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.
Look at Him
Throughout the New Testament is found the call to believe and the warning to examine oneself, lest anyone be found destined for hell. Belief is the central message of the Gospel of John. In fact, the entire book is an apologetic to believe in Christ. In this sermon on John 7:5 titled “Look at Him,” Dr. Lloyd-Jones once again calls all to believe by illuminating the manifestations of unbelief. The backdrop is found in a scene with Jesus and His brothers where it is time to go to Jerusalem to celebrate the Feast of Booths. Jesus announces that He is not going to the feast, and His brothers immediately criticize this decision. Their argument centers on worldly motivation. It is in their argument to Jesus that one finds manifestations of unbelief that apply to all sinners of all times. Through their words, Jesus’s brothers reveal their misunderstanding of Jesus and His mission, proving their focus on worldly problems. These carnal attitudes mark an unbeliever and will always be found in the unbelieving. In this sermon, Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones warns listeners to examine their belief, lest they be found unbelieving.
“My time has not yet come.” This simple phrase uttered by Jesus describes the vast chasm that exists between the unbeliever and the follower of Christ. In this sermon on John 7:6 titled “The Unbeliever,” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones explains the depth of Jesus’s words. The context for this statement comes as Jesus’s brothers are preparing to go to Jerusalem to celebrate the Feast of Booths. Jesus announces that he will not be going up to the feast and His brothers react to Jesus’s announcement with the typical unbelieving mindset. They thought that if Jesus in fact had a message that would change the world, the feast is the perfect opportunity to reveal Himself. However, this is worldly thinking. Jesus exposes their earthly ambitions by telling them that “for you any time will do.” A worldly message delivered to worldly fallen sinners is always available. But Jesus, His message, and His mission are under a divine timetable. The Triune God of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit is on a divine mission to reconcile sinners through the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus, and nothing will stand in the way of that mission or its perfect timing. Therefore, in this message, Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones challenges all to turn from worldly thinking and belief, and receive Christ for the forgiveness of sin.
Christ; the Only Hope
Unbelief in the gospel is the great tragedy. Christians believe that the rejection of the Son of God has eternal consequences and as Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones preaches in this sermon on John 7:7 titled “Christ, the Only Hope,” there is no more serious and sober subject in all of Scripture than the world’s unbelief. Some give intellectual arguments as the reason for their rejection of Christianity or claim not to have strong enough information about God to accept the gospel message. What is the true nature of unbelief? What about those closest to Jesus in His earthly ministry — did they receive Him when seeing with their own eyes His power, authority, and miracles? The Gospel of John has much to say about the world and its unbelief. Dr. Lloyd-Jones leads His listeners through the puzzling reality that the Son of God came to His own and His own did not receive Him. Listen as Dr. Lloyd-Jones explains the great divide of the world and asks the listener for their reaction to Jesus Christ, the only hope for the world.
Son of God; Saviour
In this sermon on John 7:8–13 titled “Son of God, Saviour,” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones grapples with the nature and condition of unbelief in the world but first encourages looking closely at the Savior Himself. Dr. Lloyd-Jones focuses on Scripture’s teaching concerning Christ’s loneliness, isolation, humility, wisdom, and the purpose for His suffering. In so doing, it is all the more perplexing that the world rejects such a blessed person. How could it be that the world rejects such a Savior? How could it be that the religious authorities, experts, kings, and common people all rejected the Son of God? What does this say about the human condition? What is the answer to such spiritual blindness? Listen as Dr. Lloyd-Jones explores this important topic of the world’s rejection of Son of God, savior of the world.
The Feast of Tabernacles
The Bible is a wonderful, coherent narrative spanning centuries of God’s revelation of Himself to humanity. Biblical typology helps interpreters of the Bible understand how the Old Testament, with its laws concerning feasts, celebrations, sacrifices, and institutions, is fulfilled in Christ Jesus. In this sermon on the feast of tabernacles from John 7:14, Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones expounds the Bible’s teaching on the Feast of Tabernacles. He connects for his listeners its significance for ancient Israel and the lessons it taught the people of God as they dwelled in tents, celebrating their deliverance from the bondage of Egyptian slavery. Yet the law of Moses is not an end unto itself. Following the teaching of the New Testament, Dr. Lloyd-Jones connects the Feast of Tabernacles to the great anti-type, the Son of God who “tabernacled” among His people. Listen as he models how to relate the Old Testament to the New Testament and, more importantly, about the love of God, the message of hope, and the final deliverance one has in the substance of all the typologies found in the Bible – Jesus Christ.
