Great Biblical Doctrines
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Are you confused about the role your emotions and experiences should play in our faith? Is doctrine the only way through which we learn about God? In this sermon, Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones gives further thoughts and Scriptural exposition on the baptism of the Holy Spirit and on why it is a mistake to rely too much on either experiences or doctrine when thinking through this aspect of Christian faith. By pointing us to the examples of Jesus’ disciples, The Doctor reminds us that Scripture presents instances of people who believed in Jesus Christ and were saved, yet had not been baptized or filled with the Holy Spirit. The evidence is added to by the fact that several well-known, established Christians have gone decades in some cases before being filled with the Spirit— this list includes men like Jonathan Edwards and D.L. Moody. Have you battled this tension between emotion and logic in your faith? Lloyd-Jones reminds us that this baptism is available to all Christians, but that many of us are afraid of being overly-emotional that we have cut out all emotion from our walk with Christ. This, he implores us, is an error that is not Scriptural in the least! Those who believe in Christ have received eternal life as a gift— what could possibly cause more joy than that realization? Listen as The Doctor unwraps what this means for our lives.
Can you ever loose your salvation? What does it mean to be sealed by the Holy Spirit? This term of “being sealed” is used three times in Scripture. Throughout history, seals have been used to certify, authenticate and demonstrate ownership over something. It also provides an element of security. How does this concept of a seal relate to the life of a Christian? Those who are followers of Jesus Christ have been sealed by the Holy Spirit, who acts as a certificate and authenticator that He lives in us and of our submission to God’s purpose and plan! To be sealed by the Holy Spirit also means to have the security of belonging to Christ and we have an eternal inheritance. He has sealed you, and thus you are secured as His possession. Part of this security, Martyn Lloyd-Jones explains, is the Spirit being an advance of the promise to be given in full at a later time. What does this mean? This advance of the Holy Spirit is a pledge given by God that He will give us the rest of our inheritance to us when we go to live with Him. Though we can be sealed by the Holy Spirit, we can still grieve Him, as The Doctor duly notes, to avoid this, we must be willing to live our lives in a way that gives full control to God and runs from sin!
What are spiritual gifts? Have you ever wondered if you had a spiritual gift, and if so, what it was? In this sermon, Martyn Lloyd-Jones takes the listener through this topic as he preaches on Scripture’s teachings regarding spiritual gifts. These are extraordinary powers that separate Christians from one another and enable them to serve effectively in different ways across the church. Spiritual gifts are not a blessing that some Christians receive— they are promised to all believers. Have you thought that perhaps the ability of one’s gift was related to its possessor’s spiritual maturity? You are not alone! The Doctor takes great pains to dispel this myth and to show that not only do the gifts differ widely from each other, but that they are not determined by the level of one’s spirituality. Theologians for centuries have argued over which gifts were only for the early church, which gifts exist in the church across its existence and even if any spiritual gifts are still in existence today. Lloyd-Jones provides a helpful commentary and discussion on these questions, showing the difference between natural gifts and supernatural gifts. What about the unforgivable sin of blaspheming the Holy Spirit? Listen carefully as he unwraps this and more in this extremely helpful sermon on the Holy Spirit.
Why is the church so important? Is it really necessary for our personal walks with Christ? Many Christians throughout history have minimized the church and it continues today. Is the kingdom of God the same thing as the church? According to Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones, most of our problems flow from not taking the church seriously! The answers start by learning how “church” is used in Scripture. Lloyd-Jones explains the church is a visible expression of the kingdom of God, yet it is not the kingdom in all its fullness. All Christians are part of the worldwide church. It is impossible, says The Doctor, to be a Christian and not be part of the global church. Church, in Scripture almost always refers to a local body of believers, and it means “called out ones." But not everything that calls itself a church, is truly a redeemed congregation. It is these individual bodies and individual Christians all over the world that make up the global church. Christians have been called out of the world into the global church and kingdom of God, and this has massive consequences for our lives! Listen as Lloyd-Jones helps us understand how to live as an important part of the church and why this is important.
Jesus Christ is the leader of the church! Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones delves into the practical aspects of why and how Christ created and leads His church. If you want to know the characteristics of a biblical church and how it is to function in this world, this sermon is for you. The Doctor explains, a church exists to preach the Word, for the upholding of the saints and the strengthening of faith, for evangelism, for administration of the sacraments and for the exercise of discipline. This last characteristic is key, and is most often overlooked by Christians. The global church suffers due to it not exercising discipline. Church discipline is commanded for those who call themselves Christians yet live or teach contrary to Scripture. The Apostle Paul repeated this command, warning that a church entangled in the ways and thoughts of the world will not be a channel through which the Holy Spirit works. Lloyd-Jones surveys various views on church governance including the Presbyterian and Catholic views. Choosing a biblical church is an incredibly important part of being a Christian, and this sermon by Martyn Lloyd-Jones helps educate believers on certain traits to look for in biblical churches.
