Category Archives: Sermons

ML-J on liberal vagueness

I am not exaggerating at all when I say that the chief characteristic of the religious outlook of today is vagueness. And what is still worse is that it is claimed that this very element of vagueness is that quality which is most peculiarly and characteristically Christian…

Vague general hopes and aspirations after a higher and better life are regarded as quite sufficient. There is no clarity of view, no definitions of position – everything is vague, fluid, and constantly changing. And, as I have pointed out, they regard any attempt at definition or clarity as being peculiarly anti-Christian and lacking in charity. Any examination of the roots, any insistence upon certain fundamental principles as being absolutely vital and essential to true faith in God, is regarded as being wholly inconsistent with the gospel. Generalizations and nebulous phrases about truth, beauty, and love are the order of the day; they find a little bit of good and of God in everybody and everything, and therefore, whether you believe in Christ as the only begotten of God or not, really does not matter very much and Gandhi is spoken of with the same reverence as our Lord Himself.

From the sermon The Thoroughness of the Gospel, preached September 20, 1931, found in Evangelistic Sermons at Aberavon.

 

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MLJ on Ephesians 5:5

There are people who will argue, ‘But wait a minute; are you not preaching the law to us? You are to be a minister of grace, and yet you seem to be preaching pure law. You are reminding us of the being and character of God, as expressed in the Ten Commandments and in His moral law; are you not putting us back under the law? Are you not excluding every one of us from the kingdom of God? Surely you are forgetting the gospel! You have been referring to the original kingdom, and the original law that God held before mankind; but now the Lord Jesus Christ has come, and we are confronted by something quite new; we are no longer confronting the law; all we are asked to do as Christians is to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ. We could not be saved under the law, for the law made it impossible, saying, “There is none righteous, no, not one.” But now God has brought in another way which makes it easier for us; we are no longer confronted by the demands of the law and the tremendous holiness of God. It is just a matter of believing on the Lord Jesus Christ, and we shall be save.’ Now that is their argument, but I am bound to say that it is one of the most subtle, dangerous heresies that can ever be offered to men and women. And yet it characterises a great deal of modern evangelism.

The answer to all this is perfectly clear in the New Testament itself. Christ is God, and He did not come into this world to change God’s law; He Himself says specifically in the Sermon on the Mount that not one jot or tittle of the law shall pass away until all be fulfilled. He did not come to destroy the law or the prophets, but to fulfill them. And as the apostle reminds us here, the kingdom of Christ is also the kingdom of God! It is one kingdom. The saints of the Old Testament are in the same kingdom as we are. They were in it before us. We as Gentiles have been brought in; we were strangers from the covenants of promise and outside these things, but we have been brought in, we have been made fellow-heirs with them, this division as between old and new is false; and the argument that the law has got nothing to do with us is a case of the devil appearing as an angel of light. There is but one eternal standard.

In the kingdom of Christ we are brought face to face with GOD! And what is the work of the Lord Jesus Christ? Why did He come? He came to bring us to GOD, says the apostle Peter. He came, says Paul, and gave Himself for us, ‘that he might purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works’; He came to make us holy! We find a perfect statement of the matter in the Epistle to the Romans: ‘For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: that [in order that] the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit’ (8:3-4). It is the kingdom of Christ and of God, and the standard is not lower in the kingdom of Christ than it is in the kingdom of God. The kingdom is one, and holiness is ever the one and only standard. The Lord Jesus Christ did not come into this world to lower the standard or to make it easier than it was before for us to slip into the kingdom, as though we could enter saying, We believe in Christ, and yet be holding on to our sins. Our Lord said, ‘Not everyone that saith unto me, Lord, Lord! … but he that doeth…’! And remember the illustration of the house built on the rock and house built on the sand. It is introduced by these words: ‘Whosever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock’ [Matthew 7:24]; the man that heard Christ’s sayings and did not do them is like the man that built his house upon the sand.