And the Jews Marvelled
Trimming Christianity to mere ethical teachings or to matters of political agitation may interest certain people. Christians may even gain the respect of others through their good deeds or for their dedication to Sunday morning service. But in neither case, argues Dr. Martyn-Lloyd Jones, will people marvel at the Christian gospel. The one thing that true Christianity leads to is wonder and amazement. In this sermon on John 7:15 titled “And the Jews Marveled,” Dr. Lloyd-Jones says the essence of the gospel always leads people to marvel and true Christianity will have this effect. In the sermon, Dr. Lloyd-Jones traces this theme of amazement, astonishment, and marvel through the life and ministry of the Lord Jesus Christ. He asks whether or not the church is causing people to marvel, and if not, why? The listener will be challenged if they think Christianity is a set of rules to follow or a political program; that Jesus Christ came to help people live a better life; or that Jesus was simply a good man who left an example to follow. Listen to what the Bible says about the effect of the true gospel and hear the message of God’s grace, His salvation through Jesus Christ.
Pride and Prejudice
Modern people like to think they are different from those of the past. Do technological and scientific advancements mean they can dispense with the past, especially the Christian past? Many in leading universities and intellectual centers around the world think Christianity is no longer relevant and say that science teaches differently now. The problem with this outlook, says Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones, comes down to pride and prejudice, and this is nothing new. The Pharisees and scribes held this same kind of intellectual hubris against the Lord Jesus Christ. In this sermon on John 7:15 titled “Pride and Prejudice,” when Jesus began to teach, they quickly dismissed Him because He did not belong to their schools. Due to their pride, they were unwilling to face the “facts” of His message. What is the result of this intellectualism? How does the example of the scribes and Pharisees help modern people understand the human condition? How might they miss the vital questions of life because of spiritual blindness? Do the philosophers of today truly have the answers to life’s most important questions? Listen as Dr. Lloyd-Jones diagnoses the problem: pride and prejudice.
Given by God
There is a prevalent modern myth that great minds don’t believe in Christianity. While intellectuals look back and patronize Christianity, scholars ridicule Christian teaching as passé. But how does one judge the knowledge of the Christian faith? Can knowledge about God be attained in the same manner as secular knowledge? Is knowledge about God a matter of intellect or ability? In this sermon on John 7:16 titled “Given by God,” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones answers these kinds of question by showing how the vast majority of intellectuals today fall into the same position as the Pharisees. In other words, both judge the teaching about Christ from a mere human perspective. However, as Dr. Lloyd-Jones shows, Jesus Christ’s teaching is entirely different from every other teaching because it belongs to a different realm. His teaching is given by God. Christ claims to give revelation from above. In order to understand this revelation, the listener needs to discern things spiritually. Natural minds that are unaided by the Spirit cannot comprehend this type of knowledge.
To Know God
In its deepest time of need, the world did not receive the Son of God. This is as true today as it was when the Gospel of John was written. But why does the world persist in its unbelief? In light of its desperation, how is it possible that the world continues to reject the extraordinary message of the gospel? In this sermon on John 7:17 titled “To Know God,” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones continues his study of unbelief and says that unbelief is moral rather than merely intellectual. He then goes on to expound why this must be the case based upon an understanding of the nature of God and the truth of the Christian faith. In their prejudice, people want to make Christianity an intellectual or detached academic endeavor. Intellectualism allows exploration of religion in lab coats rather than coming face-to-face with the fact that all are sinners who cannot approach a holy God with feeble intellect. While the majority of the world rejects the gospel of Christ, Christians have eyes to understand the moral dilemma and flee to Christ by faith. Listen to Dr. Lloyd-Jones teach on unbelief to not only understand its characteristics, but more importantly to worship the Son of Man who came to seek and save the lost.
Man and his Pride
Perhaps the greatest contrast in all of the Bible is the humility of Christ and the pride of humankind. In this sermon on pride from John 7:18 titled “Man and His Pride,” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones continues teaching and preaching on the characteristics of unbelief and reaches the ultimate reason people do not believe the gospel: pride. In teaching on the fallen nature of humanity, the Lord Jesus Christ is not interested in an academic or psychological analysis of pride. Instead, His love for sinners drives His words. With the final fate of persisting unbelief being hell, Dr. Lloyd-Jones asks the listener to confront their own unbelief. Considering modern scientific hubris, one must consider if they will gamble their eternal destiny on the theories of people or will become like little children at the feet of Christ? Will they lean on intellect, learning, and the world’s philosophies or gladly receive the Word of God? Does the sin of pride, selfishness, and self-centeredness consume one’s life or do they live for the glory and worship of the true God? In this important message, Dr. Lloyd-Jones asks and answers these many pressing questions. Listen as he challenges prideful self-glorification and encourages finding rescue in the good news of Jesus Christ.
