There has never been a book that I have recommended more than Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones’ Studies in the Sermon on the Mount. I was so excited about the book, by the time I had finished reading the book in college, I was on my fifth copy. I either gave my copy of the book away, or lent it out to friends, who soon realized that they did not want to return it. Forget all the spirituality books out there, this is the book that shaped my understanding of God, myself, and the way I read the Bible. This book has defined me in ways I have only begun to express: as for the very spirituality it has molded in me, it has kept me anchored even through the most tempestuous storms of life.

Content-wise and structurally, the book is simply a rich exposition of the Sermon on the Mount, collected from a series of sermons, which were delivered by “the Doctor” at the Westminster Chapel, London, U.K.

The chapter on “Blessed are the Poor in Spirit” was enough to make me realize where I stood before God; it made want to read the book in its entirety. Here is a short excerpt, which captures the essence of the chapter:

There is no one in the kingdom of God who is not poor in spirit. It is the fundamental characteristic of the Christian and of the citizen of the kingdom of heaven, and all the other characteristics are in a sense the result of this one. As others are a manifestation of a fullness. We cannot be filled until we are first empty. You cannot fill with new wine a vessel  which is partly filled already with old wine, until the old wine has been poured out. This, then, is one of those statements which remind us that there has to be a kind of emptying before there can be a filling.

When I first met Dr. Josh Moody at Trinity back in 2003, I somehow had this feeling that we would become kindred spirits by his familiarity with the work, and his personal connection with the Doctor’s family.

I thought I’d mention both the book and the Doctor, after seeing some posts out in the blogging world, including both here and here.