Series Summaryon the
Books of the Old Testament
Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones is primarily known today as a preacher of expository sermons from the books of the Old Testament and New Testament. However, according to Dr. Lloyd-Jones’s wife Bethan, this was not the work …
Why is it important to study history? In this sermon on Numbers 11:4–6 titled “The Lie,” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones shows a powerful lesson from the Old Testament and the example of Israel in this passage. The Israelites were brought out of Egyptian slavery when God worked miracles by His sovereign hand. Not only this, but as they traveled through the desert, he provided food to sustain them and clothes that did not wear out. But they soon began to grumble against God and Moses because they were dissatisfied. They spoke of the many foods they had in Egypt, even though they were there as slaves. Dr. Lloyd-Jones says that modern humanity is just like Israel. It refuses to see God’s work in the world and remains ungrateful for all the blessings He has given. In its sin, humanity is like the Prodigal Son, refusing to see his blessings or hold himself accountable. Sinful people will never see themselves for who they are until the gospel works in their hearts and minds to make them new. Jesus came and died so that ungrateful sinners could be freed from sin and death. Those that believe in Christ Jesus are given a new heart and mind so that they can live as new creatures who serve God in truth.
Despised and Rejected of Men
The world is home to much sin. Sin has a way of turning people from Christ and perverting their hearts and minds. In this sermon on Numbers 11:4–6 titled “Despised and Rejected of Men,” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones focuses on the topic of the most tragic cause of sin: failing to realize the beauty of God’s salvation, and having contempt towards God and His love. He goes on to express several different ways that people express this kind of contempt. First is through attitudes and actions. Second is by showing preference to other things rather than to God. Both of these expressions can be traced throughout history. The sinful nature of humanity has always shown contempt towards God. Dr. Lloyd-Jones goes through parts of history from the time of the Israelites to that of Jesus and traces the contempt humanity has expressed. He concludes by asking the listener to view themselves, their attitudes, and their preferences to see if they have been guilty of showing contempt. The good news, however, is that it is never too late to turn from the sin of contempt and leave all behind to run to Jesus.
Man and Sin
What is sin? Many people say that sin is merely something that we do. In this sermon on sin from Numbers 11:4–6 titled “Man and Sin,” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones shows that this is not the biblical view of sin. In the book of Numbers, sin is shown as an attitude and disposition, not only an action. This is why sin is so bad, because it comes out of the very heart and determines motives. The grumbling of the Israelites was not simply their dissatisfaction with life, but it was a dissatisfaction with God. When they said that they wanted meat, they showed that worldly desire for food was more important than trusting God. This was all born out of their sinful desires. What is the answer to the sin that has corrupted everyone’s desires? The answer is found in what God has done in Jesus Christ on the cross. Sin is so bad that God Himself came to die for sinners. All who trust in Jesus are made righteous and children of God. They are given a new heart and mind and freed from sin and death because of Christ’s death. This is the only means of overcoming sin and death.
A Right View of Life
The Bible is a book one can turn to for truth. It comes with warnings, and challenges one’s thinking. In it are found the teachings of what is right and wrong, how to live during one’s time on earth, and the history of humans. In this sermon on Judges 18:7 and 28 titled “A Right View of Life,” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones points out that even though the Bible gives directions on how to live, humans too often decide to make their own way of life and come up with their own solutions to the world’s problems, all apart from the Bible. Dr. Lloyd-Jones goes through the history of the Bible and points out specific examples of how humans have done this. This kind of view on life is a selfish one: it only focuses on the self rather than on God and others. Not only that, but this kind of view also leads to lawlessness and carelessness. Humans are sinners and not fit to decide how they should live. Rather, Christians need to spend time growing their relationship with God and reading His word. They need to listen to His commands on how they should live and love Him well.
Sin and Self-Deceit
The story of Saul in 1 Samuel 15:22–23 is the story of someone who rationalizes and explains away their own sin. Saul was God’s chosen king over Israel, yet he disobeyed God and followed his own desires. Saul is a picture for how everyone rationalizes sin and their own rebellion; everyone feigns ignorance of their own wrongdoing and sinful desires. The answer is never found in more law-keeping because the Bible is clear that no person can keep the law but instead is called to trust in Jesus Christ as the only way to be saved and overcome sin. “To obey is better than sacrifice” Samuel declares to Saul. Christians are those that are not like Saul in that they truly repent of their sin and seek God’s grace. Christians are those that believe in Jesus Christ and trust Him alone for salvation. The message of the gospel is that humanity does not have to suffer for their sins because Christ died in their place and took sin upon Himself so that all can be saved and made righteous.
