Thursday, July 15, 2010

Lloyd-Jones: The Authority of Preaching

From the beginning of his ministry to the very end, Lloyd-Jones was an evangelist. His wife claimed that no-one understood him who did not realise that he was primarily an evangelist. It was his practice, every Sunday evening, to preach 'the gospel' - that is, to use his gifts to apply the passage he was dealing with to unconverted hearers.

His series on the Acts of the Apostles (begun 10th January 1965) was his last evangelistic series as pastor at Westminster Chapel, being brought to an end in 1968 (February 25th) by his illness and subsequent retirement, when he had reached Acts 8 and the story of the Ethiopian Eunuch.

In one of these last sermons, Iain Murray says ('The Fight of Faith' page 581), his main theme ‘was that Philip could speak with authority because Scripture is a revelation from God, containing good news from heaven.’ Murray then quotes Lloyd-Jones,

‘I have no other authority as I stand in this pulpit. The authority of the cults is the authority of experience… That is not the case here. This is exposition of the truth and we have no other authority. My dear friends, let me put it as plainly and as simply as this: standing in this pulpit tonight on the 28th of January 1968 I am doing nothing different from what Philip did with the Ethiopian eunuch.’

The three sermons following this, in February of that year, Lloyd-Jones preached from Isaiah 53, which Philip explained to the Ethiopian in Acts 8. This brought his evangelistic ministry at Westminster Chapel to a close.

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