Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones

From Iain H. Murray, Author, Reverend, and Assistant to Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones at Westminster Chapel

Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones in the Welsh hills, photo courtesy of Rev. Iain Murray

I came to know Dr. Lloyd-Jones in the early 1950’s. He was then at the height of his powers and labours and I was an unknown student for the ministry. Nonetheless he gave me time and counsel as generously as he did to countless other young men. Hundreds will never forget what his friendship meant to them. He was a truly self-effacing Christian who sought to live for the approval of God, and one could scarcely leave his presence without being moved by a like concern. Any moderation of fundamental truth in order to gain influence was anathema to him. He was stern and unbending. Yet he stressed love as an imperative for all witness, and on secondary issues no-one was a stronger believer in the need for Christian unity. He was a Calvinist not simply in belief but through and through. He saw man-centeredness – whether in evangelism or in the theological scholarship approved by secular universities – as the root of modern evangelical weakness and he did not believe the churches would see a better day until they learned to ‘cease from man’ (Isaiah 2:22). Although trained in one of the highest schools of scientific learning, his life as a Christian depended on simple faith in the word of God, and he died as he lived, magnifying the grace of God. We all loved him and thank God that in very many languages around the world today his ministry reaches more than ever heard him speak. David Martyn Lloyd-Jones … was born in Cardiff, South Wales, on December 20, 1899 – seven years after the death of Spurgeon and two days before that of D. L. Moody. he lived with his parents and two brothers in Wales until financial hardship drove them to London in 1914. There, at the beginning of World War I, he completed his education, and with such ability that by the age of twenty-one he had graduated in Medicine at St. Bartholomew’s Hospital which was probably the foremost teaching hospital in the world at that date. By that age he had already caught the attention of Sir Thomas Horder, the King’s physician, who practiced in London’s famous Harley Street. When Lloyd-Jones became Horder’s assistant in 1921 the way was open for a spectacular career in medicine. Sir James Paterson Ross, President of the Royal College of Surgeons, would later say that the young Welshman was ‘one of the finest clinicians I ever encountered’. Then in 1926, to the astonishment of his friends, the successful physician announced that he was leaving medicine to become the preacher in Sandfields Mission Hall at Aberavon, Port Talbot, South Wales. He remained there until 1938, when he agreed to assist Dr Campbell Morgan for a short period at Westminster Chapel, London. In fact he was to stay for thirty years, until 1968. At that date he continued to preach in many parts of the country until his eightieth year. He died on March 1, 1981.

from Lloyd-Jones Messenger of Grace, by Iain H. Murray, 2008, p. 3

Lloyd-Jones belief that ‘Preaching is theology coming through a man that is on fire’ – truth explained and applied, directly, personally, lucidly, to every hearer – was a new kind of preaching. It challenged the contemporary church scene as nothing else had done for a long time. And it was not classroom theory, it was in the church where there was evidence of life-changing power.

from Lloyd-Jones Messenger of Grace, by Iain H. Murray, 2008, p. 22

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