The Supernatural in Religion and Medicine
In this engaging address given to the Christian Medical Fellowship, Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones opens up about his experiences and wrestlings with the subject of miraculous healings and modern medicine. Having been confronted by a revived general interest in the phenomenon of miraculous healing, and a new wave of the Charismatic Movement, he presents the facts and his evaluation of them. He warns Christians not to make two grave errors: we should neither capitulate toward the phenomenon, adjusting our doctrine to fit with the current mood or to validate certain ministries, nor should we dogmatically reject the facts related to this phenomenon simply because they don’t fit into our own theories. We must face these facts, evaluate them scientifically and scripturally, and ultimately leave it up to God’s will to do as He pleases. Dr. Lloyd-Jones puts forward various apologetic thoughts related to the plausibility and validity of modern medical miracles, but the foundational thought he presents is this: as Christians we must believe in miracles today because we believe the God of the Bible. He does as He pleases, giving faith and working in ordinary and extraordinary ways for His glory.
Questions and Answers - On healing and demon possession
Have you considered the questions of prayer, gifts of the spirit, faith healing, supernatural revelations, or demon possession? Listen in to the sermon on healing and demon possession as Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones looks to Scripture to answer questions on each of these topics. Is it right for a Christian to ask for gifts; especially the gift of healing? Here, we look at the example of Corinth to learn from their jealousy for such gifts. How should we understand healing with illnesses that are not getting better? The prayer of faith has a great certainty about it, we must recognize this uncommonness. Is the supernatural something that can ever be understood, or is it something that we will eventually be able to understand with the growth of knowledge? What about understanding the work of the Devil and demon possession? Different illustrations are used in Scripture to help us understand these matters, but the danger is that we literalize them. Follow as we learn about true intimacy with the Spirit, not to abandon critical faculties and be exposed to evil spirits, but to go on in the fight of faith.
Role of Medicine in Modern Society
How has modern medicine shaped, and been shaped by, society? In this sermon titled “Role of Medicine in Modern Society,” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones addresses the recent increase of public interest in medicine and examines the shifts that have occurred. A paradigm exists today where the doctor simultaneously has both more and less power. The mystique of a doctor is gone—they are nothing more than a normal person—but the doctor's independence and perceived expertise has created a culture of dependence on them. From such position and power, three new dangers are noted to have arisen. Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones discusses the realities of doctor and patient relationships, the influence of one’s personality and character by means of various drugs and operations, and the danger of a doctor’s declaration of authority over areas in which their dogmatism is not truly based on knowledge. How has the “personhood” of individuals been affected from the decreased emphasis on the “art” of medicine? Is this a good change? Dr. Lloyd-Jones foresees a future with increased psychosomatic focus and questions of issues with threats to individual liberty, reform, politics, amongst others.
The Way of Prayer
What role does prayer play in the Christian life? Christians can be surprised by the amount of difficulties and trials they encounter. Perhaps when they trusted in Jesus for their salvation, they were under the impression that all the negative aspects of life would disappear. But there is hope. In this sermon on Hebrews 10:19–22 titled “The Way of Prayer,” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones proclaims that Jesus promised that along with the increase in trials, His followers will have His power and protection to persevere through difficult times. The power and protection is accessed through prayer. This is found in the letter of Hebrews as an example to encourage believers to pray through trials. Dr. Lloyd-Jones provides three biblical characteristics that should be consistent in how Christians pray. First, they must pray with confidence in God’s ability to handle requests. Second, they must have a clear conscience since prayer is entering into God’s presence. Third, Christians must be sincere with God. It is no use holding back even one percent of themselves since they must be willing to submit all to Him and His sovereign plan. Listen as Dr. Lloyd-Jones helps the believer apply these characteristics of godly prayer to their lives. The only way to stand firm in persecution is to look to Jesus, the author and finisher of their faith.
