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Sermon #5100

The Authority of The Holy Spirit

A Sermon on 1 Corinthians 2:4-5


1 Corinthians 2:4-5 ESV KJV
and my speech and my message were not in plausible words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, so that your faith might not rest in the wisdom of men but in the power of God. (ESV)

Sermon Description

Biblical authority lies at the center of evangelical identity. Without the authority of the Scriptures, the normative claims of the faith are severely undermined. While the authority of the Scriptures should be fought for, defended, and part of convictional orthodoxy, in this sermon on 1 Corinthians 2:4–5, Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones reminds believers it is possible to hold to the authority of the Scriptures and yet have a dead, lifeless orthodoxy. It is only when the authority of the Holy Spirit is affirmed and applied that we see the Christian faith lived with power. In this message, Dr. Lloyd-Jones teaches in the hard truth that evangelical Christianity, in its concern over “enthusiastic” religion and emotionalism, responded negatively by down-playing the importance of the Holy Spirit’s power. Instead of searching for the God-given means of power for evangelism and cultural impact, the church sought it in education, social reform, advertising, and other dignified or respectable means. Dr. Lloyd-Jones questions if Christians are guilty of quenching the Spirit through such action. In this sermon, Dr. Lloyd-Jones also surveys the Scriptures, noting the authority of the Spirit in the believer’s conversion, assurance, Scriptural illumination, apologetic, and evangelism. Listen as he makes a compelling case to reassert the authority of the Holy Spirit in the life of the church.

Sermon Breakdown

  1. The sermon begins by introducing 1 Corinthians 2:4-5 which emphasizes the importance of the Holy Spirit's power and authority.
  2. The sermon then provides historical context about how 300 years ago there was a dispute between Puritans regarding the authority of the word vs the authority of the Holy Spirit.
  3. The sermon argues that the church today is still making the same mistakes by looking for authority in the wrong places like social programs, publicity, and church unity instead of the Holy Spirit.
  4. The sermon then transitions to discuss how the authority of the Holy Spirit is demonstrated in Scripture. The Holy Spirit inspired Scripture and gave the biblical authors understanding.
  5. The sermon highlights how even Jesus relied on the Holy Spirit, as evidenced by his baptism and ministry. The Holy Spirit descended upon Jesus and anointed him.
  6. The sermon then focuses on how the Holy Spirit's authority applies to individual believers. The Holy Spirit enables people to believe the gospel, gives assurance of salvation, provides understanding of Scripture, and defends the truth.
  7. The sermon emphasizes how the Holy Spirit provides power for evangelism and witnessing about Jesus. Even the disciples could not witness without the Holy Spirit's power.
  8. The sermon contrasts human wisdom and enticing words with the Spirit's power and authority. Paul determined to preach Christ crucified in the power of the Spirit.
  9. The sermon defines revival as the Holy Spirit descending in power on people and churches. Revivals demonstrate the Spirit's authority.
  10. The sermon concludes by arguing that the church today desperately needs the authority and power of the Holy Spirit. Believers should pray for revival.

Sermons on Authority

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.