A Right Judgement
What is at the heart of unbelief? In this sermon on right judgement from John 7:19–24, Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones shows that the Pharisees and other Jewish leaders constantly oppose Jesus. They claim He is a false teacher who breaks the law of God by healing the sick and lame. Jesus’s response to these claims is to point out the Jewish leaders’ utter hypocrisy. They claim to follow the law, but they care more about their traditions than the sick and weak in society. They do not understand that the law is about loving one’s neighbor, not legalism. Jesus is wholly the opposite of all the hypocrisy of false religion, for He tells that true religion is about loving God and neighbor. It is not superficial law keeping. Dr. Lloyd-Jones tells that the answer to all false religion and unbelief is true faith in Jesus. Jesus and His kingdom are not simply about making the world a better place, but it is about eternal salvation and reconciliation with God. This sermon calls all to see Jesus for who He is: the Savior of the world and the source of all true blessings in this life. Jesus calls all to believe in His name for salvation.
A Picture of Unbelief
In this sermon on John 7:25–30 titled “A Picture of Unbelief,” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones examines the objective picture of unbelief. Listen and learn that unbelief fails to consider the facts and engages in the danger of dogmatism: “Unbelief makes dogmatic assertions which can prove to be completely wrong.” Complete confidence in self and one’s own belief is a characteristic of unbelief. Why do people still dogmatically reject Christ and the gospel? Take time to find the real facts and essential truth. It is worth it to “take the trouble” and discover what Christianity truly is. The claims of humanity pale in comparison to the claims of Jesus Christ. No one ought to replace the teaching of the word of God with human doctrines and commandments. What is the basis of knowledge? One must build on a solid foundation. Who are these so-called experts? There seems to be so much certainty in modern science and knowledge, yet it is this very knowledge of humanity that proves to be a refusal to listen to God. Do not turn to follow the dogmatic assertions of people who turn mere theories into facts without legitimacy. Turn to follow the One who knows God.
Controlled by Unbelief
What is at the root of people’s unbelief regarding Christianity and the gospel of Jesus Christ? Is it a heart issue or is it something that is more intellectual? In this sermon on John 7:25–36 titled “Controlled by Unbelief,” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones preaches to understand what unbelief is and what is at the root of it. Not seeing Christ as Savior, Dr. Lloyd-Jones says, is not merely an indifferent opinion that someone can hold. A person’s eternal destination is hinging on how they answer this, and thus, it is of the utmost importance. Unbelief is the consequence of the fall in Genesis 3. Dr. Lloyd-Jones asks what the deep and radical nature of unbelief is and provides three helpful points to think through in consideration. First, it is deeper than merely intellect and reason— unbelief is an issue of the heart that is not fixed simply by changing someone’s mind alone. Second, it is deeper than superficial differences of opinion, and this is because of the importance and weight it bears. Third, unbelief leads to an appalling ignorance of God and that everyone, including the unsaved, will have to give an account and will be subject to God’s judgment for their sins. If one struggles with unbelief towards God, listen to this sermon and think carefully about their standing in relationship to God.
If Anyone Thirsts ...
Who is the gospel for? In this sermon on John 7:37–38 titled “If Anyone Thirsts…,” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones examines the perplexing question of who it is that Jesus came to die for and save. He says that the gospel is for all those that thirst for God because they know that they are sinners in need of grace. They know that there is nothing they can do to save themselves and escape the judgement of God. Realizing one’s own sinfulness and fallenness is the first step to coming to Christ for salvation. Dr. Lloyd-Jones says that it is the law that brings sinners out of their stupor of self-righteousness and into the awesome grace of God. This sermon tells all that they are in dire need of the Savior, and that Jesus has risen from the dead in order that they might live. All who repent of their sins and believe in Jesus are made holy and are adopted as children of God. The only path to true happiness is by coming to God through His Son, Jesus Christ. This is the ultimate message of hope and it is the only truth that can save the world.