What is the chief end of preaching? I like to think it is this. It is to give men and women a sense of God and His presence. As I have said already, during this last year I have been ill, and so have had the opportunity and the privilege of listening to others instead of preaching myself. As I have listened in physical weakness this is the 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. – D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones, Preaching and Preachers, pp. 97-98
You see, any man who thinks that he can examine God, and having done so, dismiss Him, is just saying that he is a fool. May I put that to you in the form of an illustration. You will hear people, saying, sometimes, that they just see nothing in Beethoven’s music, but they think jazz is marvelous. Now in saying that, they tell me nothing about Beethoven, but they do tell me a great deal about themselves! They do not realize it of course; they think they are being clever. But they are really just telling us all about themselves from the standpoint of a knowledge of music. – D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones, Romans Vol. 1, p. 388
There are some people who seem to regard faith as the opposite of works. Now that, in itself, is not right, because the opposite of works is not faith. The opposite of works is the righteousness of God. That is what the Apostle is contrasting – men who try to save themselves by works, and this other salvation, which is the giving to us of the righteousness of Jesus Christ. …So you see, the opposite of works is not faith. No! it is the righteousness of Jesus Christ which is the opposite of works, and it is righteousness which comes to us through faith. – D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones, Romans Vol. 1, p. 311
A friend of mine who used to attend here regularly and who has now gone to glory – a very good man – once said to me, rather jocularly but very kindly – “You know, I sometimes think that the Apostle Paul must be amazed when he sees what you get out of his epistles!” Poor man! By now my friend has discovered that the Apostle Paul is amazed how little that most people, and I with them, get out of his great epistles. – D. Martyn Lloyd Jones, Romans Vol. 1, p. 227
For reference as to how much The Doctor got out of Paul’s epistles this comes from a Sermon on Romans 9:10-11, his seventeenth sermon out of Romans at that point.
We do not become the beloved because of anything that we do. We are what we are because he first loved us. It is His love that initiates the movement that brings us out of that terrible plight and predicament in which we are all are as the result of sin. – D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones, Romans Vol. 1, Pg. 159
If you work your way through the Old Testament, this is what you will find. There were dead, lifeless periods when you would think that everything had come to an end – that God’s ways were forgotten. How did these dead periods suddenly give way to something else? Was it that people got together and organized something? Never! Not on a single occasion! Invariably it happened like this: that when they were utterly hopeless, and downcast, and really thought the end had come, God suddenly, unexpectedly, and in the most amazing manner did something. It is God who revives His work. You and I tend to be anxious, over-anxious, about the work, don’t we? Like that poor man Uzzah, we put out our hand to steady the ark, forgetting that he was struck dead for attempting to do so. And there are many people today who seem to think that they must do something to safeguard God’s cause. My dear friend, you need not trouble; God revives His work, but in His time, in His way, and with the person or persons whom He has chosen. The Old Testament history is amazing in that respect. – D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones, Romans, Vol. 1, p.96
An inadequate understanding of our sinfulness is probably the greatest single cause of our failure to rejoice always in the Lord always, and to realize that this message is the greatest good news the world has ever received. …The positive road to joy is always via the depth of sin. …It ought to be impossible for us to use the word ‘gospel’ without bursting forth, as it were, into a hymn of praise and thanksgiving. – D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones, Romans Vol. 1, pp. 58, 59