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.
A Samaritan Woman at the Well Meets Her Messiah
The Gospel of John has a frequent theme of the abundant life found in Christ. All throughout the book, this theme appears in a variety of ways. Listen as Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones speaks on one such story which points to this theme in this sermon on the woman at the well in John 4:1–26. Dr. Lloyd-Jones begins by pointing out several things that can be learned from this woman’s encounter with Jesus. First, this story shows that the fullness of Jesus is possible for everyone. His fullness is not retained for certain people, but is for all humanity. He goes on to explain how this story points to Jesus’s unique way of coming to His people right where they are and ridding them of a religious mindset of routine and sameness, filling them with the fullness of the Messiah. While both of these aspects are seen in this story, the most significant and stunning one found is the personal element of Jesus’s encounter with the woman at the well. Although Jesus was tired and thirsty, He was more focused on sharing His living water with her. The story, preached in this sermon on the woman at the well, is a beautiful glimpse into Jesus’s love for all humanity and desire for all people to experience His fullness.
The Problem of Prejudice
The living water of Jesus Christ is the mark of a true Christian. It is the fullness of life that followers of Christ receive and experience. In this sermon on John 4:13–14 titled “The Problem with Prejudice,” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones speaks of this living water by diving into the story of the Samaritan woman at the well. He begins by focusing on Jesus’s approach with the Samaritan women. This is an important aspect to understand because it is also Jesus’s approach with His people today. First, Jesus is always in complete control. There is never a moment that all are not fully in His hands. This truth can bring Christians much comfort in realizing that He is in control of our lives. Second, Jesus draws gently to Himself. Dr. Lloyd-Jones goes on to show how Jesus pursues after and loves His people with a never-ending love, wanting them to accept His living water. However, the sinful flesh creates hindrances that keep the Christian from His living water. In this case, Dr. Lloyd-Jones shows that the woman at the well created a hindrance of prejudice. He ends by challenging the listener to view their own lives for any hindrances that may be keeping them from the living water of Christ.
The Samaritan woman that Jesus encounters in John 4:13–14 is a good example of someone who is unable to see things spiritually. Throughout this encounter, Jesus mentions spiritual things, such as the nature of salvation and redemption, but this woman understands Him only as speaking of worldly things. Unfortunately, as Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones explains in this sermon titled “Spiritual Dullness,” this is the state of all people who live in sin and darkness. Those who do not have a renewed mind do not have the ability to understand gospel truths, for these are spiritually discerned by the aid of the Holy Spirit. Even Christians are often blind to spiritual truths. This can result from a lack of a proper understanding of God’s word or from sin in the life of believers. Many Christians try to rationalize their sins instead of confronting them and this can lead to spiritual blindness and a life of alienation from God and neighbor. This is why the church must proclaim the gospel that continually transforms and renews believers. Every day Christians are in need of God’s great grace again, and God is faithful to give His grace in Christ to believers. This should encourage all Christians to rely on God for all things and to faithfully and joyfully proclaim the great truth of the gospel of salvation by grace alone.
The Chief End of Man
What is the chief end of man? While this question is often asked, few answer it as Jesus Christ does. Jesus Christ tells that each and every one was made to worship God in spirit and in truth. This is humanity’s purpose but the great tragedy is that many do not worship God rightly. Even in the church, many turn worship into nothing more than emotion or reduce it to a bare intellectual exercise. These stand in opposition to true worship that is concerned not only with the form of worship, but also with the heart in worship. Only those who can worship rightly are those who have been saved from sin and made inheritors of God’s kingdom. In this sermon on John 4:13-14 titled “The Chief End of Man,” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones says that before the church can evangelize the world, it must first undergo a revival as it is only a church that worships God rightly that can be a light in the world for Christ. This sermon calls all to ask themselves if they know God and worship Him rightly as this is the chief end for which humanity was created.
What does it mean to worship the Lord in spirit and in truth? How does this look in the life of a Christian? These are both very important and relevant questions that the Christian should be asking themselves. Listen as Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones addresses these questions through the story of the woman at the well in John 4:13–14 in this sermon titled “True Worship.” He begins by defining worship as an act of bowing down, which means that Christian worship should move them to fall on their knees in awe before the Lord. Worship is when adoration of the Lord and Savior is all that can be done. He goes on to express how the Christian is moved to this kind of worship when they spend time in prayer and submit themselves completely to the teaching of Scripture. God is the one who teaches how to worship and He leads in that worship. He concludes by challenging with these questions: “are we worshiping ignorantly? Do we truly know the God we worship?” The Christian must guard against ignorance and truly seek after the God they worship. Because while worship is an external act, it is most importantly a reflection of the internal state of being in awe of God.
