Daily MLJ: February 14, 2022


In this chapter, Martyn Lloyd-Jones is expounding on Paul’s statement that “the name of God is being blasphemed among the gentiles” because of the hypocrisy of the Jews (Romans 2:24). He writes:

[The Gentiles] had no personal or direct knowledge of God, but here was a nation that claimed it was God’s own people, that they were the representatives of God. So the Gentiles judged God by what they saw in the Jews, and you cannot blame them.

From there, MLJ makes the connection to the Christian church today, and those who are on the outside looking in.

And it is devastating. He goes on:

In the same way, you cannot blame people today for judging Christ and Christianity by what they see in church members. And the blindness of many Christians at this point is something I cannot understand at all. People seem to thing that the masses are outside the Christian church because our evangelistic methods are not what they ought to be. That is not the answer. People are outside the church because looking at us they say, ‘What is the point of being Christians? Look at them! They are judging Christ by you and me. And you cannot stop them, and you cannot blame them.

Romans: The Righteous Judgment of God (2:1-3:20), Chapter 11, p. 149.

Sometimes, cliches become cliches because they are true. That’s the case with the cliche about being the only Bible some people will ever read. There is someone in your life that is forming their opinion of Jesus by what they see in you. What conclusions are they making?

This year I’m trying to read through Martyn Lloyd-Jones’ 14 volume exposition of Romans. Lloyd-Jones began teaching through Romans on Friday nights at Westminster Chapel in London on October 7, 1955. Thirteen years later, at the end of chapter 14, he was forced to retire from the pulpit ministry because of illness. He spent the rest of his life editing the manuscripts of his sermons. All his sermons were recorded on tape, and are available at https://www.mljtrust.org/free-sermons/book-of-romans/

Daily MLJ— February 13, 2022

In Chapter 10 of volume 2, Martyn Lloyd-Jones is dealing with the question of the centuries of people outside Israel who never had the teaching of the Messiah. They couldn’t fulfill the sacrificial requirements of the law as pre-Christian Jews could. So is there a provision for them? MLJ’s answer is a model of restraint and urgent passion. He doesn’t go beyond what Scripture says. Instead, he reminds us of the mandate of Scripture. Here’s what he says about it:

“… No one can be saved outside the Lord Jesus Christ. And I know no more. But I will go further: I am not meant to know anymore. There would be something about it in the Bible if I were meant to know more, and there is not a word. All I know is that those in the world today who have never heard of the Lord Jesus Christ are under the wrath of God and under condemnation, and that it is my business and your business and the business of all Christians to do all we can to send the good news of salvation to them. “

Romans, vol. 2, Chapter 10, p 136

Mic. Drop.

This year I’m trying to read through Martyn Lloyd-Jones’ 14 volume exposition of Romans. Lloyd-Jones began teaching through Romans on Friday nights at Westminster Chapel in London on October 7, 1955. Thirteen years later, at the end of chapter 14, he was forced to retire from the pulpit ministry because of illness. He spent the rest of his life editing the manuscripts of his sermons. All his sermons were recorded on tape, and are available at https://www.mljtrust.org/free-sermons/book-of-romans/

Review of Romans, Chapter 1, by D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones

One down, thirteen to go! This is the main part of my reading goal for this year— to read through all 14 volumes of MLJ’s exposition of Romans. Pro tip: subscribe to the Martyn Lloyd-Jones podcast. The MLJ trust (www.mjjtrust.org) has converted all the audio recordings of his sermons to digital format. This basically allows you to make an audiobook out of this commentary. So every morning when I walk my dog I listen to a chapter. That is, I listen to one of his sermons.

How extraordinary they are! Preaching through Romans like MLJ did is one of those feats of strength and endurance that most people only read about. Like swimming the English Channel, or completing the Seven Summits. On October 7, 1955, MLJ began (on Friday nights, no less!) to teach through Romans. Thirteen years later, he concluded Chapter 14. The last word of the last sermon was “peace.”

After that, MLJ retired from his weekly pulpit duties because of illness. He did not complete the 16 chapters of Romans (slacker!) He spent the remaining years of his life editing the teaching notes and manuscripts that became this magnum opus.

Can you imagine a modern preacher doing that? He spent 29 weeks on the 32 verses of Romans 1, each sermon lasting almost 50 minutes. With no PowerPoint or video clips or LED lighting to set the mood or a worship leader to create the atmosphere.

Yet, to hear the sound of 1500 people rising to their feet for the closing prayer, on a Friday night, after this man spent fifty minutes on the phrase “called to be an apostle”— it is both a testimony to the power of God’s words spoken through a servant yielded to Him, as well as an indictment of how short our attention spans have grown in just half a century.

