MLJ Trust Logo Image
Sermon #5806

Scottish Reformation



Sermon Description

In Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones’ sermon on the Scottish Reformation, delivered at Usher Hall in Edinburgh in April 1960to mark the 400th anniversary of the Scottish Reformation, he emphasizes the importance of looking to our past for answers in the present. Many Christians today lobby against using past precedents to teach us, either saying that the past has nothing to teach us in this different time or that the history of the church should not be brought up, lest it cause acrimony. In response to these claims, Dr. Lloyd-Jones states that first, we are not different in nature or being to the men and women of the Reformation and therefore, cannot dismiss their accomplishments, and second, that the past should be explored and understood rather than suppressed. With this said, Dr. Lloyd-Jones demonstrates the two ways that one can view the Scottish Reformation. The first way is to simply explore the events that took place in the Scottish Reformation. The second is by using the actions and events that took place to further our walk with God today. So, what exactly can we learn from the Scottish reformation? Dr. Lloyd-Jones states that the best way to do so is by looking at the men who led such a movement. But who were these men? Well, these were godly men who believed in the sovereignty of God and the need to worship him. These were men who realized Christ’s sacrifice and dedicated their lives to him because of it. For example one of the key figures in the Scottish reformation, John Knox, demonstrated fearless resistance towards the mighty Catholic Church. Dr. Lloyd-Jones emphasizes that Knox did not stand up against the Church by his own power, but by the power of God. John Knox realized the absolute greatness of God and consequently preached with power. So, we must ask ourselves, Where is the God of John Knox? Where is this God that can give us such power? To this, Dr. Lloyd-Jones replies, he is here and present, just as he was in the time of John Knox. And if we have accepted Jesus as our Lord and Savior, we have the same God, we must only realize his greatness and react accordingly.

Sermon Breakdown

  1. Dr. Lloyd-Jones considers it a great privilege to address the audience on the 400th anniversary of the Scottish Reformation.
  2. There are two main objections to commemorating the Reformation: 1) We live in the modern age, so why look to the past. 2) The Reformation caused disunity in the church, so it should not be celebrated.
  3. Dr. Lloyd-Jones argues we must study the Reformation to understand Scottish history and politics. The Reformation shaped Scotland's national character and education system.
  4. The Reformation was a work of God's sovereignty, not just a religious movement. It influenced politics and society across Europe.
  5. Key leaders of the Scottish Reformation included Patrick Hamilton, George Wishart, John Knox, and Andrew Melville. They were heroic, principled men.
  6. The reformers believed in the authority of Scripture, not church tradition or philosophy. The Bible is the word of God.
  7. The reformers believed in God's sovereignty, not man's free will as primary. They feared God.
  8. The reformers believed in Christ's atoning work on the cross, not good works, as the basis for salvation. They preached justification by faith alone.
  9. The reformers believed Christians could have assurance of salvation, not uncertainty.
  10. The reformers believed in the priesthood of all believers and simplicity of worship. They wanted a pure church.
  11. The reformers were men of prayer who depended on God, not themselves. God gave them power and authority.
  12. The reformers preached boldly and prophetically, not to please people. Their preaching brought conviction and change.
  13. The secret of the Reformation's success was God, not the reformers themselves. God raised up the right men at the right time.
  14. We need to ask, "Where is the God of John Knox?" We need to return to the old confessions of faith and pray boldly for God's help in our time of need.
  15. Christ remains the same, yesterday, today and forever. We must know the God of John Knox.

Itinerant Preaching

Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones

Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones (1899-1981) was a Welsh evangelical minister who preached and taught in the Reformed tradition. His principal ministry was at Westminster Chapel, in central London, from 1939-1968, where he delivered multi-year expositions on books of the bible such as Romans, Ephesians and the Gospel of John. In addition to the MLJ Trust’s collection of 1,600 of these sermons in audio format, most of these great sermon series are available in book form (including a 14 volume collection of the Romans sermons), as are other series such as "Spiritual Depression", "Studies in the Sermon on the Mount" and "Great Biblical Doctrines". He is considered by many evangelical leaders today to be an authority on biblical truth and the sufficiency of Scripture.