At the age of twenty-seven, Martyn Lloyd-Jones left his career as a doctor to begin his new life as a preacher. Over the next five decades, his bold proclamation of the Gospel led him to become one of the most influential preachers of the 20th century. Alistair Begg shares his reflections on Lloyd-Jones’ life and beliefs, encouraging us to first preach to ourselves before preaching to others.
Sermon Transcript: Print
Editor’s note: As Alistair mentions in this message, much of what follows relies heavily on Iain Murray’s two-volume biography D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones (Banner of Truth, 1982). For the sake of readability, we have opted to forgo citations of quotations from Murray at the present time. The wording of some quotations and spellings of some names may also differ slightly from the source.
What I want to do is speak to you… I wrote a paper on “Martyn Lloyd-Jones: The Preacher.” And what I want to do is take this session and essentially read this paper to you. I want to try and read the paper, because if I don’t, it’ll take a very, very long time. But I’m doing this purposefully. It’s not an attempt to fill in in any way. All of us are the products of the influences on our lives, models who have marked us. Many of the people we’ve been marked by are dead, and were even dead when they had the big influence on us. And when people ask who has made the greatest impact on us, we all have people that we would put on that list—as I say, some dead and some alive. And in fact, most of the discipleship that I’ve ever had in my life has happened to me without the person who was discipling me actually knowing that he was discipling me. And so I’m a great believer in that happening even from a distance, and I’m in many senses a product of that. And one of those people that would be in that category, who has pointed me in a certain direction, would be Martyn Lloyd-Jones. Has anybody here ever hear Martyn Lloyd-Jones preach live? One, two, three. Okay. So, four of us, then, have had the immense benefit of that.
What I’d like to do is just read a few verses of Scripture—verses that, if you heard Lloyd-Jones preach, and you only heard him once, he may actually have preached from 1 Corinthians 2:1. He preached evangelistically around the country during the week and repreached the same material a tremendous amount. It was actually one of the reasons that he didn’t want things taped. His main reason for not wanting things taped I will mention later on, but one of the very functional reasons was that if they started taping his material, then when he went to Cardiff or he went to Edinburgh, the tapes would be going ahead of him, and when he got there, his own tapes would have stolen his thunder. I’m not sure what he would’ve done if he’d been on the radio on a daily basis. Probably just have ignored it.
But anyway, 1 Corinthians 2:1. This is just to set a context for all that follows.
“When I came to you, brothers, I did not come with eloquence or superior wisdom as I proclaimed to you the testimony about God. For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. I came to you in weakness and fear, and with much trembling. My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power, so that your faith might not rest on men’s wisdom, but on God’s power.”
Father God, we do ask that in this evening hour, as we reflect upon one of your choice servants in the twentieth century, we pray that the lessons that we learn from his memory and his legacy may so touch our lives and strengthen our hands in the task of preaching and teaching the Bible that we might be the better for having given this consideration. I pray that you would help me, Lord, so that what I say would be both true and understandable and helpful, for we certainly don’t want to waste our time. Life is short, and we want to maximize our moments. So will you please come and bless this hour to us? For Jesus’ sake we ask it. Amen.
Well, let me try and stay as close to my brief here as I can, because that will preserve a measure of integrity.
“You know that you can do medicine, but how do you know that you can preach?” That was the question that his fiancée posed to him as Lloyd-Jones anticipated the transition between the work of a respected physician to becoming a minister of the gospel. Lloyd-Jones’s position was that having graduated from medical school, he was one of the brightest and the best. As a result of that, he was handpicked by Lord Horder, who was then the physician to the royal family, whose main responsibility was to the prime minister and the members of the cabinet and to the highest elements of society. And when this individual looked out for a young graduating medical student, he was attracted to this fellow, this young Welshman, Lloyd-Jones, and so called him to work in partnership with him.
On the day after his twenty-seventh birthday, Lloyd-Jones received an invitation from a man by the name of Mr. Reese—E. T. Reese—who was the secretary of an, essentially, a sort of evangelistic mission hall that was called the Bethlehem Forward Movement Church. And he received by letter from this man “a hearty invitation to become the pastor of this congregation.” On the following day—that’s the day after his twenty-seventh birthday—on the twenty-second of December 1926, he officially accepted the call, expressing his deep appreciation in being granted the great privilege of being “allowed to work for the coming of the kingdom among them.”
Earlier the same year, the previous minister had left this particular congregation, with his health in poor repair and with a broken heart. The context was difficult, to say the least. The church secretary, who is to be commended for his honesty, forwarded a report to Martyn Lloyd-Jones, in prospect of his coming to this church, in which he stated, “Sandfields,” as the mission was known by locals—it was its district name—
Sandfields contains at least 5,000 men, women, and children, living, for the most part, in sordid and overcrowded conditions. Almost 90 percent of these people do not attend any place of worship, for there is a gross indifference amongst the respectable working class, whilst a depravity born of sin enmeshes the great majority. The bookie, the publican, and the prostitute prosper here and directly challenge us.
So that was the description of the context in which he was invited to come and minister, and the place to which he accepted this call so soon after his twenty-seventh birthday.
When you look at this, there was clearly no earthly reason why this young, eminently successful, and with-a-great-future-in-front-of-him physician and his wife-to-be, who was also a physician, should actually set aside all of the prospect that was before them, all of the prestige and the security of London, to go to what was a very daunting prospect in Aberavon in Wales. And if you would like to benefit from all of the details of that, then the two volumes on Lloyd-Jones, which I have here with me, are also present in the bookstore, and they frankly are a wonderful read, and really, quite honestly, they should be required reading for every minister of the gospel.
And Iain Murray, to whom I am indebted for putting together these rambling thoughts, identifies the fact and provides the details of the growing sense of call which had gripped Lloyd-Jones. Writing to his soon-to-be brother-in-law in June of 1926, he tells him, “I want to preach more than ever, and I am determined to preach. The precise nature of my future activities remains to be settled, but nothing can or will prevent my going about to tell people of the good news.”
So you got this thing, you got this doctor, and he has gone through medical school, he is practicing as a physician, and he begins to discover that there is a tremendous emptiness and a forlornness among so many who are in the practice of his boss, Lord Horder—many of their lives riddled with venereal disease, many of their circumstances completely caved in upon themselves. And suddenly he is confronted by the fact that his ability to effect physical change in the lives of these individuals is something that is actually very secondary to the great need that they have for the gospel. And these things begin to combine to instill in him a sense of call. Years later, in 1954, in the course of his expositions in Ephesians, he says, “Whatever authority I may have as a preacher is not the result of any decision on my part. It was God’s hand that laid hold of me, and drew me out, and separated me to this work.”
In the summer of 1926, as he walked the hills of Wales with his fiancée, Bethan, his wife-to-be, remembered how on fire he was to break through what he referred to as “the rut of religious respectability,” to tell people what Christianity meant and to be in some “raw place” where people were conscious of their need. Very interesting. And many of you will be on the receiving end, as I am, of letters from young men who are just completing seminary, and when they write to say where it is that they feel that they should be ministering, it really is a travesty as they describe the wonderful circumstances that they’re looking to find, with multiple staff and a white-collar setup and, you know, all of these variety of opportunities. Very different from this twenty-seven-year-old, who says, “Put me in some raw place, and let me see if God, by the preaching of the Bible, is not gonna effect radical change.”
When Bethan asked him the question with which I began—namely, “Well, I know that you can do medicine, but how do you know that you can preach?”—he said, “I can preach to myself.” Which may sound at first to be a presumptuous thing. But he went on to say, “I know what I want to preach, and I believe I will be able to say it.” We’ll come back to that. But there’s nothing of presumption in it.
The young preacher on the morning of November 28, 1926, having actually only preached about twelve times to that point in his life, is picked up by the church secretary so that he might preach in this prospective church. And as the church secretary takes him to the building, he turns to him in the car and he says, “I hope you won’t expect anything great of me.” He arrives at the building to discover that someone has put up a huge poster advertising the visit of this important visitor. And Lloyd-Jones turns to the man, and he says to him—this is the first time he’s met him in his life—he turns to him, he’s the visiting speaker, and he says, “I don’t like that. Don’t do it again.”
That would be enough to get yourself thrown out of the average search committee, wouldn’t it? Unless you were smart enough to recognize that he was right, and you were wrong with the big dumb poster. Most search committees aren’t smart enough to get down on their knees and confess their sins. And many a church would have missed this young preacher because of the way they’re set up.
You see, there was about Lloyd-Jones a growing sense and a genuine sense of self forgetfulness. It was actually a hallmark of his ministry. He knew that he didn’t want people to expect anything great of him but that through the preaching of the Word of God, men and women would be struck by the greatness of God. He understood what others have said: that you cannot make much of yourself and much of Jesus simultaneously. And so he recognized that if he was going to be effective in the pulpit, then they were gonna have to be overcome and consumed with the wonder of God through his Word and by the Spirit.
Now, there are another couple of factors that I want to say, just by way of introduction. First, that it is impossible to understand the significant impact of the preaching of Martyn Lloyd-Jones apart from his very clear sense of call. The gospel ministry for him wasn’t a new career that had been brought about by a desire to help the people in his native Wales. It was for him an arresting call, it was divine in its origin, it was relentless in its pursuit, and it was ultimately only explicable in biblical terms. He would have said that, for example, in Jeremiah 1—“You must go to everyone I send you … and say whatever I command you. … Now, I have put my words in your mouth”—he would have said that while that was uniquely the call to Jeremiah, it was that sense of being shut in to the will of God that so gripped him and moved him out and beyond medicine.
And that, actually, is in large measure the explanation for the seriousness that marked his demeanor and his delivery. In fact, when we have used some of his materials, the pastoral team here have had great delight in pointing out what an austere and august and funny-looking little man he actually really was. And, you know, even his best pictures would scare you on a dark night. And those of you who pick up the little book What Is an Evangelical?, you find a picture of him there, and he’s just like [makes a stern face]. And that’s allowing some people to say, “Well, if that is what an evangelical is, I don’t think I want to be one.”
But his authority and his boldness and his conviction can ultimately be traced to the fact that he knew himself to be in the pulpit by divine appointment. So he wasn’t on a fool’s errand. He hadn’t volunteered. He didn’t put up his hand and say, “Could I try that?” He was going perfectly happily through his days, fulfilling a sense of call to the world of medicine, and God comes and arrests him and propels him in another direction.
His answer to the question “How do you know that you can preach?” also tells us something very important about his view of preaching—namely, that the preacher must first preach the message to himself. For unless he has preached the message to himself, then he has no right to preach it to anyone else at all. And Lloyd-Jones would say that the preacher must be uncovered by the searching gaze of the Bible, must be broken by its exposure of his unworthiness, must be stirred by the wonder that God has loved and saved him in spite of all that he deserved. And the preacher must be lifted up by the wonders of God’s grace, thrilled with the Father’s goodness, if he is ever to convey these truths with any sense of integrity and authority to those who sit in the congregation.
Now, there is great reason to pause just there, you know, and say, “Oh, God,” you know, “help me.” I mean, the greatest tragedy for us as preachers is when we walk away from the pulpit knowing that we haven’t given our best. Whether the congregation know or not, God knows, and we know. And the great danger is that the longer you go, you’re able to speak for a relatively long period of time without any basis for anything that you’re saying at all. That’s the time to be most scared: when you’ve found out that you can get to the pulpit, and you can get through the responsibility, but you’re not broken by a sense of your own unworthiness, we’re not stirred in our hearts by the immensity of God’s grace, we’re not thrilled by the message that we have now come to convey, and we’re looking through our notes, hoping for something that actually appeals to us vis-à-vis an illustration or some little anecdote that will help us to stumble through the rather stodgy material that we’re trying to bring out, like some horrible reheated macaroni and cheese that has been lying around for a long time. And the blank stares of our congregations as we try and force-feed them this reheated portion is just a silent testimony to the emptiness of our own lives. We have nothing to say to our people till first the Bible has been preached to ourselves.
And this, you see, was what weighed in upon Lloyd-Jones. The fire within the bones of Jeremiah is one that many of us have observed but so rarely felt. But when you listened to Martyn Lloyd-Jones preach, there was a real sense that the reason that the message came in power through him was because it had first come in power to him. He wasn’t lecturing; he was delivering a message. It was the oracle; it was the burden of God.