The sermons themselves are magnificent. As timely today in their critique of prosperity gospel and leader worship as they were in the decade immediately following WW2. If you read these, I can’t emphasize strongly enough how much it would benefit you to hear MLJ preach them. His style has been called “logic on fire,” and that is so apt. These are carefully constructed, systematic treatments of nearly every word of Romans, and the teaching leaps off the page. But then, you listen to the sermon! You hear Martyn Lloyd-Jones in his musical Welsh accent—with that epic rolling of the r’s—thunder about the r-r-r-rIGHTEOUSNESS of GOd! And the “grrrrrace of awr Lard Jesus Christ throughout our short uncertain pilgrimage.” Oh, if I could go back in time, it would be to London, on a Friday night in the early sixties. I would meet friends at a pub. We would have a pint of Guinness together. We’d walk to Westminster Chapel and settle in to our favorite wooden bench pew. Perhaps up in a corner of the horseshoe shaped balcony. And for the next hour, we would see and hear logic on fire, and come face to face with the righteousness of a holy God.

This year I’m trying to read through Martyn Lloyd-Jones’ 14 volume exposition of Romans. Lloyd-Jones began teaching through Romans on Friday nights at Westminster Chapel in London on October 7, 1955. Thirteen years later, at the end of chapter 14, he was forced to retire from the pulpit ministry because of illness. He spent the rest of his life editing the manuscripts of his sermons. All his sermons were recorded on tape, and are available at https://www.mljtrust.org/free-sermons/book-of-romans/

My Daily MLJ: February 4, 2022

Not all men have faith, say the Scriptures. This is something that is only found in the Christian. It is the peculiar thing whereby God passes this righteousness of His to the believer, and to no-one else. Faith is the peculiar, special quality of Christian people.

Romans, vol 1, Chapter 23, p. 305

In this chapter, Dr Lloyd-Jones refutes an illustration I’ve actually used many times. The illustration is this: everyone exercises faith in their daily lives. When you are traveling by train, you are putting your faith in a conductor you never see, and faith that the brakes and the engine of the train are well maintained, and that you will get to your destination.

But MLJ insists that this is not what the New Testament means by faith. This is putting into practice the law is mathematical probability. He writes:

Quite unconsciously you are saying to yourself, ‘Well, thousands, millions of people do this every day, and everything is all right.. so I will do the same.’ You either do not think at all, or if you do, you reason… there is a one in a million chance something will go wrong, and you are acting on that assumption.

Ibid, p 304

But this isn’t placing your faith in Christ. Saving faith always knows what it’s doing. It isn’t something unconscious. It involves tremendous activity and a conscious decision of the will.

And that kind of faith can only be revealed. It has to be given to us. We can’t arrive at that kind of volitional faith apart from the Holy Spirit imputing it to us.

What grace, that even our ability to believe comes from Him!

This year I’m trying to read through Martyn Lloyd-Jones’ 14 volume exposition of Romans. Lloyd-Jones began teaching through Romans on Friday nights at Westminster Chapel in London on October 7, 1955. Thirteen years later, at the end of chapter 14, he was forced to retire from the pulpit ministry because of illness. He spent the rest of his life editing the manuscripts of his sermons. All his sermons were recorded on tape, and are available at https://www.mljtrust.org/free-sermons/book-of-romans/

My Daily MLJ: January 30, 2022

This year I’m trying to read through Martyn Lloyd-Jones’ 14 volume exposition of Romans. Lloyd-Jones began teaching through Romans on Friday nights at Westminster Chapel in London on October 7, 1955. Thirteen years later, at the end of chapter 14, he was forced to retire from the pulpit ministry because of illness. He spent the rest of his life editing the manuscripts of his sermons. All his sermons were recorded on tape, and are available at https://www.mljtrust.org/free-sermons/book-of-romans/

In Chapter 19 of Volume 1, Martyn Lloyd-Jones did something relatively unusual for him (at least so far as I’ve gotten into this reading project): he told a personal story. He talked about one year in which he went on vacation right after preaching the Sunday service at Westminster Chapel, which seats 1,500 people. He and his wife were out in the country, and attended church where an aging preacher had announced he was due to preach three times. “It was a very hot day,” wrote Lloyd-Jones, and out of compassion for this faithful elderly preacher, he volunteered to fill in for him that afternoon. He writes:

I went into the pulplit and looked at my congregation. Including my wife, the congregation consisted of five people! Let me afmit it quite frankly and honestly, the devil came to me and tempted me, and he did so in this way. ‘Well, of course, with only five people– just give them a little talk!’ Quite apart from the fact that I am not good at that kind of thing, I recovered myself, and this is what I said to myself: If you cannot preach to these five people in exactly the same was as you preached last Sunday in Westminster Chapel, the sooner you get out of the pulpit the better! By the grace of God I was enabled to do so, and I have never enjoyed a service more in the whole of my life! The preacher who is dependent upon [the size of] his congregation is unfit to enter the pulpit.

Romans, vol. 1, Chapter 19, p. 253

We all dream of filling huge auditoriums, preaching multiple weekend services, maybe even going multi-site with video feeds. But if we aren’t willing to give the same gospel to five people in a nursing home, we aren’t fit for the ministry. Oh, Lord, have mercy.

