Great Biblical Doctrines
Page 3 of 6
“The union of the believer with Christ,” says Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones, “is one of the most glorious doctrines of the Christian faith.” What makes this biblical doctrine extremely beautiful and incredibly vital to one’s understanding of Christian living? How does it differ from the other false views of eternity and spirituality? In this sermon, Dr. Lloyd-Jones teaches us what it means to be pernamently, irrevocably united with Christ. We are now partakers of the divine nature, complete through His priestly work. Our relationship with God is personal and individual. There is no need for Catholicism's idea of an intermediary as it's not dependent on a church or priest. Beginning with the Mystics, and more recently seen in the Star Wars films, a view of eternity and spirituality has emerged that reduces a person after death to no more than a part of the spiritual aura surrounding the universe. Lloyd-Jones cuts through this false view and demonstrates the beauty of the Christian worldview where we maintain our distinct personhood throughout now and eternity, while still enjoying the divine nature due to our union with Christ.
False converts are more common than one might think! True conversion is an act of God upon the human heart. But what exactly are characteristics of a true conversion? In this sermon on salvation, Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones tackles these questions, showing how conversion is the first exercise of the new nature in ceasing from old forms of life and starting a new life. It is the moment at which one passes from spiritual death to eternal life in Christ. Imposters throughout church history claim to accept Jesus and then turn from Him after a period of time. As The Doctor points out, it is entirely possible to undergo a counterfeit, temporary conversion if one submits to a false gospel based on feelings or experiences. “Yet,” Lloyd-Jones notes, “the defense of the Christian faith must not rest on something we experience, but on its objectivity.” True salvation is not based on whimsical feelings but on two essentail factors of salvation. Believers are less concerned with personal experiences and emotions, and instead yearn to know God Himself.
What seperates true repentance from worldly remorse? Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones addresses the incredible weight of these topics that seperate eternal life from death. Repentance is a turning from sin to Christ. It is a genuine regret and full confession of our sin. But how does it differ from worldly remorse? The Doctor carefully explains that while repentance involves feelings of anguish and guilty remorse, it is repentance that results in a change of mind. Wordly remorse will cry, but not forsake and turn away from sinful activities. The gospel message we proclaim must call others to submit their life to Christ, not just feel bad about their sin. Only once we have been saved can we come to know the joy of discipelship, forgiveness and move forward in exemplary Christian living. For our gospel message to be believeable, the world must see our transformed lives, lives redeemed from eternal death.
"Without faith, it is impossible to please God." The author of Hebrews 11 is clear, the path to pleasing God is paved by saving faith. Faith is the channel through which salvation in Jesus Christ is given to a believer. What exactly is faith? Is there a place for reason? This timeless sermon from Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones analyzes the two elements of saving faith through the lens of Scripture: an assent to the truth of Christianity, and a firm commitment to living it out. As The Doctor explains, the latter is needed to understanding Jesus’ teachings on a life of full surrender. Though faith involves the mind and intellect, it also involves the heart. Additionally, Dr. Lloyd-Jones presents the case for why faith and reason are not at odds with each other, as is commonly claimed today by secularists. Though reason can lead us to many conclusions about God and His Word, it can only take us so far— belief in Christ and not our works or our mental assent is needed. Nothing, nothing else in this world will satisfy.
Adoption. We see it all around us in the world today. A beautiful picture of selflessness and strong protecting the vulnerable. To be a Christian means to be adopted into God’s family! Christians are chosen by God and brought into His family through no righteousness of their own. Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones takes us through Scripture, explaining how God transfers us from a children of wrath to His family as sons and daugthers. Christians have been freed from sin's bondage and are grafted into God’s eternal family. Some teachers have claimed this to be of no effect by supporting a universal fatherhood of God and universal brotherhood of all people— yet, as Dr. Lloyd-Jones proves, that view is unbiblical. Similar to physical adoption, spiritual adoption has beneficial consequences for the believer: namely, release from a spirit of bondage and fear into a spirit of liberty, unhindered access to our Father, and God’s present protection, consolation, perfect provision for our every need and the promise of a future inheritance.
