West London Alliance Church

Posted originally on February 7, 2009:

I have begun reading Joy Unspeakable by David Martyn Lloyd-Jones. I have been interested in this author for awhile. Here is some info from Theopedia:

D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones (1899-1981), a British evangelical born and brought up within Welsh Calvinistic Methodism, he is most noted for his pastorate and expository preaching career at Westminster Chapel in London. In addition to his work at Westminster, he published books and spoke at conferences and, at one point, presided over the Inter-Varsity Fellowship of Students (now known as UCCF). Lloyd-Jones was strongly opposed to the liberal theology that had become a part of many Christian denominations in Wales and England.

Born in Wales, Lloyd-Jones was schooled in London. He then entered medical training at Saint Batholomew's Hospital, better known simply as Bart's. Bart's carried the same prestige in the medical community that Oxford did in the intellectual community. Martyn's career was medicine. He succeeded in his exams so young that he had to wait to take his MD, by which time he was already chief clinical assistant to Sir Thomas Horder, one of the best and most famous doctors of the day. By the age of 26 he also had his MRCP (Member of the Royal College of Physicians). Although he had considered himself a Christian, the young doctor was soundly converted in 1926. He gave up his medical career in 1927 and returned to Wales to preach and pastor his first church in Sandfields, Aberavon.

In 1935, Loyd-Jones preached to an assembly at Albert Hall. One of the listeners was 72 year old Dr. Campbell Morgan, pastor of Westminster Chapel in London. When he heard Martyn Lloyd-Jones, he wanted to have him as his colleague and successor in 1938. But it was not so easy, for there was also a proposal that he be appointed Principal of the Theological College at Bala; and the call of Wales and of training a new generation of ministers for Wales was strong. In the end, however, the call from Westminster Chapel prevailed and the Lloyd-Jones family finally committed to London in April 1939.

After the war, under Lloyd-Jones preaching, the congregation at Westminster Chapel grew quickly. In 1947 the balconies were opened and from 1948 until 1968 when he retired, the congregation averaged perhaps 1500 on Sunday mornings and 2000 on Sunday nights.

In his 68th year, he underwent a major medical operation. Although he fully recovered, he decided to retire from Westminster Chapel. Even in retirement, however, Lloyd-Jones worked as a pastor of pastors and itinerant speaker and evangelist. "The Doctor", as he became known, was one of the major figureheads of British evangelicalism and his books and published sermons continue to be appreciated by many within the United Kingdom and beyond.

Posted originally on February 9, 2009:

In Joy Unspeakable, Lloyd-Jones describes three types of assurance that are experienced by the believer:

  1. assurance from deductions from Scripture. We believe Scripture to be God's word and Scripture assures us we are God's children.
  2. assurance from the 'tests of life'. These tests are from Scripture and they demonstrate we are God's children. One such test is "Do you love your brothers and sisters in Christ?" If yes, this demonstrates your adoption and you can take assurance from that fact.
  3. assurance from God's Spirit bearing witness with our spirit.

This final assurance is emphasized by the author: "But the glory of this third and highest form of assurance is that it is neither anything that we do, nor any deduction that we draw, but an assurance that is given to us by the blessed Spirit himself." (p93)

Leave a Comment