Centenary of the Opening of Westminister Chapel
Listen as Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones recounts the history of Westminster Chapel and its pastors. In this sermon preached in 1965 titled “Centenary of the Opening of Westminster Chapel,” he shares the love he has in celebrating the anniversary of this church that he pastored for nearly 30 years. Learn more about cathedrals, church buildings, and the danger to externalize religion—whether in building, art, or music. Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones boldly declares that such externalization is inverse to spirituality—as one increases, the other simultaneously decreases. Dr. Lloyd-Jones proclaims his abhorrence for “non-conformist cathedrals” and analyzes the movements throughout the generations. What does it mean to say “there is a church within the church”? Learn about the story of Samuel Martin and the formation of Westminster Chapel on the old site of the Westminster Hospital. The remarkable survival story of this chapel amidst the bombings is recounted and told in a personal way by Dr. Lloyd-Jones. Hear of his confidence in its safety and his long history ever since.
Discussion on Healing
In this sermon titled “Discussion on Healing,” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones leads a conversation of the topic of healing. As the session begins, questions and various reflections are given that explore healing in the Bible, along with questions that arise out of the modern-day charismatic movement. The miracle of healing, according to Dr. Lloyd-Jones, could simply be understood as God acting in a different way than usual. Miraculous healing, therefore, should not be explained on natural terms. Miraculous healing is something only God can do, not something people can conjure. As the discussion leads to a brief lecture on the subject, Dr. Lloyd-Jones explains that humanity has been witnessing things not seen for a long time. The rising evidence of demonic possession and witchcraft is a sign that the Christian church’s witness is waning. God may be permitting some of this in order to remind humanity of the supernatural. Christians must never take the supernatural for granted, but instead pray for the manifestation of the power of the Holy Spirit. While they may be rightly concerned about the spiritual excesses of the Pentecostal movement, might they be in danger of quenching the Holy Spirit? As the world is demonstrating proofs of demonic influence, there must be proofs of the Holy Spirit’s influence.
Peter in Prison
The world is increasingly hostile to Christian beliefs. With all the difficulties facing the church today, how will it withstand the forces against it? In this sermon on Acts 12:5, Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones draws from the biblical account of Peter’s miraculous release from prison and encourages believers to unite together in prayer in order to see God’s work in the world and His church. “A characteristic of the church we must never forget,” Dr Lloyd-Jones says, “is that we are one.” When Peter was put in jail, the entire church came together to pray for him. If the Christian has become discouraged with prayers because they do not see them being answered, they are not alone. The early church endured similar tests of faith. Although they did not recognize it at the time, God was working behind the scenes to answer their prayers for Peter and when they were told by their servant girl that he had been miraculously released and was at the front door, they did not believe her. Listen as Dr Lloyd-Jones helps the listener understand why prayer in the community of a church is so important, and how they can trust God when they don’t see Him acting.
The Wonderful Works of God
What role does the Holy Spirit play in one’s life? Is there any room in prayers for praying for revival and a fresh outpouring of the Spirit? In this sermon on the wonderful works of God from Acts 2:11, Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones discusses the outlook of the church in his day. The church waxes and wanes throughout church history. At times it is strong in spreading forth in holiness and evangelism, reaching far and wide to exclaim the glories of her great God and Savior Jesus Christ. And yet at other times it wanes in want for a glimpse of the power of God in the manifestation of the Holy Spirit. Dr. Lloyd-Jones points out that throughout the Old and New Testaments, the focus of the Bible is on the mighty acts of God. At Pentecost the mighty acts of God were heard in a multitude of languages. Moreover, he points out that the church has reserved little room to pray for revival and a fresh outpouring of the Holy Spirit with power. He implicates this rejection as the main reason for the weaknesses of the church in the modern day, closing itself off from the possibility of revival.
The Strait Gate ...