Eric Alexander tells of one occasion when he had the privilege of chairing a meeting at which MLJ was the preacher. When it was over and the Doctor sat down beside him—kind of crashed down into the chair—and Eric Alexander, as a younger man, turned to him and said, “Doctor, how do you feel?” The Doctor replied, “I feel relieved.” Eric went back for a second time; he said, “In what way?” And he turned back to Eric Alexander, and he said, “Well, I think that preaching is the closest a man will ever come to the experience of childbirth.” Which is a staggering response. It’s a Pauline response. We are in the pains of childbirth “until Christ be formed in you.” I wonder, do we know anything of that at all? How easy for us to skip across the top of the text—a few loosely contrived word studies tied together with marginal illustrations and a few quotes, notes, and anecdotes. This was something that Lloyd-Jones knew nothing of at all.
When the preaching of the Word becomes a light thing for people—when we become like the gravediggers in Hamlet—people are caused to wonder that we can be about the matter with so little feeling, you know. And then when they come on the gravediggers in Hamlet, and they find them, they’re digging the grave, and they’re singing to one another, and they’re telling jokes. And the one turns to the other and he says, you know, “How can these guys do this in such a grave situation?” And the reply, of course, is, “Custom hath made of it in them a matter of easiness.” They just been dulled by the routine of it. The first day they dug the grave, they said, “Man, we’re digging a grave.” The second day, third day, and so on. The first day, we’re standing before a holy God and the people that he chooses to reach by his Word and his Spirit. This is an awesome thing. Oh, God may help us, then, so that every day is like the very first day.
So Campbell Morgan, actually, who preceded Lloyd-Jones at Westminster Chapel, was asked how he felt when he went into the pulpit. And he said, well, his stomach went round and round and round, and it churned. And the person interviewing him said, “And do you think that there will ever come a time when you cease to preach?” And he says, “Yes, I will cease to preach when my stomach ceases to go round and round and round like that before I do.”
This leads to a third observation, and that is that Martyn Lloyd-Jones’s preaching was God centered. It was God centered. To listen to him preach was to be made aware of the greatness of God. And that explains, again, the sense of gravity that he brought to the conduct of worship.
Incidentally, before we just jump over that, let me make an aside. To say that Lloyd-Jones’s preaching was God centered—we may jump over too quickly if we don’t think about it. The great lack in evangelicalism in America today is an absence of God-centered preaching, God-centered worship, God-centered evangelism. It’s not that God isn’t spoken about. But God is a means to an end. So people are sitting listening to pastors talk about God, but it’s not God as an end in himself, having made himself known. It is God who is a mechanism for you to become the kind of father you should be. It is God who is the means to make you the kind of fulfilled person that you want to be, rather than that people are caught up with the fact that this is a declaration of the wonder of God, and therefore the reality of man’s condition before him, and therefore the necessity of a divine transaction to take place to transform the circumstances of people. And I don’t think it is that people so much are able to identify that or necessarily articulate it, but when they go and listen to preaching like that, they know that it’s different. They can’t say, “This is God-centered preaching,” or “This is whatever it is,” but they just come out and they say, “You know, that isn’t what I’m used to. There was something about that. What was that?” Well, in Lloyd-Jones’s case, it was that it was God centered.
Now, clearly, he had his own little predilections. He had some really distinct peculiarities in case it came to the matter of worship. He detested choirs—and I frankly don’t blame him for that; I’m not very keen on them myself—and he had very little time for any falderal at all before he preached. He would often wear a coat, and sometimes two coats, because he found everything very, very chilly. And when he was invited to preach in Glasgow by the United Evangelistic Association, and they would bring in a big choir and a bunch of things, he would just sit, and he looked like he was completely… He looked as comfortable as a porcupine in a balloon factory. He just sat there and stared in front of him. It was as though he had no interest in it whatsoever.
But it was simply because his view was so God centered—and it was so titillating, and it was such an endeavor to entertain or to employ a mechanism to create a mood or whatever else it is. He used to say, you know, “My dear friends, you go to these places, and they sing in order to get the congregation into a right frame of mind. And by the time they’ve got them into the right frame of mind, there’s no congregation left to preach to, because everybody has gone home.” So he detested all of that. And he couldn’t understand why somebody would stand up at the beginning of worship and say, “Hello, how are you this morning? Glad you’re here.” Or, “Hello!” and everyone is supposed to go, “Hello!” You know, like you just went to Burger King or something, and you were a greeter: “So nice to have you.” He couldn’t understand that at all.
In Preaching and Preachers, he addresses it straight up—preaching in Westminster Seminary in the first instance, which is now the book. He says if the church were the minister’s home and the people his guests, then, he argued, it would be permissible to say, “Good morning folks, nice to see you, how good of you to come.” But he regarded that whole approach as wrong. “It is not our service; the people do not come there to see us or [to] please us. … They, and we, are there to worship God, and to meet with God. … A minister in a church is not like a man inviting people into his home; he’s not in charge [there]. He[’s] just a servant himself.” Now that’s a solid dose of rectification for most of our congregations, isn’t it? I mean, it doesn’t matter whether they feel welcome or not, in the first instance. The real issue is, will God manifest himself in the context of worship?
Sinclair Ferguson, speaking about this, growing up in Scotland, says, “I can still feel the sense of the hair standing up on the back of my neck when, as a small boy, the minister would stand up with his opening greeting, ‘Let us worship God.’” Because, you see, that doesn’t happen anywhere else. So if we turn the gathering of the people of God for the worship of God into the front parlor of our house or into the expressions of our local coffee shop, then we simply give to them the anticipation of what they experience anywhere else. But when someone stands up without any business at all and says, “Now let us stand and worship God,” the people say, “Well, hey, I guess we better stand and worship God. We’re kind of straight at it, aren’t we?” Yes, we are. Why? Because we came to meet with God.
Now, that was what drove him. He was convinced that the main failing in evangelicalism throughout his life was man-centeredness. When I asked his daughter Lady Elizabeth Catherwood what stood out in her mind when she thought of her father’s preaching, her immediate answer was, “The sense of the greatness of God—his holiness and his love—a sense of awe.” And she recalled how her father, in his later years, when he was so notorious, when he was so well known, when crowds would come from everywhere to hear him preach, he would address the congregation, and he would say to them, “Just try to forget the little preacher, and concentrate on God.” See, he recognized the problem. I mean, he wasn’t gonna say, “I know that the people are all here because they got a great interest in God.” He knew that they were there because God had given him a unique facility, and he was an immensely powerful communicator of truth. And so he recognized that with that came a great burden, and so he had to admonish them: “Now, listen, folks, just you forget about the little preacher, and concentrate on God.”
