Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones Sermon – The False Believer

Reclame

Emil Bartos – Rolul crestinului in diaspora – partea 1.1 Recomandare de carti si Disputa dintre Martyn Lloyd-Jones si John Stott (14 Februarie, 2014)

emil-bartosCate ceva despre mine, pentru cei care nu ma cunoasteti. Sunt credincios Domnului din tinerete, la 17 ani am facut legamantul cu Domnul, ca urmare a unei lucrari de trezire spirituala in Oradea, in vremea fratelui Liviu Olah, pastor atunci la Oradea. Am facut inginerie, dar la 30 de ani, ca Domnul Isus, m-a chemat Domnul in lucrare. Am lasat ingineria si am intrat pastor in perioada comunista, 1987. Am inceput studii teologice, mi-am luat toate gradele acestea care erau necesare. Tocmai atunci, la Oradea, a inceput Universitatea Emanuel de astazi si am fost prins in echipa de profesori. Am ajuns sa studies, sa devin profesor, practic din 1981 sunt profesor de teologie. Am fost 10 ani profesor la Oradea, 11 ani la Institutul Teologic Penticostal din Bucuresti si de cativa ani sunt acum la Facultatea Teologica Baptista din Universitatea Bucuresti. Locuiesc in Timisoara,  impreuna cu a doua mea sotie, Tatiana. Prima mea sotie a murit intr-un accident de masina in anul 2005, la doua saptamani dupa ce am sarbatorit 25 de ani de casnicie. Cu ea am avut 6 copii. Unul dintre copii, un baiat de 21 de ani a murit in 2009. M-am casatorit dupa 2 ani de vaduvie cu Tatiana. Ne-am stabilit in Timisoara acum; predau cursuri modulare la nivel de masterat, dar sunt invitat la toate scolile posibile din Romania, exceptand una de la Oradea. In rest, peste tot, usa-i deschisa si slujesc cu bucurie peste tot. Salutari de la toti profesorii de la toate aceste scoli de la bisericile care le-am vizitat in ultimul timp. In ultimii 5 ani de zile am primit de la Domnul o lucrare noua: sa intaresc bisericile, sa le intaresc cu darul meu de dascal / invatator. Si asta am facut.

Dupa ce am trecut prin aceste mari incercari  in viata, nu mai puteam face anumite lucrari pe care le-am facut inainte. Si Dumnezeu mi-a aratat ca aceasta e noua lucrare, noua traiectorie a mea si am acceptat-o si sunt implinit in ceea ce fac. De aceea m-ati invitat, pentru ca… nu stiu exact de ce, dar Domnul a deschis usa. Nu trebuia sa fiu acum aici, trebuia sa fiu in Republica Moldova, dar s-a inchis acolo usa, s-a deschis la voi. A fost providential. Ma bucur sa fiu cu voi aici. N-am auzit multe despre voi dinainte, dar mi-ati produs, pana acuma, o impresie calda deosebita.

Imi place sportul, am jucat fotbal- mijlocas, fratilor (cand eram cu vreo 30 kg mai putin). Am jucat handbal vreo 3 ani, acuma joc sah. E o gluma. Imi plac cartile. Va spun hobi-urile mele, ca sa stiti ca am o parte umana, sa n-o auziti de la altii. Ce auziti la altii nu-i corect.

Photo credit si comanda aici – http://www.logos.ro/

Imi plac cartile, mai ales teologice, evident. „Preaching & Preachers”, cartea lui Martyn Lloyd-Jones- s-a tradus in Limba Romana deja? Da, s-a tradus acum.

Apropos, de Martyn Lloyd-Jones, a fost primul autor englez. A fost medic al Casei Roiale din Anglia, a parasit medicina pentru pastorala. Pe urma a devenit predicator la Westminster Chapel si a fost unul dintre cei mai mari predicatori ai secolului XX. Minunat predicator. Aceasta carte , despre predicare, cred ca e tradusa in Limba Romana. Pute-ti verifica. E una dintre cele mai bune. Am citit-o cand eram mai tanar decat tine, Adi. (Nu am gasit cartea- daca cineva o gaseste, va rog frumos sa ne anuntati si adaugam linkul) M-a hranit foarte mult aceasta carte si cartea  lui John Stott despre predicare- Puterea Predicarii. E tradusa la Editura Logos din Cluj.

Photo credit si comanda aici – http://www.clcromania.ro

Aceste doua carti sunt fundamentale, pentru ca, daca tot am inceput- John Stott a fost anglican. A murit de curand, nu s-a casatorit niciodata. Un om extrem de inteligent, Doctor in Teologie si profesor, dar mai mult s-a dedicat lucrarii cu studentii. Toate cartile pe care el le scria aveau trecere, se vindeau foarte bine. Esentialul Crestinismului a fost cea mai vanduta carte, Zeci de milioane de exemplare s-au vandut in lume, si alte carti. Toti banii primiti din drepturile de autor de la aceste edituri,el le punea intr-un fond special, se numeste Langham Partnership care sprijinea educatia in tarile mai putin dezvoltate- Africa, Europa de Rasarit. Asa, foarte multi Romani, talentati, buni,  au ajuns sa studieze masterate, doctorate,  in Vest din cauza acestui fond de bani de la John Stott. L-am cunoscut personal. Am fost chiar la el in casa, in birou. Era pasionat de pasari. A scris si doua carti din perspectiva crestina despre pasari. Da, fratilor, se poate si asa. Insa cartea despre predicare merita citita de toti.

In paralel, a trait Lloyd-Jones, mai in varsta de John Stott. El era, nu anglican, atat cat era Metodist Calvinist. O combinatie imposibila doctrinar. Dar, in el s-a putut. Foarte bun predicator, s-au certat. Cei doi s-au certat. Da, s-au certat si ei. Prin anii ’60 – ’66, parca, a avut loc o disputa si iata care era disputa. Evanghelicii din Biserica Anglicana nu erau de acord cu ce facea ‘High Anglican Church’, cum se spune- Biserica care avea legatura cu statul, care avea liturghie, care nu prea era evanghelica. O mare parte, poate o treime din biserici, din pastorii anglicani erau evanghelici. Credeau in necesitatea nasterii din nou, in sfanta Scriptura ca autoritate finala si Lloyd-Jones, la Congresul Evanghelicilor, a propus iesirea evanghelicilor din Biserica Angliei.

Citeste despre aceste conferinte in intregime aici (L. Engleza) –

Argumentul lui (Lloyd-Jones) a fost ca nu poti sta intr-o biserica care se compromite. Inca de atunci erau semne ca Biserica Angliei va fii de acord cu hirotonisirea femeilor. Si iata ca asa a fost. Plus, au inceput sa accepte si homosexualii, [au] preoti si episcopi homosexuali. La asta s-a ajuns. De atunci, Lloyd-Jones a vazut  ca directia bisericii nu era buna si a zis: „Iesim si formam o alta denominatie evanghelica.” John Stott era de partea cealalta. Era mai tanar, credea ca biserica se poate innoi din interior. El a spus: „Daca noi plecam din Biserica Angliei, nu mai este speranta pentru ei. Ramanem.” S-a supus la vot. Au votat mai multi cu John Stott- cu ideea lui, nu cu el. Ideea, sa ramana in Biserica Anglicana si sa incerce sa o schimbe din interior. NU AU REUSIT. Lloyd-Jones s-a separat; n-a reusit nici el prea multe. Erau prea putini sa formeze o alta denominatie. Si asta a fost disputa.

Ce faci cand biserica in care tu esti nu merge in directie buna, din punct de vedere doctrinar?

Nu-i vorba ca iti place sau nu de un lider. Doctrinar slabea, erau semnele compromisului. Unul a spus: „Iesim.” Celalalt a zis: „Ramanem ca s-o schimbam.” Celalalt a zis: „Iesim, nu ne compromitem.” Ce ai fii ales?

Stii cum s-au format Baptistii? Baptistii au iesit din Biserica Anglicana, pentru ca nu erau de acord cu compromisul Bisericii Anglicane si aveau alta doctrina. Deja botezul adultilor era profilat, separarea Bisericii de Stat. Astea erau doctrine de baza. Preotia tuturor credinciosilor, fara o baza ierarhica. Stiti cum s-au format penticostalii? O, vreau sa va spun ceva. In fruntea primilor penticostali in miscarea Church of God (1901) si apoi Assemblies of God  (1906) din America (in anii astia s-au format), in fruntea Bisericii Church of God au fost 2 metodisti. Si in fruntea Bisericii Assemblies of God a fost un pastor Baptist. Deci, Penticostalii s-au format iesind din Metodisti si din Baptisti pentru ca aveau alta doctrina. Nu a fost alt motiv. Nu au fost dati afara. Baptistii au ramas pana au fost alungati. Au trebuit sa fuga la Amsterdam si asa s-a format Biserica. Sa stiti, mentalitatile acestea se simt in istorie, daca te uiti. Ele sunt formate deja. Nu trebuie mult.

Sa zicem, uitati care e diferenta de gandire. Sa luam un om de afaceri Baptist. Esueaza, nu-i iese ceva. Ce face un om de afaceri Baptist cand nu reuseste? Intra in el insusi ai spune: „Eu sunt de vina. Eu am gresit ceva. Eu, eu, eu…” Ce face un om de afaceri penticostal, daca nu reuseste? „Diavolul e de vina.” Doua atitudini diferite. Mentalitati diferite. Unul introspectie, celalalt nu are asa mari probleme cu … Cauta. Ah, atacul celui rau. Astea se pastreaza in istorie, sa stiti. Acuma, sunt si amestecuri. La Crestini dupa Evanghelie nu ma pot pronunta.

Dar, vedeti? Suntem pusi in astfel de situatii. Ne tot intrebam, ca deja incep prezentarea mea despre liderul crestin in diaspora. De ce se impart asa de des bisericile in diaspora?  (1-16)

Va urma…

 

 

Martyn Lloyd-Jones – 2 free online books (pdf form)

The new Martyn Lloyd-Jones website has moved to this new link – http://www.mljtrust.org/sermons/

However, the pdf’s provided before are no longer available, and I am in the process of searching the internet for them once again.

Robin Lane, over at the Martyn Lloyd-Jones website in the United Kingdom was kind enough to alert me to the fact that the following books are now available in pdf format here – www.mljtrust.org

David Martyn Lloyd-Jones (20 December 1899 – 1 March 1981) was a Welsh Protestant minister, preacher and medical doctorwho was influential in the Reformed wing of the British evangelical movement in the 20th century. For almost 30 years, he was the minister of Westminster Chapel in London. Lloyd-Jones was strongly opposed to Liberal Christianity, which had become a part of many Christian denominations; he regarded it as aberrant. He disagreed with the broad church approach and encouraged evangelical Christians (particularly Anglicans) to leave their existing denominations. He believed that true Christian fellowship was possible only amongst those who shared common convictions regarding the nature of the faith. (source)

The Doctor Himself- This book was originally published by the Christian Medical Fellowship. It contains a selection of papers and addresses given over many years to medical practitioners and students.

~Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones PAGE 1

~Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones PAGE 2

The biography of Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones

Don’t build your life without God

For the Martyn Lloyd Jones PAGE click here

via desiringGod.org – read complete article here – http://www.desiringgod.org/

Martin Lloyd Jones:

We are all expert planners, are we not? Those people [the builders of Babel’s Tower] were planners. They drew the specifications of the city. They had it all worked out. We all do that in life, do we not? You have your plans. Your future life and career are mapped out. You know what you want to do. Where does God come in? Is the plan made under God, or is it made apart from him? The one lesson of [Genesis 11] is that if you plan your life without God at the center, it will come to nothing, nothing at all. It will be as futile and as fatuous as the Tower of Babel. God will come down and will destroy it, whether you like that or not. This is the whole history of the Bible. It is the history of the subsequent centuries after the end of the Bible. It is the history of the twentieth century. The human race is not allowed to build a civilization without God, and you are not allowed to build your life without God.

Martyn Lloyd-Jones, The Gospel in Genesis: From Fig Leaves to Faith (Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2009), 141.

Uploaded by  on Feb 28, 2011

A free ebook from the Martyn LLoyd-Jones Recording Trust:

Now John Peters who (like the Doctor) is a Welsh- speaking Welshman, has written the first complete account of The Doctor’s life and achievement. It includes personal reminiscences by men and women whose lives were changed by Martyn Lloyd-Jones.


John Peters is a native of Aberdare, South Wales. He teaches English language and literature at Charterhouse School and lives in Godalming with his wife and three children.

This excellent little book is now out of print, but the text is exclusively presented here for you to freely download by kind permission of the author, John Peters. Copyright © 1986 John Peters

Links to access download of 75 page book:

PDF Format here

Rich Text Format (which will load into most wordprocessors)

Microsoft Word Format.

Related posts

The biography of Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones

(3) Martyn Lloyd-Jones – The Third Assembly of the World Council of Churches at New Delhi from those that were there (Lloyd-Jones vs. John Stott)

Pentru traducere automata, fa click aici – Romanian

Read Part 1 here – a history

Read Part 2 here – 1962 Address by Lloyd-Jones

Here is a sampling of this chapter in the history of the English Churches and the debate going on between Martyn Lloyd-Jones and John Stott:

Five years before, almost to the day, I had sat in the Free Trade Hall, Manchester, trembling and gripping the seat, as I heard the Doctor preach for the first time, and was rescued from the emptiness of liberal theology. Now I was gripping the chair again! Oh that we had more preachers today who could make us tremble.

The chairman, John Stott, sensed that many men were being stirred to action and feared that some Anglican clergy might leave their church. Although he had already been given a ten minute slot earlier in the meeting to state his own views, he rose, at the end of the Doctor’s address not to close the meeting, but to counter what had been said. Being a young, impetuous non-conformist at the time, I secretly hoped that Dr Martyn Lloyd-Jones would get to his feet again and make mincemeat of the Anglican leader, but he was wiser and more gracious than I shall ever be…

Is it too late now? New factors, besides liberalism and ecumenism, have come into the religious scene, ranging from the ridiculous to the rigid. The difficulties will be enormous but should that prevent us from attempting what is right? After all, trying to live a holy life can be difficult. Am I wrong to dream that one day there might be a closeknit Fellowship or Association of Bible Churches with English, Welsh and Scottish branches, to include all who have a serious view of the Bible and a commitment to a robust evangelicalism? Dr Lloyd-Jones ended his appeal with the prayer “May God speed the day”.

Foundations a journal of Evangelical theology for the British Evangelical Council (18th October 1966 edition)
 18th October 1966: I was there…

Stan Guest, then of the Congregational Evangelical Revival Fellowship

By 1966 I had been a member for some 12 years of the Westminster Fellowship. We met monthly under Dr Martyn Lloyd-Jones and shared thoughts on many different subjects. From a letter I wrote to him on 2nd February, 1966, it is clear that, at the January meeting, he had spoken about „coming out” of the denominations. In my letter I said I was ready to do so but not yet persuaded that the time was „now”. I recalled his earlier advice that we should stay in as long as we can. I was preparing a statement for the Annual Assembly of the Congregational Union in May.

