The Book of John
The Book of John
Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones preached more on the Book of John than any other gospel. This collection includes his main series of 185 sermons on the Book of John, plus his early series of 64 sermons, …
Preaching a sermon titled “In Christ” from John 1:16 at the beginning of a new year, Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones asks his listener: “how will you prepare yourself for all that lies ahead in the coming months?” The Bible, he says, is the handbook for life— it is sufficient for all the wisdom needed to live a godly life and handle what will come. Instead of promising that His followers would not face hard times during their walk with Him, Jesus stated that Christians will have an increase in these things. Yet, He also said that He has already overcome the world. One way to survive the hard circumstances that are a part of life is to learn to think scripturally. This means seeing every event in life in the light of Scripture. Dr. Lloyd-Jones exhorts the listener to spend time every day studying the Bible. He goes further, encouraging the avoidance of treating times in God’s Word as a mere task— Scripture contains the life, wisdom, and spiritual food needed in order to live for Christ in the midst of trying times. Part of this is to acknowledge that God is sovereign and in complete control over all. When this is remembered, the Christian can put everything in His hands and lean on His promises. This, Dr. Lloyd-Jones says, is how Christians can live through the difficult times that lay ahead.
Righteous in Christ
The grounds for any relationship is a mutual interest and certain likeness. This is no different in our relationship with God. In this sermon titled “Righteousness in Christ,” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones explains righteousness as one’s nature corresponding to the nature of God. This leads to a question: how then can anyone be righteous? No one can arrive at the knowledge of God because they cannot produce righteousness. As a result, in the fallen condition, all are prone to righteousness by works and this will never do. Listen as Dr. Lloyd-Jones explains from John 1:16 how to get back into a state of fellowship with God––it is the doctrine of justification by faith. Through Christ, guilt is removed and Christians are given His righteousness. This righteousness is permanent and the relationship with God is now absolute. There is no condemnation in Christ Jesus. What does this mean for the believer? It means that the devil can never raise within them the question of their standing with God. Yes, Satan will still accuse and what he says about human actions is true. But the believer’s hope is not in themselves––it is in Christ who has saved. Christians are recipients of grace upon grace.
Justification and Sanctification
The Christian life is fraught with hardship and even sin. How can the Christian reconcile being made right before God, yet still fight sin? Through this sermon on John 1:16 titled “Justification and Sanctification,” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones helps the Christian see the distinction between justification and sanctification. He describes justification as an imputed righteousness. This is your new status before God. This happens all at once, like the removal of old dirty clothes and the dawning of bright new clothes. Sanctification is imparted righteousness. Dr. Lloyd-Jones elaborates that it is not instantaneous like justification, but is much more like a blood transfusion that takes time, eventually becoming the very lifeblood of the recipient. Furthermore, he describes that every Christian is justified to the same extent and has the same legal standing before God. However, not every Christian is equally sanctified. The Christian of thirty years may see more victory over sin than the Christian of thirty days. For the one struggling with sin, know that the standing before God is secured not by their holiness, but by the holiness of Jesus. Moreover, know that in the struggle with sin, the Holy Spirit is working righteousness until they are called home to glory.
Christ; Our Sanctification
How can the Christian be called “dead to sin” when they are not sinless? In this sermon on John 1:16 titled “Christ, Our Sanctification,” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones gives an extended metaphor for how the Christian can be called dead to sin. He elaborates that the Christian is like a person who moves to a new country and changes their citizenship. Though their old country will influence how they live, the old country’s government has no jurisdiction over this person anymore. This person is as good as dead to their old country. Similarly the Christian may be influenced by sin, but it has no dominion over them. This sermon gives poignant details for the Christian to be able to understand how they can be free from sin and yet still struggle against fleshly desires. Listen to hear about progressive sanctification and how the Christian is made holy.
A Changed Disposition
How does sanctification work? How does a person change? These are important questions for anyone seriously examining their own soul or discipling others. In this sermon titled “A Changed Disposition,” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones dissects the particular work of the Holy Spirit in John 1:16. He shows from Scripture that the Holy Spirit is the one that directly ministers sanctification to, and in, the Christian. Furthermore, he shows how this doctrine of sanctification is related to regeneration and justification. He shows that the sanctification of the Holy Spirit is progressive; it happens over time. He also illustrates that this sanctification and regeneration makes a person new at the core, while not changing secondary likes and attributes. Dr. Lloyd-Jones uses Paul as a poignant example. Paul was a zealous and incredible character, both before and after his conversion. His zeal did not change but what changed was his entire aim and controlling disposition. Where he once was zealous in persecution, he became zealous in evangelism and discipleship. Can the Christian state that this is also true of themselves? Have their abilities been reformed and brought under new management and have the direction of their passions changed? Christianity does not need change one’s skills; rather, it subjects every ability to the God who gave them.
