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Sermon #PP08

Character of the Message



Sermon Description

Fallen nature is such that human beings can seek to justify themselves before God by any means. Christian ministers know that faithful attendance on Sunday morning, while essential to Christian spiritual maturity, does not guarantee the eternal destiny of a person’s soul. A person can spend their whole life in a pew and still not have saving faith. Yet, how often do preachers neglect regular preaching of the gospel to their own congregation? In this sermon titled “Character of the Message” from “Preaching and Preachers” lecture series, Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones explores this dynamic of evangelistic preaching by ministers. It is true that even Christians can benefit from this kind of preaching. Nothing deters self-satisfied Pharisees more than feeling the weight of their sin and hearing about God’s saving grace through Christ. Dr. Lloyd-Jones encourages pastors to be honest with their assessment of the congregation. While the pew should not dictate the pulpit, Dr. Lloyd-Jones insists that it is the duty of all Christian ministers to be truthful about the spiritual condition of the congregation. Listen as he challenges ministers to know their flock and to care for them where they are.

Sermon Breakdown

  1. The pew should never dictate or control the pulpit. The preacher must assess the condition of the pew but the pew does not control the preacher.
  2. Examples of Paul adapting his message to the condition of his listeners (1 Cor 3:1-2, Heb 5:11-14). A preacher must assess the capacity of his listeners.
  3. The danger of the pulpit assuming all church members are Christians. Preachers can wrongly assume all regular attenders are saved and only preach to edify believers, neglecting evangelism.
  4. The danger of the pew wrongly assuming they are all Christians. Some may resent convicting preaching and only want teaching that assumes all are believers.
  5. Preachers must preach with authority. The greatest need in churches today is authority in the pulpit.
  6. Authority does not come through outward means like vestments or scholarship but through the Holy Spirit. However, wearing a simple gown can be a sign of the preacher’s call and authority.
  7. Listeners should attend every service in case God powerfully moves in a service. They may miss something remarkable. Christians should desire as much preaching as possible, like newborn babies desire milk.
  8. Church buildings are important as they facilitate preaching but should not be ornate, as that can indicate a lack of spirituality. Simple, acoustic buildings are best. Pulpits should be centered and at an appropriate height.

Sermons: Preaching and Preachers

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.