I was present at meetings of the National Assembly ofEvangelicals 1966 and was aware of the deep sadness and confusion felt by so many. This resulted in the Doctor closing the Westminster Fellowship for a time. My own personal position, however, had been greatly helped by the Doctor’s stand and this, no doubt, encouraged me to accept, in 1967, the position of Secretary to An Evangelical Fellowship of Congregational Churches.

Evangelicals in congregationalism had a situation to face in 1966 that was different from their brethren in other denominations. The Congregational Union of England and Wales was changing its form in very significant ways. After several years of discussion it invited churches to covenant together as the Congregational Church of England and Wales. This commenced in 1966 and it was a clear move towards the further step of uniting with the Presbyterian Church of England to form the United Reformed Church. This took place in 1972. It was hailed as an important move towards ecumenical oneness. Though it is difficult to see it as such when one realises that over 200 more congregational churches stayed out of the URC than the number of Presbyterian churches that went in.

Not all the churches that remained congregational did so on evangelical grounds. Many saw that the URC was, in fact, really a Presbyterian body. They compared, for example, the Congregational Union declaration of 1833 with the URC constitution. The former stated that in no way was the Union to assume authority or become a court of appeal. The latter had as its closing statement: „The decision of the General Assembly on any matter which has come before it on reference or appeal shall be final and binding”.

Evangelicals recognised these changes of church policy, of course, but they believed they had even stronger grounds for separation. For decades the CUEW had been drifting away from the final authority of Scripture and the true declaration of the Gospel. This had already led, in 1947, to the forming of a Congregational Evangelical Revival Fellowship, drawing together individual members of churches. The call to covenant as the CCEW required an affirmation of oneness in doctrine with those who were fully liberal in their teachings. There were churches who could not do this and, in 1967, there was formed an Evangelical Fellowship of Congregational Churches.

One question that had to be faced was whether or not simply to join the Fellowship of Independent Evangelical Churches. Some churches did, in fact, take up joint membership. It was recognised, however, that churches would be more easily encouraged to take a stand if they could see they were continuing in a congregational denomination. One important consequence of this has been that, because an EFCC was legally recognised as a continuing congregational body, it has received substantial funds from the former national and county Congregational Unions, thus preserving their benefit for evangelical purposes.

The call for wider evangelical unity was not ignored, however. The first EFCC constitution booklet stated: „In no way is it the intention to set up a permanent body as a separate continuing denomination. We see ourselves as a ‘bridging Fellowship’ until such time as the Lord may prepare the way for a wider grouping of Bible-believing Christians from all denominational backgrounds”. Its first statement of purpose reads: „To seek the welfare and express the faith and the true unity of the whole Church of Jesus-Christ”.

Basil Howlett, then at Hesters Way BC, Cheltenham

The scene is indelibly etched on my mind. The occasion was the opening night of the Second National Assembly of Evangelicals arranged by the Evangelical Alliance which followed hard on the heels of a Commission to „study radically the various attitudes of Evangelicals to the Ecumenical Movement, denominationalism and a possible future United Church”. Dr Martyn Lloyd-Jones had been asked by the leaders of the Evangelical Alliance to „say in public, what he had said in private” when speaking to them. The Central Hall, Westminster was full, the platform was occupied by evangelical leaders of various persuasions – two rows of them. At first, as far as physical stature went, Dr Lloyd-Jones was dwarfed by them, but as the meeting went on he seemed to become a giant!

I felt sorry for Derek Prime that night! He gave the introductory Bible Study on Philippians 2, and it was very good, but what followed was so electrifying that nobody had a hope of remembering what he said! The Rev. A Morgan Derham’s remarks, which had eulogised the Doctor with feint praise brought forth the following response when he arose to speak: „It would be churlish of me not to thank Mr Morgan Derham for the remarks he has made, but I wish he had not done so; he has robbed me of my valuable time!”

This gathering must be seen against the background of the increasing liberalism and mounting ecumenical pressures ofthose days. Two dreadful books which undermined Gospel truth had but recently been published. Honest to God by John Robinson (the Bishop of Woolwich) closely followed by Down to Earth written by Howard Williams (then President of the Baptist Union). In most of the doctrinally mixed denominations, Evangelicals were, at best, marginalised and ignored, but often mocked and discriminated against. Many young, evangelical ministers were fighting for survival, and would often find that a denominational official was working in league with disaffected members, to get them out of their churches. Numerous good, evangelical, theological students, looking for a church, were passed over. The Ecumenical Movement was marching forward to conquer, with strident voice and big steps, but with little sympathy for those who stood in the way. Evangelical churches had little hope of getting sites for church planting; Ecumenical Centres were the talk of the day.

Against that backcloth, Dr Martyn Lloyd-Jones stood to make his impassioned plea for Evangelicals, who were divided up among the denominations, to come together „as a fellowship or association of evangelical churches”, and to stand together for the Gospel. In actual fact, the words „separate” and „secede” were not mentioned.lt was a positive appeal for Evangelicals to stand together, not just occasionally, but always. I went to the Central Hall, that night, disillusioned with the Baptist Union, desiring closer unity with Evangelicals, but scared about the way forward. How do you leave a major denomination and its security when you have a young family? Suppose the denomination evicts your church from its premises and throws you out of the manse! Yet as. the message drew to a close I was convinced, along with others, that to be true to Scripture and conscience I had no alternative but to ask God to give me the strength to do what was right, no matter what the cost. The preacher knew there would be a cost for many and sympathised:

There are great and grievous difficulties: I am well aware of them. I know there are men, ministers and clergy in this congregation at the moment, who, if they did what I am exhorting them to do, would have a tremendous problem before them, even a financial, an economic and a family problem. I do not want to minimize this. My heart goes out to such men. There are great problems confronting us if we act on these principles. But has the day come when we, as Evangelicals, are afraid of problems? The true Christian has always had problems. The early Christians had grievous problems, ostracized from their families and the threat of death ever facing them. They were not daunted: they went on, they believed, they knew, they would rather die than not stand for the truth.

Five years before, almost to the day, I had sat in the Free Trade Hall, Manchester, trembling and gripping the seat, as I heard the Doctor preach for the first time, and was rescued from the emptiness of liberal theology. Now I was gripping the chair again! Oh that we had more preachers today who could make us tremble.

The chairman, John Stott, sensed that many men were being stirred to action and feared that some Anglican clergy might leave their church. Although he had already been given a ten minute slot earlier in the meeting to state his own views, he rose, at the end of the Doctor’s address not to close the meeting, but to counter what had been said. Being a young, impetuous non-conformist at the time, I secretly hoped that Dr Martyn Lloyd-Jones would get to his feet again and make mincemeat of the Anglican leader, but he was wiser and more gracious than I shall ever be…

In spite of the interjection, many of us left the Central Hall feeling that we were on the verge of something new and exciting. We honestly believed that if we left our mixed denominations it would not be a matter of going out into the wilderness, but into this new grouping of churches. We also felt, quite justifiably, that just as men were willing to make sacrifices to come out of mixed denominations, so evangelical bodies like the FIEC and the Strict Baptists, etc, would be prepared to make changes in pursuit of this greater evangelical unity. Sadly, it has not happened. Our failure to heed the appeal, in my view, is one of the greatest tragedies and disappointments of the past 30 years. I sometimes wonder whether the increased confusion and contention within evangelicalism, not to mention the comedy, is a judgement of God upon us because of our failure to take evangelical unity seriously.

Is it too late now? New factors, besides liberalism and ecumenism, have come into the religious scene, ranging from the ridiculous to the rigid. The difficulties will be enormous but should that prevent us from attempting what is right? After all, trying to live a holy life can be difficult. Am I wrong to dream that one day there might be a closeknit Fellowship or Association of Bible Churches with English, Welsh and Scottish branches, to include all who have a serious view of the Bible and a commitment to a robust evangelicalism? Dr Lloyd-Jones ended his appeal with the prayer „May God speed the day”.

I thank God for the privilege of being at the Central Hall that night and of being allowed to live through those exciting, if scaring, times. Just one small, almost trivial incident indicates how traumatic the Central Hall meeting was. Two days later, as the EA assembly continued, newspaper vendors were selling their wares outside the Central Hall. The paper they were selling was The Christian, and their sales cry was not „Late Final” or „Latest Football Results’, but „Lloyd-Jones in The Christian!”, „Lloyd-Jones in The Christian!”

Derek Prime, then at Lansdowne EFC, Norwood

My memory of the evening of Tuesday, October 18th, 1966, at the Central Hall, Westminster, is not as clear as I would wish it to be. I do not think that any person taking part imagined that it would prove to be so significant. Had we appreciated the consequences that were to follow, I for one would probably have taken greater note of the feelings and convictions I then possessed.

I have clear recollections, however, of our time in the vestry beforehand. I imagine that I had been asked to take part because I was in the middle of my year as president of the Fellowship of Independent Evangelical Churches. The atmosphere was warm and friendly. After prayer together, John Stott, the chairman, suggested that we make our way to the platform, and Dr Martyn Lloyd-Jones asked John Stott, where he wanted him to sit. „Sit at my side”, John Stott requested, to which the Doctor quickly responded, with a twinkle in his eye, „Which side? You have two sides, John!”

I had been asked to read the Scriptures early on in the meeting, together with some brief comment. Since the stated theme was Christian unity, I read the first half ofPhilippians 2, and commented on the passage in the light of the subject.

The address Dr Martyn Lloyd-Jones gave is well documented, and what he said probably surprised few of us, but what took everyone by surprise, I believe, was the action of the chairman, John Stott, when, after the Doctor’s address, he proceeded to repudiate what he had said. I sensed that this was unpremeditated and certainly not on the programme for the meeting. John Stott was clearly alarmed at the action some might be prompted to take. The lesson I clearly remember from that meeting, which has remained with me, is that a chairman should not be a principal contributor to a meeting, especially if the subject is one where strong feelings are held. The sympathy of many went out to the Doctor who had no opportunity of reply, and especially the sympathy of those who already identified with the Doctor’s position or who were feeling the particular pressures of a false ecumenism in their church situations. I wonder if things would have been different- and the outcome better – if the meeting had been chaired by someone whose task had only been to chair, and not to represent a position or point of view?

It was a sad occasion because of my personal debt to and affection for both men. As a teenager, my school was adjacent to Westminster Chapel, and I was early introduced to the Friday Evening Discussion Meeting. Then as a young pastor, before moving to Edinburgh, I attended for twelve years the Westminster Fellowship. As a student, I was Mission Secretary for the first mission John Stott took for the Christian Union at Cambridge, a mission which was outstandingly fruitful as he preached the series of sermons from which came Basic Christianity. No two men, with their contrasting styles of effective expository preaching, more greatly influenced me with regard to my own understanding of preaching. I owe a great debt to God for their example.

There were many repercussions from the meeting, which others have written about. The Evangelical Alliance lost from its council godly men such as Theodore Bendor-Samuel and John Caiger, and the British Evangelical Council was seen as a preferred alternative for expressing evangelical Church unity. My personal regret was that I lost fellowship with many whose friendship I had appreciated and gained from since student days in the then IVF, particularly with evangelical Anglicans. Evangelical Anglicans and evangelical non- conformists expressed their identity and common concerns in many ways in the early years of my ministry, but that more or less ceased, and both went very much their own ways. It has perhaps only been in recent years, principally through the Proclamation Trust’s activity, that the divide has been bridged and fellowship re-established.

Leith Samuel, then at Above Bar Church, Southampton

Rev. Morgan Derham was the General Secretary of the Evangelical Alliance (EA) when it undertook the task of enquiring whether or not there was a widespread demand for a united evangelical Church in Britain. An Assembly open to all Evangelicals registered with or recognised by the EA was arranged to meet in the Church House, Westminster, with two evening rallies in the Central Hall. John Stott chaired the first evening rally at which the speaker was Dr Martyn Lloyd-Jones, who had discussed with the Council everything he was going to say. A rumour has circulated since that the message he gave took the Council of EA completely by surprise. Not so! They knew, and if they wished to, could have requested him not to say what he came out with. Revelation 18:4 was the Scripture on which the Doctor based his appeal. „Everything is in the melting-pot” is freely admitted all round. „For too long we have been content to go along as the evangelical wings of doctrinally- mixed denominations. Is this not the time to come together?” He did not advocate a new denomination, but „a loose federation of evangelical churches”. When he finished, John Stott got up and, contrary to the generally understood role of a chairman, flatly contradicted

the Doctor’s thesis by saying: „The Doctor has Scripture and Church History against him”, with no reference to any Scripture or incident in Church History. My host for the night, Tim Buckley of the London Bible College, said on the way home to Tooting: „Rugby and Cambridge. I can’t understand it!”, a reference to the chairman’s behaviour.

I rang the Doctor at his home that night, and expressed my grief at the way he had been treated. I did not sleep much that night, because I had to introduce a proposition next morning in the Church House that a fund should be started to help ministers who felt their conscience, enlightened by Scripture, was telling them they ought to leave their doctrinally-mixed denominations. I mentioned in my introduction that the existence of the Church of England was an illustration from Church History of a withdrawal from an apostate Church.

Imagine my consternation when we received at the door of the Central Hall that night a copy of The Christian, containing David Winter’s report of the meeting the previous evening with a heading across the front page saying: „The Doctor had called people out of their churches to form a new denomination”. Rev. HF Stevenson was unwell on the previous night and had asked David Winter to double up for him, so the Life ofFaith came out with a similarly startling heading the next day. In company with the Rev. Roland Lamb and a few others I submitted a letter to both papers asking the editors to correct the misleading impression of the previous week’s issue. The small letter was duly printed by both journals on page 3, totally lacking the impact of the previous week’s streaming headlines.

From personal conversations with the Doctor I gathered that he (and I!, let me hasten to add) were hoping that a banner would be raised at the Central Hall that we could all (true Evangelicals) in Britain come together under. I was informed by Dr Douglas Johnson, a close friend of the Doctor’s, that John Stott apologised privately to the Doctor, but never made public that he was sorry for treating the leading Evangelical in the country in the way he had done.

The next year the Anglicans met at Keele and declared they were committing themselves to a future in the Anglican community. I wrote to John Stott asking him not to overlook his non-conformist brethren. He assured me this would not happen! But ten years later at Nottingham they proceeded further in an Anglican direction. „This was not my scene said the leading Anglican Evangelical to me straight after Nottingham!

On the non-conformist side, the BEC gathering in Westminster Chapel, October 3rd 1967, was a significant moment, 450 years after Luther nailed his 95 Theses to the door of the Church ofWittenberg, though the impetus of that great gathering was never maintained, alas!

Derek Swann, then at Ash(ord Congregational Church

I began my ministry at Ashford in January 1963. My predecessor, but one, the Rev. Gilbert Kirby had left to become General Secretary of the Evangelical Alliance in 1957. Consequently, the Church had strong links with the EA. It was natural, therefore, that I should be present at the October 1966 meeting at the Westminster Central Hall as a Church delegate, and at the various public meetings of the EA prior to that.

All that Dr Lloyd-Jones said that night in October is now well documented. To some, his message came like a thunderbolt, but to those of us who regularly attended the monthly meetings of the Westminster Fellowship of Ministers over which the Doctor presided, it was not. For many months the question of the Doctrine of the Church, unity and schism had been thoroughly discussed, so we were familiar with the Doctor’s position.

As Congregationalists we were forced in the early 60s, in way others were not, to consider, and face up to, the subject of Church unity. The Congregational Union of England & Wales was actively working for the formation of the Congregational Church in England and Wales (this came into being in 1966), which was a spring-board for union with the Presbyterian Church of England, which would result in the formation of the United Reformed Church in 1972. The majority of Evangelical Congregationalists were clear about what action they should take, but the discussions under Dr Lloyd-Jones were both strengthening and encouraging. At Ashford, as in many of our churches, the main issue was the Doctrine of Scripture. How could we possibly work with ministers and churches who held the view that „the Bible is not wholly free from error, confusion and contradiction, it must be read with fully critical attention if the Church is to discern the truth which is binding, and not to be in bondage to what is not binding”.1

A colleague had lunch with one of the leading men in the CUEW at the time, and warned that if loose views of Scripture continued to be embraced then Evangelicals could have no part in the proposed EC in England and Wales. His reply was: „We’re ready to lose you, for the sake of wider unity”. Not surprisingly the bulk of Evangelical Congregational Churches did not enter the new body. I must point out, as a matter of fact, that we did not come out of a body, rather we refused to join one.

To go back to the October 1966 meeting. When the Doctor finished his reasoned and passionate address, the behaviour of the Chairman, the Rev. John Stott, came as a shock. That otherwise calm and reasonable Anglican seemed to be visibly shaken by what had been said, and perhaps, fearful lest there should be a flood ofAnglican ministers prematurely leaving the Anglican Church, spoke briefly, but strongly that both Scripture and History were against the position the Doctor had outlined. The atmosphere was electric and one had the sense that from that night onwards a division in evangelicalism was highlighted that would dominate the scene for years to come.

Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones PAGE (1)

Pentru traducere automata, fa click aici – Romanian

Peace with God and False Peace (Essential Reading – Justification by Faith)

via Banner of Truth Trust UK 01/11

Dr D Martyn Lloyd-Jones died, March 1 1981.

Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: by whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. (Rom. 5:1, 2)

photo-www.mudpreacher.com

We now proceed to look at the ‘peace with God’, that results from justification by faith, from the two sides – the God-ward, and the man-ward. Far too often it is taken even here in a purely subjective sense. While it is true that there are great subjective consequences of this peace, as I hope to show, it is essential that we should look at it first in a more objective manner. Peace of necessity involves two people; it is a relationship between two persons, and in this case it is peace between man and God. We must bear in mind that something has to happen on God’s side as well as on our side before peace can obtain. We must remind ourselves again of the position under the Law. The Apostle has shown us at length that from the side of God the position was that God’s wrath was upon us. He laid that down as a primary postulate as far back as the eighteenth verse of the first chapter where he says, ‘For the wrath of God has been revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men’. He is ‘not ashamed’ of the gospel because it deals with that and delivers us from it.

Here he is saying the same thing in a different way by asserting that we have ‘peace’ with God. Apart from justification, apart from that which has been done for us in and through the Lord Jesus Christ, there is no peace between God and man. There is no peace either on God’s side or on man’s side, ‘for the wrath of God is against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men’. We should never forget that, but mankind is always very ready to forget it. That is why so many by-pass the Lord Jesus Christ and all his work. That is why so many pray to God without ever mentioning the Lord Jesus Christ. They see no need of him. They say, ‘God is love’ and believe that they can go to God directly just as they are. That is a complete denial of the Christian faith. It is the result of the failure to see that there is no peace between them and God even from God’s side, and that the wrath of God is upon them because of their ungodliness and unrighteousness. Before there can be peace between God and man, and man and God, something has to happen with respect to the wrath of God, which is a revealed fact.

The Apostle has already told us what has happened, in chapter 3, verses 24-26: ‘Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; to declare, I say, at this time his righteousness, that he might be just, and the justifier of him that believeth in Jesus.’

As we have seen, the great problem confronting the mind of God was this – How can God at one and the same time forgive a sinner and yet remain just and righteous and eternally the same? The answer is that God has sent his Son into the world, and has ‘set him forth’ as a ‘propitiation’ for our sins. That means that he laid our sins upon him, and poured out his wrath against sin upon the Lord Jesus Christ. It is only because he has done that, that God can look upon us with favour, and pardon us and forgive us and reconcile us unto himself. This had to happen before the wrath of God could be appeased and he could look upon us and deal with us in a new way. The Apostle asserts here that, in the light of what has happened in Christ, who was ‘delivered for our offences and raised again for our justification’, as far as God is concerned the wrath is no longer there, and he is at peace with all ‘that believe in Jesus’.

But it was necessary also that something should happen from our side, for by nature we are all at enmity with God. As the result of the blindness caused by sin, and our being drugged by the devil, we imagine that all is well, and often believe that we are pleasing God. But this is because we are ignorant of God. We have conjured up a god out of our own imaginations, we have projected our own thoughts, and we have thought that that is God. The moment we realize the truth about God we are troubled and disturbed and our natural enmity to him reveals itself. That is what happens to many people who have always thought that they were Christians, and have always been religious and godly. They suddenly awaken to the fact that the God whom they thought they were worshipping is not God at all, not the God revealed in the Bible, not the God who has revealed from heaven his wrath against all ungodliness and unrighteousness. The moment they see that, they hate God, they are no longer at peace with him. They had a false peace arising out of their own imaginations, but they were not at peace with God.

The Apostle teaches in many places that ‘the carnal mind is enmity against God’ (Rom. 8:7) and that by nature we are all ‘the children of wrath’ (Eph. 2:3) and ‘alienated from the life of God’ (Eph. 4:18). That is man by nature. He is afraid of God, he has a craven fear of God, a ‘fear that hath torment’. He is afraid of the very idea of God. He feels that God is some great tyrant waiting to crush him. He dare not think about death and the grave because of the judgment that will follow it. As Paul teaches the Corinthians, ‘The sting of death is sin, and the strength of sin is the law’ (1 Cor. 15:56]. The moment a man realizes the truth about God this feeling rises within him, and he is fearful and alarmed. There is no peace between such a man and God; rather is he troubled and afraid, disturbed and unhappy. He tries to find peace but cannot. He is afraid of God, afraid of death, and afraid of the judgment. It is surely obvious that before there can be peace between such a man and God, man has to be dealt with. And what the Apostle teaches here is that as the result of the perfect work of the Lord Jesus Christ, and that alone, all causes of enmity have been dealt with, and man can be at peace with God as God is at peace with him. On both sides there is this reconciliation, and there is ‘peace with God’. God at peace with us, we at peace with God. The communion between God and man, broken by sin and the Fall, is re-established.

That is the meaning of this statement that because we have been justified by faith we have peace with God. This is such a vital statement that we must examine ourselves in the light of it. The test of our profession of Christianity is whether this is true of us. Has our natural state of fearfulness with respect to God, our enmity with respect to God, been removed? The Apostle lays it down here that it is an inevitable consequence of justification. Notice that he does not say that the Christian is a man who is ‘hoping’ that this may be the case. ‘Being justified – having been justified – by faith, we have peace.’ We are not looking for it, we are not hoping to get it; we have it, we have got it, we are rejoicing in it. That is the statement, and that is why it becomes a test of our profession of the Christian faith. A Christian of necessity is one who is clear about this, otherwise he has not got peace. There is no more thorough test of our profession of Christianity than just this: are we enjoying this peace with God? There are many, alas, in the church, as there have always been, who dispute this altogether. They say that a Christian is a man who is hoping that he is going to be forgiven, and that at the end he will go to heaven. But that is not the Apostle’s teaching. We have peace, it is already a possession. He will say later on in chapter 8, ‘There is therefore now no condemnation to them that are in Christ Jesus’. That is the same thing. It is clearly important therefore for us to make sure that we are in this state of ‘peace with God’.

1. What does this mean experimentally or in experience? The first answer is that a man who has peace with God is a man whose mind is at rest about his relationship with God. He is clearly able to understand with his mind the doctrine of justification by faith only. This means that a change has taken place in his thinking concerning his relationship to God. When awakened to the truth about God and himself his thoughts would be something like this: Ah, there is God in his utter absolute holiness and here am I, a sinner and ‘in sin’. There is God’s holy Law and its pronouncements. I have sinned against it and cannot erase my past. How can I possibly stand in the presence of God? With Job he asks, ‘How can a man be just with God?’ He realizes that he cannot, and he is troubled and disturbed, and unhappy.

John Bunyan tells us in Grace Abounding2 that he was in that condition and in an agony of soul for eighteen months. The time element does not matter, but any man who is awakened and convicted of sin must be in trouble about this. How can he die and face God? He is aware that he cannot in and of himself, and therefore he is unhappy and troubled. There is no peace; he does not know what to do with himself; he is restless. Having ‘peace with God’ is obviously the opposite of that. It implies first and foremost that the man’s mind is at rest, and he has that rest because he now sees that this way of God, as provided in Christ, is really a way that satisfies every desideratum. Now he can see how this satisfies the justice and the righteousness and the holiness of God. He can see how in this way God can justify the ungodly, as Paul has already put it in chapter 4. He thinks it out and he says, ‘Yes, I can rest upon that; because God „justifies the ungodly” he can justify even me’.

You notice that I put this intellectual apprehension and understanding first. There is no peace between man and God until a man grasps this doctrine of justification. It is the only way of peace. And it is something that comes to the mind, it is doctrine, it is teaching. In other words we are not just told, ‘All is well, do not worry. All will be all right in the end; the love of God will cover you.’ That is not the gospel. It is all stated here, in detail, in this explicit manner; and it comes as truth to the mind. The first thing that happens is that the mind is enlightened, and the man says, ‘I see it. It is staggering in its immensity, but I can see how God himself has done it. He has sent his own Son and he has punished my sin in him. His justice is satisfied, and therefore I can see how he can forgive me, though I am ungodly and though I am a sinner.’ The mind is satisfied.

You will never have true peace until your mind is satisfied. If you merely get some emotional or psychological experience it may keep you quiet and give you rest for a while, but sooner or later a problem will arise, a situation will confront you, a question will come to your mind, perhaps through reading a book or in a conversation, and you will not be able to answer, and so you will lose your peace. There is no true peace with God until the mind has seen and grasped and taken hold of this blessed doctrine, and so finds itself at rest.

2. Having said that, I go on in the second place to say that the man who believes this truth and grasps its import is a man who knows that God loves him in spite of the fact that he is a sinner, and in spite of his sin. He was troubled before by the wrath of God. His question was, How can God love me and bless me? But as he looks at Christ dying on the cross, buried, and rising again, he says, ‘I know he loves me. I cannot understand it but I know he does. He has done that for me.’ It is not mere sentiment or feeling; he has solid facts of history to prove that God loves him. God does not merely tell us that he loves us, he has given the most amazing proof of it. The Apostle goes on to say that, and to prove it, in this very chapter, from verse 6 to verse 11. Nothing is more wonderful than to know that God loves you; and no man can truly know that God loves him except in Jesus Christ and him crucified.

3. My third answer to the question of how we may know that we are justified is also a most practical test. The man who has been justified by faith, and who has peace with God, can answer the accusations of his own conscience. It is essential that he should be able to do so, because thoughts will arise within, which will suggest to him, ‘This is impossible, how can you be at peace with God? Look at yourself, look at your heart, look at the plague of your own heart. How can it possibly be the case that God has forgiven you, and that God loves you?’ These accusations arise within our minds and consciences. If you cannot answer them you are obviously not clear about being justified by faith, and if you cannot answer them as they try to shake your confidence, you will again be miserable and unhappy; and there will be no peace with God. But the truly justified man can answer them, and thus he retains his peace.

4. Not only that; in the fourth place I go on to assert that he can not only answer the accusations of his own conscience, he can answer with equal firmness the accusations of the devil. Nowhere has that been put so movingly as in a verse of that great hymn of John Newton’s which begins with the words – ‘Approach, my soul, the mercy-seat, Where Jesus answers prayer’. It is the following verse:

Be Thou my shield and hiding-place,

That, sheltered near Thy side,

I may my fierce accuser face,

And tell him Thou hast died.

Poor John Newton! Before his conversion he had been engaged in the slave trade and traffic. He had been a vile and a foul sinner. There was scarcely a sin that he had not committed. You can well understand therefore how the devil would rake up his past and hurl it at him. The devil would resurrect it all and cause it to pass as a horrible panorama before his eyes and then challenge him, ‘Do you still claim to be a Christian, forgiven and at peace with God?’ But John Newton had his answer, an answer that can silence the devil. He says in effect in that verse, ‘What can I tell him? I cannot tell him that I am a good man, I cannot tell him about my past or even my present. There is only one way of silencing him; „I can my fierce accuser face, and tell him Thou hast died”, for me and my sin.’

But it is only the man who believes in the doctrine of justification by faith who can do that. The man who believes vaguely in the love of God cannot do so, for the devil will not listen to him. The man who says ‘I feel happy’ will soon be made unhappy by the devil, for he is more powerful than we are. There is only one thing that the devil can never answer and that is the argument of ‘the blood of Christ’. ‘They overcame him’, says the Book of Revelation, ‘by the blood of the Lamb and the word of their testimony’ (Rev. 12:11). Their testimony was a testimony concerning the blood of the Lamb. It is the only way. Can you do that? Can you do so with confidence, and in spite of what you may feel momentarily? If you can, and do, the devil will have to be silent; he will leave you alone. He will come back again, but you will always be able to silence him, and thus continue in a state of peace.

5. Another test can be put in this way: when a man has a true grasp of the doctrine of justification by faith he no longer has a fear of death, no longer a fear of the judgment.

This follows of necessity. The author of the Epistle to the Hebrews deals with that in the second chapter of his Epistle. He says that Christ has delivered all those who ‘were all their lifetime subject to bondage’. What was the bondage? ‘The fear of death’, which was controlled by the devil. Christ has defeated the devil, and has therefore delivered them from this bondage of the fear of death. These are very practical matters. Have you visualized yourself lying on your deathbed? What are your feelings when you do so? Are you still afraid of death? Are you still afraid of the judgment of God? If you are, you cannot say ‘I have been justified by faith and am at peace with God’. If your faith cannot stand up to these tests it is not truly Christian faith. The man who has been justified by faith has peace with God, and can say with Toplady:

The terrors of law and of God

With me can have nothing to do;

My Saviour’s obedience and blood

Hide all my transgressions from view.

