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Column: We need God-dominated preaching

By Chipley Thornton

Special to The Tribune

Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones was a medical doctor-turned-preacher in England in the mid-1900’s. England’s churches were flailing. God used this man to spark a great revival.

The spark He used to ignite that revival was “God-dominated preaching.” What is God-dominated preaching? Lloyd-Jones said it was preaching that focused on exalting the God of Scripture. He identified three elements of God-dominated preaching: (1) God’s sovereignty; (2) God’s holiness; and, (3) God’s glory.

Preaching must not merely be “laced” with the sovereignty of God. It must be “saturated” with it. Lloyd-Jones counseled, “I can forgive a man 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 in himself, he is handling something which is very great and glorious . . . If he does that, I am his debtor, and I am profoundly grateful to him” (Steve Lawson, The Passionate Preaching of Martyn Lloyd-Jones).

And again, “The Bible starts with God; you remember its great opening statement which really tells us everything: ‘In the beginning God . . .’” Why do people listen to preaching? To hear a story-teller tell stories? To hear a “life coach” tell them everything’s going to be ok? To be entertained by a clean comedy routine? No! People come to church to hear

  • Did I hear the sovereignty of God proclaimed?
  • Did I hear anything of the holiness of God uplifted?
  • Did the message aim to glorify God and His Works or man and his?
  • If the answer to each of these questions is, “Yes,” then—by all means—bring others to hear a God-dominated preacher preach a God-dominated sermon!

    Chipley Thornton is a pastor at First Baptist Church of Springville. The church’s website is fbcspringville.com.

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