Romans – Exposition of Chapter 1: The Gospel of God

lloydMartyn Lloyd-Jones, Romans – An Exposition of Chapter 1: The Gospel of God. Carlisle: Banner of Truth, 1985. 394 pp. $28.00

This year, I set out to read all fourteen volumes of the Lloyd-Jones series on Romans. The first volume, Romans – An Exposition of Chapter 1: The Gospel of God is a theological feast for the soul. These messages are a part of a fourteen-year journey that Lloyd-Jones led his congregation through before his death in 1981.

The first volume guides readers through Romans 1:1 – 1:24, nearly four hundred pages – which should be a good sign for anyone who values solid exposition.

Anyone who knows Lloyd-Jones knows that his preaching was packed with gospel-centered, Christ-saturated teaching. This volume is no exception. A few citations should be enough to attract the attention of hungry followers of Christ:

“The business of the gospel is to make us righteous in the sight of God, to make us acceptable with a God, to enable us to stand in the presence of God.”

“The business of the gospel is to bring people to God, and to reconcile them to God.  Not to fill churches!  Not to have good statistics!  But to reconcile men to God – to save them from the wrath to come.”

“If you do not see the wrath of God when you look at the cross of Calvary’s Hill, it is very certain that you do not see the love of God either.”

“We must desire His glory and, therefore, we must desire to live for His glory.  We must seek His will; we must desire to know His will.  And our greatest endeavor always should be to do His will in all things and in all respects, whatever the consequences may be.  That is godliness.”

I stand with many others who consider Lloyd-Jones the finest expositor of the 20th century. May God raise a new generation of pastors and leaders who follow the lead of this zealous Welshman.

LET NOT YOUR HEART BE TROUBLED – Martyn Lloyd-Jones (2009)

lloyd jonesI have developed a habit over the years.  Often times, when I get discouraged I turn to the writing of Martyn Lloyd-Jones.  Let Not Your Heart Be Troubled is a collection of sermons penned and preached before the doctor went to be with the Lord in 1984.  Each sermon is packed with Christ-centered wisdom and encouragement for weary pilgrims.  In typical Lloyd-Jones fashion, the gospel stands at the center of each sermon and beckons readers to the cross of Christ.

“For God alone my soul waits in silence; from him comes my salvation. He alone is my rock and my salvation, my fortress; I shall not be greatly shaken.” (Psalm 62:1–2, ESV)

“For God alone, O my soul, wait in silence, for my hope is from him. He only is my rock and my salvation, my fortress; I shall not be shaken. On God rests my salvation and my glory; my mighty rock, my refuge is God. Trust in him at all times, O people; pour out your heart before him; God is a refuge for us. Selah” (Psalm 62:5–8, ESV)

JOHN KNOX AND THE REFORMATION – Martyn Lloyd-Jones and Iain Murray

Buried deep in the catacombs of church history lie heroes that deserved to be revived from time to time.  John Knox stands among several men who faithfully raised the banner of the gospel and defended the truths of the Protestant Reformation.  Martyn Lloyd-Jones and Iain Murray guide readers through the life and legacy of the great reformer, John Knox.

Chapter one is an overview of the Protestant Reformation with an emphasis on the Scottish Reformation.  A few themes that are developed include the sovereignty of God over all things, the substitutionary atonement of Christ, and justification by faith alone.  Lloyd-Jones reminds readers that “John Knox and other men risked their lives, day after day” in order to promote the aforementioned realities. The author also stresses the reformers were men of prayer and men who we faithful in the pulpit.  “Such a man was John Knox, ” writes Lloyd-Jones, “with the fire of God in his bones and in his belly!  He preached as they all preached, with fire and power, alarming sermons, convicting sermons, humbling sermons, converting sermons, and in the face of Scotland was changed …”

Chapter two is Lloyd-Jones attempt to credit John Knox as the founder of Puritanism.  The author points to several noteworthy qualities in the Scottish reformer – ability, energy, shrewdness, wisdom, originality, and courage.  But his preaching stands out: “His great characteristic as a preacher was vehemency.  Great preachers are generally vehement; and we should all be vehement.  This is not the result of nature only; it arises from the feeling of the power of the gospel.  Vehemence is, of course, characterized by power; and John Knox was a most powerful preacher, with the result that he was a most influential preacher.”  Lloyd-Jones continues, “When the Lords and others were alarmed, and frightened, and all ready to give in, Knox would go up into a pulpit and preach a sermon; and the entire situation was transformed.  One man ‘more influential than the blustering of five hundred trumpets in our ears.'”  The reader is left to determine whether or not Lloyd-Jones is successful in defending his thesis.

Iain Murray concludes with biographical overview of John Knox.  Several themes emerge including the fervent prayer life of Knox and his commitment to Reformed theology.  Murray, like Lloyd-Jones emphasizes the preaching ministry of Knox: “His authority came from the conviction that preaching is God’s work, the message is his word, and he was sure the Holy Spirit would honor it.  This was the certainty which possessed him.”  Indeed, such a certainty should possess every preacher of God’s Word.

John Knox and the Reformation is a powerful look at a potent preacher.  It is an important reminder of the need for courage in the face of adversity and faithfulness in a faithless generation.  John Knox stands as an inspiration for Christ-followers and is an exemplar for pastors who make it their aim to faithfully feed, lead, and protect the flock of God.

4 stars

GOD THE HOLY SPIRIT: Volume 2 – Martyn Lloyd-Jones

From 1952 to 1955, Martyn Lloyd-Jones offered a series of messages in the Westminster Chapel in London on doctrine.  God the Holy Spirit is the second volume in a three-part study entitled, Great Doctrines of the Bible and is a result of those great meetings.

The author has a passion to communicate in-depth doctrinal truth on a practical level.  While doctrine is stressed, experiencing and living out that doctrine play a critical role in this book.  The intent is to deepen the reader’s knowledge and love for God.

Building upon the foundation of the messages entitled, “God the Father and God the Son,” Lloyd-Jones proceeds to explain the role of the Holy Spirit in the life of the believer.  The author differentiates between general and effectual calling, discusses the significance of Pentecost, and covers the Holy Spirit’s responsibility in regeneration, conversion, repentance, justification by faith, and adoption.  The author progressively builds upon previous doctrinal truth and stresses the importance of the order of salvation.  He embraces the Reformed view (i.e. the biblical view) that regeneration precedes faith.

The predominant views concerning sanctification are discussed as well as the baptism of the Spirit and the filling of the Spirit.  The book concludes with a section that deals with the sealing of the Spirit and the gifts of the Holy Spirit.

This work is filled with rich doctrinal truth from the pen of a truly great expository preacher and theologian.  Lloyd-Jones teaches with precision.  His words challenge the head and touch the heart.  His writing is clear and loaded with logic.  The main points are hammered again and again in the head of the reader.  The author has a winsome way of promoting Reformed theology.  Instead of getting trapped by the typical jargon associated with Reformed thought, Lloyd-Jones simply explains the doctrines from a Reformed viewpoint.  Great Doctrines of the Bible is a welcome and necessary addition to any pastor’s library.  Highly recommended!