Justification is by faith alone. It was while we were yet enemies that we were reconciled to God by the death of His Son; it was while we were ungodly, while we were sinners. There is no question about that; it is a cardinal doctrine, a first great principle. But justification is only one step, an initial step, in a process. And the process includes not only justification but regeneration and sanctification and ultimate glorification. Justification and forgiveness of sins are not ends in and of themselves; they are only steps on a way that leads to final perfection. And that is the whole answer to the problem. Some Christians persist in isolating these things, but they are not isolate in the Scriptures. ‘Whom he called, them he also justified and whom he justified, them he also glorified’! ‘But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption’! There is the whole process. And the truth is, that if you are in it at all, you are in at every point. We cannot divorce justification and forgiveness from other parts of truth. And the remaining steps are put very clearly before us in the First Epistle to the Corinthians: ‘Such’, says the apostle, having given his terrible list of sins – ‘Such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God’ (6:11). It means that God does not justify a man and leave him there. Not at all! If God justifies a man, God has brought that man into the process. If you can say that you are justified, I say about you that you have been washed, that you have been sanctified, that you have been taken out, you have been removed from the old, and you have been put into a new realm, into a new kingdom; you are in this process of God that is leading to your ultimate, entire perfection. And the verse that we are looking at here is saying that if there is no evidence in our lives of this process into which God puts the people whom He justifies, then we have not been justified, but are merely saying, Lord! Lord! And His response will be: ‘I never knew you, depart from me, ye that work iniquity.’ For the argument is that when God justifies a man He does bring him into this process, and these things happen to him.

These warning, these threatenings, these alarming statements, are the things that God uses to sanctify us; He applies them to us by the Spirit for this purpose. We can all test ourselves as to whether we are Christians or not. How do you react to my text? Does it concern you? Does it alarm you? Does it make you feel ashamed of yourself and your life? Do you say, It is absolutely right and I am ever in danger of relapsing into Antinomianism. If so, I tell you that you are in the kingdom. God has used this verse through the Holy Spirit in order to promote your sanctification. These words come to awaken the true believer, they do not touch the others. The others are just made to feel uncomfortable. They say, ‘What you tell me is all wrong, I thought I was justified by faith only.’ But they really mean to say, ‘I thought that the gospel said it did not matter if I went on sinning, and that all was right with me if I believed in Christ!’ They make the blood of Christ a cloak to cover their sins, they make merchandise of the cross, they are balancing, putting themselves right. But the man who is really called, the man who is in the kingdom, says, ‘This is right, it must be right.’

…people who cleave to sin obviously cannot have any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. There is no contradiction between these statements and the doctrine of free grace and justification by faith only, for the God who justifies goes on with the process. And unless we are giving evidence of being in the process and of being perfected by it, there is but one conclusion to draw – we have never been in the kingdom at all, we must go back to the very beginning, we must repent and believe on the Lord Jesus Christ.

You may listen to this sermon in its entirety by visiting http://www.mljtrust.org/collections/book-of-ephesians/5/ and scrolling down the page to the sermon on Ephesians 5:5, The Kingdom of Christ and God.

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New website for MLJ sermons!

I  have received a couple of emails in the last day or two about the new site for Dr. Lloyd-Jones’s sermons. Here’s an excerpt or two:

As of today, the wonderful Martyn Lloyd-Jones Recordings Trust in the UK is ending its 30 year ministry (including the Audio Library), and we here in the United States at the MLJ Trust will be taking over responsibility for the 1,600 sermons and producing the weekly sermon broadcasts for Oneplace and other radio stations.

Before I go on to to say what this will mean, I invite all of us to pause and think what an incredible work of love the UK Recordings Trust was for our brother in Christ Tony Ruston, who was there on the first day of operations in 1982, and whose final radio introduction will be on our Christmas Oneplace sermon this coming Sunday. In the United States, those of us on the MLJ Trust Board understand completely that we are just trustees of 30 years of work by Tony to transfer reel-to-reel tape recordings from the 1950s into cassette tapes, then CDs and then into audio files that could be listened to by tens of thousands of people around the world. Tony retired from the day to day running the Recordings Trust several years ago, and his excellent successor, Paul Mitchell, did great work in continuing the mission and creating the audio library with his wonderful team in Ashford, but Tony kept producing the weekly sermons, and it was Tony who identified a young Theological student, David Lovi, as a Board member for us in 2007, and has now trained David to be the “voice” of the MLJ Trust after Christmas. Tony Ruston has been a true servant of God. Paul Mitchell and some other members of the UK Recordings Trust team will now lead the John MacArthur “Grace to You Europe” from January 1st, 2013. We wish them all well and thank God for their service to this ministry.

What this means going forward is that as of later today (I will send out a notification), our website ( http://www.mljtrust.org) will be re-launched with the 1,600 sermons, and we will now be responsible for all the costs of maintaining this new site and paying for the downloads, as the sermons will remain free. That is a major change in expense for us, and comes on top of the expense of creating the new site. We do believe that it pleases God for us to continue this work, and so it is our prayer that the Lord will lead enough of our subscribers to donate to this work that we can continue this mission of free sermons for the next 30 years.

