Lloyd-Jones on the Primacy of Preaching

Let's survey Lloyd-Jones's answers to the objections in his day to the ideas importance of preaching.

The Doctor points out how in Acts 6 the church faced crisis over the support of widows in the early church. The ministry of mercy to the needs of the poor in Their community was quite important and Necessary. But notice why the apostles put some new leaders over it. They did it So They Could Devote Themselves to "prayer and the ministry of the Word" (Acts 6:4). That was the primary thing, and That was what the apostles, the main leaders of the church, had to give Themselves to. The Doctor points to Jesus' own ministry, Especially to places where, under pressure to do more miracles, That says what I've came to do was preach Primarily (eg Mark 1:38). Jesus' miracles were wonderful-they Helped People with disease and suffering-yet reconciled people to God what was belief in the message and work of Jesus.

The Doctor Argues this forcibly. Social It is good for the church to help people With Their suffering and need-through service and counseling-but the one thing That the church can do in the World that is unique is to reconcile people to God through the gospel. That Takes words, a message, explanation, exhortation, not just compassionate deeds. That I points out in the UK it was after times of revival, When millions of people through the gospel Became Christians, That hospitals, labor unions, and all sorts of social legislation Arose. The church's primary duty is to preach the message of grace and EMPOWERS That motivates people to be salt and light in the world.

Dr. Lloyd-Jones dismantles the notion That Effectively watching a video or listening to an audio of a sermon is as good as coming Physically into an assembly and listening to a sermon with a body of people. It is obviously a good thing if a person who never hears or reads the Bible listens to the recording of a good gospel message and is Helped by it. But the Doctor Argues That people experience the sermon in a radically different way If They hear it together with a body of listeners and If They see the preacher. Watching or listening on a screen as you walk detaches you and the sermon Becomes mere information, not a whole experience. There is a power and impact the media can not convey That.

The Doctor Takes on the notion That Should not be preaching about "truth propositions" of Biblical doctrine but rather Practically Should describes how to live as a Christ-follower in the world. The trouble is, I says, That May mean you are preaching morality and ethics without the Gospel as a basis-and That simply will not work. If you tell someone to "live a life of service to others in Accordance With the values f the kingdom of God" that will not change them in the core. Hearing a message like that will not lead them to weep and cry, "my chains fell off, my heart was free, I rose, went forth, and Followed thee." The life-transforming, paradigm-shifting message of the gospel requires lots of teaching about the nature of sin as well as the character of Christ's redemption and the Difference between grace and works and the nature of faith. All of These Things Are "truth propositions."

He makes the case Also That, paradoxically, the preacher has Greater credibility if I does  not preach mainly out of his own experience, but shows That the message has come out of the Word itself. Instead of saying, "here's my experience, and this is how the Bible played a role in it," Should the preacher say, "this is what the Bible says, and it actually contradicts my desires and intuitions, but I'm showing it to you because this message is from God, not from me. "

The Doctor's basic case has-been made. Preaching must convey the truths of the gospel as the basis for all Christian practice. It must Arise out of the Biblical text to show That the message is from God. It Should be heard in person in an assembled community. And preaching "sets up" everything else-it regenerated Creates agents of justice in the world, It provides the item with counsel and disciple Christians Which one another and Which equips believers to share Their faith With Others. 

But Lloyd-Jones has one more objection to tackle, and it is the biggest one. It is a pragmatic one and it goes like this: "nowadays, people simply will not come to hear preaching." We'll look at his answer in the next post.