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QUESTIONS ABOUT MLJ'S BOOK JOY UNSPEAKABLE

03/02/2018

Steve,

I thought that I had all of Lloyd-Jones's books until yesterday. At a used book sale I saw a copy of "Joy Unspeakable" for $1.00. I had never heard of this book, but I snatched it up anyway. Now I am starting to think that there may be a reason why I do not see it offered on some of my favorite book sites. Please give me your thoughts on this book.
Adam

Dear Brother,
Thank you for your question and concern. Martin Lloyd-Jones was one of the great gifts the Lord has given to His church over the centuries. He is one of my greatest heroes too. However, he was not infallible and was after all, a saved sinner like the rest of God's people.

Saying this, Dr. Lloyd-Jones had a great outpouring of the Holy Spirit come upon him soon after conversion. He was called to preach and given great gifts to do so. As he studied Scripture to examine (he as after all, a Doctor of Medicine by training) what had happened to him (and others as he read church history) he came to the conclusion that it was the 'baptism of the Holy Spirit'. The book JOY UNSPEAKABLE was his preaching to his congregation (in the Ephesians series) his understanding of this doctrine and urging the saints, especially ministers, to seek such a baptism.

More careful exegetes during his lifetime and after have shown how they disagreed with the Doctor. While not teaching that there were not great effusions of the Spirit to be had, they rightly showed (in my humble opinion) that what Scripture calls the 'baptism of the Spirit' was true of all Christians and happened at regeneration.

I hold the position that the baptism is true of all believers BUT that there are greater effusions or outpourings to be sought per Luke 7:7-11 and other verses. (cf. James W. Alexander's article reprinted by Chapel Library, "PRAY FOR THE SPIRIT" and available online also).

I hope this helps a bit. MLJ'a close associates such as Iain Murray and Sinclair Ferguson were not swayed by his exegesis of the baptism but they too believe that there are many and varied fillings of the Spirit.

The Lord bless you as you seek to be faithful to Him.

Steve Martin
DEAN OF STUDENTS; IRBS THEOLOGICAL SEMINARY
BLOGGING AT WWW.THELOGCOLLEGE.WORDPRESS.COM

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