Spiritual Depression

by Martyn Lloyd-Jones

A Short Review

By Liam Walsh

This book was one of my most life changing reads. I picked this one up years ago, after seeing it quoted extensively in John Piper’s great book: ‘When I Don’t Desire God.’ At the time I had no idea who Martyn Lloyd-Jones was, or how much of an impact this book would make on me. Lloyd-Jones, a prolific mid 20th Century London preacher, preached these messages in the mid 1950s! Through this excellent book, he taught me how to apply the gospel to my thinking situationally. Before reading this I didn’t know how to analyze my own thought life, or how the gospel came to bear on guilt, sullenness, or shame and condemnation.

This is an absolutely life changing book! It identifies all kinds of wrong thought patterns that people fall into, addresses why they are not consistent with what the Christian believes, and how to fight for faith in the truth of Christ and experience deeper joy in him. These old sermons are truly life transforming!

Lloyd-Jones shows in painstaking detail how the various truths of the gospel apply to these kinds of problems. He addresses a myriad of issues. He covers everything, from preaching to yourself instead of listening to yourself, justification by the imputed righteousness of Christ – not by religious works, assurance by the work of Christ, guilt and shame over sin as taken by Christ, – to vain regrets, fear of the future, arbitrary negative feelings, craven fear of God versus holy awe, fatigue of religious performance, various trials and suffering, intimacy with God, contentment, and many others. This book is fantastic! And it is absolutely great for anyone seeking to understand how to address these things in Christ.

Years ago, I found this special anniversary hardcover volume published by Granted Ministries (see here). It is the nicest version of Lloyd-Jones’ classic that I’ve seen. It also even comes with a CD containing the audio of the original sermon series the book was based on. This beautifully crafted volume is an amazing help to a variety of practical struggles every Christian fights. You can also listen to all of Martyn Lloyd-Jones’ audio sermons at the Martyn Lloyd-Jones Trust site! His 24 sermon Spiritual Depression Series is still excellent! (though the nearly 70 year old audio can be taxing – it is usually quite good!).

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