Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Martyn Lloyd Jones: Rooted in the Word and Spirit of God

Last week I wrote about a document I keep on the desktop of my computer entitled, “My Motivation.” It is designed to remind and inspire and focus me toward Christ-centered living, but it’s comprised of pictures rather than words. Nine of the fifteen pictures are of various men of God who inspire me for a number of reasons, the first of whom is Dr. Martyn Lloyd Jones.

Dr. Jones is most well known for his long-tenure as the Pastor of Westminster Chapel in London where he faithfully taught the Bible for some thirty years. And indeed, the primary reason he appears in my personal “Hall of Faith” is because of his long and uncompromised commitment to preaching the Word of God, on its own terms, in the prominent worship services of the church.

He received much criticism for this stalwart devotion and much pressure to teach the Bible in a more culturally relevant manner, but he never bowed to such pressure. Rather, as a true lover of God and servant of the church, he clung to the Word of God and made it the only substance of his teaching. And for this God greatly blessed his ministry over decades of time, and has blessed it all the more in the years after his death.

Why has God blessed him so? Simply because he sank the roots of his life and ministry deep into the eternal Word of God, by the love and grace of the Spirit of God. The longevity of our fruit is directly related to the location of our roots, and the ministry of Dr. Jones was deeply rooted in the Word and Spirit of God.

Thus, he was not afraid to say “without hesitation that the most urgent need in the Christian Church today is true preaching” (Preachers and Preaching, Zondervan, 1971: 9). By “true preaching” he means preaching that is rooted in the Word of God and empowered by the Spirit of God. He means preaching that speaks to culture without ever bowing down to the pressures of culture, either within or without the church. And indeed, this is the greatest need of the church, and the world, because what people most desperately need is to know and submit to the wisdom and will and ways of God, given that we might discover the fountain of undying life and joy which is God.

Therefore, Dr. Jones appears in my personal “Hall of Faith” in order to remind me never to compromise my commitment to the Word of God, no matter what the pressures. In time, this fierce commitment will bear lasting fruit to the glory of God and the good of the church.

Longing to be rooted with you in the Word and Spirit,
Pastor Charlie

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