Book Review: Old Testament Evangelistic Sermons, by Martin Lloyd-Jones

by Jeff Warren

David Martyn Lloyd-Jones (December 20, 1899 – March 1, 1981) was a Welsh Protestant minister, preacher and medical doctor who was influential in the Reformed wing of the British evangelical movement in the 20th century. For almost 30 years, he was the minister of Westminster Chapel in London.

The introduction to this book, written by Iain H. Murray, says that Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones (MLJ) is primarily identified with expository preaching, the danger of ecumenism, the need for doctrinal Christianity and the power of the Holy Spirit.  However, Dr. MLJ regarded himself primarily as an evangelist.  He put much emphasis on the need for a sermon to have a sound structure.  In his view, it is the outline which does much either to make a sermon succeed or fail.

In Dr. MLJ’s Sunday morning preaching he preached consecutively through a passage of Scripture over a period of time.  His Sunday morning preaching was aimed more at professing believers.  His Sunday night preaching was aimed more at non-Christians; hence these sermons were more evangelical. This book is a compilation of 21 sermons, preached from 1927 – 1938.

Dr. MLJ preached the Old Testament because it still applies to us.  The God of the Old Testament is the same God in the New Testament.  He believed the Old Testament is an essential part of divine revelation.  The Bible is not a library of sixty-six books.  Rather, the Bible is one book in sixty-six sections.

Dr. MLJ believed that the Old Testament demonstrates at length and in detail that man is in a condition from which only a divine Savior can deliver him.  The Old Testament is a voice crying in a wilderness of sin, “Prepare ye the way of the Lord.”  To by-pass the Old Testament is to ignore the fact that men must be awakened to the sinfulness of sin.  The inevitable consequence of by-passing the Old Testament is a loss of the sense of sin and of reverence for God.  Let the Book, therefore be held up like a mirror and, in God’s mercy, men would come to see themselves and discover their need of a Savior.

In closing, I highly recommend this book.  As quoted by the Banner of Truth, “Dr. MLJ consistently sounded the notes of the folly of faith in man with all his moral failure, and of the glory of the gospel of Christ in whom alone salvation and hope are to be found. Again and again these sermons demonstrate that the Christian faith is not merely another religion among many; it alone has the message which can bring us to the knowledge of God and make this life the way to heaven.”

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