Lloyd-Jones and the Primary Purpose of Preaching


Lloyd-Jones in Preaching and Preachers provides a good view of the primary task of preaching in the following:

What is the chief end of preaching? . . . To give men and women a sense of God and His presence. . . . 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 the 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.1

This experience of God which comes through preaching comes through the exultation and exposition of the word of God. As opposed to a lecture or a running commentary, true preaching seeks to engage the hearts of the audience with the inspired word of God. The question that must be asked is why preaching must be expositional? The answer to this question lies in the authority of the Word of God as the self revelation of God. Lloyd-Jones in addressing how to form a sermon stated:“So you must be expository; and in any case my whole argument is that it should be clear to people that what we are saying is something that comes out of the Bible. We are presenting the Bible and its message.”2 It was this complete commitment to the centrality of the Bible that was the foundation of his ministry as seen earlier. For Lloyd-Jones every action and word was to point to the importance of the Bible as God’s revelation.

1D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones, Preaching & Preachers (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1971), 97-98.

2Ibid., 75.