Each day as I spend more time in Romans with Pastor Martyn Lloyd-Jones and am more and more amazed at the depth he is taking Apostle Paul’s exposition of what Pastor MLJ considers the essential doctrine of Christianity. It’s very interesting. However, it also makes me think, “how deep an understanding does the average Christian need?” What I mean is, to drive a car one need only now certain things about its operation and the various rules of the road. One doesn’t need to be a mechanical or electrical engineer to drive. Does it help if one studies about aerodynamics? Probably only if one is contemplating a roof rack, and will then determine it will interfere with the air flow over the car, thereby reducing gas mileage.
For me, however, the more I know the more I want to know, the more I understand, the more I enjoy. Whether it is amateur radio, sailing, shooting, farming, et cetera. I enjoy the emersion into a subject. Yet studying about something is a far cry from actually doing it, actually experiencing it. Study helps, certainly, and it prepares one for the experience. As it is often said, one learns when the shoe leather hits the pavement, or the rubber meets the asphalt, or whatever phrase seems best to fit.
For Christian, then, studying the Word of G-D is getting to know about G-D. It prepares us and keeps us “up-to-date” in the working of G-D’s Sprit. It augments, but doesn’t substitute, for actually experiencing G-D by walking with Him in our life.
As previously mentioned, Pastor MLJ spent a lot of time explaining the difference between the word ‘unto’ and ‘to,’ as in Living unto the L-RD. It’s got me thinking about it. A lot. Interestingly, when MLJ was preaching he used two Bible translations, though does often reference original Greek versions. ASIDE: I’ve often thought that some letters our fearless theologians tell us were written in Greek, were actually written in either Hebrew or Aramaic. Nevertheless, MLJ used the “Authorized” and the “Revised” versions. We, many years later, have the benefit, or the added confusion, of a lot of other versions (or cynically, opinions and interpretations). The case for more modern versions is clear when it comes to words like “unto.” It’s a word I think we seldom use. One “dictionary”defines “unto” as simply “to.” Another says it’s from the 13th Century and came as a shortened version of “until.” Anyway, according to MLJ, when we died unto sin, for instance, it means we died to the realm and reign of sin. In a similar, parallel, fashion, when we were resurrected with Messiah, we live a life unto Him, meaning we are now under, a part of, beneath the covering of, Messiah.
So the original question. . . at first glance, most Christians might get bored, and fine not real reason to split hairs between words and usage and are zebra’s black with white stripes or white with black stripes. Yet it also seems that Pastor MLJ is correct in saying that if we fully understand Justification, for instance, we become complete in the assurance of our salvation. Without that understanding, for instance, we wallow in doubt of our status if we do sin, and this causes us, according to Pastor MLJ, to feel isolated and doubt even our salvation. Doubting our salvation is to doubt G-D. Downward Spiral. Eventually we come to think need to be saved. Pastor MLJ would say that full assurance means we don’t come back again to be saved all over, that we are saved once and for all time, our eternal lives assured in Christ. Dead Unto Sin. . . the reign of sin, the realm of sin, the condemnation of sin. Once we are new creations, how then can we go back again and become the old?