“What is the Chief End of Preaching?”

Here is what Dr. David Martyn Lloyd Jones said about preaching – all of the quotes below are from “the Doctor’s” book entitled, Preaching & Preachers.

“What is the chief end of preaching?”  I like to think it is this.  It is to give men and women a sense of God and His presence (p. 97).

For a period of about four months, “the Doctor” while ill was unable to preach at the Westminster Chapel.  In the providence of God, this afforded him “the opportunity, and the privilege, of listening to others” instead of preaching himself.  This is what he wrote as he reflected on that experience:

I can forgive a man for a bad sermon, I can forgive the preacher almost anything if he gives me a sense of God, if he gives me something for my soul, if he gives me the sense that, though he is inadequate himself, he is handling something which is very great and very glorious, if he gives me some dim glimpse of the majesty and glory of God, the love of Christ my Saviour, and the magnificence of the Gospel.  If he does that I am his debtor, and I am profoundly grateful to him.  Preaching is the most amazing, and the most thrilling activity that one can ever be engaged in, because of all that it holds out for all of us in the present, and because of the glorious endless possibilities in an eternal future (p. 98).

“The Doctor” had no sympathy for many of the preachers he heard in his done.  One can only guess what he would think of many of today’s preachers.  For as one writer puts it, much of what passes for preaching today is not preaching at all – it does not qualify to be called preaching in the biblical sense.  Unlike much of today’s preaching, biblical preaching always leaves people with a sense of the divine and holy presence of God.  Much of today’s preaching fails at this point.  May the Lord help us!

Watch Dr. Lloyd Jones talk about his personal call to the ministry:

Here is a Special Encouragement & a Challenge for Preachers:

There is nothing to add to that.  Any man who has had some glimpse of what it is to preach will inevitably feel that he has never preached.  But he will go on trying, hoping that by the grace of God one day he may truly preach (p. 99).

As a preacher myself, I take great encouragement in these words and pray that by God’s grace, I might grow to become a better preacher of the Gospel.  I know that I will never preach like Dr. Lloyd-Jones did, but this one thing greatly encourages me:  By the grace of God, I can preach the same Gospel that He preached – for there is only one Gospel!  That’s why I am a preacher and that’s I still preach and by the grace of God, I am committed to go on preaching – not because I have anything of my own to offer, but because the Lord God in His grace has been pleased to put His infinite treasure (the treasure of the Gospel) in this “jar of clay” to show that the surpassing power belongs to Him and not to me (see 2 Corinthians 4:7).  To God be the glory!!

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