Bryant Wright again brought a powerful sermon Sunday at Johnson Ferry Baptist Church in Atlanta. I was glad to hear him mention Dr. Lloyd-Jones work on the Sermon on the Mount mentioning the following passage about pain.
“The world, it is obvious, has fallen into this primary and fundamental error, an error which one could illustrate in many different ways. Think of a man who is suffering from some painful disease. Generally the one desire of such a patient is to be relieved of his pain, and one can understand that very well. No one likes suffering pain. The one idea of this patient, therefore, is to do anything which will relieve him of it. Yes; but if the doctor who is attending this patient is also only concerned about relieving this man’s pain he is a very bad doctor. His primary duty is to discover the cause of the pain and to treat that. Pain is a wonderful symptom which is provided by nature to call attention to disease, and the ultimate treatment for pain is to treat the disease, not the pain. So if a doctor merely treats the pain without discovering the cause of the pain, he is not only acting contrary to nature, he is doing something that is extremely dangerous to the life of the patient. The patient may be out of pain, and seems to be well; but the cause of the trouble is still there. Now that is the folly of which the world is guilty. It says, ‘I want to get rid of my pain, so I will run to the pictures, or drink, or do anything to help me forget my pain.’ But the question is, What is the cause of the pain and the unhappiness and the wretchedness? They are not happy who hunger and thirst after happiness and blessedness. No. ‘Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.’ This is equally true, however, of many within the Church.
There are large numbers of people in the Christian Church who seem to spend the whole of their life seeking something which they can never find, seeking for some kind of happiness and blessedness. They go round from meeting to meeting, and convention to convention, always hoping they are going to get this wonderful thing, this experience that is going to fill them with joy, and flood them with some ecstasy. They see that other people have had it, but they themselves do not seem to get it. So they seek it and covet it, always hungering and thirsting; but they never get it.”
You can hear more online from Bryant at Right From the Heart.org.
This is an exceptional examination of the Beatitudes and Matthew 5:3-12. First preached in 1951 at Westminster Chapel, Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones clarifies the meaning and desires Jesus Christ has for his Kingdom.
Total audio length: 383 minutes
In this series of 13 sermons Dr. Lloyd-Jones draws us to an extraordinary level of understanding of what it means to be a Christian. Indeed he makes clear that the Sermon on the Mount is solely for Christians, a model for their behavior and “to expect Christian conduct from a person who is not born again is heresy”. Additionally, he elucidates in unique fashion the perfectness of the Sermon on the Mount, and reconciles seemingly difficult contradictions that ultimately inspire a greater and deeper faith. He notes that “The more we live and try to practice this Sermon on the Mount, the more we shall experience blessing.”
Salt & Light comes from Chapters 14 – 19 and covers Matthew 5:13-20. Here Dr. Loyd-Jones elucidates what it means to be the Salt of the earth and the Light of the world; the function and purpose of the Christian in this life.
Total audio length: 174 minutes
In this series of 6 sermons Dr. Lloyd-Jones carefully illuminates the Christian’s relationship to the world in general. He poses the question “What is to be the relationship of Christian people to society and the world… what are we to do about it, what are we called to do as Christians…?” He comments “…having realized what we are, we must now go on to consider what we must be.” In a nutshell, “Whether we like it or not, our lives should always be the first thing to speak.”
The Law comes from Chapters 20 – 30, Matthew 5:21- 48. Having dealt with the essential nature of the Christian, and then the function and purpose of the Christian in this life, here elucidated is the whole question of the relationship of the Christian to the law, both Jesus’ positive exposition and its contrast with the false teaching of the scribes and Pharisees.
Total audio length: 311 minutes
In this series of 11 sermons Dr. Lloyd-Jones carefully identifies 5 key principles of the Law that Jesus wanted to make sure we know and understand.
- “He (Jesus) is concerned to make clear to them exactly hat the law has to say.. Our Lord’s chief desire was to show the true meaning and intent of the law, and to correct the erroneous onclusions which had been drawn from it by the Pharisees and scribes and all the false notions which they had founded upon it.”
- “Conformity to the law must not be thought of in terms of actions only. Thoughts, motives and desires are equally important. The law of God is concerned as much with what leads to the action s it is with the action itself.”
- “The law must be thought of not only in a negative manner, but also positively.”
- “…The purpose of the law as expounded by Christ is not to keep us in a state of obedience to oppressive rules, but to promote the free development of our spiritual character.”
- “…The law of God, and all these ethical instructions of the Bible, must never be regarded as an end in themselves.”
Fellowship comes from Chapters 31 – 44, Matthew 6.
Here addressed are the two sides of the Christian. “The first is what we may call our religious life, the culture and nurture of the soul, our piety, our worship, the whole religious aspect of our life, and everything that concerns our direct relationship to God“. The second is our relationship to life in general, and how to deal with the “cares of this world“.
Total audio length: 429 minutes
Fellowship: The True Nature of Fellowship with God
In this series of 14 sermons, the good Doctor (as Dr. Jones’ was affectionately known) relays, “This is the fundamental thing, the most serious thing of all, that we are always in the presence of God.” He again carefully explains several guiding principles for how to live given by Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount.
- Consider “the delicate nature of the Christian life. The Christian life is always a matter of balance and poise. It is a life that gives the impression of being self-contradictory….”
- The next “…principle is that the ultimate choice is always the choice between pleasing self and pleasing God.”
- “…The supreme matter in this life and world for all of us is to realize our relationship to God.
- Additionally, “…it is quite right to seek the reward which God gives. He says, `Otherwise ye have no reward of your Father which is in heaven.’ If you do the right thing, then `thy Father which seeth in secret himself shall reward thee openly.’ “
Throughout this series he will give guidance on prayer, fasting, alms-giving, and how to comprehend the depth of the Father’s love for his children which leads to “increasing faith” and freedom from worry. He also describes how the “Lord shows us the danger of the impact of the life of this world upon us, the danger of worldliness, the danger of living for the things of this life and this world, whether we have too much or too little, and especially the subtlety of that danger.”
As you listen along with the narrator consider exploring the extras tab of the app for access to hymns, verses, biographies, a glossary and word games based on the content unique to this audio.
Walking comes from Chapters 45 – 60, Matthew 7. “The Christian…should always know that he is walking in the presence of God, and that he is going on to meet God; and that thought should determine and control the whole of his life….we have to remember this fact in every part of our lives; we must remember that every section of our existence must be brought into that relationship.” Chapter 45
Total audio length: 477 minutes
In this concluding series of 16 sermons Dr. Lloyd-Jones makes clear…“It is as if our Lord were saying that the final thing which matters is not what men think of us, but what God thinks of us…..we are reminded all along that our life here is a journey and a pilgrimage, and that it is leading on to a final judgment, an ultimate assessment, and the determination and proclamation of our final and eternal destiny.” Dr. Lloyd-Jones leads us through the toughest issues of Christian life dealing with issues including personal and spiritual judgement, pursuing the narrow way and the straight gate, the Golden Rule, the wise and foolish house builders, and powers of darkness masquerading as angels of light. It is a seriously compelling and thought provoking series. As you listen along with the narrator consider exploring the extras tab of the app for access to hymns, verses, biographies, a glossary and word games based on the content unique to this audio.