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Man and Dogma

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A Sermon on Matthew 22:34-40

The Great Commandment

But when the Pharisees heard that he had silenced the Sadducees, they gathered together. And one of them, a lawyer, asked him a question to test him. “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.” (ESV)

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What is the relationship between teaching and good deeds in the Bible? This is the question that Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones seeks to answer in this sermon on Matthew 22:34-40. He responds to those that say they do not want dogma, but only what is practical and what helps them love their neighbor. Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones shows the fallacy of this question, because in the Bible dogma, or teaching, is related to love of neighbor and good deeds. It is only once we understand the sinful nature of man, the redemptive work of Christ, and the need for repentance that we can understand why we must love our neighbor. Moralistic legalism exists when the teachings of Scripture are done away with in order to focus on morality. This creates a false Christianity that is devoid of the Gospel and therefore devoid of any hope. What is the Christians response to this matter? The Church must preach the whole counsel of God. This includes both the need for salvation from sins and the need to live in holiness and righteousness towards one’s neighbors. Love of neighbor and love of God are connected and make one whole. Christians must see that the teachings of Scripture are what compel us to love and serve others just as Christ did.


Additional Scripture Translations

Matthew 22:34-40, New American Standard Bible

34But when the Pharisees heard that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, they gathered together. 35And one of them, a lawyer, asked Him a question, testing Him: 36“Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” 37And He said to him, “ ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ 38This is the great and foremost commandment. 39The second is like it, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40Upon these two commandments hang the whole Law and the Prophets.”

Matthew 22:34-40, King James Version

34¶ But when the Pharisees had heard that he had put the Sadducees to silence, they were gathered together. 35Then one of them, which was a lawyer, asked him a question, tempting him, and saying, 36Master, which is the great commandment in the law? 37Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. 38This is the first and great commandment. 39And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. 40On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.


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.