Married to Christ
In this sermon on John 1:16 titled “Married to Christ,” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones addresses the dividing the work of the Holy Spirit in the life of the believer. He shows the distinction between the carnal person and the spiritual person. He identifies the former as an unbeliever, and the latter as the state of the Christian. He shows that the carnal person chases after worldly and fleshly things, while the spiritual person pursues spiritual pursuits. The carnal person is shortsighted and blind and their eyes are only on the things of this life that will perish, fade or be destroyed. The Christian is bent on eternal realities and drawing near to the Lord. Dr. Lloyd-Jones asks the listener if their eyes have been opened to value eternal realities. He questions if the forgiveness of sin is a warmth to the soul or does money, fame, and power hold sway as the only authority. Moreover, Dr. Lloyd-Jones discusses the beautiful reality that the old master, the law, has perished and now Christians are wed to Christ and His grace. The Spirit works about this unity that believers have with Christ. Listen and hear what realities the Spirit of God instills into the hearts of believers.
The Power of Christ Within
Are Christians daunted by the phrase “work out your salvation with fear and trembling?” Is sanctification a topic that brings anxiety? This sermon on John 1:16 titled “The Power of Christ Within” addresses these questions. Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones shows how and why the Christian should fearfully participate in their own sanctification. He explains that the Christian must embrace and pursue sanctification, but they are also given divine power to grow in holiness. Additionally, he explains that a Christian should have fear related to the understanding that God is the one who works in them, and that the world is opposed to God. The Christian life is filled with a heightened awareness of responsibility and realization that they answer to an all-knowing and just God. Dr. Lloyd-Jones shows how to walk in holy fear while simultaneously holding fast to the salvation bought by Christ the Lord. Finally, Dr. Lloyd-Jones points out that the first and primary need of all humanity is the fear of the Lord. He points out that the beginning of wisdom is fear of the Lord and therefore fearing God is of primary importance to all creatures that are made in His image.
God Works in You to Will and to Do
The Christian must ask themselves: what characterizes their life? Do they see themselves becoming increasingly more godly? When they sin, are they convicted and fueled on to godly repentance? In this sermon on John 1:16 titled “God Works in You to Will and to Do,” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones discusses one major doctrine of the Christian faith, namely, the doctrine of progressive sanctification. He elaborates that the Christian is always being made more holy by God. The way that God sees fit to accomplish this task is not all at once, like an explosion, but more like the wearing away of rocks along the seashore. At times there are great storms that move boulders, but more commonly there is the constant ebb and flow of the tide that slowly erodes the rocks on the shoreline. Similarly the Christian life will have great times of power where sin is cast off with great vigor, and at times it is a constant reviving of faith in the word of God that will erode the strongholds of sin in the Christian’s life. Dr. Lloyd-Jones highlights that this work is done by God through His word and Spirit. The Christian’s walk is enabled and led by the Spirit.
Sanctification and Prayer
How should Christians live in this world? How do they demonstrate that they are children and heirs of God? In this sermon on prayer and sanctification from John 1:16, Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones expounds on the great doctrine of sanctification in the life of the believer. Sanctification is the process whereby the Christian is delivered from the world and prepared for the glory that awaits them. It is Jesus Christ being formed in them. Very practically it means living a life in the spirit and not in the flesh. As the Holy Spirit leads, guides, directs, and restrains the Christian, he also enables them to understand truth. This Spirit-led life is characterized by prayer for prayer is vital to sanctification. The believer will often find themselves in circumstances they don’t understand and are at loss for what they should do. In this infirmity, this moment of uncertainty, the Spirit is present and helps intercede on their behalf. It is the great privilege of the Christian to come before God and have fellowship with him through prayer.
Flesh and Spirit
Every Christian must deal with old, evil desires that resurface, and every Christian must deal with indwelling sin. In this sermon on John 1:16 titled “Flesh and Spirit,” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones discusses the way that God deals with remaining sin in the life of the Christian. This namely occurs through progressively sanctifying them through the work of the Holy Spirit. Sanctification is the work of the Holy Spirit whereby Christians are enabled more and more to die to sin and live in righteousness. Dr. Lloyd-Jones elaborates that the Christian must also mortify, or kill, the sin in their life. A Christian who falls into sin is like the Israelite who forgets what it actually was like in slavery in Egypt and longs for the land of his slavery. Instead they must stand fast on Christ who has set them free. Moreover, Dr. Lloyd-Jones points out that legalism is not the same as obedience, because legalism assures people of salvation based on their own merit, rather than pointing them to a Savior who has set them free from the Law of Moses. If someone is trapped by their conscience and feels the weight of legalism pressing in, this sermon encourages that the gospel offers freedom from slavery to the law and sin.