Worship in Spirit and in Truth
In the Bible, the Christian is told that when they worship God, it must be done in spirit and in truth. But what does it mean to worship God in spirit and truth? Listen to part two of Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones’ sermon on worship where he speaks on what this kind of worship should look like in the lives of Christians today. He begins by explaining that to worship in truth means it must never be thoughtless, but governed by a realization of who is being worshiped. One cannot fool God by taking on the appearance of true worship, but both the outward appearance and the heart must be united in worship to Him. The Christian also worship in truth when they come to God in humility, recognizing their brokenness and need for Him. While it is important to worship God in truth, it is equally important to worship Him in spirit. In this sermon on John 4:13–14 titled “Worship in Spirit and in Truth,” Dr. Lloyd-Jones points out that this means allowing the Spirit of God to lead in worship by growing in understanding of who God is. He concludes by challenging the listener to worship God in both spirit and in truth, because He alone is worthy of full and sincere praise.
Prayer and the Holy Spirit
Prayer is a beautiful gift that has been given to God’s people, but it is not a gift to be taken lightly. The Bible tells that when the Christian prays, they are to pray fervently in the Spirit. What then does it mean to pray in the Spirit? In this sermon on John 4:13–14 titled “Prayer and the Holy Spirit,” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones addresses this topic by showing from Scripture how Christians should pray. He begins by saying that in order to pray in the Spirit, the Christian must be sensitive to the leading of the Spirit. When this is done, the Holy Spirit will give the words to pray and will lead in prayer. It is through the Spirit alone that the Christian is able to have access to God, because it is the Spirit who enlightens the mind and reveals God. Dr. Lloyd-Jones then shows that the result of praying in the Spirit is the realization of God’s presence. Prayer is a privilege to be in the presence of the holy God. It is this act of bowing down before the Lord in humility and following the leading of the Spirit that leads to true prayer.
Prayer in the Spirit
What does it mean to worship God truly? This question has been answered by many different religious teachers. But according to Jesus, to worship God rightly is to worship in Spirit and truth. Listen as Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones preaches on the words of Christ from John 4:13–14 in this sermon titled “Prayer in the Spirit.” In this discussion with the woman at the well, Jesus explains that true worship is not about external things, such as where one worships, but rather about one’s heart and intentions. As Christians, God gives His Spirit to enable freedom from sin and think of Him rightly in worship. This true worship is not a matter of the mind only, nor is it simply emotions. But God’s Spirit works in the hearts of His people to allow them to pray to Him rightly and worship Him in truth. They are now free to come before the throne of God and praise and petition Him because of Jesus’s death and resurrection as the High Priest. In Jesus the Christian sees the futility of all worldly and fleshly worship, and that God desires the worship of those who love the truth.
Salvation is of the Jews
Salvation is an important and frequently discussed topic among Christians. It is also big part of the Bible and of what Jesus has done. Listen to this sermon on John 4:13–14 titled “Salvation Is of the Jews” where Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones talks about salvation in light of Jesus’s encounter with the woman at the well. He begins by stating that submission is essential for salvation. However, in order to submit to Him, one must know who He is. Dr. Lloyd-Jones then touches on the exclusiveness of the Christian message of salvation. Jesus is the only way to the Father and salvation comes through Him alone. Because of this, the gospel is not human-made and cannot be attained through humanity, but is solely dependent on Christ and the wonderful works He has done. All of these truths point to the uniqueness of the Christian faith and salvation. This exclusivity is seen even in the Old Testament that rings with the promises of what the coming Messiah would do to save humanity. Christians can rest in the uniqueness of salvation coming from what Jesus has done for His people, rather than what they have done.
The Need of Man
Do Christians truly rejoice in Jesus Christ? Do they rejoice in the salvation He has freely given? Listen to this sermon on John 4:13–14 titled “The Need of Man” as Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones speaks on salvation and what it reveals. He begins by bringing up the saddening lack of rejoicing most Christians have towards salvation. He explains that this lack comes directly from a failure to see the utter and complete need of Jesus’ salvation. One cannot truly rejoice in the salvation Christ offers if they do not first see their need and realize their complete inadequacy in saving themselves. The whole Bible, especially the Old Testament, points directly to the fact that all need a Savior. People can only be moved by salvation if they see their need for it. Not only do they have to recognize their need, but they have to know their complete need. This is realizing that without Christ and His salvation they are spiritually dead and ignorant. But the good news is that as Christians, they have a Savior who came to earth, died, and rose again victorious over death. He is the deliverer. Let all run to Him, realizing the complete need, and rejoice in His salvation.