6. The last test I suggest is one which I find increasingly to be a most valuable test in my pastoral dealings with people about spiritual problems. It is this: can you do all that I have been describing even when you fall into sin? It is understandable that a man should be fairly untroubled in mind and conscience when he has been living a fairly good life; but what happens when he falls into some grievous sin? A sudden temptation overtakes him and before he knows what has happened he has fallen. Here is the question. When this happens to you, can you still employ the argument I have been describing? I find that many are caught by the devil at that point. Because they have fallen into sin they query and question their salvation, they doubt their justification, they wonder whether they have ever been Christians at all. They lose their peace and they are in a torment and an agony. They have gone back, and have started doubting their whole standing in the presence of God because of that one sin.

Any man in that position is just betraying the fact that, for the time being at any rate, he is not clear about the doctrine of justification by faith only. Because if he believes that one sin can put a man out of the right relationship to God, then he has never seen dearly that hitherto he has been in that right relationship, not because of anything in himself, but because of the Lord Jesus Christ and his perfect work. When a man says, ‘Because I have sinned I have lost it’, what he is really saying on the other side is, ‘I had it because I was good’. He is wrong in both respects. In other words, if we see that our justification is altogether and entirely in the ‘Lord Jesus Christ and him crucified’, we must see that, even though we fall into sin, that is still true.

‘But’, you may say, ‘what a dangerous doctrine!’ Every doctrine is dangerous, and can be, and has been, abused. But this is the doctrine of justification by faith only. We have already been told in chapter 4: ‘But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.’ So we must never feel that we have lost everything because we have fallen into sin. If a man goes back over the whole question of his salvation, and his standing before God, and his relationship to God, every time he falls into sin, we must come to the conclusion that he has never clearly understood justification by faith. The Apostle surely makes it very plain to us here. ‘Therefore being justified by faith’, says the Authorized Version. But a better translation, the right translation is, ‘Therefore having been justified by faith’. ‘Having been.’ It is in the aorist tense, and the aorist tense means that the thing has been done once and for ever. You do not have to go on being justified; it is one act. It is this declarative act of God that we have emphasized so frequently, in which he makes a declaration that because he has imputed Christ’s righteousness to us, because he has already punished our sins in Christ, he pronounces us to ‘be just’ once and for ever. You cannot be just one day and not just the next, then again just the day after. That is impossible. This is a declarative, a forensic, a legal matter. It happens once and for ever; and therefore to query it because of sin is to display again some ignorance or uncertainty of the doctrine.

There, then, are six tests which, I suggest, we can easily and practically apply to ourselves.

Let me now make some comments. That is the statement, that is the position, but, again to be practical and helpful, certain comments are called for. Though what I have been saying is the truth with regard to justification by faith, and though it is true of everybody who is justified by faith, I still say that faith at times may have to fight. But I hasten to add that faith not only may have to fight, faith does fight, faith can fight; and faith always fights victoriously in this matter of justification. There is always the element of rest and of peace, and as we have seen, of certainty in connection with faith. Abraham we are told was ‘fully persuaded that’ – there is an element of knowledge and of certainty always in justifying faith. There must be, otherwise we cannot have peace with God. But at the same time faith may have to fight at times when the devil, as it were, brings up all his batteries. The greatest saints have testified that even to the end of their lives the devil would come and raise this question of justification with them and try to shake them. But faith can always deal with him, faith can always silence him. It may be a desperate fight at times, but faith can fight and faith does fight.

Let me use another illustration. Faith in this matter is remarkably like the needle of a compass, always there pointing to the magnetic north. But if you introduce a very powerful magnet at some other point of the compass it will draw the needle over to it and cause it to swing backwards and forwards and be most unstable. But it is certain that the true compass needle will get back to its true centre, it will find its place of rest in the north. It may know agitation, it may know a lot of violence, but it will go back to its centre, it always finds the place of rest, and the same thing is always true of faith. So the mere fact that we may be tempted to doubt, the mere fact that we may have to struggle and bring out all arguments, and go over the whole question again, does not mean that we have not got faith. In a sense it is a proof of faith, as long as we always arrive back at the position of rest. That is my first comment.

I am emphasizing that there is always an element of assurance of faith, but I do not mean by that, that there is always ‘full’ assurance of faith. There is a great phrase about the full assurance of faith in Hebrews 10, verses 19-22: ‘Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest of all by the blood of Jesus, let us go in’, he says, ‘with full assurance of faith.’ Now the assurance that I am talking about as a constant element in faith does not mean of necessity that ‘full’ assurance. There is a difference between assurance and full assurance. What I stipulate and postulate is that there is always some assurance. You can be a Christian, you can be justified by faith, and have an assurance of justification without knowing what Paul has in mind when he says, ‘The Spirit beareth witness with our spirits that we are the children of God’. You can be a Christian without this full assurance of faith; but you cannot be a Christian without being justified by faith, and that always means an element of assurance, the ability always to come to a place of rest.

At times your faith may only just be able to get you to that place, but it does get there. That is assurance of faith though it is not the full assurance of faith. How many have been discouraged by that! The devil has got them into trouble because he has been able to prove to them they have not got the full assurance, and then he says, ‘Well if you have not got that, you have not got anything’. Some of the Protestant Fathers were tempted to say that, but surely they were wrong; and the Puritans were certainly right at that point, as were the great leaders of the Evangelical Awakening of two hundred years ago. You can be a Christian without the full assurance of faith, but you cannot be a Christian at all without having justification by faith and the element of assurance that is involved in that doctrine.

Unfortunately I have to make a third comment. I wish that it were unnecessary. ‘Being therefore justified by faith we have peace with God’ – and I have described the peace. But alas, there is such a thing as a false peace; there are people who think they are at peace with God and who are not. What then are the characteristics of false peace? We have to consider this because it is in the New Testament. John says about certain people who had been in the early church, ‘They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us: but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us’ (1 John 2:19). Take also the people described in the sixth chapter of Hebrews; they had had certain experiences but finally they are lost, they were never regenerate at all. We have to test ourselves and prove ourselves and examine ourselves, say the Scriptures, whether we are in the faith or not (2 Cor. 13:5).

What are the characteristics of false peace? It generally results from thinking that faith simply means believing, and giving an intellectual assent to certain propositions and truths. That was the essence of the heresy known as Sandemanianism. It is based, as the Sandemanians based it, on Romans l0:10, ‘If thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus’. They taught, and teach, that any man who says, ‘I believe Jesus is Lord, I believe he is the Son of God’, is thereby saved and that all is well with his soul. But all may not be well. You can subscribe to the truth, and give an intellectual assent to it, and yet not really be saved by it. There are men who have ‘a form of godliness but deny the power thereof’. Faith is not only a matter of intellect; it is deeper, as I have been trying to show in stressing the element of assurance.

Secondly, the person with a false peace is generally found to be resting on his or her faith rather than on Christ and his work. They really look at their own believing rather than at Christ and what he has done. They say, ‘I now believe, therefore I must be all right’. They persuade themselves; a kind of Couéism3 They are not looking to Christ; they are looking to their own faith, and they turn faith into a kind of work on which they rest.

Another characteristic of false peace is somewhat surprising and unexpected. The man who has a false peace is never troubled by doubts. But that is where the devil makes a mistake. The counterfeit is always too wonderful, the counterfeit always goes much further than the true experience. When the devil gives a man a false peace counterfeiting the true peace, he creates a condition in which the man is never troubled at all. He is in a psychological state. He does not truly face the truth, so there is nothing to make him unhappy. Let me put this in the form of a very practical question. Can you sit in an evangelistic service without being made to feel uncomfortable at all? If you can you had better examine yourself seriously. I am assuming, of course, that the gospel is being preached truly, that it is the true evangel which starts with the wrath of God and man’s helplessness. It matters not how long you may have been saved, if you are truly justified you will be made to feel unhappy, you may even be made to feel miserable temporarily, and you will thank God again for justification by faith and have to apply it to yourself. But the intellectual believers are never troubled at all, they are always perfectly at ease, without a doubt or any trouble. They say, ‘Ever since I made my decision I have never had a moment’s trouble’. Such talk is always indicative of a very dangerous condition, is always very suspicious because it is too good to be true.

To put it in another way, I say that this kind of person is always much too ‘healthy’. The people who have this false, counterfeit peace are much too glib, much too light-hearted. Compare them with the New Testament picture of the Christian. The New Testament Christian is ‘grave’, ‘sober’, and he approaches God with ‘reverence and godly fear’. But the people with the false peace know nothing of that; they are perfectly healthy, all is well, and they are supremely happy. Nothing like that is to be found in the Scriptures. Can you imagine the Apostle Paul speaking in that manner, with such glib cliches falling from his lips? His speech is, ‘Knowing the terror of the Lord we persuade men’, and ‘I was with you in weakness and in fear and in much trembling’, and ‘Work out your salvation in fear and trembling’.

Another characteristic of false peace is that it is only interested in forgiveness and not in righteousness. The man who has the false peace is only interested in forgiveness. He does not want to go to hell, and he wants to be forgiven. He has not stopped to think about being positively righteous; he is not concerned about being holy and walking in holiness before God, so he is negligent about his life, and does not pursue holiness. He does not heed that exhortation in the Epistle to the Hebrews, ‘Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord’ (Heb. 12:14). He is an Antinomian, only interested in forgiveness, and negligent with regard to living the Christian life.

Another invariable characteristic of the man with the false peace is that when this man falls again into sin he takes it much too lightly. He is not like the person I have just been describing whose faith is shaken by Satan when he falls into sin. This man says almost as soon as he has fallen, ‘It is all right, the blood of Christ covers me’. And up he gets and on he goes as if nothing had happened. You cannot do that if you have any true conception of what sin means, and what the holiness of God really is. This man with a false peace heals himself much too quickly, much too easily, much too lightly. It is because he takes sin as a whole too lightly.

What are the characteristics of true peace?

They are the exact opposite of what I have just been describing. First, the man with true peace is never glib, never light-hearted. The man who is a true Christian is a man who has had a glimpse of hell, and who knows that there is only one reason for the fact that he is not bound for it. That is always present with him, so he is never glib, never superficial, never light-hearted.

Secondly, he is a man who is always filled with a sense of wonder and amazement. He can re-echo the words of Charles Wesley:

And can it be, that I should gain

An interest in the Saviour’s blood,

Died He for me, who caused His pain;

For me, who Him to death pursued?

Amazing love! how ran it be

That Thou, my God, shouldst die for me?

This seems to me to be inevitable. The man who has true peace is a man who never ceases to be amazed that he has it, amazed at the fact that he has ever been justified at all, that God has ever looked upon him and called him by his grace.

Which leads to the next characteristic, namely, that he is humble. You remember that one of the characteristics of Abraham’s faith was, ‘he staggered not in unbelief at the promise of God, but was strong in faith, giving glory to God’. Go through the New Testament and you will always find that the most outstanding characteristic of the Christian is that he is humble – ‘poor in spirit’, ‘meek’, ‘lowly’. Realizing the truth about himself and about God, and realizing that he owes all to Christ, he is a humble man, he is a lowly man. That is another way of saying that his sense of gratitude to God and to our Lord is always prominent. There is no better index of where we stand than the amount of praise and of thanksgiving that characterizes our lives and our prayers. Some people are always offering petitions or making statements; but this man, having realized something of what God in Christ has done for him, is thanking God; is always praising God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. It is inevitable and incontrovertible. The man who realizes his position truly must be filled with a sense of ‘wonder, love, and praise’.

Then, finally, he is a man who is always careful about his life. Not that he may be justified as the result of the carefulness; he is careful because he has been justified. Again this is quite inevitable. He does not fall back on works and try to justify himself; his position is that because of what Christ has done for him he wants to show his gratitude to him. Realizing the terrible character of sin he wants to leave it, and in addition he is anxious to be holy and to go to heaven. ‘He that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure’ (1 John 3:3).

The Scriptures are full of this. Let me remind you of some great statements of this truth. 1 Timothy 1:19, ‘Holding faith and a good conscience’. You not only hold faith, you hold the good conscience as well, ‘which some having put away, concerning faith have made shipwreck’. What a terrible statement! ‘Of whom is Hymenaeus and Alexander; whom I have delivered unto Satan, that they may learn not to blaspheme.’ Hymenaeus and Alexander claimed to have faith, and to hold faith; but they did not ‘hold the good conscience’ and so ‘made shipwreck’.

Then 1 Timothy 3:9, ‘Holding the mystery of the faith in a pure conscience’. Faith is something which you carry in a most precious, delicate vessel because it is such a wonderful thing. Carry it, says the Apostle, ‘in a pure conscience’ – ‘holding the faith in a pure conscience’.

And then a final quotation from Titus 3, verses 8 and 9. ‘This is a faithful saying.’ What has he been talking about? ‘Justified by his grace’, etc. ‘This is a faithful saying, and these things I will that thou constantly affirm, that they which have believed in God might be careful to maintain good works. These things are good and profitable unto men.’ The man who is not careful to maintain good works is a man who is proclaiming that he has got a false sense of peace. The man who has the true peace is a man who is always careful to maintain good works. He carries his faith in a pure conscience, he holds not only the mystery of the faith but he also holds at the same time this conscience, this good conscience.

There, it seems to me, are the characteristics of true peace. Have you got it? How can one maintain it? There is only one way to maintain it; it is to be living a good deal of your life in the First Epistle of John, chapter 1 and the first two verses of chapter 2. That is how you maintain the peace. You have been given it:

‘Having been justified by faith we have peace.’

You have been given it once and for ever. The devil will come and tempt you, sin will make you shaky. Go back, go back to that section of John’s First Epistle and you will find that you will be able to maintain, to preserve, and to keep your peace.

Notes:

1. A sermon taken from Assurance: An Exposition of Romans 5, pp. 14-29, a volume in Dr Lloyd-Jones’ series of sermons on the book of Romans, published by the Trust. Notes added.

2. ‘Grace Abounding to the Chief of Sinners’ can be found in Volume 1 of the 3-volume set of The Works of John Bunyan, published by the Trust

3. Couéism is a method of self-help stressing autosuggestion, introduced into America by the French psychotherapist Emile Coué, c. 1920, and featuring the slogan ‘Every day in every way I am getting better and better.’

Martyn Lloyd-Jones – Spiritual Depression: Its Cause and Cure

Read more such articles from the Banner of Truth Trust, United Kingdom. This article is written by Geoff Thomas.

A new hardback edition of Martyn Lloyd-Jones’ Spiritual Depression: Its Cause and Cure has been produced by Granted Ministries Press, Hannibal, Missouri (www.grantedministries.org). The following biographical foreword has been written by Geoff Thomas.

