The Book of John
MLJ's main series of 185 sermons on John's Gospel; plus his early series of 64 sermons, and a small collection of 13 other sermons preached at Westminster Chapel that were not part of either series.
The Light Shines in the Darkness
What happens when the joy of salvation begins to fade? How does the joy of salvation deliver us from the darkness of life? The apostle John confronts this critical threat. In this sermon on light and darkness, Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones shows us how this modern day problem exposes lethargy in the believer's heart, the failure to rely on the Holy Spirit, and the depths of darkness from which we are saved. It's not until we understand the depths of our sin that the church can fathom the greatness of the Word becoming flesh. The world is in a current state of darkness that has pervaded every aspect of human history since the Fall. Dr. Lloyd-Jones notes that this darkness is twofold; it is not only a state of ignorance that mankind is in, but that the darkness is also within man's heart, as manifested by his love of sin and hatred of Christian doctrine. However, God has sent believers the Holy Spirit, who through enlightening the believer's eyes to the truth about God and the glory of His salvation, enables them to be lights themselves in the persistent darkness.
The Results of His Coming
When the Word became flesh, Jesus Christ became incarnate man and this reality has both temporary and permanent ramifications. In this sermon on John 1:10-12, Dr. Lloyd-Jones proclaims the incredible reality that Jesus lived among His creation for a time and, as the apostle John says, He lived with humanity. According to Dr. Lloyd-Jones, life on earth is a temporary season that will give way to a permanent home in Heaven. This is a lasting comfort and fills God’s people with vigor for the truth. The permanent result is that Jesus took on human nature and can readily identify with all the experiences and challenges of daily life (short of sin). This made Him that much more able to empathize with the infirmities and temptations of human nature, and solidified his role as the great high priest. This, Lloyd-Jones concludes, also ought to be of great comfort to the believer.
In this sermon on John 1:10–12, Dr. Lloyd-Jones shows the firm foundation that gives those who are saved total security, peace, and even joy in the worst of trouble. All are living in God’s world and under His sovereign control. The meaning behind events is hidden, but it is known and designed by the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Dr. Lloyd-Jones shows how God permits evil to exist in the world as a means of teaching, instructing, and showing the need for salvation. No matter how dire the circumstances, the providence of God is at work to care for His world and show compassion for His children. The plan of God to save sinners will not be undone.
Christ the Hope of Glory
Does the world care about Christ? It never will if the joy and peace of Christ isn’t seen and alive in the church today. This lack of obvious joy, claims Dr. Lloyd-Jones, flows from a failure to reflect on the gospel. Listen as this sermon on John 1:10–12 unfolds the three central components to the Christian faith: knowing, believing, and receiving. These truths illustrate that this is God’s world and that though there is darkness in the world, God sent His son to save His people from that darkness. When Jesus is received and the power of His sacrifice for sin is believed, salvation occurs. Any Christian lacking in joy will rekindle their passion by considering these things, and dwell on the fact they are completely forgiven in Christ. Feelings are dictated by thoughts and knowledge and, therefore, an accurate understanding and belief in these truths will lend oneself to experience and demonstrate great and genuine joy.
Children of God
What happens to a believer when they become a Christian? Are there benefits that belong especially to them? In this sermon on John 1:12–13 titled “Children of God,” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones focuses on one of the most astounding truths in the Bible, namely, a believer’s adoption as a son or daughter of God. Through believing in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, Christians join the family of Christ and now hold the benefits of adoption. These benefits are not universal but are only provided to believers. This immediate internal connection changes believers; it transforms them and provides a relationship and position of honor as Children of God. The greatest implication is that even those outside the fold can become the Child of God and this is the good news of the gospel. May God give us a living awareness that we are indeed His children and may we glory in the profoundness of our adoption.
Authentic Marks of God's Child
What is the most wonderful thing about salvation? In this sermon on John 1:12-13 titled “Authentic Marks of God’s Child,” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones emphatically responds, “That we are the children of God!” Too often the focus is on the things that are avoided when the Christian is saved, whether it is avoiding God’s righteous judgment, or being saved from eternity in hell. While those things are true and weighty, Dr. Lloyd-Jones would have Christians remember what is gained: the right to become the children of God, and entrance into the kingdom of Heaven. There are several questions that, depending on the answers, prove that if one is indeed God’s child: “Am I concerned about the name of God?” “Do I grieve at sin and blasphemy?” “Do I enjoy creation in a way that reflects my understanding that the world is God’s?” “Do I look forward to Christ’s return?” Dr. Lloyd-Jones examines these questions and more with scrutiny and with the aid of the Scriptures.