In other words, he had about him the spirit of John the Baptist. Since he viewed preaching giving to men and women a sense of God and his presence, he would say,
I can forgive a man 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 he is inadequate in himself, that he is handling something which is very great and glorious. If he gives me some dim glimpse of the majesty and glory of God, the love of Christ my Savior, and the magnificence of the gospel. If he does that, I am his debtor, and I am profoundly grateful to him.
That’s good stuff!
Incidentally, people from time to time would ask his daughter Elizabeth, “Weren’t you afraid of him?” And she laughed at that and described how kind and gentle and engaging and humorous and peaceful he was out of the pulpit. She described for me the happiness of Sunday evenings, sitting beside him as he read perhaps a Christian biography to “settle himself after the burden of preaching,” and as he would sit by the fire, every so often bidding the family listen to what he regarded as a helpful quote.
A number of my friends had the opportunity to be in his company in very relaxed settings, and some of them were wonderful mimics. One of my friends, a fellow called Stuart Reed, who was a vet—that is, a veterinary doctor—he went into the ministry. Lloyd-Jones came to the home of his brother, who was a physician, after having spoken in their church, and they went home for supper afterwards. And Kingsley, the doctor, said to the doctor Lloyd-Jones, “You know, my brother Stuart here can mimic you very well,” and embarrassed him dreadfully. And so Lloyd-Jones said, “Well then, go ahead.” And so Stuart Reed began a sermon. He said, “My text this evening is ‘Jingle bells, jingle bells, jingle all the way,’” and he used the Doctor’s voice. And he said, “My first question is, why are the bells jingling?” And Kingsley told me that the Doctor laughed till the tears ran down his face. He thought it was the funniest thing he had ever seen. And it was him!
There was not only a God-centeredness about him, but there was also a doctrinal clarity about his preaching, so that his listeners were left in no doubt as to where they stood before God in light of eternity. His preaching was in direct contrast to the kind of preaching that was anecdotal, sentimental, entertaining, but powerless. His confidence was in the Bible itself. He was sure that the Holy Spirit would drive home biblical truth. When the preacher, he said, was himself a man taken up with the glory and greatness of the truth, then he would be emboldened to declare it fearlessly.
If you’ve listened on tape to any of his evangelistic sermons, you will know that his pattern was almost the same, always. He set out the dilemma of man—he would talk about war and disease and hatred and jealousy—and then he would ask whether there were any contemporary explanations and solutions to fit the symptoms. Having pointed out that there were none that would deal with the symptoms, then he would move his listeners to the depravity of man and to the gravity of their sin. It was masterful. If you have his evangelistic sermons from Aberavon, if you have his Old Testament evangelistic sermons, the pattern is the same throughout: you know, starts essentially from the local newspaper and says, “You know, we’re in a dreadful position here,” and so on.
The most classic I heard him do, in his company, was on an evening when he preached on Psalm 8. And it was one of his favorite passages: “What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him?” And he preached it on the day following—well, I’ll tell you when he preached it. He preached in on the nineteenth of July 1969. I was seventeen. And he was talking about man and all of his greatness and stuff. And then he said, “And my dear friends, do we not have a great illustration of the dilemma of man?” He was talking about how man is glorious as an angel and yet is as dreadful as an ape—that he is capable of creating beautiful hospitals; he is capable of creating the most dreadful concentration camps. And then he said, “But you only need to turn to your newspaper to see what I’m saying.” And the English newspaper split the front page on the eighteenth of July ’69 between two scenes that were produced from America: the landing of Apollo 11 on the moon, and the landing of the car driven by Teddy Kennedy in the Chappaquiddick. And he said, “And there you are, my dear friends: we have a man on the moon, and we have hell on the earth.” Now, you see, you talk about the ability to move between the Scriptures and the contemporary circumstances; he was masterful.
Preaching in Oxford at the university, in a mission, he preached a sermon called “The Gospel and the Natural Man,” 1941. As a result of that he was invited to preach at St Mary’s Church on the Sunday evening, and the students were invited back to the vicarage for a question-and-answer session afterwards. He tells how when questions were called for, the first man to speak was an articulate member of the Union debating society. To become a member of the Union debating society at Oxford, you just have to be so far up there it’s not funny—and so intelligent and so articulate. And this young man addressed a question to Lloyd-Jones. “Surely,” he said, “Dr. Lloyd-Jones, that despite the logic, arguments, and arrangements of your sermon, there was no apparent reason why your same sermon should not have been preached in exactly the same way to a congregation of agricultural laborers in Oxfordshire.” See? “You’ve come here into the university, to the intelligentsia of the British Isles, and you come in here, and there certainly was logic, and it was a good sermon, but frankly, couldn’t it just have been preached just as well to a bunch of people who are turning over the fields around us here in Oxfordshire?”
That was his question, and the chairman called upon MLJ to respond. There was only one thing to say. Says Lloyd-Jones,
I freely confessed that until that moment, I had always taken the view that even the undergraduates at the University of Oxford were only ordinary common human clay like everybody else, and that from the standpoint of the gospel, there is no difference between your brilliant undergraduate and your so-called agricultural laborer. That is what the gospel itself says: “There is none righteous, no not one, for all have sinned.” Yes sir, I would preach the same sermon to agricultural laborers, because when you’re face-to-face with the gospel, there is no difference between one and the other.
And Lloyd-Jones was convinced that God is able to humble the proudest man. It would be very hard to imagine him addressing, for example, the Presidential Prayer Breakfast in terms other than these.
Now, he moved from the lostness of man’s condition to the wonder of God’s redeeming love. His sermons were full of substitution, full of propitiation. He never shied away from the words. He broke them down and explained them to people. He was explaining them all the time. He warned his listeners not to think of Christianity in terms of imitating Christ. The message, he said, is not to look at Jesus as the great exemplar, the great teacher. It is instead,
Look at a gibbet, at a man with a crown of thorns upon his brow and an agonized expression on his face, crying out, “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” A man dying in apparent weakness. That is what you’re called to look at. Jesus Christ and him crucified. Realize that he was bearing your sins in his own body. That your sins were being punished in him. That God has laid your iniquity on him and has dealt with it there. This is all. You have nothing else to do but acknowledge your sin, to repent, to confess it all, and then simply to believe that Christ, the Son of God, has died for you and for your sins, and if you do it, you will be immediately saved.
