Not all men have faith, say the Scriptures. This is something that is only found in the Christian. It is the peculiar thing whereby God passes this righteousness of His to the believer, and to no-one else. Faith is the peculiar, special quality of Christian people.Romans, vol 1, Chapter 23, p. 305
In this chapter, Dr Lloyd-Jones refutes an illustration I’ve actually used many times. The illustration is this: everyone exercises faith in their daily lives. When you are traveling by train, you are putting your faith in a conductor you never see, and faith that the brakes and the engine of the train are well maintained, and that you will get to your destination.
But MLJ insists that this is not what the New Testament means by faith. This is putting into practice the law is mathematical probability. He writes:
Quite unconsciously you are saying to yourself, ‘Well, thousands, millions of people do this every day, and everything is all right.. so I will do the same.’ You either do not think at all, or if you do, you reason… there is a one in a million chance something will go wrong, and you are acting on that assumption.Ibid, p 304
But this isn’t placing your faith in Christ. Saving faith always knows what it’s doing. It isn’t something unconscious. It involves tremendous activity and a conscious decision of the will.
And that kind of faith can only be revealed. It has to be given to us. We can’t arrive at that kind of volitional faith apart from the Holy Spirit imputing it to us.
What grace, that even our ability to believe comes from Him!
This year I’m trying to read through Martyn Lloyd-Jones’ 14 volume exposition of Romans. Lloyd-Jones began teaching through Romans on Friday nights at Westminster Chapel in London on October 7, 1955. Thirteen years later, at the end of chapter 14, he was forced to retire from the pulpit ministry because of illness. He spent the rest of his life editing the manuscripts of his sermons. All his sermons were recorded on tape, and are available at https://www.mljtrust.org/free-sermons/book-of-romans/