Dr .Martyn Lloyd Jones who served at Westminster Chapel is classed as the best Biblical communicator of the last century in the British Isles. He still remains a benchmark for all those of us who are developing as preachers of the Scriptures.
Recently, through a couple of people, the subject of the ‘doctor’ (as he was affectionately known) came up at several meetings at Capitol Hil Baptist Church where Mark Dever pastors. They had both theologian Jim Packer and Lady Elizabeth Catherwood, Jones’ daughter. Talking about the impression he had after hearing Jones preach, Packer said 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” he had known.
Someone brought up this quote to Dr. Packer and asked him what set Dr. Lloyd-Jones apart from other preachers (understanding that ultimately the force behind his preaching was not Dr. Lloyd-Jones, but the Lord’s good pleasure to bless Dr. Lloyd-Jones’ life and ministry). Dr. Packer said that he had thought about this question himself and had boiled his thoughts down to three main things that permeated all of Lloyd Jones’ life and teaching. When Lady Elizabeth, was asked a similar question during a similar informal Q&A in Mark’s study, she repeated many of the same themes Dr. Packer had noted. Those themes were:
- The man deeply felt his conversion. Dr. Lloyd-Jones never got over the Lord’s mercy to him in saving him and this was clear in his preaching.
- The underlining issue behind his preaching was the glory of God. Behind all of his preaching the main point and main issue was always that God be glorified and exalted. He never treated the Lord casually.
- He had the presence of a man who dwelt with the Lord in prayer. When he preached, he sincerely preached as a man that had consistently lingered truly humbly before the Lord and had dwelt on the Truth of God in Scripture. He brought those meditations and that posture to the people.
What a great example to us. So counter-cultural. So many of today’s Christian communicators want to be liked, spend a lot of time networking and placing themselves higher in the public eye and preach self improvement rather than grace. The temptation is there for me every time I stand up, just round the corner.