See? This is good preaching! Frankly, some of us ought to just chuck it and preach right out of his evangelistic sermons. I mean, we’d be doing the whole of North America a favor—for some of our bumbling, stumbling, “don’t want to offend you” treatises, you know? No wonder the average businessman doesn’t sit up when we preach. It’s all this dialectic: “Well, it’s this, and I know this, and this,” and then the guy goes, “Aw, forget it. You know, I wouldn’t buy a vacuum cleaner from you,” he’s saying to himself. “You can’t even convince me of why it is that I would even pay attention to you.” But you see, Lloyd-Jones stood up, man. People were riveted.
Now, it’s this kind of preaching he would say that he had needed to hear but that he never heard when he was a young man—living within the orb of Christian influence, and yet he was unconverted. He said he never heard anything that touched his conscience, convicted him of his sin, and made him see his need of Christ. Question—you know, sidebar, make a note in our notes: “Is there about my preaching that which touches the conscience, convicts of sin, and makes people see their need of Christ?” Is there that continually about my preaching, so that unbelievers are stirred and that those who believe are confronted continually with the reality of the gospel? That we are gospel men, that we are so constrained by the wonder of God’s redeeming love that we find ourselves almost inevitably going there from any passage in the Bible, for the whole Bible is about Christ?
Now, this was, you see, Lloyd-Jones.
So there was doctrinal clarity, and there was also an accompanying sense of the power of the Holy Spirit—“with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power,” you see. This was his great thing. “Why did I not come to you in this way, and why did I not come to you in that way?” says Paul. “No, I chose to do this, so that your faith might be seen to rest on the power of God and not on the wisdom of man. And my preaching was not with this and not with this, but it was in a demonstration of the Spirit’s power.”
Lloyd-Jones would have nothing of the idea that that had to do with the effectiveness of personality or the peculiar giftedness of an individual. No, he said, this is something that is divine and is unique. Whether the individual is a quiet person, whether their style of delivery is slow and methodical, whether they are lively and enlivened, or whatever it might be, God chooses to own all kinds of approaches to make it a demonstration of the Spirit’s power. And for that he longed. He longed. And it was his conviction that the great need of the preacher was what he referred to as “unction,” which is, in the twenty-first century, a kind of old-fashioned word. You can find books about it every so often, popping up here and there—some recently, and quite helpful. But he said, “Unction is that somewhat that is impossible to define, but you always know when it is present, and you can usually tell when it’s absent.” That’s actually a quote from Spurgeon, not from Lloyd-Jones. ’Cause Spurgeon was about the same business.
The sense of the anointing of God upon the preacher was something that MLJ coveted. Preaching, he would say, is theology coming through a man who is on fire. What led him to this was a true understanding and experience of the truth. Lloyd-Jones used to say that preparation was power. What he meant by that was not simply getting your notes done soon enough and reading them enough, but the whole preparation of heart and life and mind was the key to power. That was what gave him fluency. That was what gave him authority. That was what gave him the sense of impassioned conviction as he conveyed these truths. ’Cause he was ready! In golfing terms, he was there, you know, in the early hours of the morning. And he’s hitting pitching wedges, and then he’s hitting sand wedges and pitching wedges, and nine irons and eight irons, and all the way down the line, so that when it finally comes the time when he’s on the putting green, he’s ready to go. He’s not showing up with his bag at the last minute, charging in and relying on the fact that he had a great round three weeks ago. No, he is prepared, for preparation is power. Some of us would be phenomenally more effective if we were actually prepared. Prepared.
Are you still with me on this? Are you all right? Yeah? All right. ’Cause I could stop any time. You just say, “That’s enough, thanks.”
“When the Holy Spirit moves upon the preacher in this way,” said Lloyd-Jones, “then his heart as well as his mind is rightly engaged, and the result that his speech is attended by liveliness, by unction, and by the extemporaneous element.” It’s interesting. In other words, he’s freed up. There’s some discussion in that, I’m sure. We shouldn’t think that he identified this “sacred anointing”—to quote Tony Sargent’s book—with such things as tone of voice, mannerisms, gestures, or even volume. In fact, if you listened to Lloyd-Jones preach, it was quite striking, because he started virtually the same way every time, right? He used to say, “My text this evening,” or “I invite you to turn to your Bibles, and we’ll look at such and such.” He’d start just very slowly, and so on, and it just… it was like a fire getting kindled underneath of him. And it just started very… drawing it in, and then it was just like he himself was getting picked up, until he just took off. I mean, he was just gone.
He was, you know, out of control under the Spirit’s control. Not that he was rambling and shouting and screaming. No. He was always very, very ordered. But the more he became a part of the message, and the more the message became a part of him, the more he was unaware of himself. He found himself conquered by the text. And particularly in his evangelistic preaching, his words became the overflow of God’s heart of compassion to a dying world. He would have happily concurred with Spurgeon when Spurgeon said, “I remember, when I have preached at different times, I could have wept my very being out of my eyes if I could win souls.” That’s a striking statement. “I could have wept my very being out of my eyes if I could win souls.” We feel that, don’t we, sometimes? If you could make people Christians? If you could just grab ’em and… d’you know?
The sense of dependence upon God’s Spirit was in distinct contrast to the kind of preaching that was preoccupied with personalities and scholarship. As brilliant as he was, he would’ve maintained that spiritual enduement is more important that educational advancement. He understood that this element could not be produced to order. It was essentially beyond human capability. The weakness to which Paul refers in 1 Corinthians 2 was not, said Martyn Lloyd-Jones, a fit of nerves; it was rather a weakness in the presence of God as he pondered the awesomeness of what God was prepared to do through the foolishness of preaching. It was this mysterious element in the process that consumed Lloyd-Jones in a way that many of us would do well to consider. It was in an awareness of his weakness that he discovered the Holy Spirit’s power.