Is communion a means of receiving grace? In this sermon, Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones begins a series on the sacraments and their place in the lives of believers. This topic provokes many different views but as the Doctor says, keeping these practices is one of the ways that believers receive God’s grace. Protestants have held that there are two kinds of sacraments: communion and baptism, and that these two sacraments are outward spiritual signs of inward spiritual grace being given by God. However, this is different from the Catholic view, which holds that God’s grace is in the actual water of baptism and food and drink of communion. This difference brings up an interesting question: what is the relationship between the sacrament and the grace that is given through it? In this sermon, Lloyd-Jones presents his argument for the Protestant view holding that the sacraments serve to signify the seal of the Holy Spirit and convey Christ’s love to the recipient. The Doctor likens this to what an engagement ring accomplishes. Though the ring itself is not the love of the man for the woman, it is a token, a symbol and new expression of that love. Listen as Lloyd-Jones guides the listener through this sometimes challenging subject!
What is the purpose of baptism? Why did Jesus teach us to baptize after someone is saved? In this second sermon in his sacrament series, Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones takes us through a topic sometimes debated even amongst believers. Baptism’s meaning, he says, is a outward illustration of the inward cleansing from the pollution of sin. It’s purpose is not to cleanse us from sin and regenerate us because that would mean that people are saved through the work of baptism, something that Scripture clearly denies. So, what does it accomplish? Baptism serves as a sign and seal of one’s justification and remission of sins. And yet, says The Doctor, not everyone is eligible to be baptized. This teaching runs counter to the Catholic teaching on baptism. What about infant baptism? Should babies be baptized? Running through a list of arguments for and against infant baptism, Lloyd-Jones shows from Scripture that this practice is not biblical since the Bible encourages only believers to be baptized. He also touches on another hot-button topic: should baptism only be full-immersion, or is sprinkling acceptable? He provides the historical and scriptural background for immersion and sprinkling, and aids the listener in coming to a biblically supported position on the issue— a position that might surprise some!
Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones concludes his series on the sacraments with this message, focusing specifically on communion. Like baptism, communion is a sign to the recipient of God’s work in him, and also a reminder of the seal of the Holy Spirit living in him or her. However communion is uniquely vivid in signifiying the Lord’s death in the breaking of the bread and pouring out of the wine. As with the water for baptism, Catholics believe that God’s grace is actually in the bread and juice of communion, an idea called transubstantiation, the false thinking that the bread and wine are transformed into the body and blood of Jesus. The Doctor takes the listener through the arguments for and against this, showing that it is a completely unbiblical idea. Who is able to take communion? As with baptism, Lloyd-Jones demonstrates from Scripture that communion is only for those who are believers in the Lord Jesus Christ. Listen to this sermon if you have or are currently thinking through the purpose of communion and what it is and is not!
Everyone lives forever. But what happens, how does it happen? For many years, people had lost curiosity about the study of these questions because the world was so comfortable. And then World Wars I and II struck, shattering people’s confidence and security in the things the world had to offer. Everything was uncertain, and thus, interest in studying these topics was revived. Discussing death is a fruitful means of evangelism because it forces us to face questions of eternal importance. Oftentimes, the Lord used the fear of death to prompt people to examine their hearts. Death is not the end of existence, but simply the separation of the body from the soul. Death exists simply because sin entered the world— it is a natural consequence of disobeying God. Even though Christians are saved from eternal death of the soul, Lloyd-Jones explains why Christians still suffer and die. Even though they experience death, believers can have a vastly different outlook on it because they have been saved from eternal death through faith in Jesus Christ!
What happens between death and the final resurrection, the so-called “intermediate state?” In this sermon, Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones presents and explains several views on the intermediate state. Some propose that souls sleep until Jesus comes again, some argue that the dead reside in Abraham’s bosom or a place of suffering until the final judgment, while others argue that only those who have eternal life with God will even exist eternally, a view called conditional mortality. But what does the Bible say? The Doctor presents a biblical case for why both believers and unbelievers will live eternally, either with God or apart from Him forever in suffering. Many people are troubled by this thought— how could a loving God cause and allow people to suffer forever? “Surely,” they say, “those who die will have another chance to be saved after they die.” Lloyd-Jones answers these questions firmly but biblically, reminding the listener that we must not allow our idea of justice and love to influence how we look at and interpret Scripture. Our eternal destiny is decided by our choice to repent or rebel in this life.