Strangers and Pilgrims
What is the nature of sanctification? In this sermon on John 1:16 titled “Strangers and Pilgrims,” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones tells that sanctification is essential to all Christians. It is not a result of legalism, but of living according to the gospel. The great truth is that Jesus died for sinners and that the Holy Spirit came into the world to give new life. Though all are born in sin, no one is beyond the grace and power of God. There is no sinner so dark that they cannot be made a child of God. As the gospel says, Christians flee worldliness and immorality because they are new creatures in Christ. Christians are called to flee sin and the flesh and to put to death all immorality not in order to be saved, but because they have been saved. There is no place for legalism in the Christian life, but it is the gospel that compels toward holiness. For those that sow in the flesh reap according to the flesh, but those that sow according to the Spirit reap according to the Spirit. The sermon asks: “what are you sowing? Are you trusting in God and in His gospel, or are you still trusting the flesh?” There is no more important question one can ask.
For Christs Love Compels Us
The Christian must consider how they feel about sin and about Jesus Christ. They must ask if their sin disgusts them to where they are driven to confession and repentance, and if they are drawn to love God, His Word, and people more and more? In this sermon on John 1:16 titled “For Christ’s Love Compels Us,” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones delves into the joyous details surrounding the love of the Savior and how His love affects lives and desires. Paramount to understanding how the love of Christ affects is understanding the doctrine of union with Christ. This doctrine explains that those who have repented and believed in Christ are also united with Him. This not only means that the Christian is united to a righteousness like Christ’s through sanctification and justification, but also that they have been united to a death like Christ’s, namely, that they have died to sin. From this point Dr. Lloyd-Jones shows how the follower of Christ is not merely credited with Christ’s goodness, but also given a new heart and new desires to put off sin and put on righteousness.
Assurance and Sanctification
How can one be sure of their salvation and that they belong to Christ? In this sermon on John 1:16, Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones expounds on the nature and relationship of assurance and sanctification. He shows that assurance does not require a perfect life, nor does assurance give license to live in sin but the assurance which is found in God’s word begins with a recognition of new life in Christ. This recognition keeps Christians from either seeing assurance as a result of perfect sanctification or seeing assurance as license for no sanctification. But biblical assurance is a product of a heart that has been transformed by Christ, and this life is then lived out in the power of the Holy Spirit. Christians can have knowledge of their assurance by living a Spirit-empowered life of love and faith. The devil often uses false assurance to deceive and destroy people, but by seeking to live a life of faith and obedience lived in the power of God, Christians can have a true knowledge of their relationship with God. This knowledge should encourage Christians to seek to live a life of love toward God and neighbor. It should compel them to hate sin and love righteousness and lead Christians to a deeper love of Christ and His gospel.
What is the result of salvation? Often times Christians speak of their salvation as simply being forgiven or saved from sins. While this is true, in this sermon on John 1:16 titled “Final Perseverance,” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones shows that salvation is more than being forgiven. According to him, salvation is salvation unto good works and a life of holiness. The idea that one can be a Christian while continuing to live in sin and rebellion is not taught in the Bible. This is because the Bible always teaches that God uses good works to enable Christians to persevere to the end. God gives the Holy Spirit that equips the faithful to live a life of good works. This same Spirit keeps all true believers from falling away and losing their salvation. All who are saved persevere to the end. This is only because God has promised to keep all those whom He has saved. This sermon gives great hope to all believers who have truly trusted in God. To those who do not know Jesus, it promises a salvation that is secure and stable to all who believe in the gospel.
Graces. not Gifts
What does it mean to be a Christian? In this sermon titled “Graces, not Gifts,” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones preaches from John 1:16 to tell his hearers that the Christian is the one who has received the fullness of God. He preaches that the process of sanctification is part of the Christian life, and therefore it must be part of the Christian message. The only reason God can give gracious fullness of salvation is because He Himself is full to the infinite extent. When God gives salvation, He both imputes and imparts the righteousness of Christ to the believer. This does not mean the Christian life will be easy. Dr. Lloyd-Jones illustrates sanctification as a garden. A person can tend to the soil all their life and never produce any fruit, for they have forgotten to plant seeds. In this illustration Dr. Lloyd-Jones also tells his hearers that the vines are produced by God, and the toiling for His glory must be devoted to ridding the garden of weeds. It is a great encouragement that God is the protector. Listen as Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones preaches about God’s graces.