Now, when you buy your volumes here, you go to page 200-and-something in volume 1—about 270—and those of you who ever go up to New York into the Chautauqua Institute will be interested to read there, right around page 274, the arrival of Lloyd-Jones at Chautauqua in, I think, right around 1932. And it’s a wonderful story. Because he’s preaching in New York, and the guy who’s supposed to be preaching at Chautauqua and whose name is on the board doesn’t show up; he gets sick. Somebody says, “There’s a bright guy who’s in New York. Maybe we could get him to come up for the week.” They make contact with this Welsh preacher who is closing… they’ve got policemen out in the streets to deal with the traffic that is coming to the services in New York as he preaches there. So they said, “Well, let’s get him up to Chautauqua. If he’s that good there, he’ll be fantastic here.” Because after all, even in the 1930s, they wanted it poured from a very certain kind of canister, and Lloyd-Jones was the kind of canister they liked it poured from. And so they brought him.
He arrives late in the evening. It’s hot, it’s muggy. He just feels wretched about being there. And as he looks at the board, the name of the guy who’s supposed to be there is blanketed over by a strip of paper where they’ve stuck up his name: “Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones.” Nobody knows who he is. He goes to the first session in the arena. There’s a handful of people there. And he tells of how he goes back to his room, and he says to himself, “This was a major mistake. I shouldn’t have come here.” And he tells of how he tried to go to sleep, and he couldn’t go to sleep, and he wrestled with the devil.
And the devil said to him, “You know what, Lloyd-Jones? You actually can’t preach. The only reason that people come and listen to you preach is because they’re so consumed with the fact that you were going to be a big wooppity-dippity doctor, and there’s this sort of intrigue about ‘Doctor Preacher.’ But now you’re in the middle of the nowhere, and nobody knows who you are, and frankly, tonight was pretty well what you’re looking at, because nobody knows and nobody cares and nobody’s coming!” He’s separated from his wife by many miles; he’s separated from any friends or anything. We’ve all been in that situation; you close your door, and you wish that the Lord would return or that you could have a major heart attack. And you lie on your bed and you say, “Is there anywhere I could go? I would go right now.” He gets down on his knees and he says, “Okay, God. Over to you. Show yourself strong.”
By the time it got to the Friday, they had moved to the biggest auditorium that Chautauqua produced. And the crowds there were overflow crowds to listen to the preaching of this little Welsh doctor.
See, he believed passionately that there was no reason that anyone would ever cross the street to hear him preach. In fact, he said to the students at Westminster, “I can say quite honestly that I would not cross the road to listen to myself preaching.” Now, he meant that. See, most of us can’t say that. And that’s why no one’s crossing the road to hear us preaching! We’d cross the country, some of us, to hear ourselves preaching. Lloyd-Jones says, “I wouldn’t cross the street to hear myself preaching.”
Now, this has troubled some people, you know, when he says that he believed that he’d only really preached twice in his life, and on both occasions, he was dreaming—that really gets people annoyed. And there were times when he was completely cast down over his preaching. Iain Murray tells in his book that after one Good Friday service, he went home and told Mrs. Lloyd-Jones that he wasn’t preaching anymore. I was greatly encouraged by that. I loved it! I jumped up when I found that in the book. I said, “Beautiful! This is the first thing that I have found that I have in common with Martyn Lloyd-Jones: that he went home after a sermon and said he wasn’t preaching anymore. Oh! I did that as well. I guess I must be quite like him, huh?” No, I don’t think so.
So the element in his preaching brought with it the consciousness of the presence of God, which was far stronger in the listener than any considerations of location and time or personality. In fact, you’ve got this great story—again, it’s in Preaching and Preachers—where he’s preaching in America, and the guy tells him there’s a red button, a yellow button, and a green button. You know that story? And when the green button goes off, you’ve got ten minutes to go; when the yellow button goes off, you’ve got five minutes to go; and when the red button goes off, you’re busted.
So Lloyd-Jones is preaching. Green goes, yellow goes, red goes. He doesn’t give a rip; he just keeps preaching all the way through. Preaches all the way. Said, “Forget your buttons!” What he doesn’t realize is that he’s gone off to the television audience—that he’s been off for the last twenty minutes. But he doesn’t care. And when he came down, the people said, “You know, we told you: green button, yellow button, red button. Why can’t you just do as you’re asked?” He said, “You know, hey, I preach! You know, I don’t preach to time.” Then they discovered that the switchboard was jammed with people phoning up, saying, “Why did you take the Welsh preacher off when we were listening to him?” So they brought him back on again; the next week, they gave him an hour to preach. For most of us, the people are phoning up, saying, “Why’s that guy still on there? Is there any way you can reduce his time? It’s like rain falling on a slate roof. This is like a Chinese torture. Get him off!” But not Lloyd-Jones.
This sense of God was a very real thing. There was a spiritualist medium who operated close to Lloyd-Jones’s church. One Sunday evening, the lady, feeling too unwell to ply her trade, is sitting at the window of her shop, looking out, watching the crowds walking down the street. And she just sees a succession of people walking down to the church where Martyn Lloyd-Jones is the preacher. And so, suddenly, moved by something she doesn’t fully understand, she gets up, closes the shop, walks out, follows the crowd down the road, goes into the service, and is converted that very night. And she said afterwards, “The moment I entered, I was conscious of a power similar to what I experienced in a séance, but it was clean power.” “Clean power.”
Tom Allan, who was the minister in St George’s Tron before George B. Duncan, before Eric Alexander, tells of being a young serviceman in London during the Second World War. He goes to Westminster Chapel. He gets to the church, he finds the building in total darkness, and there’s a little sign up on the wall that says that it is now located somewhere else because of the war—and because of the blackout, I think it was. So he finds his way to the place that the ticket has sent him, and he enters, and he describes how he found a thin congregation. And eventually a small man, he said, in a collar and tie appeared to preside over the gathering. Looking at the man, Tom Allan concluded Martyn Lloyd-Jones must be ill. Then he announced his text in the same quiet voice. And then he said, “For the next forty minutes, I was unconscious of anything save for what this man was saying.” He was in the presence of the mystery of preaching. The man was lost in the message he proclaimed. Now, I don’t know about you, brethren, but that is a kind of spiritual geography that I would like just to get an inkling of.