Did Jesus shape the gospel to fit humanity, or did He shape humanity to fit His gospel? In this sermon on Matthew 7:13–14 titled “The Strait Gate…” that Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones preached to an American audience in 1969, he addressed the great charge often brought against Christians for being narrow. He preaches of the importance of guarding against becoming too “wide.” The church has been so anxious to please modern humanity that the gospel message has been lost. Dr. Lloyd-Jones declares that Christians must boldly stand their ground as being narrow Christians. Christ delighted and exalted in this idea of being narrow. Why did Christ choose to call His way of living “narrow”? The Bible deliberately specializes in one subject—the human soul. The gospel is intensely personal. The world resents narrowness, but it is this very narrowness that would lead to paradise. Salvation is “narrow” through the death of one man. No one can meet God without the cross of Christ. Turn to Him and He will receive His people unto Himself. Straight is the gate and narrow is the way that leads to life.
The Permissive Society
Every human society is filled with sin, but not every society has necessarily given themselves over to permissiveness. In this sermon titled “The Permissive Society,” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones confesses his own weariness while preaching on the subject of permissiveness as the world around him has devolved into a permissive society. Given the human condition, sin is natural. The person who sins feels wrong and apologetic about it, but he still does it. On the contrary, permissiveness is unnatural. The permissive society delights in what is contrary to nature, and exalts in doing what is wrong. The preacher laments the modern view of humanity: it is nothing but an animal controlled by impulses and desires. People are concerned about problems in the world, but oblivious to the problems in their own heart. Dr. Lloyd-Jones delivers a brief history of permissiveness in society and demonstrates that today’s culture is nothing new. The great tragedy, he explains, is not learning from the past. The Christian is not one who has given themselves to sin, but is a new creation. Desires and impulses do not govern them, but they govern their desires. Be encouraged, as Christ is put on display and a changed life is manifested in the believer.
The Call to Liberty
Listen to the good news of God delivering His people from bondage to abundance. In this sermon on Deuteronomy 6:23 titled “The Call to Liberty,” Dr, Martyn Lloyd-Jones preached at the Fellowship of Independent Evangelical Churches (FIEC) Annual Assembly in 1972, tracing the history of God’s deliverance. He recounts the Exodus from Egypt, the Protestant Reformation, the evangelical Great Awakenings, and many other events. It is always God who frees His people from bondage. Why are God’s children found in bondage? This bondage is never sudden and listeners learn what happens when things that were meant to be temporary become permanent. They also will hear of the consequences of the hatred and persecution of those opposed to God. Religions of authority versus religions of the Spirit are examined. There is need for form and substance in Christianity, but there is danger in this becoming exaggerated. Dr. Lloyd-Jones addresses denominationalism, intellectualism, and traditionalism. There is conflict between the institution and the Spirit. What is the call of the gospel? God declares liberty for His children. Listeners are warned to keep watch so that they do not fail to remember that it was God’s hand, not humanity’s, that delivered them. They should not go back into bondage from where they came as this is the fatal tendency of people.
Evangelical unity is not simply a matter of associations and coalitions, but it is a based on the central doctrines of the faith. In this sermon titled “Evangelical Unity,” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones preaches that unity is centered on doctrine; the doctrines of the natures of Christ, the sufficient atoning work of Christ, the doctrine of justification by faith, and the doctrine of God’s word. This is a Spirit-empowered supernatural work in the life of believers that unites them to God and to one another. The church cannot sacrifice the truth of the Christian faith and God’s word for the appearance of union, for true evangelical union is found in the non-negotiable doctrines of Christianity. Evangelicals should seek to build up the church around God’s truth as found in His word. To substitute unity in the gospel for worldly unity based on nothing more than human institutions is to compromise the truth of the Christian faith. The pursuit of evangelical union will often cause controversy and division, but this is the inevitable effect of seeking to follow God above people. Evangelicals are not to compromise the glorious truths of God’s word for the fading recognition of sinful people and the world. God commands His church to follow Him no matter the cost.