Who is This Person?
The Bible tells that when Jesus came down to earth, He came as both fully God and fully man. What proof is there that Jesus was both God and man? Listen to this sermon on John 4:13–14 titled “Who Is This Person?” as Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones answers this question through Jesus’s encounter with the woman at the well. First, He shows the woman that He is equal with God by telling her to believe in Him. This statement shows His authority and His claim of being equal with God. However, He goes on to speak of Himself as being a man by referring to Himself as being a Jew of the line of David. Here, He is transitioning to saying that He was also fully man. Many would argue that Jesus was not fully man, but only appeared to be man. Dr. Lloyd-Jones points out how the Bible is very clear that Jesus did not just appear to be man, but came to this earth as fully man with a human soul. He goes on to state that because Jesus was fully man, He was made subject under the law. Therefore, the reason Jesus had to come as both fully God and fully man was because in order for Him to save all from the law, He also had to be under the law as a man. Because of His sacrifice in coming down to the world as God and man, all can find salvation in His work for humanity.
The Gift of God
What draws people to Jesus? What are people finding in Jesus that answers their deepest needs? As Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones proclaims, it is in Christ that we find forgiveness of sin and peace with God. The world is in total darkness and despair, not knowing its own need for salvation. It pursues nothing but pleasure and the fleeting pleasures of this life. Not even the most complex philosophies offer any lasting satisfaction. All this comes to nothing because on the last day Christ will return and judge those who do not know Him as Lord and Savior. The answer to this great problem is to turn from sin and to Christ Jesus. Only in Christ can we find the kindness, love and forgiveness that our hearts crave. Christian’s are those who by God’s grace have forsaken their sins and rest in Christ. Listen along as The Doctor teaches us how only Jesus Christ gives the living water that truly and finally satisfies because only Jesus can make sinners right with God.
The Power Within
What is it that empowers Christians to live as followers of Christ? In this sermon on John 4:13-14 titled “The Power Within,” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones shares that the answer is the Holy Spirit dwelling in believers. All who have believed in Christ have the Holy Spirit indwelling in them, and they have been made new by His power. For this reason, Christians ought to look to what the Bible tells them is the standard for living and for the world. All who believe have overcome the world. Christians cannot simply avoid doing what the world does, but they must strive to please God by living a life according to His commands. This frees believers from the danger of legalism because they look to God’s Word as the standard for what it means to live as a Christian empowered by the Holy Spirit. This sermon forces everyone to ask the questions: “do you have the Holy Spirit? Have you repented of your sins and believed in Jesus Christ?” It is only through trusting in Christ that anyone can have peace with God.
The Spirit of Your Mind
What is the ultimate experience in this life? Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones explains in this sermon from John 4:13–14 titled “The Spirit of Your Mind” that to know and love God is the highest end in life, and it is the only way of salvation from sin and condemnation. However, the presence of sin keeps humanity from knowing God and his gospel. It stops all from believing in Jesus Christ. It is only by regeneration that fallen men and women can be granted eyes of faith that are able to properly see God, and only by receiving a new nature can they truly know God. This creates an antithesis between fallen sinners who remain slaves to their sinful nature, and those who have been given a new nature by their union with Christ. In brief, Christians seek what is good, holy, and pure as a pattern of life. This desire for righteousness is not dead religion, but new life in Jesus Christ. Those in Christ can fight against sin and temptation, not because they are holy in themselves, but because they are empowered by the Holy Spirit to have victory over sin’s power and influence. Christians can have hope in eventual glorification because Christ has risen from the dead and given them the gift of salvation.
A Matter of Conscience
Is Jesus is all He claims to be? Is He is God? Did He die for sinners? Is He the true and better Adam? Is He the Savior? In this sermon on John 4:13-14, Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones preaches on Jesus Christ as the personal Savior, and how this truth applies to guilty consciences. For the Law tells of guilt, and hearts confirm this judgment – it is a matter of conscience. The only hope is not to quell the conscience, but to believe and receive total forgiveness. Jesus Christ came and died in order that the Law would be fulfilled. What does this mean for the human conscience? A conscience convicting a sinner of sin must not be ignored, but they also should not turn to self-justification. The answer is in Christ. He has freed his people from desires to vindicate themselves and appease guilty consciences by works. Jesus himself said that He is humanity’s righteousness and hope. For all who believe in Jesus can have full assurance that they have been saved and are now children of God.