As a result of this, there will be some policy changes for all those who will be accessing the sermons. As we are a volunteer group, we can no longer be in the business of making and shipping CDs, but we are well aware that for many of our brothers and sisters (and particularly the elderly), the internet is a challenging source for accessing sermons, so to make up for this, we are instituting the following changes as of today that we hope will please our subscribers:

  1. While all 1,600 sermons are still subject to copyright protection, as of today there is no need to ask our permission to forward a sermon to another person, burn a CD for another person (or congregation), or broadcast a sermon as long as you agree to the following three conditions
    • The sermons will never be sold or used for any commercial purpose (free is free)
    • The sermons will not be edited in any way (either for use as “clips” or edited down for length) – If the sermon is to be used or forwarded, it will be in its entirety
    • The person forwarding, passing on, or broadcasting the sermon to another party will make that the person receiving the sermon is aware of these three conditions and agrees to them
  2. There is now no limit on the number of sermons you can download each week from the sermon library. Initially, there will be no need to sign in and you will be able to download one sermon at a time as many times as you like (we will be providing a “cart”  solution in the next few weeks)

The new MLJ Trust site has been launched (  http://www.mljtrust.org ), and it is now the ONLY site for downloading sermons by Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones. The UK servers ( http://www.mlj-usa.com and http://www.mlj.org.uk ) have closed down.

There is no need for log-ins or passwords on the new site – Just go to the sermons and download what you want. Later on we will be providing a “cart” solution for downloading several sermons at once, but for now the sermons can be downloaded one at a time. You should also be aware, however, that although you can only download the sermons one at a time, there are no limits on how many you can download in a day or a week, so if you want to download 30 sermons today one at a time you will be able to do so!

Please visit the new site and be sure to help financially if you are able.

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A major announcement from the MLJ Trust

I received this in my email this morning:

Dear Friend,

This is probably the biggest announcement the MLJ Trust will ever make. Starting from tomorrow, April 12th, all 1,600 recorded sermons by Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones will be available to download, at no cost, to anyone who wants to listen to them! There are no exceptions, so the Ephesians sermons, Romans sermons, etc. will all be available (it will take a few days to make sure that they are all included in the library). All one has to do is join the MLJ Library (membership is free of course) and start to download! [Simply go to our newly updated site at http://www.mlj-usa.com/audiolibrary or http://www.mlj.org.uk/audiolibrary.]

This is a decision that the UK Board has been wrestling with for a long time, because by moving away from the sale of MP3 discs (and tapes before that), which has kept the Recordings Trust in existence for 30 years in God’s grace, they will become completely dependent (as we are in the United States MLJ Trust ministry), on the voluntary donations of brothers and sisters who feel called to support the ministry while downloading sermons.

In the end, however, and after much prayer and discussion, our brothers in the UK felt that as the world of low-cost distribution through the internet was now far reaching enough that most people around the world (even in developing countries) can gain access to this ministry through a computer, and as many other ministries have had a positive experience shifting to a voluntary donation approach to on-line sermons, they felt (as we do) that this change might be in accordance with God’s will.

While there is some nervousness about such a big change, it our our most earnest hope, on both sides of the Atlantic, that this announcement will help us to fulfill the objective that has fueled this ministry since its inception 30 years ago: To preserve, and make as widely available as possible, the doctrinal exposition of God’s word by the late Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones, a man who could never quite believe how God had used him for the benefit of the Gospel over his long ministry in the pulpit of Westminster Chapel.

This announcement eMail has been timed to coincide with our formal announcement at “Together for the Gospel”. This morning (Wednesday, April 11th), we will be making the announcement on stage to the approximately 7,000+ Christian leaders and teachers who will be attending, and we never forget that the participation of the MLJ Trust at this conference was made possible by the kind support of our subscribers.

I hope that everyone who will avail themselves of this tremendous resource will generously support the MLJ Trust.

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Free MLJ book from Logos

Now, during the month of March, you can download Authentic Christianity for free from Logos Bible Software. You can also sign up to win the 10-volume Selected Works of Dr. Lloyd-Jones. Click here for this offer.

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Some new free sermons

The MLJ Recordings Trust has just made available (for free) some sermons that Dr. Lloyd-Jones preached in America in 1963. They were preached in New Jersey, just before the meeting of the IFES that year.

Click here for the sermon list.

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Christ and the Wisdom of this World

The Banner of Truth has just added a new MLJ sermon transcript to the Articles section on its website. It’s from Luke 8:53 and it’s entitled Christ and the Wisdom of this World. It was included in the Westminster Record from October, 1946.

They are additionally seeking an audio copy of this sermon. Please contact them if you have a copy or know where you could obtain one.

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