Will God dwell on Earth?
The Old Testament recounts the desire of David, the great king of Israel, to build a house of God befitting His glory and splendor. God redirected David’s desire and Solomon, David’s son, fulfilled this desire at a later time. Solomon built and dedicated a magnificent temple for God’s dwelling place among His people as a place for God’s people to commune with Him. In the sermon on 1 Kings 8:27 titled “Will God Dwell on Earth?” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones expounds this theme of God’s dwelling among His people in this special Christmas Day sermon by showing how the Son of God dwelt on earth in the incarnation. Jesus “tabernacled” among His people; He literally came to dwell on earth. This reality is a great paradox: that God could come and take on flesh and be the means of salvation. How can Christians respond in any other way than in great amazement and faith at this momentous occasion. Through the incarnation there is now a way to meet and commune with God that is impossible without the Lamb of God coming to taste death on the sinner’s behalf.
The Leprosy that is Sin
In the Old Testament is the story of a man named Naaman who had leprosy and was healed by God. In this sermon on 2 Kings 5:1, Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones focuses on the truths that can be found in this story and its relation to sin and people today. First is that sin, like a spiritual leprosy, can eat away at lives until it has complete control. It robs of the fullness and perfection of life that God originally intended for His people. Not only that, but no human can cure sin, just as no human was able to cure Naaman’s leprosy. Too often, people look to all the wrong places to solve this problem, but the things they do find are inadequate and fail in solving anything. They become so busy searching for something to heal them that they lose sight of the one true person who can: the humble carpenter who came down from heaven to bring salvation. Just as in the story of Naaman, the healing came from a humble person that the world would least expect to have success. Dr. Lloyd-Jones concludes by stating that once the Christian has received this salvation, they must waste no time in sharing it with the rest of the world.
Why Do Calamities Happen?
How does one remain steadfast like Job in the midst of suffering? In this sermon from Job 1:20–22 titled “Why Do Calamities Happen?” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones teaches that Job righteously endured his circumstances because he understood two things: who he was and who God is. If a Christian is prepared in their heart for the day of trouble, it will be because they recognize that all they have is given to them and that God is good, righteous, and holy. Some will be shattered by hardship and some will ignore it, but believers will stand firm like a mountain peak in a storm, as Dr. Lloyd-Jones shares. Pursue a right view of God and oneself and live in contrast to the world like Job.
Where Shall Wisdom be Found?
People are all on a constant mission for knowledge and information but do not realize that this will not satisfy. In this sermon from Job 28:12 titled “Where Shall Wisdom Be Found?” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones teaches that what is really needed is wisdom and understanding. As one looks through the lens of Job in the Old Testament, Dr. Lloyd-Jones shows that wisdom will give true peace and quietness of heart, not knowledge. Job wanted to know why he had been so afflicted in his life, but he would not learn this. Rather he would learn to come before the Lord as a child, knowing nothing, and he would receive wisdom. Do not strive after knowledge, but take wisdom from the Lord as a free gift. One should acknowledge their inability and dwell as a child in God’s presence and that is where they will find true contentedness.
Man's Search for Happiness
Man’s search for happiness may seem like an impossible quest amidst this often tragic life. His pursuit only leaves him hopeless and in despair but Scripture has the answers. In this sermon on Psalm 1:1–2 titled “Man’s Search for Happiness,” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones leads through the first two verses in Psalm 1, and explains how God reveals His prescription for true peace and lasting joy. Far beyond the temporal emotion of happiness, there is a lasting joy that characterizes the life of one who follows God's prescribed plan. By contrasting the two alternatives and discussing the theory and the practice (both the negative and the positive), one discovers the biblical view—that humanity always seeks happiness in the wrong place, and that there is no true happiness apart from God.