My Daily MLJ: January 29, 2022

What is the first thing we look for in anybody we meet? It is quite clear that the first thing that Paul looked for in them was the Spirit that was in them… Remember how, when he arrived at Ephesus, he found certain people who were called disciples and … he said to them: Have you received the Holy Ghost since you believed? … That was what he looked for in everybody. He was not interested in the colour of their skin or in their nationality; he was not interested in their social status or standing; he was not interested in the school or university that they had attended. The thing he looked for was this: Is there a brother with the Spirit of God in him? Is there a man with who I can have fellowship because he is in Christ as I am in Christ?

Romans, vol. 1, Chapter 18, p. 233-234

What a word for our divisive times. How I need to be reminded that I have more in common with an African believer living in a hut in Kenya than I do with my non-Christian next door neighbor who votes for the same politicians, cheers for the same football team, and drives the same model car as I do.

This year I’m trying to read through Martyn Lloyd-Jones’ 14 volume exposition of Romans. Lloyd-Jones began teaching through Romans on Friday nights at Westminster Chapel in London on October 7, 1955. Thirteen years later, at the end of chapter 14, he was forced to retire from the pulpit ministry because of illness. He spent the rest of his life editing the manuscripts of his sermons. All his sermons were recorded on tape, and are available at https://www.mljtrust.org/free-sermons/book-of-romans/

My Daily MLJ, January 28, 2022

Congregations rather like a preacher to talk about himself. They always sit up and show a fresh interest if he starts doing so. ‘Ah!’, they say, ‘how interesting!’ when he has told them what happened to him!…

Congregations often spoil preachers; they encourage them to do certain wrong things. If the preacher starts speaking to their flesh they will respond, and they will show an interest which they were not showing in his doctrine, and the temptation to him is to give them more of the flesh, and to talk more about himself, and they will like it. They will smile, and they will enjoy it, and they will say, ‘It’s wonderful, and we have had a great time!’ And in the meantime, Christ has been forgotten, and the spiritual message has not been emphasized and has not been stressed.

Romans, vol 1; Chapter 16, p 211-212

I used to preach for a Christian youth camp. I was on staff for ten weeks, and would preach the same messages every week for the kids that were at camp that week.

I discovered as the summer went on that if a group had laughed at a story the week before, I would embellish the story a little more the following week. The illustrations would get longer and the Bible teaching would get shorter week after week.

I wish I could say I’ve matured and grown up since then. But the only real difference is that I don’t preach the same sermons every week. The temptation to talk more about me than about Jesus is just as real for me as a father and grandfather as it was when I was a single college student. It’s what congregations give the most positive feedback on.

Oh, Lord, let me preach only and always to please you, and magnify you, and bring glory to you. Let self be abased.

This year I’m trying to read through Martyn Lloyd-Jones’ 14 volume exposition of Romans. Lloyd-Jones began teaching through Romans on Friday nights at Westminster Chapel in London on October 7, 1955. Thirteen years later, at the end of chapter 14, he was forced to retire from the pulpit ministry because of illness. He spent the rest of his life editing the manuscripts of his sermons. All his sermons were recorded on tape, and are available at https://www.mljtrust.org/free-sermons/book-of-romans/

My Daily MLJ, January 27, 2022

You can, if you like, draw up a profit and loss account; here are the things in favour; here are the things against. You arrive at your total. You work it out. You use reason, common sense, understanding. You may consult other people. You can take other opinions. All that is perfectly legitimate.


Yet I am asserting strongly that… the most important and the most crucial of all is this
‘witness of the Holy Spirit’ in our spirits. I sometimes put it like this: even though you may be satisfied in your mind about a course of action; even though, in general, circumstances may be
agreeing with what you have decided in your mind, if there is a sense of uncertainty or of unhappiness within, then do not move, do not act. There I think is the prohibition of the Spirit.

Romans, vol 1, ch 15, p 200

This jumped out to me because it is so in line with what we are learning together in Experiencing God. Henry Blackaby says that “God speaks by the Holy Spirit through the Bible, prayer, circumstances, and the church to reveal Himself, His purposes, and His ways.”

As Martyn Lloyd-Jones reflected on Romans 1:13, where Paul says he had “thus far been prevented” from going to Rome, he essentially lays out the same pattern Blackaby does. The Holy Spirit interprets Scripture for us. He helps us pray. He leads us to evaluate circumstances and the advice of others in accordance with God’s will. And following God is really about tuning your spirit to be more sensitive to God’s Holy Spirit.

This year I’m trying to read through Martyn Lloyd-Jones’ 14 volume exposition of Romans. Lloyd-Jones began teaching through Romans on Friday nights at Westminster Chapel in London on October 7, 1955. Thirteen years later, at the end of chapter 14, he was forced to retire from the pulpit ministry because of illness. He spent the rest of his life editing the manuscripts of his sermons.

The Martyn Lloyd-Jonas Trust has every one of the audio recordings of the sermons available on their podcast. Here is the one I listened to this morning.

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