There was no one in the twentieth century more suited to preach, counsel and write on this subject of spiritual depression than Dr. D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones. This subject has always been addressed by pastors, but particularly so from the time of the Reformation when the wrappings of human traditions were removed from biblical Christianity. The Puritan period especially excelled as an age when sermons were life and power, and many kinds of men and women were drawn to faith in the Lord Christ. They brought their past with them into the kingdom of God and were troubled with doubts and periods of darkness. Their pastors became physicians of the soul and learned to deal with various conditions of spiritual desertion and depression and their books on this subject are read today. Dr Lloyd-Jones was a living representative of that tradition. He was exceptionally gifted in dealing with this subject, and Spiritual Depression has done much pastoral good in the last fifty years. We ministers give it to particular people whom we believe would profit from it. Perhaps we point out to them one of the sermons in the book which we feel could help them. I am especially fond of the message entitled ‘That One Sin’ and a striking incident recounted there by the Doctor from the days of his ministry in Wales. It has often done homiletical duty for me. Why was Dr. Lloyd-Jones so well-equipped to write on a subject like this?

i] He was such a well-rounded, intelligent, and tender personality. Although a mighty intellect with a formidable presence, he was accessible and not at all intimidating. There was not a trace of snobbery in him whatsoever; he loathed that sin. He had a particularly blessed marriage. Mrs. Bethan Lloyd-Jones, herself a qualified doctor, came from one of the foremost Calvinistic Methodist families in Wales rooted in the ethos of the local countryside of south Cardiganshire, an evangelical home where warm affection, godly living, the importance of education and reverence for God were prized and natural graces. Her father was an ophthalmic surgeon and her grandfather was one of the leading preachers in Wales who ministered in one congregation in Newcastle Emlyn for half a century, preaching there throughout both the 1859 and 1904 revivals. Mrs. Lloyd-Jones was also a descendant of the Baptist preacher Christmas Evans. Out of the harmony and affection of that home with the two daughters they were given came the pastoral ministry and counselling that strengthened multitudes. I remember telling the Doctor on one occasion that my parents were moving from South Wales to live just around the corner from us in Aberystwyth, and his face lit up with delight at that news. His family was vitally important to him.

Dr. Lloyd-Jones once spoke to a group of doctors about the essentials needed to counsel men and women. He said this:

[The counsellor] is not doing something outside himself. He is giving something of himself and his experience, and there is an exchange taking place between the patient and himself. Hence the most important thing of all in counselling is the character and personality of the counsellor. What is the greatest essential in a counsellor? I would say that it is a quiet mind, and that he is at rest in himself. You will remember how our Lord put this on one occasion — ‘Can the blind lead the blind? If the blind lead the blind they will both fall in the ditch.’ In other words, if a man is in trouble within himself, and is restless, he is really in need of counselling himself. How can he give useful counsel to another? The first requisite, therefore, in a counsellor is that he himself is possessed of a quiet mind, a mind that is restful. It is at that point, of course, that the importance of the Christian faith comes in. I am prepared to defend the proposition that no man ultimately can have a quiet mind, a heart at rest, and at leisure from itself unless he is a Christian. He needs to know a true peace within — the peace of God which is able to keep both mind and heart. The patient comes in to see him in an agitated troubled condition, and can detect if there are similar manifestations in the counsellor.1

It is not enough to have an unusual testimony; in itself that will not enable a man to deliver others from spiritual

ii] He was also utterly committed to the faith of the Scriptures. Confessionally he stood in the tradition of the 1823 Confession of the Calvinistic Methodist Church of Wales. In 1952 he began a series of sermons on Friday nights which was to last for three years on the ‘Great Doctrines of the Bible’. They have been published in an 800 page book and they show his grasp of the subtlety of biblical theology, his total trust in the teaching of the Bible and his desire that all his thinking should be controlled by it. I wish many more knew this book; it is truth that lives and involves you, moving you to doxology through its lucidity and the preacher’s love for his God. Could he have counselled the depressed if he did not know the Bible’s analysis of the human condition, man’s depravity and inability, human responsibility and also God’s sovereignty, the battle in the regenerate man of the flesh and the spirit, the certainty of the work begun by Christ also completed by him, irresistible grace and man’s chief end being to glorify this God?

It is not enough to have an unusual testimony; in itself that will not enable a man to deliver others from spiritual depression. It can even be a hindrance, as Dr. Lloyd-Jones told that group of doctors:

For example, when Christians have come suffering from various forms of spiritual depression they have been treated by other Christians to a thumping slap on the back and the suggestion — ‘Pull yourself together, cheer up!’ But that may do more harm than good, because it is the one thing which the poor man cannot do at the time. I have known problems exaggerated and aggravated by this sheer lack of knowledge of skilled ‘doctoring’. It is not enough to have had the experience yourself. You need to reason with people and to take them on step by step, until you have brought them out of their difficulty. But you can only do that if your answers, and your whole approach, are governed by an understanding of the Christian life as a whole. It is a whole life.2

Dr. Lloyd-Jones read theology. He discovered the value of Jonathan Edwards at a time when no one in Britain and few in the USA were reading him. He devoured the volumes of Benjamin B. Warfield’s Works, and he followed both those men into the schools of thought of which they were leading lights – Puritanism with Edwards and the Princeton school of Presbyterianism with Warfield. He did not neglect his own roots. While other thinkers, weary of the rationalism of 20th century religion, opted for Rome, Dr Lloyd-Jones read the two volumes of The Calvinistic Methodist Fathers of Wales3 to discover experiential religion. He also kept abreast of contemporary religious thought, for example of Barthian teaching. There is a happy pen portrait of him in his dark suit sitting on a beach with his family reading Brunner’s Divine Imperative, but though acquainted with that theology it had no attraction to him. Where has a congregation been revived and multitudes converted through that neo-orthodoxy? Has it raised up any evangelists? Historic Christianity found another of its great champions in the pastor of Westminster Chapel.

iii] He was a man who maintained the disciplines of private devotion. He would preach in our town alternate years and would stay for a couple of days with a local doctor who as a medical student had sat at his feet in London. I was invited to our General Practitioner’s home for coffee with the Doctor on one of these occasions. I came across him completing reading from his pocket Bible with its tiny print, his portion for that day. He had, from the early days of his ministry adopted Robert Murray M’Cheyne’s daily Bible passages as his own, portions which take the reader through the Scriptures each year, and he commended such a scheme to his congregation. His special exhortation about praying is significant. This is what he said:

This I regard as the most important of all — always respond to every impulse to pray. The impulse to pray may come when you are reading or when you are battling with a text. I would make an absolute law of this — always obey such an impulse. Where does it come from? It is the work of the Holy Spirit. This often leads to some of the most remarkable experiences in the life of the minister. So never resist, never postpone it, never push it aside because you are busy. Give yourself to it, yield to it; and you will find not only that you have not been wasting time with respect to the matter with which you are dealing, but that actually it has helped you greatly in that respect. You will experience an ease and a facility in understanding what you were reading, in thinking, in ordering matter for a sermon, in writing, in everything, which is quite astonishing. Such a call to prayer must never be regarded as a distraction; always respond to it immediately, and thank God if it happens to you frequently.

He told me, smiling, of his little room high up in Bart’s Hospital while he was still working for Lord Horder before he became a preacher, saying ‘I had some good times there.’ His counselling and pastoring as much as his preaching came from a man who knew communion with God, and the mark of deliverance from spiritual depression would result in a return to a former blessed fellowship.

iv] He was a man to whom people went for spiritual help. At the end of his services he retired to his room behind the pulpit, was taken a cup of tea and soon a line of people would wait to have a private conversation with him. Some were there merely to bring greetings from their pastors in Australia or the USA, but others brought their concerns about a call to the ministry or their lack of assurance about a personal knowledge of God. He would give himself totally to these people, listening, questioning, advising and praying with them. A friend was a member of Westminster Chapel and what she missed most of all after his retirement from the pastorate there was a minister to consult as once she had had. ‘I could say anything to him,’ she said to me. For example, in 1954 an American evangelist held a long campaign in London which was not supported by Lloyd-Jones but was enthusiastically taken up by churches all over England – in fact claims were made that this was a revival. My friend had become a counsellor at this crusade and was excited with the whole event and its methods of evangelism, so much so that she went to see her beloved minister and sat down with him in his room at Westminster Chapel and said to him, ‘We don’t preach the gospel in this church.’ She repeated the story to me slightly blushing and shaking her head in amazement at herself that she had actually said those words to the Doctor. He asked her had she been to the crusade, and then he explained to her why he did not give an altar call and ask for an immediate public response by walking to the front. He explained to her his theology of evangelism from the Scriptures, and the methodology that he had erected on these convictions. He saw his own calling most of all as an evangelist to London. He addressed her question and criticisms to her entire satisfaction and she came to appreciate his counsels all the more as time passed. He asked her on that night was she a counsellor at the crusade and she told him that she was. He prayed for her that God would help her.

‘Later on I went to see him again,’ she told me, at a time of darkness in her life, when she had said to him, ‘We don’t love one another in this church.’ ‘Don’t say that,’ he said to her tenderly. ‘It’s the devil makes you say that.’ Again she shook her head ruefully at her uncharacteristic boldness and folly that had made her speak out like that. Yet the point she was making to me was her trust in him, that she could go to him whenever she desired and speak her mind and share her fears and worries and he would not disdain her at all, or pretend to be shocked, or show annoyance. How she missed that when his ministry ended. I quote those examples to underline the tenderness of Dr. Lloyd-Jones. Speaking to the group of doctors about counselling people he told this:

What is needed is great patience and sympathy, and the power to put oneself in those people’s situation. The adviser must not hold to his own rigid position otherwise the man will simply become a tangent to a closed circle. The adviser may end by feeling that he has taken the ‘Christian stand’ and said all that was right. He may feel happy; but he may, by this very fact, have left the person in extreme misery. This is obviously bad counselling. The point is that we must be very careful not to foist our opinions on others. The counsellor is not a dictator, he is simply there to give help. While he may give his views and, with care, put them quite strongly if asked, yet all that is put to the patient must be in a spirit of real sympathy, love and understanding. As counsellors we must never be in the position of dictating to another person’s conscience. We have no right to imagine ourselves as ‘the conscience’ of another! We are there to share with those who consult us experience, knowledge, wisdom and suggestions concerning the way of cure. There are, unfortunately, Christians who feel it their duty to impose their own legalistic views on others. Our business, however, is to persuade, never to force. We must always be careful to avoid condemnation — especially in the case of a sick or agitated person. If the plain truth of the situation comes home to the patient that is one thing; but it is not our place to condemn.4

v] He was a man confident that to grasp the person and work of Christ, the ministry of the Holy Spirit and the ethical demands of the Bible is itself a mighty power to transform people, to elevate and ennoble and enrich their lives. He told me that the question he was asked virtually more than any other was whether he could recommend a Christian psychiatrist to the questioner. No doubt there were such men, and he did recommend them, but speaking to a general congregation he was giving the solution that applied, by far, to the majority of them. His confidence supremely was in the sanctifying energy of the public means of grace, week by week, Sunday worship, the prayers and praises, the preaching of the Word and the mysterious influence which Christians have over one another. These were the chief means of transforming men and women, of ‘lifting up the downcast’ Christian. A balanced preaching ministry would solve the majority of the personal problems of a congregation. Of course Dr. Lloyd-Jones had the highest view of gospel preaching. He expressed it like this:

One thing I have looked for and longed for and desired. I can forgive a man for a bad sermon, I can forgive the preacher almost anything if he gives me a sense of God, if he gives me something for my soul, if he gives me the sense that, though he is inadequate himself, he is handling something which is very great and very glorious, if he gives me some dim glimpse of the majesty and the glory of God, the love of Christ my Saviour, and the magnificence of the gospel. If he does that I am his debtor, and I am profoundly grateful to him. Preaching is the most amazing, and the most thrilling activity that one can ever be engaged in, because of all that it holds out for all of us in the present, and because of the glorious endless possibilities in an eternal future.5

He was confident of the power of the preached Word of God to deliver people from the darkness of sin and keep them in the joy of salvation.

vi] He was a man who was prepared to help people in every way he could. He would stay at Westminster Chapel until the last person had been counselled. He would write letters to people all over the world. When he began his ministry in Aberavon people wrote to him requesting medical advice and he examined them as they travelled to his manse. My father’s twin brother, Bryn, was a theological student in the Congregational College in Brecon but in his first week there he was informed that he was not in a good enough shape physically to become and continue as a pastor. His heart wouldn’t be strong enough for this work. He was quite crestfallen about this and then a friend told him about a heart specialist named Lloyd-Jones who had come to pastor a church in Aberavon. Why shouldn’t he write to him and explain his dilemma to him? Perhaps he could have a medical examination from the Doctor. So it was that Uncle Bryn became one of hundreds who sought such help from Dr. Lloyd-Jones. The result was that the Doctor pronounced my uncle in fine shape, that there was no problem with his heart at all, and so he returned to college and entered the ministry. When I recounted this incident to Dr. Lloyd-Jones he had no recollection of the it at all, and then he asked me how Uncle Bryn had got on. ‘He lived until he was 82,’ I told him. He beamed and laughed out loud smacking his hands, ‘O very good!’

He also journeyed extensively all over the United Kingdom to support ministers and evangelical causes. What anticipation to have Dr. Lloyd-Jones preaching for you! No one else could draw a congregation except him and no one since his decease. How we miss him, the full church, earnest, moving singing of great hymns, happy crowds staying around for an hour after the service was over, quietly talking together and the central themes of the gospel preached by the Doctor with the Holy Spirit sent down from heaven. These occasions are remembered by some from 70 years ago, and people will tell you they remember the text on which Dr. Lloyd-Jones preached at that distant meeting. Men struggling in divided small congregations would get such an uplift when he visited them. ‘This is the preaching, and these are the kinds of services we are aiming for,’ they would tell their church officers.

vii] He was a man with a lucidity in explaining the human condition, engaging men’s minds in such an interesting and increasingly gripping manner that the troubles and fears that they had brought with them soon became forgotten distractions. They were being filled with the Word of the Lord as they felt themselves addressed by the Lord of the Word. So their cares were put into perspective as God was magnified before them. On one occasion I was walking home hand in hand with my 8-year old daughter Eleri after we had heard Dr. Lloyd-Jones preaching in Aberystwyth. I said to her, ‘What did you think of the meeting?’ She replied, ‘It was like Sunday mornings, only simpler.’ Ouch! There is no doubt that his preaching was so clear that young children could follow his reasoning.

