Preaching That Electrifies
What is the effect of preaching that is thoroughly biblical, authoritative, and well-studied? What is the result of expository preaching that is intensely doctrinal, Spirit-empowered, and delivered with a sense of urgency? How has God used the expository preaching of Martyn Lloyd-Jones and John MacArthur?
The Thunder of the Truth
J. I. Packer, then a student in London, has reflected upon what it was like to be under Lloyd-Jones’ preaching at Westminster Chapel. Packer writes: “I had never heard such preaching and was electrified” Further, Packer stated: “I have never heard another preacher with so much of God about him.” The effect of such preaching was powerful: “There was in the Doctor’s preaching thunder and lightning that no tape or transcription ever did or could capture…Through the thunder and lightning, I felt and saw as never before the glory of Christ and of His gospel as modern man’s only lifeline and learned by experience why historic Protestantism looks on preaching as the supreme means of grace and of communion with God.” Such is the power of God in the preaching of His Word.
Reflecting upon Lloyd-Jones’s biblical preaching, Eric Alexander writes, “Those of us who have had the privilege of hearing him will not easily forget the sense of awe which came upon one’s soul as he was gripped by the glory of the gospel and God spoke with such power through him.” This is the effect of such preaching, which “left an indelible mark on his hearers.”
From untold numbers of people, the same testimonies can be offered concerning the authority of John MacArthur’s preaching. The Scripture proclaimed from his pulpit has come with life-changing impact upon those who have sat under its force. Baptismal services on Sunday evening at Grace Community Church reveal the repeated testimonies of those who have been converted under the power of the Word of God preached. Students at both The Master’s Seminary and College bear witness that the supernaturally empowered force of MacArthur’s pulpit has drawn them from across the country or the world to sit at his feet.
“What one hears from MacArthur’s pulpit,” Old states, “is a very straight Christian message.” He “has an amazing ability to explain Scripture by Scripture” in such a way that is “richly informative and mightily convincing.” Old adds, “The strength of his preaching is the content,” as MacArthur speaks with “complete clarity.” The truth is this, “He recognizes in Scripture the Word of God, and when he preaches, it is Scripture that one hears.”
On the occasion of the twenty-fifth anniversary of John MacArthur’s presidency of The Master’s Seminary, it is only fitting that we give praise to Christ for this faithful servant. For over four decades, this distinguished leader has given himself to the preaching of God’s Word at Grace Church. What is more, he has used his influence in the training of the next generation of biblical expositors, Spirit-empowered preachers who follow in their president’s footsteps. May MacArthur’s life and pulpit legacy significantly influence a new generation of dynamic heralds of God’s Word. And may there come from their midst, the next wave of leading voices in the church.