Explore Sermons By Dr. Lloyd-Jones

How Can You Believe?

Book of John

A Sermon on John 5:44

How can you believe, when you receive glory from one another and do not seek the glory that comes from the only God? (ESV)

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How can you believe? Continuing his exposition of John 5, Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones now considers verse 44 and the question, “How can you believe?” This question was posed by Jesus as he again confronts the Jews and their rejection of him. Belief in him is the means of salvation and the path to truly knowing the Father. However, Jesus now presents a great theological difficulty. His question implies that belief in him is impossible. In fact, belief exercised by the unbeliever is completely out of his or her control. As one famous preacher said, “You had nothing to do with your natural birth and you had nothing to do with your spiritual birth.” Belief in Jesus to receive salvation is impossible without the work of God in the life of the unbeliever. Now, in John 5:44, Jesus confronts the Jews with this reality. Furthermore, his question points to the prior verses referring to their desire for honor among men. How does this desire relate to the inability to believe? In this sermon, Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones explains how believing in Jesus is impossible by virtue of man’s sinful desire to be supreme above all things.

Additional Scripture Translations

John 5:44, New American Standard Bible

44How can you believe, when you accept glory from one another and you do not seek the glory that is from the one and only God?

John 5:44, King James Version

44How can ye believe, which receive honour one of another, and seek not the honour that cometh from God only?

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.