The sermons of Spiritual Depression are accessible and very understandable. I also found Studies in the Sermon on the Mount most helpful, and yet Dr. Michael Haykin says,

Personally I will never forget the impact made upon me by the reading of the first volume of Iain Murray’s biography6 of the Doctor, as he came to be affectionately called. It transformed my whole view of pastoral ministry and planted my feet in the rich loam of biblical Christianity. I had read his Studies in the Sermon on the Mount in the mid-1970’s, but they had had little effect on my thinking at the time. But after that first volume of Murray’s biography, I became an ardent reader of as many of Lloyd-Jones’ books as I could find.

His lectures given at Westminster Seminary in Philadelphia on his retirement from Westminster Chapel entitled Preaching and Preachers are a fascinating read to any Christian and indispensable to any pastor. It has revolutionized the approach to ministry of many preachers.

viii] He was a man persuaded that the person who had come to seek his counsels had more knowledge of all the circumstance involved than he himself had. So he would interrogate the inquirer, who might have wanted a straight directive word to his problem, asking him, ‘Now what do you think?’ Leigh Powell of Toronto was once a member of Westminster Chapel. He went to Dr. Lloyd-Jones as he had met a certain dilemma, but he was constrained by the Doctor to think through the issue as clearly and biblically as he could. Leigh Powell was helped and impressed by this approach. This is his thought:

If there was no contradiction of Christian teaching, then the Doctor encouraged the individual to think it through logically and then to take the appropriate action. His counselling was a lifting up of the downcast. He used a variety of methods but would invariably engage the responsibility of the counsellee by requiring him to respond to a series of logical questions. The counsellee was taught to stand back from his small self-absorbed world and to view it from new perspectives. We often carry our own burdens of worries as if we were some mighty Atlas. In fact, we are sinfully usurping the place of the Almighty sovereign Lord ‘upholding all things by the word of his power’ (Heb. 1:3). I found the Doctor’s personal advice a great help when he showed me the biblical method of asking oneself questions: ‘Why art thou cast down, O my soul? And why art thou disquieted within me?’ (Psa. 42:5). You do not slip into neutral gear and thereby open your mind to all the temptations of the devil. I later discovered that the psalms of lamentation began with these arresting questions and invariably ended in doxology, songs of praise and adoration: ‘Hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him, who is the health of my countenance, and my God’ (Psa. 42:11).7

This is the minister who wrote these studies on spiritual depression. May their counsels do much good to all who read them.

Martyn Lloyd Jones – Spiritual Warfare

Ephesians 6:12

      For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.

From www.mlj.org.uk or www.mlj-usa.com where you can listen to some Martyn Lloyd-Jones sermons and resources such as

Martyn Lloyd Jones Page 2 – Audio Sermons, Biography and links

Pentru traducere automata, fa click aici – Romanian

Read Martyn Lloyd Jones Biography at the MLJ Trust website.

Dr Martyn Lloyd-Jones (1899 – 1981) has been described as ‘a great pillar of the 20th century Evangelical Church’. Born in Wales, and educated in London, he was a brilliant student who embarked upon a short, but successful, career as a medical doctor at the famous St Bartholemew’s Hospital. However, the call of Gospel ministry was so strong that he left medicine in order to become minister of a mission hall in Port Talbot, South Wales. Eventually he was called to Westminster Chapel in London, where thousands flocked to hear his ‘full-blooded’ Gospel preaching, described by one hearer as ‘logic on fire’. With some 1600 of his sermons recorded and digitally restored, this has left a legacy which is now available for the blessing of another generation of Christians around the world – ‘Though being dead he still speaks’.

Uploaded by  on Feb 28, 2011

Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones Interview

Recent Broadcasts from oneplace.com Living Grace Ministries:

And from MLJ Trust Website’s free MP3 downloads:

Here is a small selection of MLJ’s sermons in MP3 format for you to download as an introduction to his preaching. The first comes from his unique series on Spiritual Depression, then the next four come from MLJ’s four main series:- Romans, Ephesians, John’s Gospel and Acts.

MLJ.SD04 Mind, Heart and Will
Preached on Sunday 31st January 1954, based on Romans 6:17
… The miserable Christian.
… Wholeness and balance.
… The greatness of the gospel.
… Engaging the whole man.
… A definite order.

MLJ.3007 The Gospel of God
Lecture given on Friday 4th November 1955, based on Romans 1:1
… The significance of the word ‘gospel’.
… The greatest good news we have heard.
… The gospel of God in three persons.
… The primacy of the Father.
… The limitations of apologetics.

MLJ.4232 The Scripture of Truth
Preached on Sunday 4th February 1962, based on Ephesians 6:14
… The Christian truth, can it be defined?
… The question of authority.
… Departure from the Bible the cause of problems  in the Church.
… A revelation from God, or just speculation?
… The traditional Protestant position.
… The knowledge of God has to be revealed to us.
… The wisdom of God.
… Philosophy in the Church – a monstrosity!


MLJ.1003 God’s World
Preached on Sunday 6th January 1963, based on John’s Gospel 1:10-12
… This is God’s world.
… The problem of evil.
… The permissive will of God.
… God’s plan and purpose revealed.
… Grace and truth by Jesus Christ.
MLJ.2057 A Question of Priority
Preached on Sunday 5th June 1966, based on Acts 6:1-2
… The priority of the Church is not philanthropy.
… Benevolence that comes from the changed man.
… Priority must always be the Gospel message.
… The fundamental need of men.
See also the 9 Pensacola Sermons from 1969 here.

Published on Apr 5, 2012 by 

This sermon by Martyn Lloyd Jones (1899-1981) concerns the permanent need and timeless relevance of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

The Everlasting Gospel (MLJ Sermon)

Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones: Biography

A free ebook from the Martyn LLoyd-Jones Recording Trust:

Now John Peters who (like the Doctor) is a Welsh- speaking Welshman, has written the first complete account of The Doctor’s life and achievement. It includes personal reminiscences by men and women whose lives were changed by Martyn Lloyd-Jones.


John Peters is a native of Aberdare, South Wales. He teaches English language and literature at Charterhouse School and lives in Godalming with his wife and three children.

This excellent little book is now out of print, but the text is exclusively presented here for you to freely download by kind permission of the author, John Peters. Copyright © 1986 John Peters

Links to access download of 75 page book:

PDF format 

Rich Text Format (which will load into most wordprocessors)

Microsoft Word Format.
Related posts

Peace with God and False Peace (Essential Reading – Justification by Faith)

via Banner of Truth Trust UK 01/11

Dr D Martyn Lloyd-Jones died, March 1 1981.

Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: by whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. (Rom. 5:1, 2)

photo-www.mudpreacher.com

We now proceed to look at the ‘peace with God’, that results from justification by faith, from the two sides – the God-ward, and the man-ward. Far too often it is taken even here in a purely subjective sense. While it is true that there are great subjective consequences of this peace, as I hope to show, it is essential that we should look at it first in a more objective manner. Peace of necessity involves two people; it is a relationship between two persons, and in this case it is peace between man and God. We must bear in mind that something has to happen on God’s side as well as on our side before peace can obtain. We must remind ourselves again of the position under the Law. The Apostle has shown us at length that from the side of God the position was that God’s wrath was upon us. He laid that down as a primary postulate as far back as the eighteenth verse of the first chapter where he says, ‘For the wrath of God has been revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men’. He is ‘not ashamed’ of the gospel because it deals with that and delivers us from it.

Here he is saying the same thing in a different way by asserting that we have ‘peace’ with God. Apart from justification, apart from that which has been done for us in and through the Lord Jesus Christ, there is no peace between God and man. There is no peace either on God’s side or on man’s side, ‘for the wrath of God is against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men’. We should never forget that, but mankind is always very ready to forget it. That is why so many by-pass the Lord Jesus Christ and all his work. That is why so many pray to God without ever mentioning the Lord Jesus Christ. They see no need of him. They say, ‘God is love’ and believe that they can go to God directly just as they are. That is a complete denial of the Christian faith. It is the result of the failure to see that there is no peace between them and God even from God’s side, and that the wrath of God is upon them because of their ungodliness and unrighteousness. Before there can be peace between God and man, and man and God, something has to happen with respect to the wrath of God, which is a revealed fact.

The Apostle has already told us what has happened, in chapter 3, verses 24-26: ‘Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; to declare, I say, at this time his righteousness, that he might be just, and the justifier of him that believeth in Jesus.’

As we have seen, the great problem confronting the mind of God was this – How can God at one and the same time forgive a sinner and yet remain just and righteous and eternally the same? The answer is that God has sent his Son into the world, and has ‘set him forth’ as a ‘propitiation’ for our sins. That means that he laid our sins upon him, and poured out his wrath against sin upon the Lord Jesus Christ. It is only because he has done that, that God can look upon us with favour, and pardon us and forgive us and reconcile us unto himself. This had to happen before the wrath of God could be appeased and he could look upon us and deal with us in a new way. The Apostle asserts here that, in the light of what has happened in Christ, who was ‘delivered for our offences and raised again for our justification’, as far as God is concerned the wrath is no longer there, and he is at peace with all ‘that believe in Jesus’.

But it was necessary also that something should happen from our side, for by nature we are all at enmity with God. As the result of the blindness caused by sin, and our being drugged by the devil, we imagine that all is well, and often believe that we are pleasing God. But this is because we are ignorant of God. We have conjured up a god out of our own imaginations, we have projected our own thoughts, and we have thought that that is God. The moment we realize the truth about God we are troubled and disturbed and our natural enmity to him reveals itself. That is what happens to many people who have always thought that they were Christians, and have always been religious and godly. They suddenly awaken to the fact that the God whom they thought they were worshipping is not God at all, not the God revealed in the Bible, not the God who has revealed from heaven his wrath against all ungodliness and unrighteousness. The moment they see that, they hate God, they are no longer at peace with him. They had a false peace arising out of their own imaginations, but they were not at peace with God.

The Apostle teaches in many places that ‘the carnal mind is enmity against God’ (Rom. 8:7) and that by nature we are all ‘the children of wrath’ (Eph. 2:3) and ‘alienated from the life of God’ (Eph. 4:18). That is man by nature. He is afraid of God, he has a craven fear of God, a ‘fear that hath torment’. He is afraid of the very idea of God. He feels that God is some great tyrant waiting to crush him. He dare not think about death and the grave because of the judgment that will follow it. As Paul teaches the Corinthians, ‘The sting of death is sin, and the strength of sin is the law’ (1 Cor. 15:56]. The moment a man realizes the truth about God this feeling rises within him, and he is fearful and alarmed. There is no peace between such a man and God; rather is he troubled and afraid, disturbed and unhappy. He tries to find peace but cannot. He is afraid of God, afraid of death, and afraid of the judgment. It is surely obvious that before there can be peace between such a man and God, man has to be dealt with. And what the Apostle teaches here is that as the result of the perfect work of the Lord Jesus Christ, and that alone, all causes of enmity have been dealt with, and man can be at peace with God as God is at peace with him. On both sides there is this reconciliation, and there is ‘peace with God’. God at peace with us, we at peace with God. The communion between God and man, broken by sin and the Fall, is re-established.

That is the meaning of this statement that because we have been justified by faith we have peace with God. This is such a vital statement that we must examine ourselves in the light of it. The test of our profession of Christianity is whether this is true of us. Has our natural state of fearfulness with respect to God, our enmity with respect to God, been removed? The Apostle lays it down here that it is an inevitable consequence of justification. Notice that he does not say that the Christian is a man who is ‘hoping’ that this may be the case. ‘Being justified – having been justified – by faith, we have peace.’ We are not looking for it, we are not hoping to get it; we have it, we have got it, we are rejoicing in it. That is the statement, and that is why it becomes a test of our profession of the Christian faith. A Christian of necessity is one who is clear about this, otherwise he has not got peace. There is no more thorough test of our profession of Christianity than just this: are we enjoying this peace with God? There are many, alas, in the church, as there have always been, who dispute this altogether. They say that a Christian is a man who is hoping that he is going to be forgiven, and that at the end he will go to heaven. But that is not the Apostle’s teaching. We have peace, it is already a possession. He will say later on in chapter 8, ‘There is therefore now no condemnation to them that are in Christ Jesus’. That is the same thing. It is clearly important therefore for us to make sure that we are in this state of ‘peace with God’.

1. What does this mean experimentally or in experience? The first answer is that a man who has peace with God is a man whose mind is at rest about his relationship with God. He is clearly able to understand with his mind the doctrine of justification by faith only. This means that a change has taken place in his thinking concerning his relationship to God. When awakened to the truth about God and himself his thoughts would be something like this: Ah, there is God in his utter absolute holiness and here am I, a sinner and ‘in sin’. There is God’s holy Law and its pronouncements. I have sinned against it and cannot erase my past. How can I possibly stand in the presence of God? With Job he asks, ‘How can a man be just with God?’ He realizes that he cannot, and he is troubled and disturbed, and unhappy.

John Bunyan tells us in Grace Abounding2 that he was in that condition and in an agony of soul for eighteen months. The time element does not matter, but any man who is awakened and convicted of sin must be in trouble about this. How can he die and face God? He is aware that he cannot in and of himself, and therefore he is unhappy and troubled. There is no peace; he does not know what to do with himself; he is restless. Having ‘peace with God’ is obviously the opposite of that. It implies first and foremost that the man’s mind is at rest, and he has that rest because he now sees that this way of God, as provided in Christ, is really a way that satisfies every desideratum. Now he can see how this satisfies the justice and the righteousness and the holiness of God. He can see how in this way God can justify the ungodly, as Paul has already put it in chapter 4. He thinks it out and he says, ‘Yes, I can rest upon that; because God „justifies the ungodly” he can justify even me’.

You notice that I put this intellectual apprehension and understanding first. There is no peace between man and God until a man grasps this doctrine of justification. It is the only way of peace. And it is something that comes to the mind, it is doctrine, it is teaching. In other words we are not just told, ‘All is well, do not worry. All will be all right in the end; the love of God will cover you.’ That is not the gospel. It is all stated here, in detail, in this explicit manner; and it comes as truth to the mind. The first thing that happens is that the mind is enlightened, and the man says, ‘I see it. It is staggering in its immensity, but I can see how God himself has done it. He has sent his own Son and he has punished my sin in him. His justice is satisfied, and therefore I can see how he can forgive me, though I am ungodly and though I am a sinner.’ The mind is satisfied.

You will never have true peace until your mind is satisfied. If you merely get some emotional or psychological experience it may keep you quiet and give you rest for a while, but sooner or later a problem will arise, a situation will confront you, a question will come to your mind, perhaps through reading a book or in a conversation, and you will not be able to answer, and so you will lose your peace. There is no true peace with God until the mind has seen and grasped and taken hold of this blessed doctrine, and so finds itself at rest.