The Ungodly Man
What separates Christians from the rest of the world? How can one know for sure someone else is truly saved? Scripture gives many tests of salvation, but few are as vivid as the portrait painted in this passage. In this sermon on Psalm 1:3–4 titled “The Ungodly Man,” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones explains the vast difference between those who are rooted by the river of life and those who will blow away like chaff. Dr. Lloyd-Jones presents five differences between the godly and the ungodly person. These differences are profound and have eternal consequences. Due to sin, people are no longer as God originally created them to be, but instead they are empty and in desperate need of salvation. Listen and discover why unhappiness characterizes the ungodly person and understand the only remedy is found in Jesus Christ.
As A Tree Planted
In light of the emptiness of the ungodly life, how can one become godly, blessed, and happy? How can one truly live the “more abundant life” that Christ came to give? In this sermon on Psalm 1:3–4 titled “As a Tree Planted,” many think they are Christians, but in this inspiring discourse, Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones distinguishes the person who is unquestionably “in Christ” from those who merely deceive themselves. No one is born a Christian or can make themselves a Christian. A Christian is the work of God through the work of the Holy Spirit in conviction, revelation, repentance, and conversion. It’s God’s doing and one can only experience the new birth into a new life as the result of the operation of the Spirit. Only then will one experience the happiness God intended for people to know in Him. The true Christian has no need to fear whatever comes in life. The true Christian is like a tree. God is the “Planter” of the tree. He selects the location of the tree so that the tree will bear good fruit, in its season, and without withering.
The Way of the Ungodly
In this sermon of Psalm 1:5–6 titled “The Way of the Ungodly,” Dr Martyn Lloyd-Jones diagnoses the way of the ungodly and then presents the prescription given by God for the ungodly to be remedied. Listen as he lays out the five aspects of God’s future judgment: the fact, the nature, the terms, the thoroughness, and the consequences. It is a dismal future for the ungodly person. They will not stand amidst the congregation of the righteous. Since God’s law sets the standard for humanity, how can anyone meet that standard? There is only one way and only one secret to happiness and blessedness. Only Christ can remove the fear of death and judgment. As the hymn states, “My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus’s blood and righteousness… On Christ the solid Rock I stand; all other ground is sinking sand.” A person can stand on nothing else in this world or on the Day of Judgment but on the rock of Jesus Christ.
Blinded by Sin
Why does humanity not see creation as God’s own handiwork? In this sermon on Psalm 8:3–4 titled “Blinded by Sin,” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones addresses this important theological question and shows its significance for the Christian life. The reason that humanity can look at creation and believe it is anything other than the creation of God is because they are blinded by sin. All are born in sin and naturally opposed to God. So they reject God, not because of reason, but because of sinful prejudice. The psalmists teach this, but it is also seen in the New Testament through the life and ministry of Jesus when He performs great signs and wonders to the people. But in the end, the people still cry out for Him to be crucified, for they still did not believe that He was God’s Son. This is because of the sinful principle in all hearts. What is the answer to humanity’s blindness and hard-heartedness? The answer is only found in the grace of God in Jesus Christ. Only by God giving His Son and opening the eyes of sinners can anyone be saved. Salvation is wholly a gift of God wherein He gives salvation freely as a gift.
A Little Lower than the Angels
The Bible tells that creation is evidence for the Creator. It shows His majesty and power. However, people have failed to see His majesty in His creation. People should be able to appreciate the beauty of creation, but instead miss seeing God’s glory in it by only seeing facts. In this sermon “A Little Lower than the Angels,” from Psalm 8:4, Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones speaks on the failure to see God in His creation, specifically His creation of humanity. He begins with the question “What is man?” to show how humanity has learned to answer this question apart from the creation of God. Some overestimate humanity, putting people above God. Others underestimate humanity, thinking of the human race as nothing of importance at all. He then moves on the biblical and right view of humanity: that it has been created in God’s image. People were made to glorify God and be in communion with Him. However, humanity turned its back on God by becoming slaves to sin, causing a distorted view of who they are. The good news is that Jesus came to save them from sin and help them become the people God created them to be in His image. He concludes by encouraging the Christian to see this truth and glorify God for it.
