MLJ Trust Logo Image
Sermon #PP02

No Substitute to Preaching

A Sermon on the Importance of Preaching



Sermon Description

In this sermon titled “No Substitute,” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones opens the word of God and confronts the tendency to depreciate preaching at the expense of other forms of activity. As those who have the good news, Christians must tell the truth. Other agencies, politicians, cults, false religions, and nonprofits can do their work, but they cannot preach the gospel. They can ease the pain of the human condition, but they cannot change the heart. The primary task of the church is not to make a person happy, good, or even well off. The primary task of the church is to deliver the truth about humanity and the remedy in Christ. The danger is that the church will tinker with the general symptoms and not address the cause. It takes a specialist to isolate the radical problem and deal with it. This is the work of every preacher, says Dr. Lloyd-Jones. When the church takes care of its primary purpose, God works through it to provide relief to others. The Protestant Reformation birthed hospitals, schools, many other relief efforts, and provided a stimulus to science, literature, etc. Dr. Lloyd-Jones adds that the preaching of the gospel from the pulpit, applied by the Holy Spirit, has been a means of dealing with personal problems that the preacher knows nothing about. Counseling has its place, but most counseling will be done from the pulpit. Anything else is a failure to fulfill the great mandate given to the church.

Sermon Breakdown

  1. Preaching is the primary task of the church and the minister. Everything else is secondary.
  2. The ultimate justification for asserting the primacy of preaching is theological. It is based on man's need and the nature of salvation.
  3. Man's greatest need is not sickness, unhappiness or circumstances. It is ignorance of God due to rebellion.
  4. Salvation is coming to a knowledge of the truth. Preaching brings this knowledge and deals with man's ignorance.
  5. Preaching is specialist work that only the church and minister can do. Other groups can only deal with symptoms.
  6. The call to preach less and do other things is not new. It has been tried before and failed. The church emptied.
  7. When the church preaches, social and political issues are dealt with. Preaching stimulates society.
  8. Preaching deals with personal problems. It saves the pastor time and deals with many issues at once.
  9. Preaching establishes the principles by which personal help can be given. Without it, counseling lacks a spiritual basis.
  10. Times have not changed. God and man's needs are the same. There are opportunities to preach today.
  11. Reading, TV and radio lack the church element. They are too individualistic and intellectual. People control them.
  12. The church has a mysterious element: Christ's presence. This impacts people in a way media cannot.

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.