Every Christian still battles with sin. But how should Christians approach this issue? The doctrine of sanctification is filled with hope, and in this sermon Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones guides us through the different views of this doctrine. Sanctification means to be set apart for God and His service, to be made holy. Though it doesn’t remove sin from our lives, it is the process by which the Holy Spirit removes the pollution of that sin and shifts our desire from disobedience to God-honoring behavior. How long does sanctification take, and when in a person’s spiritual journey does it take place? Lloyd-Jones walks through the various perspectives and aids the believer in reaching a biblical understanding of the answers. Some Christians have asked, “Why does it matter to study a doctrine that doesn’t determine where someone will spend eternity?” If you have similar thoughts, this message is for you! The Doctor explains that as Christians, it is our duty to search for the truth in all areas of life and study. Without knowing the truth, believers can become vulnerable to believing false doctrine and fall prey to heresies. Studying truth helps believers to avoid this, and it aids in growing them closer to Christ. Praise God that He does not abandon us after saving us, but rather, actively molds us into the image of His Son, Jesus Christ!
Does a Christian ever stop sinning? Is sanctification an experience over a lifetime? Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones tackles these issues and more in this sermon on the Holy Spirit’s work in the life of a believer. Sanctification is the process by which Christians are changed to be more like Jesus Christ. This begins at the moment of salvation and though we are set apart from the world, The Doctor shows from Scripture that sanctification is not a one-time experience or event. The New Testament authors frequently implore readers to fight sin and to avoid unrighteousness. This unmistakably shows that though Christians are saved from their sin, they are not saved out of it, and that becoming like Christ is a process that takes time. What about experiences of radical and sudden transformation that some believers claim to have had? Martin Lloyd-Jones argues that such transformations have nothing to do with Christianity alone— while such experiences can promote and aid sanctification, they are not sanctification themselves because they are experienced by many others who adhere to different worldviews.
God’s purpose for everything He does, according to Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones, is our sanctification. However, there are three dangers that Lloyd-Jones outlines: Christians must not separate justification and sanctification. Christians cannot believe to both receive sanctification at the time of salvation and also at a point in the future, and Christians must be wary of preaching a false evangelism that stops at forgiveness and excludes holy living. But why should we care about living a life that is pleasing to God? Because God is holy. The Doctor explains our responsibility in sanctification. While the Holy Spirit is at work within us, we must not resist His work! Paul wrote about this in Romans 8 and other passages, teaching that we must actively seek to eliminate sin from our lives. Listen as Lloyd-Jones explains how we can come alongside the Holy Spirit in His work of making us more like Jesus Christ!
What is the believer’s relationship to sin? In this sermon, Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones addresses this topic, saying “It is impossible for a Christian to remain in continual sin due to sanctification.” This is a freeing truth! From the moment of conversion, the Spirit of Life dwells in us, and we cannot be subject to the carnal! Moreover, this is a promise for all Christians, not just a blessing that some receive and others don’t. And yet, the struggle against sin is still a daily battle for followers of Christ. How do we make sense of this? To help us better understand, The Doctor helps us understand that from the moment of salvation, Christians are dead to sin since they have been united with Christ and His life. Our spirits are alive to Christ, yet our bodies are still under the bondage and dominion of sin. Are you discouraged that you will not be able to fight sin? Lloyd-Jones offers some encouraging wisdom, imploring us to go to Scripture and remember the Lord’s promise to be with those who seek Him. We are called to fight sin, and with the help of the Holy Spirit living in each believer, we can overcome it.
What does it mean to be baptized by the Holy Spirit? This phrase is often misunderstood by many Christians, and Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones takes this sermon to bring clarity to this topic. Many people will say that baptism of the Holy Spirit is the same as salvation. Yet, this implies that the apostles were not saved until Pentecost since that is when the Spirit came on them! No, the phrase must mean something else. The Doctor defines the baptism of the Holy Spirit as the initial experience of the glory, reality and love of the Father. Can one be filled with the Spirit repeatedly? Lloyd-Jones presents his argument for why he believes this to be the case and why it is the source of power and ability for the believer in Christian service and witnessing. This filling, he says, differentiates an advocate from a witness. The Doctor closes out by offering Scripture’s perspective on how to determine if someone is truly filled with the Spirit, and he establishes a foundational principle—revival is the pouring out of God’s spirit, and more than anything, that is needed in order to turn our countries back to Him. Christians have a biblical responsibility to pray for this.