The fool says in his heart, "There is no God"
What does it mean to be a fool? According to Scripture, to be a fool is not merely being ignorant of the truth, but it is opposing the wisdom of God. This is why all those that deny that God exists are called fools; they have rejected God’s revelation of Himself in His Word and in His creation. In this sermon “The Fool Says in His Heart, “There is No God,” from Psalm 14:1 Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones preaches on the folly of rejecting God as Lord and Creator. Scripture tells that God has clearly revealed Himself, and it is only an act of foolish rebellion that leads men and women to deny that God exists and has created all things. God has given evidence that He exists in all of creation, from the stars above to human consciousness. The greatest tragedy of the fool is not only that they have rejected God as their creator, but that they have also rejected God as their savior. Jesus Christ is God’s only appointed means of salvation; to reject Him is to reject God’s love and grace. The ultimate answer to human rebellion is the sovereign electing grace of God for it is only God’s grace that can overcome sin.
... Set the Lord Always Before Me
What is the secret to a life of spiritual longevity? How did saints of old overcome the daily battle of temptation and trouble? In this sermon on Psalm 16:8 titled “… Set the Lord Always Before Me,” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones expounds on this psalm of David to share this secret. It is the daily decision to actively set the Lord always before oneself. This daily spiritual discipline enables the Christian to face the uncertainty of the future without fear as one considers who the Lord is and who they are to Him. Dr. Lloyd-Jones encourages with a gracious reminder that there are two things the Christian can do to “set the Lord before us.” First, they must make an active decision to consciously remind themselves of God. It is an act of determination to think on the Lord and what He has done; otherwise their lives will be swept into busyness and God becomes secondary in thoughts and affections. Secondly, after one sets their hearts steadfastly on seeking the presence of God, they turn to the means of communion with God. Christians seek Him through prayer and reading Scripture. They are the means of communing with God on days when one feels like seeking Him as well as the days their hearts feel cold and distant from Him. Find encouragement from Dr. Lloyd-Jones’s preaching on David’s resolute desire to battle temptation and find comfort in setting the Lord always before him.
The Lord is My Light
Where does one begin when they consider their problems? In this sermon, “The Lord is my Light” from Psalm 27:1–14, Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones tells that most often people begin with their problems and then move toward the Lord. However, Christians ought to follow the psalmist’s example and begin with God and heaven, then move to their problems in light of those things. When they pray, they ought not begin with petitions, but begin with praise and adoration of the Lord, gazing on His beauty and excellence. Why? Dr. Lloyd-Jones unfolds through this psalm that God’s unchanging character, His goodness, and excellence changes the perspective. Nothing is so big and so awful when it is looked at in regard to who the Lord is. Then the Christian must make their requests known to the Lord, having full confidence that He is greater than any problem and fully capable of ruling over them.
The sinner thinks God is like a human. They believes God will simply forget their sin. They assume God will forget it and not deal with it. But does God overlook sin? Is He not the solemn judge of the heavens and earth? The atheist outright rejects this God and their life is lived accordingly with no contradiction. The atheist believes there is no God and their actions mirror those beliefs. In this sermon on Psalm 50:1–23 titled “Dead Religion,” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones sets forth to express how there is a human worse than the atheist: they claim to believe in God yet lives their life as if there is no God. Exploring Psalm 50:1–23, Dr. Lloyd-Jones explains that this person believes that God is like themselves. They believe that God will not deal with sin and they ignore God’s wrath. They deny God’s judgement, assuming there is no hell. They minimize their own sin. This error is not simply doctrinal deficiency, but they have made a god in their own image. On the contrary, God wants people to know who He truly is. Listen as Dr. Lloyd-Jones calls the hearer to rightly know God and see His salvation so that Christians may live lives praising and glorifying His name.
O God; Thou Art My God
Adversity is the quickest way to reveal the value of one’s faith. What are Christians like when they find themselves in the wilderness of suffering? In this sermon on Psalms 63:1–3 titled “O God, Thou Are My God,” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones examines David’s prayer as he turns to God in the midst of trouble. Dr. Lloyd-Jones demonstrates a core Biblical truth: adversity always drives the true believer to God. In times of suffering, the non-Christian is annoyed and curses God. In contrast, the believer has just the opposite response. He turns to God. Dr. Lloyd-Jones explains that this is because the true believer has discovered God’s lovingkindness to be better than life. Like a love-sick person, the believer is satisfied with nothing this world can give and is utterly miserable without God’s love. But with God, they can face anything. Nothing compares in value to God’s lovingkindness. Listen and find complete satisfaction in this intimate knowledge of God. The psalmist’s response to adversity should also be that of the Christian with lips that should praise Him. Rejoice in God. He will never let His child go.