Tuesday, June 13, 2006

D.M. Lloyd-Jones: preaching in the power of the Spirit

Following on from yesterday's post against PowerPoint preaching, I thought that it might be good to look at what "the Doctor" had to say about preaching in the power of the Spirit. In the final chapter of Preaching and Preachers, he discusses this matter from a historical perspective, giving examples of preaching in times of revival. In the quote below, he considers the effect of the work of the Spirit upon the preacher himself. Lloyd-Jones writes with great insight into experience of preaching with the Holy Spirit and much assurance. What do we know of this kind of preaching?

How do we recognise this when it happens? Let me try to answer. The first indication is in the preacher's own consciousness. 'Our gospel came not unto you in word only' says Paul, 'but in power and the Holy Ghost, and much assurance'. Who knew the assurance? Paul himself. He knew something was happening, he was aware of it. You cannot be filled with the Spirit without knowing it. He had 'much assurance'. He knew he was clothed with power and authority. How does one know it? It gives clarity of thought, clarity of speech, ease of utterance, a great sense of authority and confidence as you are preaching, an awareness of a power not your own thrilling through the whole of your being, and an indescribable sense of joy. You are a man 'possessed', you are taken hold of and taken up. I put it like this - and I know of nothing on earth that is comparable to this feeling - that when this happens you have a feeling that you are not actually doing the preaching, you are looking on. You are looking at yourself in amazement as this is happening . It is not your effort; you are just the instrument, the channel, the vehicle: and the Spirit is using you, and you are looking on in great enjoyment and astonishment. There is nothing that is in any way comparable to this. This is what the preacher himself is aware of.
From Preaching and Preachers p. 324, Hodder and Stoughton, 1985.

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