Jesus and the Resurrection
What is the hope for Christians? Faced with the inevitability of death and departure from this world, all must ask themselves: “What happens when I die? Where is my hope?” The tragic fact is that the world has no hope, so it has no answer to the problem of death. The Christian, however, does have hope. Jesus has died and saved His people from sin and death, and He will return to raise them to new life in the resurrection. The resurrection is the new life that Jesus offers to the woman at the well; it is the living water that quenches thirst forever. In the face of the world’s hopelessness and darkness, Jesus has broken into the world so that all who believe might be saved through Him. In this sermon on John 4:13–14 titled “Jesus and the Resurrection,” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones calls all to look at the gospel of Jesus and to trust in it alone as the only hope for a better future.
There is no doubt that God gives guidance and wisdom to believers, but how does He do this? In the Bible there is extraordinary proof of this as God gives visions to the prophets and apostles. Listen as Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones preaches this sermon from John 4:13–14 titled “Divine Guidance,” and shares that these extraordinary instances of God revealing Himself in order to make known His will are not the normal way that He leads. Christians should not expect God to communicate in these extraordinary events but they should look to many of the ordinary ways He guides and leads His people in the Spirit. Those who always look to an immediate and infallible revelation from God to guide them often fall into error. They should look to the Holy Spirit’s ordinary guidance that can be found in Scripture, wise advice, and enlightened common sense. All these things form the Christian conscience. It is not in a way that makes it an infallible guide, but it is an everyday means that God uses to guide and lead to a deeper knowledge of Him. Ultimately, the Christian’s conscience can only be bound by Scripture and God uses the ordinary things in life to lead to a deeper knowledge of Him and His will for the Christian life.
The world asks many questions, but why do they never come to true answers? Why does humanity always seek true wisdom and knowledge but not find it? The answer is found in the world’s rejection of Jesus Christ as the true wisdom of God. In this sermon on John 4:13–14 titled “Questioning God,” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones tells that all true wisdom has been given in Christ, but the world in its sinfulness does not know Him. For God’s wisdom is not the wisdom of the world; it stands in opposition to all sinful thinking. This wisdom of God is not accessible to sinful people because they are blinded by their own pride and have fooled themselves into believing that they can know truth without God’s revelation. The only way out of this dilemma is for sinful people to be transformed by His grace and made new and given the gift of salvation. This question confronts all in the revelation of God’s gospel: “do you know the truth of God or are you blinded by your sin and pride?” All either believe that Jesus is the true wisdom of God or they believe in the vain and passing wisdom of this world.
The Age of the Clinical
In this sermon on John 4:13–14 titled “The Age of the Clinical,” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones addresses two common extremes where people tend to fall: pure emotionalism and pure intellectualism. He points out that the world swings like a pendulum between relying solely on emotions and relying solely on intellect. Both of these extremes are excluded in Christianity; instead it embraces emotions that are grounded in truth. He shows that the world often excludes emotion to protect itself from pain. To illustrate this, he uses the philosophy of stoicism. This philosophy attempts to cut out all emotion in order to be unaffected and safe. Dr. Lloyd-Jones points out that this kind of false protection is only a partial solution. It merely ignores suffering rather than providing a solution. He describes Christianity as a balanced view of intellect and emotion. God created people as creatures that are made to do more than understand truth; they are made to feel truth. Moreover, their Savior wept over sin and suffering. Whereas the world would rob all of either knowing truth or feeling and experiencing it, but God would have His people weep with those who weep and rejoice with those who rejoice.
Emotion and Emotionalism
Where is joy found for Christians? In this sermon on John 4:13–14 titled “Emotion and Emotionalism,” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones shows how a joy that is simply based on emotions is not the joy that Christ gives. True and lasting joy comes about when Christians put their trust in Jesus and come to a full assurance of salvation. Knowing that God is wholly for His people in the sending of His Son to die for them is what gives Christians hope in this life. This assurance of joy is not simply the result of emotions, but it gives a true basis for emotions. There is nothing to fear from emotions in themselves, but only the misunderstanding of emotions in the Christian life. Cults and false religious teachers often appeal to emotions to gain converts and control them; this is wholly opposed to the truths of the gospel that provide a basis for true joy in the life of Christians. True emotions can be expressed many ways for Christians, provided that they have a basis in God’s truth. This sermon is a comfort for all who are searching for joy because it proclaims Christ as the true and lasting hope.