Training for the Ministry
In this sermon titled “Training for Ministry,” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones shares his vision for the theological training of pastors and preachers at the inaugural address for the London Theological Seminary in 1977. In his day, theological training had veered off course as the curriculum had been shaped by liberal theology. As the scholastic movement produced well-known universities, a heavy emphasis on philosophy and intellectualism had eclipsed the training of pastors for churches. A new institution for theological training was needed. The Christian church has a long history of training ministers for the gospel. As Dr. Lloyd-Jones surveys the Christian history of producing preachers, he laments the poor education that this modern era has produced. There must be a reconsideration of training ministers, a training that produces preachers of the gospel. Preachers, not mere teachers, must be trained. Teachers merely impart knowledge, but preachers seek to bring the whole Bible alive, proclaiming the great message, remembering that people have hearts as well as heads. These men must not be mere professionals but pastors who can lead God’s people. Additionally, training must be church-based. Dr. Lloyd-Jones argues that churches must have the confidence of these men and remain in contact with them throughout their training. Listen in as Dr. Lloyd-Jones’s vision unfolds in the opening of a new seminary.
The Unchanging Task of The Church
In this sermon on "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever" from Hebrews 13:8 titled “The Unchanging Task of the Church,” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones encourages listeners that Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever. In this address, Dr. Lloyd-Jones provides an overview of some of the issues the world has faced in the past century. He says he is deeply thankful to be preaching in the 20th century, in which the world is confused and scared, the human soul is searching for a solution, and the church is less characterized by empty religion. Throughout history, and most recently in the last two centuries, humans have become increasingly convinced of their own strength and have delusions of answers to the universe’s problems, whether it be scientific, philosophical, or psychological. He says that these human solutions are all wrong. Rather, the Christian is to look to Christ, who is the same yesterday, today, and forever. Looking to the unchanging God provides consolation that no worldly solution can offer. Jesus of Nazareth came into this world as the Son of God in order to rescue sinners from their well-deserved eternal damnation. He died, and was raised again, giving eternal security if one chooses to have faith in Him.
What Do These Stones Mean?
Most people have certain ways in which they remember or celebrate markers of significance in their lives. In a similar way, God told the Israelites to set up a pile of stones to mark the day they crossed over the Jordan River and into the land that God had promised to give them. In this sermon from Joshua 4:21–24 titled “What Do These Stones Mean?” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones shows why monuments are important for the Christian walk. First, they point to their history, and this is very important since the Christian faith sets itself apart from false religions because it is based entirely on historical facts. Second, these markers call attention away from human action and towards God’s action, allowing focus on Him. The reason God acted in human history is because humanity was enslaved to sin and was in desperate need of intervention. Dr. Lloyd-Jones encourages believers to look at milestones and monuments important to them and the Christian faith as reminders that the Lord is mighty to save.
A Charge to the Church
In this sermon on Acts 2:42 titled “A Charge to the Church”, Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones shows what the church is, why it exists, and why it is important. One of the primary reasons that a church exists is for the preaching of God’s word. Teaching directly from Acts 2:42, he points out that the early church “devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.” Many churches today gather in ways to increase the entertainment value for the congregation. While Christian fellowship in a church is an extremely vital part of a Christian’s walk, this must not outweigh and overshadow the necessity of going to church to worship with other believers and to hear God’s word preached. Dr. Lloyd-Jones says that one of the great characteristics of the early church was that they were always meeting, but while the early church did gather for fellowship, Dr. Lloyd-Jones points out that Acts 2:42 clearly states that they were primarily concerned with worship and hearing God’s word. Why else does a church exist? A church, or gathering of believers, is a community where the gospel can be lived out and lost people can be introduced to it. Thus, churches serve incredibly important roles as lights to the world. Listen as Dr. Lloyd-Jones expounds on these points and shows how a church can be used to further God’s kingdom.
