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September 20, 2011 / Daniel

Martyn Lloyd-Jones on Scripture as a Mere Intellectual Pursuit

Last week Amazon finally sent me D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones’ Studies in the Sermon on the Mount.   Lloyd-Jones was a British evangelical preacher.  His heyday was during 1950’s and 60’s.  As I was reading through the introduction, I found this quote.   It cut me right open.

Lloyd-Jones warns us that our study of Scripture must be more than just a hobby.  We must approach the Bible as the Word of God spoken to us.

I can never forget, in this connection, a man who, whenever I met him, always impressed upon me the fact that he was a great Bible student.  I suppose in one sense he was, but his life was unfortunately very far removed from that which one finds described in the pages of the New Testament.  Yet Bible study was his hobby and that is the thing of which I am afraid.  You can be a Bible student in that mechanical sense.  As people spend their time in analysing Shakespeare, so some people spend their time in analysing the Scriptures.  An analysis of Scripture is all right as long as it is in a very subordinate position, and as long as we are careful it does not so grip us, that we become interested only in an objective, intellectual sense.  It is a unique Word, and it must not be approached just as any other book is approached.  I do increasingly understand those fathers and saints of the Church in the past who used to say that we should read never the Bible except on our knees.  We need this constant reminder as we approach the Word of God, that it is indeed and in truth the Word of God speaking directly to us.

It is easy to study the Bible as just a mere intellectual pursuit.   We can become information hoards.  However, the study of the Bible must be more than a fact-finding mission.  It must be a time to meet with our Savior.   To listen to His voice and respond.   As James says, “Be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves” (James 1:22).

Father God, give us the grace to see ourselves as you see us.  Let us not be deceived.   Help us to be obedient to your voice.

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2 Comments

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  1. lambskinny / Sep 23 2011 12:20 am

    I absolutely love Martyn Lloyd Jones’ commentaries on Ephesians and Romans. Good good… thanks for this. God bless. Carley

  2. Daniel / Sep 23 2011 10:53 pm

    Carley, thanks for commenting. Yeah, Jones’ commentary on Matthew 5-7 is a good read. Very challenging.

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