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Preaching, Theology

“There is this kind of dangerous element about the true presentation of the doctrine of salvation.”

September 17, 2022

“. . . If it is true that where sin abounded grace has much more abounded, well then, ‘shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound yet further?’

First of all, let me make a comment, to me a very important and vital comment. The true preaching of the gospel of salvation by grace alone always leads to the possibility of this charge being brought against it. There is no better test as to whether a man is really preaching the New Testament gospel of salvation than this, that some people might misunderstand it and misinterpret it to mean that it really amounts to this, that because you are saved by grace alone it does not matter at all what you do; you can go on sinning as much as you like because it will redound all the more to the glory of grace. If my preaching and presentation of the gospel of salvation does not expose it to that misunderstanding, then it is not the gospel. Let me show you what I mean.

If a man preaches justification by works, no one would ever raise this question. If a man’s preaching is, ‘If you want to be Christians, and if you want to go to heaven, you must stop committing sins, you must take up good works, and if you do so regularly and constantly, and do not fail to keep on at it, you will make yourselves Christians, you will reconcile yourselves to God and you will go to heaven’. Obviously a man who preaches in that strain would never be liable to this misunderstanding. Nobody would say to such a man, ‘Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound?’, because the man’s whole emphasis is just this, that if you go on sinning you are certain to be damned, and only if you stop sinning can you save yourselves. So that misunderstanding could never arise . . . . . .

Nobody has ever brought this charge against the Church of Rome, but it was brought frequently against Martin Luther; indeed that was precisely what the Church of Rome said about the preaching of Martin Luther. They said, ‘This man who was a priest has changed the doctrine in order to justify his own marriage and his own lust’, and so on. ‘This man’, they said, ‘is an antinomian; and that is heresy.’ That is the very charge they brought against him. It was also brought George Whitfield two hundred years ago. It is the charge that formal dead Christianity – if there is such a thing – has always brought against this startling, staggering message, that God ‘justifies the ungodly’ . . .

That is my comment and it is a very important comment for preachers. I would say to all preachers: If your preaching of salvation has not been misunderstood in that way, then you had better examine your sermons again, and you had better make sure that you are really preaching the salvation that is offered in the New Testament to the ungodly, the sinner, to those who are dead in trespasses and sins, to those who are enemies of God. There is this kind of dangerous element about the true presentation of the doctrine of salvation.” – D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones


Eucharist / Communion, Martyn Lloyd-Jones

Pulpits May Fail, the Table Does Not

August 17, 2022

“The breaking of the bread and the pouring or the drinking of the wine are a representation of our Lord’s broken body, His shed blood. That is the primary thing that is signified by this action and in 1 Corinthians 11 Paul specifically tells us to do this because in that way we are declaring our Lord’s death.

And, again, let me underline something we considered earlier. Do we not see here a wonderful provision made by the Lord Himself? For there have been periods in the history of the Church when the Lord’s death has scarcely been preached at all from the pulpits. It has been denied; it has been misrepresented and abused. Yes, but our Lord had given this commandment—as Paul says, ‘for I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you’ (1 Cor. 11:23)—and He commanded the other apostles in the same way (Luke 22:19–20).

Though the pulpit may have failed, the Lord’s Supper has still gone on declaring, proclaiming, preaching the Lord’s death and often there has been a great incongruity, not to say contradiction, between the preaching of man and the preaching of the bread and the wine upon the communion table.”

– from Great Doctrines of the Bible, Volume 3: The Church and the Last Things by D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones