, though they are difficult to bear and bring tears, they are not useless.

The above quotes and paraphrases above are found in chapter two of All Things for Good.

shane lems