Revelation and Reason
“Why is it that modern man, who has been so astounding in so many respects, is such a miserable and tragic failure in the whole question of life and of living?” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones asks this question to highlight that though people have achieved enormous accomplishments, they are still suffering with the basic questions of life, questions that are solved only in the gospel of Jesus Christ. Why are people generally interested in seeking answers from anyone except God? Why, instead of coming to Jesus, do they fall at the feet of celebrities who are also struggling? Ultimately, why do they reject the gospel? In this sermon from 1 Corinthians 3:16 titled “Revelation and Reason,” Dr. Lloyd-Jones preaches that humanity’s ultimate sin is intellectual pride. God’s salvation brings it to dust, yet, people reject this because of their confidence in themselves. God’s way of solving the problems of life are far different from the world’s approach. Dr. Lloyd-Jones provides three ways in which the two pathways are different: the world relies on human wisdom; the world says that people are good in and of themselves; and the world holds that the issue needing to be fixed is a matter of intellect, not sin. However, Scripture shows the opposite—humanity’s problem is sin, and the only solution is a Savior.
Modern man people declare themselves free from the tyranny of religion, but what has been the effect? They are now enslaved to and governed by the popular opinion of humanity. In this sermon on 1 Corinthians 3:21–23 titled “Full Salvation,” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones focuses on Paul’s concern over division in the Corinthian church, a division that was the result of their glorying in their apostolic leaders instead of Christ. There is only One who can set people free from enslavement to the things of this world. He is the Son of God, for whom and through whom all things exist. He came to set people free from the guilt of their sin, the reign of the devil, and the condemnation of the law of God. He is coming again to destroy every enemy and to set up His eternal reign of righteousness and peace. All who believe in Him become a part of Him. They are Christ’s and in Him all things are theirs. What does this mean? There is now no point in glorying in people. In Christ, Christians are no longer enslaved to human power, influence, or opinion. They are no longer enslaved even to their circumstances. They are truly free to experience His full salvation.
Give Thanks Unto the Lord
In this sermon, “Give Thanks Unto the Lord” from Psalm 107:1–31, Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones defines the Christian as the one who sees their sin and brokenness. They see their weakness and flee to Christ, abandoning all efforts of saving themselves. Regardless of one’s background and upbringing, what unifies all of humankind is their fallen nature and their need for redemption in Christ. All are born in Adam and are children of wrath. It is from this mess of fallen humankind that Christians are saved through the work of Christ. It is Christ that delivers people from sin and gives them new life in the midst of their distress. All Christians are saved through the same blood, Savior, and God. This common salvation applies to all people regardless of their personality. It saves all people regardless of their ethnic background and cultural background. The peace that Christ brings applies to everyone in all times and in all places. This is because Jesus Christ fulfills the deepest need of everyone. He delivers all who cry out and believe from their sin and brokenness by leading them into the heavenly Jerusalem, making them a new people by the power of His blood. Jesus delivers from all brokenness and sin by the power of His gospel.
The Only Foundation
After Paul’s departure from the Corinthian church, it had started to divide itself into factions. He perceived that the trouble lay at the very foundation itself. In this sermon on 1 Corinthians 3:11 titled “The Only Foundation,” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones explains that it is the same today when the world tries to deal with the symptoms of evil while avoiding the problem at its foundation: it has no foundation. Neither can humanity provide its own foundation. People have astounding knowledge and accomplishments, yet they are unable to find a solution to all their troubles. The human approach is wrong. They are in too much of a hurry and they do not understand themselves. They sense that there’s something or someone greater than themselves, yet they have no desire for the church or Christ. The Bible, on the other hand, deals with the great question of the foundation of life itself. It tells of one who is a flawless inspector, who will judge the foundation of all lives based on His own perfect standards. Yet, this inspector is also the one who came to seek and save the lost. He offered Himself up as God in flesh to become the church’s one exclusive and firm foundation.