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Sermon #1045

A Changed Disposition

A Sermon on John 1:16


John 1:16 ESV KJV
For from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace. (ESV)

Sermon Description

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.

Sermon Breakdown

  1. Christians have received grace upon grace from the fullness of Christ.
  2. Christians have been given everything they need in Christ, who has been made unto us wisdom, righteousness, sanctification, and redemption.
  3. Sanctification means the process of being renewed in the whole person after the image of God and being enabled more and more to die to sin and live to righteousness.
  4. Sanctification is not automatic or solely in Christ without any effort on our part. It is also not a sudden experience of perfection.
  5. Christians have been delivered from sin and the law, so they are no longer in a state of discouragement. They are alive to God under grace, not under law or sin.
  6. The Holy Spirit's first work is separation, separating us from the world, the flesh, and the devil. This is evident in our initial conviction and drawing to Christ.
  7. The Holy Spirit's second work is regeneration, being born again. This means we have a new disposition, a new principle of life operating and controlling us.
  8. In regeneration, we retain our natural powers and faculties but have a new controlling power - the Holy Spirit. This leads to a new outlook and new desires, though we remain the same in other respects.
  9. The natural man cannot receive or know the things of the Spirit. The spiritual man has understanding and judges all things, though he himself is judged by no one.
  10. We must be renewed in the spirit of our minds, putting off the old self and putting on the new self, created after God in righteousness and holiness of the truth.
  11. Sanctification begins with separation and regeneration, not with a single experience of being made perfect. We are new creations in Christ, born of the Spirit.
  12. As we think, so we are. Our fundamental outlook determines our desires and will. In regeneration, our whole outlook, desires, will, and conduct change.

The Book of John

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.