2. Having said that, I go on in the second place to say that the man who believes this truth and grasps its import is a man who knows that God loves him in spite of the fact that he is a sinner, and in spite of his sin. He was troubled before by the wrath of God. His question was, How can God love me and bless me? But as he looks at Christ dying on the cross, buried, and rising again, he says, ‘I know he loves me. I cannot understand it but I know he does. He has done that for me.’ It is not mere sentiment or feeling; he has solid facts of history to prove that God loves him. God does not merely tell us that he loves us, he has given the most amazing proof of it. The Apostle goes on to say that, and to prove it, in this very chapter, from verse 6 to verse 11. Nothing is more wonderful than to know that God loves you; and no man can truly know that God loves him except in Jesus Christ and him crucified.

3. My third answer to the question of how we may know that we are justified is also a most practical test. The man who has been justified by faith, and who has peace with God, can answer the accusations of his own conscience. It is essential that he should be able to do so, because thoughts will arise within, which will suggest to him, ‘This is impossible, how can you be at peace with God? Look at yourself, look at your heart, look at the plague of your own heart. How can it possibly be the case that God has forgiven you, and that God loves you?’ These accusations arise within our minds and consciences. If you cannot answer them you are obviously not clear about being justified by faith, and if you cannot answer them as they try to shake your confidence, you will again be miserable and unhappy; and there will be no peace with God. But the truly justified man can answer them, and thus he retains his peace.

4. Not only that; in the fourth place I go on to assert that he can not only answer the accusations of his own conscience, he can answer with equal firmness the accusations of the devil. Nowhere has that been put so movingly as in a verse of that great hymn of John Newton’s which begins with the words – ‘Approach, my soul, the mercy-seat, Where Jesus answers prayer’. It is the following verse:

Be Thou my shield and hiding-place,

That, sheltered near Thy side,

I may my fierce accuser face,

And tell him Thou hast died.

Poor John Newton! Before his conversion he had been engaged in the slave trade and traffic. He had been a vile and a foul sinner. There was scarcely a sin that he had not committed. You can well understand therefore how the devil would rake up his past and hurl it at him. The devil would resurrect it all and cause it to pass as a horrible panorama before his eyes and then challenge him, ‘Do you still claim to be a Christian, forgiven and at peace with God?’ But John Newton had his answer, an answer that can silence the devil. He says in effect in that verse, ‘What can I tell him? I cannot tell him that I am a good man, I cannot tell him about my past or even my present. There is only one way of silencing him; „I can my fierce accuser face, and tell him Thou hast died”, for me and my sin.’

But it is only the man who believes in the doctrine of justification by faith who can do that. The man who believes vaguely in the love of God cannot do so, for the devil will not listen to him. The man who says ‘I feel happy’ will soon be made unhappy by the devil, for he is more powerful than we are. There is only one thing that the devil can never answer and that is the argument of ‘the blood of Christ’. ‘They overcame him’, says the Book of Revelation, ‘by the blood of the Lamb and the word of their testimony’ (Rev. 12:11). Their testimony was a testimony concerning the blood of the Lamb. It is the only way. Can you do that? Can you do so with confidence, and in spite of what you may feel momentarily? If you can, and do, the devil will have to be silent; he will leave you alone. He will come back again, but you will always be able to silence him, and thus continue in a state of peace.

5. Another test can be put in this way: when a man has a true grasp of the doctrine of justification by faith he no longer has a fear of death, no longer a fear of the judgment.

This follows of necessity. The author of the Epistle to the Hebrews deals with that in the second chapter of his Epistle. He says that Christ has delivered all those who ‘were all their lifetime subject to bondage’. What was the bondage? ‘The fear of death’, which was controlled by the devil. Christ has defeated the devil, and has therefore delivered them from this bondage of the fear of death. These are very practical matters. Have you visualized yourself lying on your deathbed? What are your feelings when you do so? Are you still afraid of death? Are you still afraid of the judgment of God? If you are, you cannot say ‘I have been justified by faith and am at peace with God’. If your faith cannot stand up to these tests it is not truly Christian faith. The man who has been justified by faith has peace with God, and can say with Toplady:

The terrors of law and of God

With me can have nothing to do;

My Saviour’s obedience and blood

Hide all my transgressions from view.

6. The last test I suggest is one which I find increasingly to be a most valuable test in my pastoral dealings with people about spiritual problems. It is this: can you do all that I have been describing even when you fall into sin? It is understandable that a man should be fairly untroubled in mind and conscience when he has been living a fairly good life; but what happens when he falls into some grievous sin? A sudden temptation overtakes him and before he knows what has happened he has fallen. Here is the question. When this happens to you, can you still employ the argument I have been describing? I find that many are caught by the devil at that point. Because they have fallen into sin they query and question their salvation, they doubt their justification, they wonder whether they have ever been Christians at all. They lose their peace and they are in a torment and an agony. They have gone back, and have started doubting their whole standing in the presence of God because of that one sin.

Any man in that position is just betraying the fact that, for the time being at any rate, he is not clear about the doctrine of justification by faith only. Because if he believes that one sin can put a man out of the right relationship to God, then he has never seen dearly that hitherto he has been in that right relationship, not because of anything in himself, but because of the Lord Jesus Christ and his perfect work. When a man says, ‘Because I have sinned I have lost it’, what he is really saying on the other side is, ‘I had it because I was good’. He is wrong in both respects. In other words, if we see that our justification is altogether and entirely in the ‘Lord Jesus Christ and him crucified’, we must see that, even though we fall into sin, that is still true.

‘But’, you may say, ‘what a dangerous doctrine!’ Every doctrine is dangerous, and can be, and has been, abused. But this is the doctrine of justification by faith only. We have already been told in chapter 4: ‘But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.’ So we must never feel that we have lost everything because we have fallen into sin. If a man goes back over the whole question of his salvation, and his standing before God, and his relationship to God, every time he falls into sin, we must come to the conclusion that he has never clearly understood justification by faith. The Apostle surely makes it very plain to us here. ‘Therefore being justified by faith’, says the Authorized Version. But a better translation, the right translation is, ‘Therefore having been justified by faith’. ‘Having been.’ It is in the aorist tense, and the aorist tense means that the thing has been done once and for ever. You do not have to go on being justified; it is one act. It is this declarative act of God that we have emphasized so frequently, in which he makes a declaration that because he has imputed Christ’s righteousness to us, because he has already punished our sins in Christ, he pronounces us to ‘be just’ once and for ever. You cannot be just one day and not just the next, then again just the day after. That is impossible. This is a declarative, a forensic, a legal matter. It happens once and for ever; and therefore to query it because of sin is to display again some ignorance or uncertainty of the doctrine.

There, then, are six tests which, I suggest, we can easily and practically apply to ourselves.

Let me now make some comments. That is the statement, that is the position, but, again to be practical and helpful, certain comments are called for. Though what I have been saying is the truth with regard to justification by faith, and though it is true of everybody who is justified by faith, I still say that faith at times may have to fight. But I hasten to add that faith not only may have to fight, faith does fight, faith can fight; and faith always fights victoriously in this matter of justification. There is always the element of rest and of peace, and as we have seen, of certainty in connection with faith. Abraham we are told was ‘fully persuaded that’ – there is an element of knowledge and of certainty always in justifying faith. There must be, otherwise we cannot have peace with God. But at the same time faith may have to fight at times when the devil, as it were, brings up all his batteries. The greatest saints have testified that even to the end of their lives the devil would come and raise this question of justification with them and try to shake them. But faith can always deal with him, faith can always silence him. It may be a desperate fight at times, but faith can fight and faith does fight.

Let me use another illustration. Faith in this matter is remarkably like the needle of a compass, always there pointing to the magnetic north. But if you introduce a very powerful magnet at some other point of the compass it will draw the needle over to it and cause it to swing backwards and forwards and be most unstable. But it is certain that the true compass needle will get back to its true centre, it will find its place of rest in the north. It may know agitation, it may know a lot of violence, but it will go back to its centre, it always finds the place of rest, and the same thing is always true of faith. So the mere fact that we may be tempted to doubt, the mere fact that we may have to struggle and bring out all arguments, and go over the whole question again, does not mean that we have not got faith. In a sense it is a proof of faith, as long as we always arrive back at the position of rest. That is my first comment.

I am emphasizing that there is always an element of assurance of faith, but I do not mean by that, that there is always ‘full’ assurance of faith. There is a great phrase about the full assurance of faith in Hebrews 10, verses 19-22: ‘Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest of all by the blood of Jesus, let us go in’, he says, ‘with full assurance of faith.’ Now the assurance that I am talking about as a constant element in faith does not mean of necessity that ‘full’ assurance. There is a difference between assurance and full assurance. What I stipulate and postulate is that there is always some assurance. You can be a Christian, you can be justified by faith, and have an assurance of justification without knowing what Paul has in mind when he says, ‘The Spirit beareth witness with our spirits that we are the children of God’. You can be a Christian without this full assurance of faith; but you cannot be a Christian without being justified by faith, and that always means an element of assurance, the ability always to come to a place of rest.

At times your faith may only just be able to get you to that place, but it does get there. That is assurance of faith though it is not the full assurance of faith. How many have been discouraged by that! The devil has got them into trouble because he has been able to prove to them they have not got the full assurance, and then he says, ‘Well if you have not got that, you have not got anything’. Some of the Protestant Fathers were tempted to say that, but surely they were wrong; and the Puritans were certainly right at that point, as were the great leaders of the Evangelical Awakening of two hundred years ago. You can be a Christian without the full assurance of faith, but you cannot be a Christian at all without having justification by faith and the element of assurance that is involved in that doctrine.

Unfortunately I have to make a third comment. I wish that it were unnecessary. ‘Being therefore justified by faith we have peace with God’ – and I have described the peace. But alas, there is such a thing as a false peace; there are people who think they are at peace with God and who are not. What then are the characteristics of false peace? We have to consider this because it is in the New Testament. John says about certain people who had been in the early church, ‘They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us: but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us’ (1 John 2:19). Take also the people described in the sixth chapter of Hebrews; they had had certain experiences but finally they are lost, they were never regenerate at all. We have to test ourselves and prove ourselves and examine ourselves, say the Scriptures, whether we are in the faith or not (2 Cor. 13:5).

What are the characteristics of false peace? It generally results from thinking that faith simply means believing, and giving an intellectual assent to certain propositions and truths. That was the essence of the heresy known as Sandemanianism. It is based, as the Sandemanians based it, on Romans l0:10, ‘If thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus’. They taught, and teach, that any man who says, ‘I believe Jesus is Lord, I believe he is the Son of God’, is thereby saved and that all is well with his soul. But all may not be well. You can subscribe to the truth, and give an intellectual assent to it, and yet not really be saved by it. There are men who have ‘a form of godliness but deny the power thereof’. Faith is not only a matter of intellect; it is deeper, as I have been trying to show in stressing the element of assurance.

Secondly, the person with a false peace is generally found to be resting on his or her faith rather than on Christ and his work. They really look at their own believing rather than at Christ and what he has done. They say, ‘I now believe, therefore I must be all right’. They persuade themselves; a kind of Couéism3 They are not looking to Christ; they are looking to their own faith, and they turn faith into a kind of work on which they rest.

Another characteristic of false peace is somewhat surprising and unexpected. The man who has a false peace is never troubled by doubts. But that is where the devil makes a mistake. The counterfeit is always too wonderful, the counterfeit always goes much further than the true experience. When the devil gives a man a false peace counterfeiting the true peace, he creates a condition in which the man is never troubled at all. He is in a psychological state. He does not truly face the truth, so there is nothing to make him unhappy. Let me put this in the form of a very practical question. Can you sit in an evangelistic service without being made to feel uncomfortable at all? If you can you had better examine yourself seriously. I am assuming, of course, that the gospel is being preached truly, that it is the true evangel which starts with the wrath of God and man’s helplessness. It matters not how long you may have been saved, if you are truly justified you will be made to feel unhappy, you may even be made to feel miserable temporarily, and you will thank God again for justification by faith and have to apply it to yourself. But the intellectual believers are never troubled at all, they are always perfectly at ease, without a doubt or any trouble. They say, ‘Ever since I made my decision I have never had a moment’s trouble’. Such talk is always indicative of a very dangerous condition, is always very suspicious because it is too good to be true.

To put it in another way, I say that this kind of person is always much too ‘healthy’. The people who have this false, counterfeit peace are much too glib, much too light-hearted. Compare them with the New Testament picture of the Christian. The New Testament Christian is ‘grave’, ‘sober’, and he approaches God with ‘reverence and godly fear’. But the people with the false peace know nothing of that; they are perfectly healthy, all is well, and they are supremely happy. Nothing like that is to be found in the Scriptures. Can you imagine the Apostle Paul speaking in that manner, with such glib cliches falling from his lips? His speech is, ‘Knowing the terror of the Lord we persuade men’, and ‘I was with you in weakness and in fear and in much trembling’, and ‘Work out your salvation in fear and trembling’.

Another characteristic of false peace is that it is only interested in forgiveness and not in righteousness. The man who has the false peace is only interested in forgiveness. He does not want to go to hell, and he wants to be forgiven. He has not stopped to think about being positively righteous; he is not concerned about being holy and walking in holiness before God, so he is negligent about his life, and does not pursue holiness. He does not heed that exhortation in the Epistle to the Hebrews, ‘Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord’ (Heb. 12:14). He is an Antinomian, only interested in forgiveness, and negligent with regard to living the Christian life.

Another invariable characteristic of the man with the false peace is that when this man falls again into sin he takes it much too lightly. He is not like the person I have just been describing whose faith is shaken by Satan when he falls into sin. This man says almost as soon as he has fallen, ‘It is all right, the blood of Christ covers me’. And up he gets and on he goes as if nothing had happened. You cannot do that if you have any true conception of what sin means, and what the holiness of God really is. This man with a false peace heals himself much too quickly, much too easily, much too lightly. It is because he takes sin as a whole too lightly.

What are the characteristics of true peace?

They are the exact opposite of what I have just been describing. First, the man with true peace is never glib, never light-hearted. The man who is a true Christian is a man who has had a glimpse of hell, and who knows that there is only one reason for the fact that he is not bound for it. That is always present with him, so he is never glib, never superficial, never light-hearted.

Secondly, he is a man who is always filled with a sense of wonder and amazement. He can re-echo the words of Charles Wesley:

And can it be, that I should gain

An interest in the Saviour’s blood,

Died He for me, who caused His pain;

For me, who Him to death pursued?

Amazing love! how ran it be

That Thou, my God, shouldst die for me?

This seems to me to be inevitable. The man who has true peace is a man who never ceases to be amazed that he has it, amazed at the fact that he has ever been justified at all, that God has ever looked upon him and called him by his grace.

