Martyn Lloyd-Jones on preaching one's experience as the Gospel

In his sermon on Acts 8:4-5 "Facing the Facts" Martyn Lloyd-Jones expounded on the fact of the Gospel and proclaiming it, refuting the tendency even in his day, the preaching of one's "experience". The Gospel is not "your experience" of it. The Gospel message is the Word, and a very particular word at that. It is a set of facts which, as ambassadors commanded to deliver the exact message we are given, is to be proclaimed. It is not how happy we've become through it. The message is not how our lives have changed from it. The message is not about how abundant our lives have been since hearing it. It is a message resting on particularly unique historical facts and heavenly bread, given us to speak. We do have experiences from God and through God. However the experiences we have are not the message. We should never preach ourselves, but Jesus only.

Here is Dr Martyn Lloyd-Jones refuting experience AS the Gospel.
One's experience is not a defense of the truth. That is what the cults say. It is what psychology says. Proclaiming the Gospel is answering the questions, Who is Jesus Christ? how have these things happened? What are the historical events? And what is their relationship to me? That is what these men spoke about. 
They certainly had an experience. It was such an experience that they were ready to suffer for it, and be persecuted for and to be driven out of their homes for it rather then deny it. But that wasn't what they talked about. 
I don't apologize for the intolerance of the New Testament. Let me put it like this to you, I would not be in this pulpit if I haven't got an intolerant Gospel. If I were not certain that this and this alone is the word of God, I wouldn't be in this pulpit. I'm not here to express my hopes, my fears, my anticipations, my thoughts, my! no! I'm here to proclaim to you, to tell you. It is because I am certain of it, sure of it, not because of my experience, but because of what it IS.


  1. That perspective cannot be overstated!

  2. What an excellent quote. Right now people at my church are pushing personal testimonies. A bit of peer pressure to write one down and share it, but even though a testimony can be okay, I mentioned that a testimony wasn't the gospel. No one said anything. A testimony can be a bridge to sharing the gospel (an icebreaker), but even the cults use testimony to persuade others. It is true, that experience isn't preaching the gospel. Thanks for sharing.

  3. A testimony is fine, but we must remember that while our story might be inspiring, it is not inspired. Get to the inspired part as fast as you can! That is where the life is!

  4. Elizabeth, I can't tell you how timely this is . . I'm sort of stunned to read Dr. Jones' first line. Our women's retreat is approaching with 1 Peter 3:15 as the theme - with a bit different take: testimonies as the reason for the hope within us. Ugh. :(

  5. Lloyd-Jones is a true man of God and where can you find these kind of men today? MLJ is brave is no coward because he does not deny what the scripture is saying and does not omit the teaching because its not popular. Anyone who is really hungry to learn how to read the bible for themselves ought to go to the Lloyd-Jones website where they can download his sermons for free. I love listening to Lloyd-Jone's insights and look forward to meeting him face to face soon. I love God and Christ more from listening to MLJ and can often feel the Spirit of God moving giving me deep inside letting me know that MLJ belongs to Him and has good intentions.


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