The Lords Supper
What is the sacrament of the Lord’s Supper? In this sermon on the Lord’s Supper from John 1:16, Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones preaches on the meaning and importance of the Lord’s Supper in the Christian life. He begins by examining other views that have been held throughout Church history and are now believed by other denominations. He explains why views like transubstantiation, as held by the Roman Catholic Church, are unbiblical. The Lord’s Supper is important not because it is actually the physical body and blood of Jesus, he says, but it is important because it represents the death of Christ in the believers’ place. It is not some sort of mystical means of communicating grace, but it is a testament to the fact that Jesus died for sinners, and that all who believe in Him are saved through His blood. The Lord’s Supper is an essential part of sanctification because it is a reminder of who Christians are now, and it testifies to His death for the Church. “What does this sermon mean to me?” someone may ask. The message of Jesus is for all people, of all places and times, because it is the message of salvation. The Lord’s Supper declares that all who believe in Jesus are made righteous before God.
What is the end result of salvation? Sadly, many Christians never look at the wealth of teaching that Scripture gives about the great scope of salvation, for Christ did not come simply to save people from punishment but Jesus Christ came to make all things new. He came to save bodies and souls from death. Glorification is the completion of all that Christ has begun in His people. This shows that Christianity is not only concerned with the spiritual realm of creation but also the physical, for God will not rest until He has made all things new through Christ Jesus and redeemed all His people fully. But only those who believe in Jesus will receive the gift of glorification. Only those who repent and forsake their sins will become inheritors in the new heavens and the new earth. The Bible is clear that there is no salvation outside of Christ and there is no hope apart from His work. This sermon on John 1:16 confronts all with the reality of their sin and the need to be made new in Christ Jesus.
If Any Man Thirst
Who is the Holy Spirit? Why does he matter for the life of a Christian? In this sermon on John 1:16 titled “If Any Man Thirst,” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones deeply looks into God’s Word to see how the Holy Spirit brings new life and changing power to the Christian life. The Holy Spirit was active throughout the lives of the Old Testament saints and without the work of the Holy Spirit, no one can be saved and brought to a true knowledge of God. Nevertheless, in the new covenant the Holy Spirit has been poured out upon those that believe in the gospel of Jesus Christ. This new power that the Holy Spirit grants is the source of the Christian life; it allows Christians to flee from sin and to grow in holiness. Moralistic teaching and practices cannot bring lasting change because true change is a supernatural act of God.
For Me to Live is Christ (1)
What does it mean for someone to say “to live is Christ”? In this sermon titled “For Me to Live is Christ (1),” regarding John 1:16, Martyn Lloyd-Jones preaches on where the Christian’s joy is found. Dr. Lloyd-Jones explains that the futile unbelievers’ mindset is a pursuit of one’s own joy and happiness through selfish means that does not satisfy the soul. Living for Christ’s glory, however, is the deepest and most fulfilling of all pursuits. Dr. Lloyd-Jones preaches that to be a Christian is not only to believe the truth about God, but also to receive Christ’s fullness. A person can receive of this fullness by repenting of sins and placing faith in Christ. Through this wonderful act, Christ imputes and imparts His righteousness to the Christian’s account, thereby declaring them justified before God. Dr. Lloyd-Jones tells that the secret of deep joy in Christian living is the mind of Christ. Referencing Paul’s writing in Philippians 2, Dr. Lloyd-Jones tells his listeners a marvelous truth, namely that Christ has given His mind upon the Christian’s salvation. With this Spirit-empowered perspective, the Christian can live for God’s glory with strength and fullness.
For Me to Live is Christ (2)
In this sermon on John 1:16 titled “ For Me to Live is Christ (2),” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones encourages Christians that death is not to be feared. It is, however, reasonable for the unbeliever to fear death as their soul is not secure within Christ. The fear of death has dominated humanity for all of history. Christians, however, have been given eternal hope. One of the wonderful delights of Christ and the fullness of His grace is eternal life. In Christ, the Christian no longer has to fear death as death will simply bring them to their home with God. However, Christians tend to neglect a proper understanding of death. Too many Christians, Dr. Lloyd-Jones exhorts, are too focused on this temporary life. To address this issue, he calls the hearer’s attention to John 1:14, which literally translates to mean God "tabernacled" among His people. Christians at large have neglected to understand that the hope must be based in Christ and the life He gives. A true understanding of death, Dr. Lloyd-Jones preaches, should give the Christian certainty over it. The Christian can have joy since their hope is secure in Christ’s fullness imparted to them.