A Child-Like Relationship
What does it mean to be a child of God? The Bible gives many examples of the benefits of being a child of God, and how those children can know that they are truly members of God’s family. Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones says in this sermon on John 1:12–13 that one of the greatest evidences that they are truly born from God is that they will love what God loves. If they believe in Jesus and have been truly born again, they will love and pursue what God loves and desires. Just as natural children love what their parents love, so do spiritual children love what God loves. A person can look at their life and ask, “am I pursuing the things of God? Am I fleeing sin? Am I forsaking the world?” While the Bible never denies that Christians sin, it tells that Christians live a life of continual repentance and battle against sin. The Christian does not let it continually dominate their lives. This sermon calls all to ask the question, “am I a child of God? Am I trusting in Jesus Christ for my salvation?” If not, it is a call to believe and be born of the Spirit as a child of God.
The Children of God
Can Christians know that they are the children of God? Can they know that they have been forgiven of all sins and made new in Christ? The answer given by Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones in this sermon on John 1:12–13 is a resounding yes. Part of the gospel hope is the peace in the full assurance that God is for His children. The Bible gives a number of different ways that Christians can test themselves to see if they are truly in the faith. Dr. Lloyd-Jones presents these tests to see if Christians are truly in a relationship with God or if they are self-deceived. He asks “how do you respond to your sin? Is it to fall back in legalism?” If so, this might be a sign of resting in works rather than in what Christ has done. Another sign is questioning if there is interest in the church and the things of God. Just as a natural child is interested in what their parents find interesting, so also spiritual children are interested in the things of God. This sermon calls all to believe in Jesus, and that those that do can know that they have been truly saved by Him!
The Spirit in Christians
What is the role of the Holy Spirit in the life of the Christian? Many Christians do not have a very high view of the third person of the Trinity. In this sermon on John 1:12–13, Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones preaches on the role of the Holy Spirit in giving Christians assurance of their new life in Christ. It is the Holy Spirit that transforms the lifeless old man into a glorious new creation made for God. It is the Holy Spirit that opens believers’ eyes to see the truths of Scripture and its meaning for their lives. It is also the Holy Spirit that guides believers into the knowledge of the salvation of God. All Christians can and should have the knowledge that they are loved by God and called to be His children. This sermon tells the glorious truth that all who believe in Jesus can be saved and forgiven of all their sins, and they can know that they are forgiven by the working of the Holy Spirit in their lives.
The Spirit; Leading and Love
Do you have a new and special relationship with God, the Holy Spirit, and Christ? Listen to this sermon on John 1:12-13 as Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones looks specifically at this new relationship a believer has with the Spirit: the awareness of the Spirit within, an unction to understand the essential truths of Scripture, and a leading by the Spirit. The general, and the particular, effects of the Spirit's teaching in all areas of life are seen to always lead one to prayer and to the Bible in spiritual interest, not mere intellectuality. Ultimately, these are the matters of life: living, conduct, practice and behavior. What do you like in the mundane affairs of life? Listen in on the question of the Quakers and how they approached morals and sex. Look at the essentiality of Scripture and the error of Quakerism. Ungodliness will lead to unrighteousness; Scripture is God's Word and cannot be separated from the Spirit. The balance between enlightenment and doctrine is crucial. Hear about love misunderstood and the difference between eros and agape love. Dr. Lloyd-Jones discusses the fatal mistake in considering the Law and love to be in opposition to one another. Christianity is not lawlessness, pursue this love that fulfills the Law.
The Leading of the Spirit
How does one know that they are born of God? How do they know if they are walking by the flesh or by the Spirit? Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones addresses the Christian’s lack of assurance in John 1:12–13 by discussing the leading of the Holy Spirit in the daily life of the Christian and connects the Christian’s conscience and convictions to the inner work and leading of the Holy Spirit. Furthermore, he addresses the grave error of antinomianism and religious traditionalism for the Christian. He also addresses if a Christian should abstain from certain foods or practices for the season of Lent and confronting a religiosity that embraces the “leading of the Spirit” apart from the Word of God, considering that the Spirit is instrumental in the illumination of the Word and the renewing of the Christian’s mind. Dr. Lloyd-Jones provides this as a test for the Christian who lacks assurance: “Does your conscience allow you to return to sin again and again or does it rebuke you and draw you further and further into a holy life and practical love for God?” Dr. Lloyd-Jones addresses these and other issues surrounding what it means to be led by the Spirit of God and know what it is to be born of God.
