Monday, February 14, 2011

Studies in the Sermon on the Mount Book Review

You can find my review on Amazon here.

This monumental work by Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones on the Sermon on the Mount is incredible to say the least. Lloyd-Jones preached sixty messages on this sermon by the Lord Jesus Christ; it is expository preaching at its best. A very important point that Lloyd-Jones makes repeatedly throughout this work is that it is vital to examine the whole theme of the particular chapter or section, before you get into the specific verses. When I first read this I was amazed the way that Lloyd-Jones arranged this sermon, for example, he suggests that the whole of chapter seven is, "an account of the Christian as one who lives always under the judgement of God, and in the fear of God." (pg. 19) Often when you have a work of this size, it's very difficult to summarize or review. I want to highlight five things that I especially learned after reading this book, and I think these things will summarize the great themes of the book. 

1.We must be born again to live this sermon out. When you consider the commands that Jesus Christ gave in this sermon, you realize that, "to expect Christian conduct from a person who is not born again is heresy." (pg. 17) I am very thankful for the righteousness of Christ, for without His righteousness I am undone as I look at this sermon. 

2.Self is the root of all our problems. According to Martyn Lloyd-Jones self, "makes man glorify himself and set himself up as a god. He protects this self all along and in every way." (pg. 246) As you read this book you realize that sin is ultimately self worship, and it affects us in every way possible, in fact, more than we often know. 

3.The world today is looking for, and desperately needs, true Christians. Lloyd-Jones says that practicing this sermon would be the best means of evangelism (pg.13), in other words the church does not impress the world by being like the world, but by living the Christian life according to Jesus. 

4.The Christian should always live life in the presence of God, to please God, and to fear God. The whole trouble of the Pharisees was that they only wanted to be seen by men, they practiced their righteousness in front of men, so that they could get glory. Christians, on the other hand, are to be concerned only about pleasing God. 

5.One of our great problems as Christians is we forget that God is our Father. Why do we worry when God is our Father? God is for us, he is caring for us, and he will give us all that we need to live our pilgrimage in this world. 

This is one of the few books that are this long that I have read where I have read through the whole book. Right now this book is probably my favorite outside of Scripture, and I have no doubt it will remain in my top five as I get older. I thank God for the grace that he gave to Dr. Lloyd-Jones to preach these sermons and my prayer is that the church would obey Jesus, so that the world will see the glory of Christianity above all else there is in this fallen world!

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