Monday, August 26, 2013

Martyn Lloyd-Jones: The Kingdom of God

I shared my affinity for Martyn Lloyd- Jones in my last post, by introducing you to his first work that I read, Spiritual Depression: Its Causes and Cure. As I wrote, Lloyd-Jones' sermons are as applicable today as they were 50 years ago. I found that to be true not only of Spiritual Depression, but also of The Kingdom of God.

The Kingdom of God is a series of 12 sermons that begins with Lloyd-Jones' exposition of Mark 1:14-15. The passage "is such a perfect summary of Christianity and what it stands for and of what the message of the Gospel really is." (p. 8) He goes on
...there is, perhaps, nothing that is so sadly needed in this modern world as just to get a simple, direct, unvarnished statement as to what the Gospel is about. Indeed, this is to me the standing and almost perpetual problem. How does it come to pass that, with open Bibles before them, men and women should be wrong not so much about certain details with respect to the Gospel, but about the whole thing, about the very essence of the Gospel? It is quite understandable that there should be certain points, certain facets of truth about which people are not clear and about which there may be division of opinion. This Gospel is many-sided, it has many aspects, so that is not surprising. But I do suggest that it is indeed very surprising that at the end of the twentieth century, men and women should still be all wrong about what the Gospel is; wrong about its foundation, wrong about its central message; wrong about its objective and wrong about the way in which one comes into relationship with it. And yet, that is the very position by which we are confronted at the present time. (p. 8)
It seems that not much has changed since 1963. Our postmodern society urges us to seek our own truth, one that is relevant and meaningful to us. Sadly this line of thought has infiltrated the church, as is evidenced by the abundance of churches that lack Biblical theology and lack a true understanding of the Gospel. Instead of boldly proclaiming truth, these churches encouraging members to find whatever truth works for them.

Lloyd-Jones battled this trend 50 years ago, firmly stating that preachers have a duty to point people to God's truth which He made known from the foundation of the world (see Heb. 1:1-2).  God has a plan and He has done the work to accomplish it.
...because He has already done it I need not waste a second in trying to discover truth. All I need to do is to pay attention to the truth that God has already revealed through the prophets, through the teachers of the Old Testament, through His Son, through the apostles of the New Testament. It is all here. I do not need anything fresh or new; all I need has already been given.  And, of course, that is why preaching is possible. If it were anything else it would not be preaching, it would be a sort of philosophical or semi-political ethical society... (p. 16)
Remind you of anyone?

Martyn Lloyd-Jones' passion for the truth of the Gospel shines through The Kingdom of God, as it does in his other works. If you're not familiar with his work, I encourage you to read one of his books. I bet you'll love his preaching as much as I do.

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