The Way of Sanctification
How does a Christian walk by the Spirit? How do they destroy sin by the power of the Spirit? In this sermon on John 1:12-13 titled “The Way of Sanctification,” Dr. Martyn Lloyd Jones identifies the hatred of sin as a primary characteristic of sanctification. It is vital and essential for a Christian to mortify - to put to death - the sin continuing to reside in their bodies. The Spirit leads them to put sin to death and also provides the power to do it. It is only through his enabling power that the Christian can avoid sin and recognize its foul and utter darkness. In fact, if a Christian puts themself in the way of sin, admonishes the Doctor, they should not be surprised when they are caught in sin. Three truths help the believe walk practically by the Spirit in the way of sanctification. First, realize and acknowledge the foulness of sin and God’s hatred for it. The works of darkness are unprofitable and unfruitful. Second, the believer must frequently preach to themselves the truth of the gospel. And third, they must reject sin in total when it first appears.
Renewal of the Mind
Christ died not only to forgive the Christian’s sin but also make them into children of God. Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones continues discussing the tests of faith for the Christian in John 1:12–13 and gives the positive test that the Christian not only puts off sin but puts on righteousness. He specifically hones in on the renewing of the mind that every Christian experiences. The Christian is to be mortifying sin but the work is not complete there; they are also to be transformed by the renewing of their minds. Dr. Lloyd-Jones illustrates and explains how the Christian’s mind is set on heavenly things while the unbeliever’s mind is set on the desires of the flesh. Dr. Lloyd-Jones not only admonishes Christians to be renewed in their minds but also encourages that they are born of God because they are being renewed and led by the Spirit to put to death the misdeeds of the body. Furthermore, Dr. Lloyd-Jones reminds and encourages the Christian that the world is still living with minds conformed to the pattern of this world, but the Christian’s mind is set free to be set on the glories of Christ.
Mortification of Sin
“It is not so much what we are saved from, but what we are saved for.” With these words, Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones exhorts the Christian to the mortification of sin and acknowledges that they are not under the dominion of the flesh. He goes on to describe how Christians who fight against their own flesh are no longer under its rule or reign, but rather united to Christ who has already died to sin and is alive in righteousness. In this sermon on John 1:12–13, Dr. Lloyd-Jones unpacks the intricacies behind unity with Christ and how that unity is the freedom from sin. Moreover, Dr. Lloyd Jones gives hope for the Christian who question their salvation. Do wrongdoings haunt the conscience and encourage faithful acts? Does sin continually feel cheaper until righteousness is the only worthwhile endeavor? Is there an alienation from the former life of sin and a desire to be a citizen of a life that pursues righteousness? These things illustrate a heavenly citizenship and assurance of salvation. These very truths are essential to the joy-filled Christian life. Dr. Lloyd-Jones gives these proofs, along with several exhortations, to live in a manner worthy of the one and only God who calls His children into His own kingdom and glory.
Walk in the Spirit
Practice is needed to be good at sports, work, and family. Likewise, if to succeed against the flesh and pursue righteousness, one must put walking in the Spirit into practice. In John 1:12–13, Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones shows that the Christian must not sit passively by and “let go and let God.” Instead, the Christian has a distinct responsibility to work out their faith and Dr. Lloyd-Jones entreats Christians to break free from the flesh. He warns that a Christian can be lulled into leading a barren life, bearing no fruit for the kingdom of God. Therefore, the Christian must train themselves to walk according to the Spirit. Children of God must not merely sit passively, but instead actively pursue a life marked by the Spirit. God has forgiven, justified, and adopted the Christian, and yet they are often tempted to make little use of this newfound state of being. Dr. Lloyd-Jones teaches that the Spirit and the flesh are not merely opposed, but that they war against each other. Dr. Lloyd-Jones offers hope to the Christian who has not gained success in fighting the flesh: walk by the Spirit and they will not gratify the desires of the flesh.
Has God's Life Come Into You?