Which leads to the next characteristic, namely, that he is humble. You remember that one of the characteristics of Abraham’s faith was, ‘he staggered not in unbelief at the promise of God, but was strong in faith, giving glory to God’. Go through the New Testament and you will always find that the most outstanding characteristic of the Christian is that he is humble – ‘poor in spirit’, ‘meek’, ‘lowly’. Realizing the truth about himself and about God, and realizing that he owes all to Christ, he is a humble man, he is a lowly man. That is another way of saying that his sense of gratitude to God and to our Lord is always prominent. There is no better index of where we stand than the amount of praise and of thanksgiving that characterizes our lives and our prayers. Some people are always offering petitions or making statements; but this man, having realized something of what God in Christ has done for him, is thanking God; is always praising God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. It is inevitable and incontrovertible. The man who realizes his position truly must be filled with a sense of ‘wonder, love, and praise’.

Then, finally, he is a man who is always careful about his life. Not that he may be justified as the result of the carefulness; he is careful because he has been justified. Again this is quite inevitable. He does not fall back on works and try to justify himself; his position is that because of what Christ has done for him he wants to show his gratitude to him. Realizing the terrible character of sin he wants to leave it, and in addition he is anxious to be holy and to go to heaven. ‘He that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure’ (1 John 3:3).

The Scriptures are full of this. Let me remind you of some great statements of this truth. 1 Timothy 1:19, ‘Holding faith and a good conscience’. You not only hold faith, you hold the good conscience as well, ‘which some having put away, concerning faith have made shipwreck’. What a terrible statement! ‘Of whom is Hymenaeus and Alexander; whom I have delivered unto Satan, that they may learn not to blaspheme.’ Hymenaeus and Alexander claimed to have faith, and to hold faith; but they did not ‘hold the good conscience’ and so ‘made shipwreck’.

Then 1 Timothy 3:9, ‘Holding the mystery of the faith in a pure conscience’. Faith is something which you carry in a most precious, delicate vessel because it is such a wonderful thing. Carry it, says the Apostle, ‘in a pure conscience’ – ‘holding the faith in a pure conscience’.

And then a final quotation from Titus 3, verses 8 and 9. ‘This is a faithful saying.’ What has he been talking about? ‘Justified by his grace’, etc. ‘This is a faithful saying, and these things I will that thou constantly affirm, that they which have believed in God might be careful to maintain good works. These things are good and profitable unto men.’ The man who is not careful to maintain good works is a man who is proclaiming that he has got a false sense of peace. The man who has the true peace is a man who is always careful to maintain good works. He carries his faith in a pure conscience, he holds not only the mystery of the faith but he also holds at the same time this conscience, this good conscience.

There, it seems to me, are the characteristics of true peace. Have you got it? How can one maintain it? There is only one way to maintain it; it is to be living a good deal of your life in the First Epistle of John, chapter 1 and the first two verses of chapter 2. That is how you maintain the peace. You have been given it:

‘Having been justified by faith we have peace.’

You have been given it once and for ever. The devil will come and tempt you, sin will make you shaky. Go back, go back to that section of John’s First Epistle and you will find that you will be able to maintain, to preserve, and to keep your peace.

Notes:

1. A sermon taken from Assurance: An Exposition of Romans 5, pp. 14-29, a volume in Dr Lloyd-Jones’ series of sermons on the book of Romans, published by the Trust. Notes added.

2. ‘Grace Abounding to the Chief of Sinners’ can be found in Volume 1 of the 3-volume set of The Works of John Bunyan, published by the Trust

3. Couéism is a method of self-help stressing autosuggestion, introduced into America by the French psychotherapist Emile Coué, c. 1920, and featuring the slogan ‘Every day in every way I am getting better and better.’

Martyn Lloyd Jones – Preacher (Biography and Online book by John Peters)

A BRIEF BIOGRAPHY (source)

David Martyn Lloyd-Jones (1899–1981)

David Martyn Lloyd-Jones (20 December 1899 – 1 March 1981) was a Welsh Protestant minister, preacher and medical doctor who was influential in the Reformed wing of the British evangelical movement in the 20th century. For almost 30 years,  he was the minister of Westminster Chapel in London. Lloyd-Jones was strongly opposed to the liberal theology that had become a part of many Christian denominations, regarding it as aberrant. He disagreed with the broad church approach and encouraged evangelical Christians (particularly Anglicans) to leave their existing denominations, taking the view that true Christian fellowship was only possible amongst those who shared common convictions regarding the nature of the faith.

Lloyd-Jones was born in Cardiff and raised in Llangeitho, Ceredigion. Llangeitho is associated with the Welsh Methodist revival, as it was the location of Daniel Rowland’s ministry. Attending a London grammar school between 1914 and 1917 and then St Bartholomew’s Hospital as a medical student, in 1921 he started work as assistant to the Royal Physician, Sir Thomas Horder. After struggling for two years over what he sensed was a calling to preach, in 1927 Lloyd-Jones returned to Wales, having married Bethan Phillips (with whom he later had two children, Elizabeth and Ann), accepting an invitation to minister at a church in Aberavon (Port Talbot).

After a decade ministering in Aberavon, in 1939 he went back to London, where he had been appointed as associate pastor of Westminster Chapel, London, working alongside G. Campbell Morgan. In 1943 Morgan retired, leaving Jones as the sole Pastor of Westminster Chapel.

Lloyd-Jones was well-known for his style of expository preaching, and the Sunday morning and evening meetings at which he officiated drew crowds of several thousand, as did the Friday evening Bible studies – which were, in effect, sermons in the same style. He would take many months – even years – to expound a chapter of the Bible verse by verse. His sermons would often be around fifty minutes to an hour in length, attracting many students from universities and colleges in London. His sermons were also transcribed and printed (virtually verbatim) in the weekly Westminster Record, which was read avidly by those who enjoyed his preaching.

Lloyd-Jones provoked a major dispute in 1966 when, at the National Assembly of Evangelicals organised by the Evangelical Alliance, he called on all clergy of evangelical conviction to leave denominations which contained both liberal and evangelical congregations. This was interpreted as referring primarily to evangelicals within the Church of England, although there is disagreement over whether this was his intention. As a significant figure to many in the free churches, Lloyd-Jones had hoped to encourage those Christians who held evangelical beliefs to withdraw from any churches where alternative views were present.

However, Lloyd-Jones was criticised by the leading Anglican evangelical John Stott. Although Stott was not scheduled to speak, he used his position as chairman of the meeting to publicly rebuke Lloyd-Jones, stating that his opinion was against history and the Bible (though John Stott greatly admired Lloyd-Jones’s work, and would often quote him in Stott’s own books). This open clash between the two elder statesmen of British evangelicalism was widely reported in the Christian press and caused considerable controversy. Although there is an ongoing debate as to the exact nature of Lloyd-Jones’s views, they undoubtedly caused the two groupings to adopt diametrically opposed positions. These positions, and the resulting split, continue largely unchanged to this day.

Lloyd-Jones retired from his ministry at Westminster Chapel in 1968, following a major operation. He spoke of a belief that God had stopped him from continuing to preach through the New Testament book of the Letter to the Romans in his Friday evening Bible study exposition because he did not personally know enough about „joy in the Holy Spirit” which was to be his next sermon (based on Romans 14:17). For the rest of his life he concentrated on editing his sermons to be published, counselling other ministers, answering letters and attending conferences. Perhaps his most famous publication is a 14 volume series of commentaries on the Epistle to the Romans, the first volume of which was published in 1970.

Despite spending most of his life living and ministering in England, Lloyd-Jones was proud of his roots in Wales. He best expressed his concern for his home country through his support of the Evangelical Movement of Wales: he was a regular speaker at their conferences, preaching in both English and Welsh. Since his death, the movement has published various books, in English and Welsh, bringing together selections of his sermons and articles.

Lloyd-Jones preached for the last time on 8 June 1980 at Barcombe Baptist Chapel. After a lifetime of work, he died peacefully in his sleep at Ealing on 1 March 1981, St David’s Day. He was buried at Newcastle Emlyn, near Cardigan, west Wales. A well-attended thanksgiving service was held at Westminster Chapel on 6 April.

Since his death there have been various publications regarding Lloyd-Jones and his work, most popularly a biography in two volumes by Iain Murray.

Legacy

Charismatic Movement

Martyn Lloyd-Jones has admirers from many different denominations in the Christian Church today. One much-discussed aspect of his legacy is his relationship to the Charismatic Movement. Respected by leaders of many churches associated with this movement, although not directly associated with them, he did teach the Baptism with the Holy Spirit as a distinct experience rather than conversion and the regeneration of the Holy Spirit.[5] Indeed, towards the end of his life he urged his listeners to actively seek an experience of the Holy Spirit. For instance, in his exposition of Ephesians 6:10-13, published in 1976, he says, „Do you know anything of this fire? If you do not, confess it to God and acknowledge it. Repent, and ask Him to send the Spirit and His love into you until you are melted and moved, until you are filled with his love divine, and know His love to you, and rejoice in it as his child, and look forward to the hope of the coming glory. ‘Quench not the Spirit’, but rather ‘be filled with the Spirit’ and ‘rejoice in Christ Jesus'”.[6]

Part of Lloyd-Jones’ stress of the Christian’s need of the baptism with the Holy Spirit was due to his belief that this provides an overwhelming assurance of God’s love to the Christian, and thereby enables him to boldly witness for Christ to an unbelieving world.[5]

Aside from his insistence that the baptism with the Spirit is a work of Jesus Christ distinct from regeneration, rather than the filling of the Holy Spirit, Lloyd-Jones also opposed cessationism, claiming that the doctrine is not founded upon Scripture. In fact, he requested that Banner of Truth Trust, the publishing company which he co-founded, only publish his works on the subject after his death.[5] He claimed that those who took a position such as B.B. Warfield’s on cessationism were ‘quenching the Spirit.’[5] He continued to proclaim the necessity of the active working of God in the world and the need for him to miraculously demonstrate his power so that Christian preachers (and all those who witness for Christ) might gain a hearing in a contemporary world that is hostile to the true God and to Christianity in general.[4]

Preaching

Lloyd-Jones seldom agreed to preach live on television, (the exact number of occasions is not known, but it was most likely only once or twice).[7] His reasoning behind this decision was that this type of „controlled” preaching, that is, preaching that is constrained by time-limits, „militates against the freedom of the Spirit.”In other words, he believed that the preacher should be free to follow the leading of the Holy Spirit concerning the length of time in which he is allowed to preach. He recorded that he once asked a television executive who wanted him to preach on television, „What would happen to your programmes if the Holy Spirit suddenly descended upon the preacher and possessed him; what would happen to your programmes?”

Perhaps the greatest aspect of Lloyd-Jones’ legacy has to do with his preaching. Lloyd-Jones was one of the most influential preachers of the twentieth century. Many volumes of his sermons have been published by Banner of Truth, as well as other publishing companies. In his book, Preaching and Preachers (Zondervan, 1971), Lloyd-Jones describes his views on preaching, or what might be called his doctrine of homiletics. In this book, he defines preaching as „Logic on fire.” The meaning of this definition is demonstrated throughout the book, in which he describes his own preaching style which had developed over his many years of ministry.

His preaching style may be summarized as ‘logic on fire’ for several reasons. First, he believed that the use of logic was vital for the preacher. But his view of logic was not the same as that of the Enlightenment. This is why he called it logic „on fire.” The fire has to do with the activity and power of the Holy Spirit. He therefore believed that preaching was the logical demonstration of the truth of a given passage of Scripture with the aid, or unction, of the Holy Spirit.[9] This view manifested itself in the form of Lloyd-Jones’ sermons. Lloyd-Jones believed that true preaching was always expository. This means he believed that the primary purpose of the sermon was to reveal and expand the primary teaching of the passage under consideration. Once the primary teaching was revealed, he would then logically expand this theme, demonstrating that it was a biblical doctrine by showing that it was taught in other passages in the Bible, and using logic in order to demonstrate its practical use and necessity for the hearer. With this being the case, he labored in his book Preaching and Preachers to caution young preachers against what he deemed as „commentary-style” preaching as well as „topical” preaching.

Lloyd-Jones’ preaching style was therefore set apart by his sound exposition of biblical doctrine and his fire and passion in its delivery. He is thereby known as a preacher who continued on in the Puritan tradition of experimental preaching. A famous quote on the effects of Lloyd-Jones preaching is given by theologian and preacher J.I. Packer, who wrote that he had „never heard such preaching.” It came to him „with the force of electric shock, bringing to at least one of his listeners more of a sense of God than any other man”.

Lloyd-Jones was also an avid supporter of the Evangelical Library in London.

Martyn Lloyd Jones – Preacher by John Peters (via)

Martyn Lloyd-Jones was possibly the greatest British preacher of the twentieth century. His ministry at Westminster Chapel and his writings earned him respect and affection throughout the world. He had a decisive influence on many individuals and on evangelicalism as a whole.

Now John Peters who (like the Doctor) is a Welsh- speaking Welshman, has written the first complete account of The Doctor’s life and achievement. It includes personal reminiscences by men and women whose lives were changed by Martyn Lloyd-Jones.


John Peters is a native of Aberdare, South Wales. He teaches English language and literature at Charterhouse School and lives in Godalming with his wife and three children.

This excellent little book is now out of print, but the text is exclusively presented here for you to freely download by kind permission of the author, John Peters. Copyright © 1986 John Peters

Links to access download of 75 page book:

Rich Text Format (which will load into most wordprocessors)

Microsoft Word Format.

Martyn Lloyd Jones – Nine sermons from 1969 in Pensacola, Florida US visit

Photo by Iain Murray (misterrichardson.com)

Thanks to a great site www.mlj-usa.org/pensacola:

Here are nine sermons that Martyn Lloyd-Jones preached at the Pensacola Theological Institute in 1969, as part of his final visit to the USA.

The first was preached on Sunday morning, 17th August 1969, with Hurricane Camille threatening the area. Hence MLJ’s comment:-

    „Now I shall condense as best I can, my exposition of this great statement!”

The second sermon was preached on the afternoon of that same Sunday, the meeting having been brought forward in view of the approaching storm. However, by that time it had become apparent that the worst of the hurricane was going to miss Pensacola.

These are truly excellent sermons. ‘Prayer’ seems a slightly unusual start to the series, but ‘The Acid Test’ is powerful, ‘A Picture of the Church’ is hard-hitting, ‘The Problem of Evangelism’ is a real gem, and from my point-of-view ‘How Shall We Escape?’ might be more appropriately titled: ‘So Great a Salvation’ – it’s a great sermon on a great salvation.

May God bless you greatly as you listen.

1. Prayer (Hebrews 10:10-25)

2. The Acid Test of Christian Profession (2 Corinthians 4:17)

3. The Deep Things of God (1 Corinthians 2)

4. The Doctrine of the Church (Acts 2:42)

5. A Picture of the Church (Luke 24:25-27)

6. How Shall We Escape? (Hebrews 2:1-4)

7. The Problem of Evangelism (1 Thessalonians 1:5a)

8. Revival of a Backslidden Church (Exodus 33)

9. The Narrow Way (Matthew 7:13-14)

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