More from Lloyd-Jones on the baptism of the Spirit

More from Lloyd-Jones on the baptism of the Spirit March 4, 2006

Well, judging by a quick Google Blogsearch a whole bunch of bloggers are writing about The Doctor right now.  I wonder how many of them know he said things like this:

The following is from Great Doctrines of the Bible by Lloyd-Jones, and is found in the chapter entitled “Further Reflections on the Baptism of the Spirit.”
“. . . Now Jonathan Edwards was probably one of the greatest minds—I say it advisedly—that the world has ever known.  He is certainly the greatest brain America has ever produced, a brilliant, outstanding philosopher, the last man in the world to be carried away by false emotionalism.  Indeed, he wrote a great treatise on the subject, called The Religious Affections, to teach people how to differentiate between the work of the Spirit and the carnality that often simulates the work of the  Spirit.  So Jonathan Edwards was the last man who was likely to go astray at this point.  This is what he says:
As I rode out into the woods for my health, in 1737, having alighted from my horse in a retired place, as my manner commonly has been to walk for divine contemplation and prayer, I had a view, that was for me extraordinary, of the glory of the Son of God as mediator between God and man and His wonderful, great, full, pure and sweet grace and love, and meek and gentle condescension.  The grace that appeared so calm and sweet appeared also great above the heavens, the person of Christ appeared ineffably excellent and an excellency great enough to swallow up all thoughts and conceptions, which continued, as near as I can judge, about an hour, which kept me a greater part of the time in a flood of tears and weeping aloud.  I felt an ardency of soul to be what I know not otherwise how to express, emptied and annihilated, to lie in the dust and to be full of Christ alone, to love Him with a holy and a pure love, to trust in Him, to live upon Him, to serve Him, and to be perfectly sanctified and made pure with a divine and heavenly purity.
Lloyd-Jones goes on . . .
“Then, from Jonathan Edwards we come to a very different man—D. L. Moody, who was not a great brain, not a great philosopher, not a genius in any sense of the term.  He always described himself as a very ordinary man, and he was right.  But he experienced exactly the same thing . . .
“. . .’Well, one day, in the city of New York, oh what a day, I cannot describe it, I seldom refer to it.  It is almost too sacred an experience to name.  Paul had an experience of which he never spoke (for) fourteen years.  I can only say, God revealed Himself to me and I had such an experience of His love that I had to ask Him to stay His hand.  I went out preaching again, the sermons were no different and I did not present any new truths and yet hundreds were converted.  I would not be placed back where I was before that blessed experience.’
Lloyd-Jones continues:
“A similar thing happened to the great Baptist preacher, Christmas Evans; it happened to Wesley; it happened to Whitefield.
” ‘Ah, but,” you may say, ‘all those men were great preachers and evidently it is something that is intended for men and women who are to perform striking service.’  But . . . there are others—large numbers of ordinary people—who can testify to exactly the same thing.
“Indeed, we are told specifically in the Scriptures, are we not, that this is something which all Christians should experience.  You remember what the apostle Peter said on the  Day of Pentecost in Jerusalem?  When the people cried out and said, ‘What shall we do?’  Peter replied and said, ‘Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.  For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call’ (Acts 2:38-39).  That statement means that it is an experience which is meant to be quite universal among Christian people.
“So what is it?  Well, I cannot, let me repeat, identify this with being filled with the Spirit because these men who looked back to this one great occasion were filled with the Spirit many times afterwards.  I would describe it like this:  it is the initial experience of the filling or, perhaps it is an exceptionally outstanding experience of it.  It is something they describe as being ‘poured forth’—the very terms of Scripture.  Finney says that in his case it came wave after wave upon him—they seem to be almost lifted up to the heavens.  They knew what is was to be filled many times afterwards, but this was something unique and special.  It is an occasion in which the reality of divine things becomes plain, in a way that it has never been before and, in a sense, never is again, so that they can look back to it; it stands out in all its glory.  And, therefore, this is something which we should seek.  But so many, because of their fear of the excesses, have never even sought it and have felt that it is wrong and dangerous to seek it and thereby they have put themselves out of the category that includes these great men of God whose experiences we have just been considering.”

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