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The Resistance of Unbelief

A Sermon on 1 Timothy 1:12-16

Christ Jesus Came to Save Sinners

I thank him who has given me strength, Christ Jesus our Lord, because he judged me faithful, appointing me to his service, though formerly I was a blasphemer, persecutor, and insolent opponent. But I received mercy because I had acted ignorantly in unbelief, and the grace of our Lord overflowed for me with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus. The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the foremost. But I received mercy for this reason, that in me, as the foremost, Jesus Christ might display his perfect patience as an example to those who were to believe in him for eternal life. (ESV)

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In this sermon on 1 Timothy 1:12-16 from Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones, listeners hear about the danger of unbelief. The resistant unbelieving person is one who has made the decision not to believe, not merely one who has not heard the Good News of Jesus Christ. Unbelief is not purely intellectual, Dr. Lloyd-Jones preaches. A popular assumption among non-Christians isthat secularism is an intellectual pursuit and that Christianity is the opposite. This is not helped by Christians who are amazed that other Christians could be intellectuals. Rather, when looking to the Scriptures, we see that many Christians throughout history have proved the intellectualism of Christianity. One must merely look at the letters of Paul to see the greatness and grandeur of Christian doctrine. This doctrine is meant to feed the mind and soul of the believer who humbles himself and puts his faith in Jesus Christ. Dr. Lloyd-Jones also exhorts his listeners that the reason so many people have not committed to Jesus Christ is because they refuse to admit that they are wrong. It is difficult to humble oneself before Godand admit that one is wrong, but this is what repentance and belief requires. The Light has come, repent and believe in Him!


Additional Scripture Translations

1 Timothy 1:12-16, New American Standard Bible

Paul’s Testimony

12I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has strengthened me, because He considered me faithful, putting me into service, 13even though I was previously a blasphemer and a persecutor and a violent aggressor. Yet I was shown mercy because I acted ignorantly in unbelief; 14and the grace of our Lord was more than abundant, with the faith and love which are found in Christ Jesus. 15It is a trustworthy statement, deserving full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, among whom I am foremost. 16Yet for this reason I found mercy, so that in me as the foremost sinner Jesus Christ might demonstrate His perfect patience as an example for those who would believe in Him for eternal life.

1 Timothy 1:12-16, King James Version

12And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who hath enabled me, for that he counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry; 13Who was before a blasphemer, and a persecutor, and injurious: but I obtained mercy, because I did it ignorantly in unbelief. 14And the grace of our Lord was exceeding abundant with faith and love which is in Christ Jesus. 15This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief. 16Howbeit for this cause I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might shew forth all longsuffering, for a pattern to them which should hereafter believe on him to life everlasting.


About Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones

Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones (1899-1981) was a Welsh evangelical minister who preached and taught in the Reformed tradition. His principal ministry was at Westminster Chapel, in central London, from 1939-1968, where he delivered multi-year expositions on books of the bible such as Romans, Ephesians and the Gospel of John. In addition to the MLJ Trust’s collection of 1,600 of these sermons in audio format, most of these great sermon series are available in book form (including a 14 volume collection of the Romans sermons), as are other series such as "Spiritual Depression", "Studies in the Sermon on the Mount" and "Great Biblical Doctrines". He is considered by many evangelical leaders today to be an authority on biblical truth and the sufficiency of Scripture.