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 become religious during this time. But what is the meaning behind Christmas? In this sermon on 1 Corinthians 1:20, Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones preaches that the true meaning of Christmas is something that seems offensive, and even foolish, to the natural man. Our culture has missed the reason why God sent His Son to the earth in the first place, that is, to reconcile man back to Himself. This is the part of the Gospel message that is offensive; the Christmas story makes us realize that we are helpless, so helpless that we need a baby to come save us. Have you truly considered the miraculous story of Christmas? A virgin gives birth to a boy who will save mankind from their sins. This message sounds like foolishness, yet this is the message that all men must come to grips with. Do you believe that Jesus was the promised King who will redeem mankind, or do you think that He was only a good teacher with good philosophy? This sermon will show us that God cannot be made known through our religious efforts and earthly wisdom, but only by believing in what the world considers to be foolishness.
Christianity is always contemporary, since Christians live in this world too! What differentiates the Christian? Man has mastered many things in this life, but he cannot master the lust in his own life and mind – all are failures, none are righteous. Man proclaims what he is by what he glories in. Listen to Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones as he preaches on 1 Corinthians 1:31 after the first man has gone into space. Hear about the boasting of man 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 man is merely self-worship. There cannot be two things glorified, to glory in one is to crucify another – God and self cannot both be exalted. There is nothing special about man himself, 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. Man comes from earth and goes to heaven, Christ was sent from heaven and came to earth. Learn of the purpose of His coming and rejoice in Christianity's message. He that glories, let him glory in the Lord!
How are we to think about the Christian faith and message? Listen as Paul makes this clear in 1 Corinthians 1:22-24. A message that man never expects or desires. The cross cannot be removed from this message, yet it is a stumbling block to many! Men think they know what they need and are still looking for a sign, but God gave us a message. It is impossible for man to know the truth about himself while he is in sin. Man’s whole world revolves around his relationship to God. Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones preaches that man not only needs help, but he needs complete deliverance. The preaching of the cross is an offense to men. Why does man resent the cross? Due to the implications, this message is offensive by nature. What does it tell us about sin? It denounced everything hitherto which man relied upon. Man is proud and self confident, but listen and learn that even the wisest of men 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!
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.
So many people claim to be Christians but they are truly Christ-less . Learn of the importance of foundational principles. 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. Listen to this sermon on 1 Corinthians 1:4-9 by Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones as he preaches on the testimony of Christ. 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. Do you believe the testimony of Christ? We are not our own, and we have no right to do what we want with ourselves. We have been rescued by Christ! If you have the Son of God, then you 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. Learn what Christ says about God, you, and the only way of being right before God. Are you ready to stand in His presence? Christ was made sin for us!
A correct attitude towards Scripture; man cannot arrive at a knowledge of God; the proof of history; the cause of man's failure; pride of intellect; the greatest sin of all; the saving work of Christ.