There is one fact that must be true of the converted Christian: belief in the name of Jesus Christ for salvation. However, there are many circumstances that surround the conversion of Christians. Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones uses John 1:12–13 to explain that while some Christians grow up in a home where the gospel is often taught, others are saved out of an unbelieving family or friend group. He elaborates that each of these Christians face unique temptations to question the legitimacy of their salvation and therefore must apply specific tests to their own life to gain surety of their salvation: “Do you remain unaffected by your knowledge of God, or are you changed and gripped by it? Is your faith something that you use when convenient, or does God’s word master and direct your life?” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones uses these tests and others to help the Christian assess and test their standing in faith and produce a defensible assurance of faith. Dr. Lloyd-Jones elaborates that the unbeliever is consumed with what they do, whereas the true believer is primarily concerned with what they are. The unbeliever works toward creating an identity. The believer works from his newfound Christian identity toward Christian behavior.
Who is a child of God? There is nearly nothing more important than the Christian knowing that they are a child of God. It affects relationships with others, unbelievers, the church, and God. If one has assurance, then they know that they possess the promises of God. Specifically, the knowledge of assured eternal life, that they are His child, that sin was hung upon the cross of the Christ, and that His righteousness is now with the Christian. As Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones preaches on this sermon titled “Personal Assurance,” there is, however, such a thing as false assurance. Even the demons believe in God and shudder. So how does one know? In this sermon on assurance from John 1:12–13, Dr. Lloyd-Jones gives practical tests that shore up true assurance and break down false assurance. He provides poignant examinations of the soul that expose the state of the Christian seeking assurance and reminds the listener that the Lord gives assurance that does not come from deduction but from witness. Dr. Lloyd-Jones elaborates that the Christian is not merely a spokesperson, but also a witness of Christ. The Christian may know that they are a child of God by the Spirit’s power and revelation when, through the Word, the Spirit reveals Christ in power.
The Fruit of The Spirit
The fruits of the Spirit are core to the nature of the Christian – love, joy, peace, patience, etc. These characteristics should be in the Christian and increasing. They have a tremendous impact on oneself, others, and in service to God. As Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones explores this subject in this sermon on John 1:12–13, he challenges the listener to examine the real fruit exposed when a person is under pressure. A true Christian will demonstrate the fruit of the Spirit. As a Christian faces suffering, trial, discipline, and persecution, it will reveal the nature that is being built within. Do trials and sufferings produce perseverance, longsuffering, and hope? When one is cut, do they bleed the fruit of the Spirit? When they are reviled, do they revile in return? Does the Christian entrust themselves to God who judges justly? Do the pressures of life reveal a growing patience, kindness, and meekness that is growing in the soul? Dr. Lloyd-Jones focuses on some of the most referenced fruits of the Spirit, illustrating and applying each one to the life of the Christian. He exhorts the Christian to carefully and prayerfully examine their own life to see whether the pressures of life reveal a new creation in the soul or a soul in need of new life.
We Love the Brethren
Every person has a family, but not everyone has a family that is unified. The Christian has a family that is built on unity and love. In this sermon on John 1:12–13 titled “We Love the Brethren,” Dr. Lloyd-Jones applies one more test of assurance for the Christian by expounding on the brotherhood of believers. Every Christian has experienced regeneration, adoption, sanctification, and many other experiences. Although Christians may have separate circumstances, every believer is unified by their experience, interests, and hope. Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones sheds light on the fact that every believer possesses a discernment that the unbeliever cannot possess. Moreover, the believer has an affinity for their brothers and sisters in the faith. Even as the believer gains a love for their fellow believer, they sense a distance between themselves and unbelieving friends and even family. This is, Dr. Lloyd-Jones warns, what is meant by Jesus when he said, “I have not come to bring peace but the sword.” The Christian should expect to be met with resistance and even persecution from unbelieving friends, family, and even local governments. Until they are safely home in heaven, the brotherhood of believers provides encouragement, exhortation, and renewed hope.
Attacked By The Devil
What can give the Christian assurance that they are a child of God? In this sermon from John 1:12–13, Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones describes how knowledge of the devil and his attacks can give surety of salvation. The Christian is faced with deception, temptation, and accusation from the devil. These hardships point out the fact that the Christian is not conformed to this world or the prince of this world, the devil. Moreover, Dr. Lloyd-Jones points out that “the Christian is an inevitable rebuke to everybody else.” The world does not hate the “good” and moral person, but the world hates the good moral Christian. Dr. Lloyd-Jones elaborates on the particulars of living in the world as a Christian and how to understand the attacks of the devil as evidences of the identity of the Christian as a child of God rather than a child of the devil. This sermon challenges how the Christian fights for assurance and gives hope to the individual struggling with sin, temptation, and accusation.