The Doctor for a new generation - Tony Sargent

The Tuesday afternoon session from Life in the Spirit was an opportunity for Tony Sargent, {edit 2013: then} principal of International Christian College, to share about a new book he has written of gems from Dr Lloyd-Jones.

I was introduced to the Doctor a couple of months after my conversion, by means of a taped message from 2 Cor 2v1-5 (Jesus Christ and Him crucified). I was hooked! So I was interested to hear what Tony had been up to. After an introduction sharing his vision for training at the ICC, he warned us of two danger for preachers:

1) Being toothless - having a message with no bite;
2) Being deaf and not hearing what the Spirit is saying to the churches.

The Doctor was neither of these things! Here's what Tony had to tell us:

His first book

Tony Sargent’s first book was a study of Lloyd-Jones and the importance of the Holy Spirit in the act of preaching. It was called The Sacred Anointing [and is a very good book!]. The presence of the Spirit is the smile of God upon the preaching – to lack God’s smile is the worst thing a preacher can experience. It is said that Spurgeon repeated before he preached, “I believe in the Holy Spirit.” Lloyd-Jones is described as “logic on fire.”

A new book of quotes

Now Tony has completed a new book of quotes from the preaching of Lloyd-Jones which is indexed in 100 or so categories. It forms a compendium in theology and a summary of the Doctor’s position in many areas.
The Doctor quarried in areas where no-one else seemed to go, eg: the devil and demonism. He was one of the few prominent leaders in his time who actually taught on the existence of the devil (see his 20 or 30 addresses on the devil and his wiles in the Ephesians series). He covered demon possession in his lectures to the Christian Medical Fellowship. He shows how to cope with someone demon possessed and the importance of the blood of Christ in seeing people delivered.

Other areas covered in the new book:
  • Penal substitution. The Doctor shows clearly that this is the only way of salvation; divine love and divine wrath mingling. See his book The Cross.
  • On the reality of hell. He would not flinch from this - if salvation is eternal, so is damnation.
  • Preaching. He saw the preacher as having the greatest calling in the world to teach the unsearchable riches of Christ, bringing eternal truth to bear on the lives of the hearers. He saw himself as a physician of the soul. He said that counselling goes up when preaching goes down. He expected the coming of the Holy Spirit upon the preached word (so he wouldn’t have a radio broadcast from the Chapel because he wouldn't be restricting by their timing if the Holy Spirit came upon him during the preaching of the Word).
  • He believed that preaching is the word of God. The word of God to the hearers at that time. The preacher is a messenger who stood before them on God’s behalf.
  • On being ready for eternity. Does what you say and believe take you to the end? He warned preachers - never live for your preaching; you die a man. What will you do when you can preach no more? He himself was ready to go even when he could not speak at the end - when visited by a friend, he took his Bible in one hand and with the other pointed up. He believed that after death he would be taken into the conscious realisation of the presence of God and the glories of heaven. He was anticipating heaven not in terms of getting away from here – but for God Himself.

The preacher’s job is to bite with the non-negotiable truth, and to listen to God and declare what he hears.
{end of notes}

I'm looking forward to this book. Tony told us it has just gone to the publisher - so it should be with us sometime later this year!

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