Book Review: The plight of man and the power of God by Dr D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones
Monday February 3, 2014 20:47
Lloyd-Jones, D. Martyn. (1997) The Plight of man and the power of God. Ross-shire: Christian Focus. 119p
Reviewed by Stephen Smith
Dr Lloyd-Jones is widely regarded as one of the twentieth century’s greatest expository preachers. All his books are transcripts of his sermons or lectures. This book is based on five sermons he gave in Edinburgh, Scotland in 1941. Dr Lloyd-Jones gave these sermons soon after the start of World War 2 where the whole question of evil, sin and the plight of man were hot issues.
He bases his sermons on Romans 1:16-21,28 and verse 32. This is the classic passage regarding the sinfulness of man and why the gospel is the answer.
Dr Lloyd-Jones first makes the most of his medical training and argues that a superficial diagnosis never helps the patient; in fact it is harmful. During World War 2 academics were suggesting many reasons for the obvious evil of the war but constantly made superficial diagnoses. Dr Lloyd-Jones got to the heart of the issue and showed that mans nature is sinful. This is the disease that needs curing.
Romans 1:18 teaches that the wrath of God is revealed from heaven because of sin. God is light and in Him is no darkness at all. God’s justice, holiness and righteousness demand His hatred of sin.
However there is hope. There is salvation for sinners in the person and work of the Lord Jesus Christ. The gospel is the power of God to salvation. God has dealt with sin through the person and work of Jesus Christ. In Christ the demands of holiness and justice have been satisfied. God in Christ offers pardon and forgiveness.
Dr Lloyd-Jones helpfully summarises the core issue. “There is no hope for man in himself. He must be brought back to God and this is exactly the purpose of the Christian gospel. The gospel is the power of God unto salvation. Sin will not have the last word for the living God is in control.”
This book has two particular uses. It is a helpful book to clarify the truths of the gospel in the readers mind. Further, its clear gospel message makes it an ideal book for personal evangelism. Highly recommended.