Such was the sense of authority that the problem of holding attention in the congregation just disappeared. You see, people say, “Well, you can’t preach. You shouldn’t preach. Because this is the USA Today generation, you know. They can only take small bites.” There are guys roaming the country telling you, “If you preach for longer than nineteen minutes, you know, you’re up a gum tree, because it’s just impossible for your people to process this.” It’s just not true. When the Spirit of God takes the Word of God through the man of God, you’ll be amazed at who will listen. Children will listen. Children will come and tell you what they’re learning. You will get notes and emails from teenage girls, twelve years old, thirteen years old: “Dear Pastor, I don’t get everything, but I get something.” We’re thankful for that! What is it? Our ability? God’s Word!
In fact, Iain Murray himself says that on the evening before his wedding, on a Friday evening, he went to Martyn Lloyd-Jones’s Bible study at Westminster Chapel. And Lloyd-Jones was teaching on Revelation 18. Iain Murray said that he found himself so struck by the magnitude of eternity that the prospect of the next day paled in comparison. Now, Iain Murray’s not a liar. This is the night before his wedding. Guys, that’s a heavy-duty testimony, and we gotta take it at face value. I don’t know what you were thinking about the night before your wedding, but for me, I sure wasn’t thinking about Revelation chapter 18! But maybe if I’d been there, I would have been. It would seem so, according to Murray.
This kind of Spirit-filled preaching is more than simply the conveying of biblical doctrine. It is the invasion of a person. And if we fail to reckon with this, we’ll never actually understand Martyn Lloyd-Jones’s preaching. Listen to him again. The expository preacher is not one who “shares his studies with others. He is an ambassador and a messenger, authoritatively delivering the Word of God to men. Such preaching presents a text. Then with that text in sight throughout, there is deduction, argument, and appeal, the whole making up a message which is the authority of Scripture itself.”
In fact, one of the main reasons for Lloyd-Jones’s aversion to taped sermons was on account of the fact that he believed very much that there was something that took place when the preacher and people were together, learning about the ways of God through the Bible. I actually agree with that: that there is something in the existential moment of preaching that cannot be conveyed by means of tape. That’s why I sometimes say to my congregation, “This is not a tape.” They say, “Oh yes, it has to be a tape.” I say, “No, this is not a tape. Just trust me. This can never be a tape.” For whatever reason, whether it was bad or good or indifferent, but it must never be a tape, just ’cause I have such a sense of the immediacy and the moment of it and the impact of it, and to freeze that in any way and to carry it off to Syracuse and to listen to it on a rainy Tuesday is just not right. It’s not about that. It was about this. For the moment, God came. “Well,” you say, “well, God can come via tape as well.” Yes, he can. But I think we understand this distinction. Certainly, Lloyd-Jones did.
He was passionately, prayerfully longing that God would raise up a generation of Spirit-filled preachers whose messages would be in the demonstration of the Spirit’s power. That was why he was worried about “these young men who had discovered the Puritans.” It’s interesting that, of all people, he should be concerned about young men discovering the Puritans. You would think that he was keen to have them discover the Puritans. But what he said was that once they discovered the Puritans, so much of their preaching was mechanical. And in a number of cases, he saw it as regurgitation and not preaching at all.
It’s also why he warmed to some of the early charismatics, for which people have said all kinds of things and written all kinds of books here in North America. He warmed to some of the early charismatics because he saw in them a genuine desire to take the Lord Jesus seriously. He saw in these people a passionate concern to wrestle with John 14:21: “If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching; my Father will love him, we will come to him, and we will make our home with him.” And he said, “If these people are concerned to find out what that means, I’m concerned to find out what it means, so maybe together we can find out what it means.” Oh, he understood that they were off the wall in certain areas, but he loved that passionate desire for God, no matter where he found it. And there is a lesson there for many of us, incidentally, who are so cut and dried and framed out in our approach to things that we find no possibility that we’re ever gonna encounter a vibrant sense of the living God anywhere else.
In fact, his daughter Elizabeth told me of one occasion when Lloyd-Jones went to preach on the Isle of Wight, which is an island off the coast of England. And the minister for whom he was preaching was at pains to make sure that Martyn Lloyd-Jones would not be “put off by a charismatic group that lived on the island and would probably be present when he preached.” Said the minister to him, “Don’t be alarmed if they are disengaged or restive.” It’s questionable who was most amazed when at the end of his address, as Lloyd-Jones left the pulpit, a rather large hippie-style female member of the group jumped up and embraced the sober doctor in enthusiasm, declaring, “Man, that was great!” And Martyn Lloyd-Jones, said Elizabeth, loved to tell that story and rejoiced in the way his preaching crossed boundaries and barriers in a further demonstration of the Spirit’s power.
Mark it well: evangelical unity is not in need of creation; it’s in need of discovery. We don’t have to create unity at the level of race or at the level of any of these things. It exists as a result of what God has done within his people. So we don’t have to go manufacture all this stuff. Nor should we allow ourselves the supposed privilege of becoming schismatics because this individual happens not to be pouring this out from the kind of recognized container with which we’ve become familiar.
Now, let me draw this to a close. I haven’t said anything about the place of prayer. I haven’t really said very much about his evangelistic passion, because he described himself as an evangelist. I haven’t interacted with the question of whether his stuff on Ephesians and Romans is exposition à la contemporary views of exposition. We can talk about that round the tables. I haven’t talked about the fact that he quoted hymns like crazy, because they encapsulated for him the very truths that would have taken multiple sentences for him to convey. For example, he would love to quote,
When all things seem against us,
To drive us to despair,
We know one gate is open,
One ear will hear our prayer.
I’d like to conclude, though, by acknowledging, as he would want to do, the vital role in the Doctor’s life and preaching that was exercised by his beloved wife, Bethan. Speaking of her husband, she said, “I believe no one will ever understand my husband who doesn’t realize that he was an evangelist and a man of prayer.” Lloyd-Jones never ceased to marvel that God had granted him the immense earthly joy of marrying the girl he had first admired as a young teenager. She had gladly sacrificed her own career in medicine and for fifty-four years worked quietly in the background—so quietly that only those closest to them had any idea of how deep was his dependence on her. She was with him through all the long years, willingly sparing him for his larger work and never grudging his absences from her.
