John Knox, D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones, and John Stott, On Preaching and Courage

David Burchard Quotable Quotes Leave a Comment

John Knox, the Scottish Reformer, understood the seriousness of preaching. When he was called forth to preach the gospel, he “burst forth in most abundant tears, and withdrew himself to his chamber. His countenance and behaviour, from that day till the day that he was compelled to present himself to the public place of preaching, did sufficiently declare the grief and trouble of his heart” (William Barclay, The Letters to Timothy, Titus, and Philemon, rev. ed. [Philadelphia: Westminster, 1977], 50). The thought of preaching the gospel was so sobering that Knox was overwhelmed.

D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones, the great twentieth-century British preacher, wrote that teaching the Word is such an awesome task that a godly man “shrinks from it. Nothing but this overwhelming sense of being called, and of compulsion, should ever lead anyone to preach” (Preachers and Preaching [Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1972], 107).

John Stott added,

I cannot help wondering if this may not be why there are so few preachers whom God is using today. There are plenty of popular preachers, but not many powerful ones, who preach in the power of the Spirit. Is it because the cost of such preaching is too great? It seems that the only preaching God honours, through which His wisdom and power are expressed, is the preaching of a man who is willing in himself to be both a weakling and a fool. God not only chooses weak and foolish people to save, but weak and foolish preachers through whom to save them, or at least preachers who are content to be weak and seem foolish in the eyes of the world. We are not always willing to pay this price. We are constantly tempted to covet a reputation as men of learning or men of influence; to seek honour in academic circles and compromise our old-fashioned message in order to do so; and to cultivate personal charm or forcefulness so as to sway the people committed to our care. (The Preacher’s Portrait, Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1979], 122)

MacArthur, John. 1 Timothy MacArthur New Testament Commentary (MacArthur New Testament Commentary Series) (Kindle Locations 565-579). Moody Publishers. Kindle Edition.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *