Testing the Spirits (4)
A Sermon on John 1:26-33Read more
With “Testing the Spirits (4),” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones continues his sermon series in John 1:26–33 on testing the spirits where he expounds on its importance for Christians and how they can be wise and discerning with what they see and hear. Having spent many sermons working through general principles to guide this process, Dr. Lloyd-Jones puts forth what he sees as the ultimate test in discerning the spirits. In 1 Corinthians 12:3, Paul declares that any spirit is not of God if it says anything contrary to the truth that Jesus Christ is Lord. This is because it directly contradicts the rest of Scripture— in many ways, it would function to cause the claims of Scripture to fold in on itself, and this is not to be. This testing of the spirits is often thought to be applied when analyzing ideas from outside Christian circles, but this is not always the case. Dr. Lloyd-Jones provides examples of people who accepted things as being from the Lord when they were not. Not everything that claims to be a message from God is, and believers must be wise to understand the differences and live accordingly. Many stories exist of people who wrongly thought they had messages from God, causing much difficulty that could have been easily avoided by comparing it with the teachings of Scripture. This sermon provides a helpful look at how Christians can avoid this mistake.
Additional Scripture Translations
John 1:26-33, New American Standard Bible (NASB)
26John answered them, saying, “I baptize in water, but among you stands One whom you do not know. 27It is He who comes after me, of whom I am not worthy even to untie the strap of His sandal.” 28These things took place in Bethany beyond the Jordan, where John was baptizing people.
29The next day he *saw Jesus coming to him, and *said, “Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! 30This is He in behalf of whom I said, ‘After me is coming a Man who has proved to be my superior, because He existed before me.’ 31And I did not recognize Him, but so that He would be revealed to Israel, I came baptizing in water.” 32And John testified, saying, “I have seen the Spirit descending as a dove out of heaven, and He remained upon Him. 33And I did not recognize Him, but He who sent me to baptize in water said to me, ‘He upon whom you see the Spirit descending and remaining upon Him, this is the One who baptizes in the Holy Spirit.’
John 1:26-33, King James Version (KJV)
26John answered them, saying, I baptize with water: but there standeth one among you, whom ye know not; 27He it is, who coming after me is preferred before me, whose shoe’s latchet I am not worthy to unloose. 28These things were done in Bethabara beyond Jordan, where John was baptizing.
29¶ The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world. 30This is he of whom I said, After me cometh a man which is preferred before me: for he was before me. 31And I knew him not: but that he should be made manifest to Israel, therefore am I come baptizing with water. 32And John bare record, saying, I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and it abode upon him. 33And I knew him not: but he that sent me to baptize with water, the same said unto me, Upon whom thou shalt see the Spirit descending, and remaining on him, the same is he which baptizeth with the Holy Ghost.
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.