When asked towards the close of his life what kind of woman he thought a minister’s wife should be, he replied, “What she needs above everything else is wisdom, so that she does not create problems. And another thing is this: she should never have a special friend in the church.” That is very important. “Otherwise, it will create division and jealousy. Her main business is to look after her husband, relieve him of his worries about the whole. As far as she can, to care for financial matters,” and very important, “not to keep on feeding him with the tittle-tattle of the gossip of the church. She is to protect him and help him.”
The extent of his devotion comes out most clearly in a personal letter that he wrote on the eighteenth of May 1937 from the RMS Berengaria on his way to America. And I’ll close with this quote and just one other:
May 18, 1937
My Dear Bethan,
The fact that I’m writing to you from here on this particular date is altogether wrong and makes me feel very odd. As far as I can remember, this is the first time ever that I have written to you for your birthday. I hope that the ship letter telegram that I sent you this morning arrived safely on your birthday morning. The authorities told me that there was no doubt about it. I had endless pleasure and happiness in sending it. I somehow felt I was in touch with you once more. In this awful distance of separation, a thing like that is a great help. But oh, what a poor substitute!
I cannot describe the various feelings I have experienced since I saw you last on Waterloo Station, and I had better not try to do so. Let me say just this much: thinking of you gives me endless happiness, and I am more certain than ever that there is no one in the world like you, nor even approaching you—not in all the world. I don’t know if I’m losing my reason like that poor Mrs. J. T. in St Brides, but I often feel that you are with me and that I could almost talk to you.
I have at times tried to imagine where you all three are and what you’re doing. I would give the whole world if you could have been with me, but there I must be content to look forward to some four weeks today, when I shall, God willing, be back with you again, looking into your eyes and sitting beside you. I think I shall be perfectly content just to be with you and Elizabeth and Ann, just sitting there with the three of you and doing nothing else. I have said in my letter telegram that I am sending you all my love, and here I am, saying it once more. You shall give some bits of it to the two girls.
I’ve been thinking of eleven years ago tonight when we went together to Covent Garden and then back to Dillis’s. I thought at that time that I loved you, but I had to live with you for over ten years to know you properly, and so to love you truly.
I know that I’m deficient in many things and must at times disappoint you. That really grieves me, and I’m trying to improve. But, believe me, if you could see my heart, you would be amazed at how great is my love. I hope you know. Indeed, I know that you know. In spite of all my failings, I can do nothing but say again that from the human standpoint, I belong entirely to you.
And so, now, more than twenty years since his voice is silenced from the pulpits, we lay this little paper to rest with Iain Murray’s word:
We hope it will be remembered that books were always secondary to him and that he never set out to write them. He was a preacher. He believed in preaching which was unadorned, unstudied, but alive, a union of truth and fire, and both humbling and uplifting to the sublime and its effects. For those who knew Martyn Lloyd-Jones, the final memory will remain that of the slight yet commanding figure behind the pulpit desk, his face shining with light, and his words summoning us to Christ and to heaven.
So we bless God for his memory.
Let us pray together:
Father, we recognize that the best of men are men at best, but that you have chosen, somehow, in the vastness of your providence, from time to time to set your hand in singular blessing upon the lives of individuals such as these. And so we pray that you will help us tonight, having focused on the life and preaching of Lloyd-Jones, now to forget the little preacher and to concentrate on God. That you would renew for us a genuine sense of call, which would be the basis of any authority and boldness in the pulpit. That those of us who have been becoming slick and easy, for whom preaching has become a matter of lightness, that you’ll help us, Lord, to get alone before you and ask again for the trembling in our stomach and for the sense of awe and wonder that you should deign to take the lips of the likes of us. We want to know what it is to be “filled with all the fulness of God.” We want to tremble at your Word. We want to be humbled before your greatness. We just flat-out long, Lord, in the pulpits in which you’ve placed us, to become as swords in the hand of the risen Christ.
Father, to the extent that the cry went out when Moody responded, may it go out again: “The world is yet to see what God’ll do with a life wholly yielded to him.”
God, grant that from among us here tonight, there will be those lives, and that if it please you, you might come in reviving power. Revive your work in the midst of the years. Set the valleys and the thoroughfares alive again with the sound of the gospel and the praising of the name of Christ. And in it all, may we remember that “you have exalted above all things your name and your word.”
So hear our prayers for the congregations in which we serve, and for those who have marked our lives, and now for the crushing awareness that we in turn mark the lives of others—not only our children and our congregations but others who look on.
Help us, Lord Jesus, we pray, to run the race marked out for us, looking unto Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of our faith. For we pray, committing one another into your care, in his precious name. Amen.
 D. M. Lloyd-Jones, God’s Ultimate Purpose: An Exposition of Ephesians 1:1–23 (1978; repr., Grand Rapids: Baker, 1980), 92.
 Jeremiah 1:7, 9 (NIV 1984).
 See Jeremiah 20:9.
 Galatians 4:19 (KJV).
 William Shakespeare, Hamlet, 5.1. Paraphrased.
 D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones, Preaching and Preachers (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1972), 263.
 Psalm 8:4 (KJV).
 1 Corinthians 2:2–5 (paraphrased).
 Lloyd-Jones, Preaching and Preachers, 97.
 See Tony Sargent, The Sacred Anointing: The Preaching of Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones (Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 1994).
 C. H. Spurgeon, “The Spiritual Resurrection,” The Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit 44, no. 2554, 55. Paraphrased.
 D. M. Lloyd-Jones, quoted in Tony Sargent, The Sacred Anointing: The Preaching of Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones (Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 1994), 18.
 See Lloyd-Jones, Preaching and Preachers, 249–51.
 John 14:21 (paraphrased).
 Oswald Allen, “Today Thy Mercy Calls Me” (1861).
 Ephesians 3:19 (KJV).
 See Isaiah 66:2.
 Paul Dwight Moody and Arthur Percy Fitt, The Shorter Life of D. L. Moody, vol. 1, His Life (Chicago: Bible Institute Colportage Association, 1900), 41. Paraphrased.
 See Habakkuk 3:2.
 Psalm 138:2 (NIV 1984).
 See Hebrews 12:1–2.
Copyright © 2022, Alistair Begg. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture quotations for sermons preached on or after November 6, 2011 are taken from The ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
For sermons preached before November 6, 2011, unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture quotations are taken from The Holy Bible, New International Version® (NIV®), copyright © 1973 1978 1984 by Biblica, Inc.TM Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.