The Book of 1 Corinthians
Christmas is always a wonderful time of the year. People seem to be on their best behavior, full of cheer, and often become religious during this time. But what is the meaning behind Christmas? In this sermon on 1 Corinthians 1:20 titled “Christmas and the Modern Man,” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones preaches that the true meaning of Christmas is something that seems offensive, and even foolish, to the natural person. Today’s culture has missed the reason why God sent His Son to Earth in the first place; that is, to reconcile humanity back to Himself. This is the part of the gospel message that is offensive; the Christmas story makes one realize that they are helpless enough that they need a baby to come save them. Christmas is truly a miraculous story. A virgin gives birth to a boy who will save humanity from their sins. This message sounds like foolishness, yet this is the message that all must come to grips with and in hope believe that Jesus was the promised King who will redeem humanity. Some think that He was only a good teacher with good philosophy. This sermon will show that God cannot be made known through religious efforts and earthly wisdom, but only by believing in what the world considers to be foolish.
Many people claim to be Christians but they are truly Christ-less. A Christian is one who has received and believed in Christ, one who has fellowship with Him, and one who is waiting for His return. Christ came to bear witness to the truth. In this sermon on 1 Corinthians 1:4–9 titled “The Testimony of Christ,” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones preaches on the testimony of Christ and the importance of foundational principles. What did Christ have to testify about? The question of the person of Christ is crucial – two natures in one flesh, God’s own son. No one is their own, and they have no right to do what they want with themselves. They have been rescued by Christ. If anyone has the Son of God, then they have eternal life. This gospel is not simply a theory or personal opinion; it is the testimony of God Himself. It is a tragedy to deny these things. This sermon teaches what Christ says about God and humanity, and the only way of being right before God.
Christianity is always contemporary since Christians live in this world too. What differentiates the Christian? People have mastered many things in this life, but they cannot master the lust in their own life and mind – all are failures, none are righteous. People proclaim what they are by what they glory in. Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones preached this sermon on 1 Corinthians 1:31 titled “To Seek and to Save” after the first man had gone into space. One can hear the boasting of humanity over the course of history. What does the Christian glory in? Christianity is not just an intellectual knowledge; it is an actual boasting in the Lord. Learn that to glory in any person is merely self-worship. There cannot be two things glorified because to glory in one is to crucify another – God and self cannot both be exalted. There is nothing special about a person in themselves, but there is every reason to glory in Jesus Christ alone – He is not an ordinary man. The world is as it is because it is not glorying in Christ. People come from earth and go to heaven; Christ was sent from heaven and came to earth. Learn of the purpose of His coming and rejoice in Christianity’s message.
Is it possible to be confident and filled with a sense of assurance about the state of the Christian church today? The Apostle Paul had great confidence and certainty in the faithfulness of God as he wrote to the church in Corinth: “God is faithful.” Do Christians desire the assurance that Paul seems to have in his writings? Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones preaches this sermon as an introduction to 1 Corinthians 1:4-9 so that the listener may be helped and strengthened both at the current state of the Christian church, and in evaluating the manner in which Christians live. Dr. Lloyd-Jones asserts that Paul’s confidence is based upon the fact that he knows that salvation is entirely of God. Paul did not have confidence in the Corinthians or himself, but in God and His grace alone. It is God who calls His people up from spiritual death into His salvation. The Christian has been called and quickened by God and can have confidence today knowing that it is God who calls, confirms, and keeps each Christian because He never starts something without finishing it.
In this sermon on 1 Corinthians 1:22–24 titled “The Everlasting Gospel,” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones asks how the listener thinks about the Christian faith and message. It is a message that one never expects or desires. The cross cannot be removed from this message, yet it is a stumbling block to many. Many think they know what they need and are still looking for a sign, but God gave the message. It is impossible for any to know the truth about themselves while still in sin. Dr. Lloyd-Jones preaches that everyone not only needs help, but they need complete deliverance. The preaching of the cross is an offense to human ears. Why do they resent the cross? Due to the implications, this message is offensive by nature. It denounces everything that people rely upon. People are proud and self-confident, but listen and learn that even the wisest cannot stand before God justly. The blood of Christ is required. This is the Christian message and there is no other. Christ came to die — this is God’s way of salvation, the everlasting gospel. Believe it and be found in Him.
Why has humanity long rejected the truth and wisdom of God? It is because of the arrogance of humanity. People have always wanted to find truth for themselves, just as when Adam reached for the fruit. In the same way, modern people open a philosophy textbook. In this sermon on 1 Corinthians 1:21 titled “The World by Wisdom Knew not God,” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones warns of the dangers of searching for truth apart from Christ. In Corinth, false teachers were denying the miraculous events of the Bible, saying that they cannot be true because they seem unreasonable. They wanted to view Christ as a good teacher rather than as God and Savior. People continually reject the wisdom of God that is revealed in the Bible, nature, and all of history. They turn to their own brain instead of relying on the all-knowing, all-powerful God of the Bible.