Martyn Lloyd-Jones The Preacher (By Dr. John Piper)

In July, 1959 Martyn Lloyd-Jones and his wife Bethan were on vacation in Wales. They attended a little chapel for a Sunday morning prayer meeting and Lloyd-Jones asked them, “Would you like me to give a word this morning?” The people hesitated because it was his vacation and they didn’t want to presume on his energy. but his wife said, “Let him, preaching is his life” (see note 1). It was a true statement. In the preface to his powerful book, Preaching and Preachers, he said, “Preaching has been my life’s work … to me the work of preaching is the highest and the greatest and the most glorious calling to which anyone can ever be called (see note 2).

Many called him the last of the Calvinistic Methodist preachers because he combined Calvin’s love for truth and sound reformed doctrine with the fire and passion of the eighteenth-century Methodist revival (see note 3). For thirty years he preached from the pulpit at Westminster Chapel in London. Usually that meant three different sermons each weekend, Friday evening, and Sunday morning and evening. At the end of his career he remarked, “I can say quite honestly that I would not cross the road to listen to myself preaching” (see note 4).

But that was not the way others felt. When J. I. Packer was a 22-year-old student he heard Lloyd-Jones preach each Sunday evening during the school year of 1948-1949. He 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 (see note 5).

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