Thanks to my friend David for sharing this encouraging exchange between D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones and a good friend. The discourse confirms what is already evident from his legacy. By the renewal of the Holy Spirit, Christ was being formed in this man’s soul. He writes, “Do not pray for healing. Do not hold me back from the glory.” Only someone who has passed into a state of justification by grace could utter such words. May the principle of grace, so powerfully at work in Martyn Lloyd-Jones, teach us to depend not on the law, but on the grace of God that is in Christ alone.
My Dear Gerald, October 29, 1980
How kind of you to write to Bethan [wife of Martyn Lloyd-Jones] and show such loving concern for me – indeed for both of us.
I believe I have told you that had to have my prostate removed four years ago. All went well until last May when I had a recurrence and was operated upon on June 10. Since then I have been going into hospital every three weeks for chemotherapy and stay in from one night to a week. . . . Yours ever, Martyn
My Dear Friend, December 4, 1980
. . . .We have both been passing through new experiences and I am sure that you feel as I do that finally nothing matters but the fact that we are in God’s hands. We and our works are nothing. It is His choosing us before the foundation of the world that matters and He will never leave us nor forsake us. More and more do I see that what we need is simple child-like faith, just to believe His word and surrender ourselves to Him utterly. . . . Yours ever sincerely, D.M. Lloyd-Jones
My Dear Philip, January 20, 1981
. . . .My health is still very much the same and I have not been able to preach or do anything else since the beginning of June. I thank God for all His bountiful goodness to me over the long years, and for all He has graciously allowed me and enabled me to do. My supreme desire now is to testify more than ever to the glory and wonder of His grace. I shall greatly value your prayers that I may be given strength to do so to His glory. I am glad to say that God in a marvelous manner is granting Bethan most remarkable health and vigour. He is indeed a gracious God. . . . Yours ever sincerely, D.M. Lloyd-Jones
His mind remained entirely lucid, and he was never confined to bed, but by February 24 he was so weak that he could hardly speak. A few days later his speech was gone. In a shaky hand, he wrote on a scrap of paper for Bethan and the family, ‘Do not pray for healing. Do not hold me back from the glory.’ By smiles and gestures he was able to continue to express himself until the early morning of Sunday, March 1, 1981 the day broke and all shadows fled away.
“This is my final comfort and consolation in this world. My only hope of arriving in glory lies in the fact that the whole of my salvation is God’s work.”
“It is grace at the beginning, grace at the end. So that when you and I come to lie upon our deathbeds, the one thing that should comfort and help and strengthen us there is the thing that helped us at the beginning. Not what we have been, not what we have done, but the grace of God in Jesus Christ our Lord. The Christian life starts with grace, it must continue with grace, it ends with grace. Grace, wondrous grace. “By the grace of God I am what I am.” “Yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me.”
Martyn Lloyd-Jones Letters 1919-1981, Selected with Notes by Iain Murray, Banner of Truth