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Sermon #1067

A Holy God

A Sermon on John 1:17


John 1:17 ESV KJV
For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. (ESV)

Sermon Description

Why must the Christian be confronted with the law of God? According to Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones in this sermon on John 1:17 titled “A Holy God,” it is so that they are confronted with God’s nature and character. God is holy and just. It is by being confronted with their own sin that they see how deep their need is for Him. The world needs to hear the message that God is holy, and His law is just and perfect. In the law, Christians see that holiness begins with love of God, not neighbor. For only by loving God rightly can they ever truly love their neighbor as God requires. The great error of sinful people is that they do not start with God, but with themselves. The gospel, however, starts with God as holy and loving. It starts with God sending His Son into the world to save sinners. This sermon asks the question: “do we start with God or do we see all of life from our own perspective?” This weighty question calls all to examine themselves and to look out to the holy God who has revealed Himself and given the gospel.

Sermon Breakdown

  1. The sermon begins by stating that the passage being discussed is John 1:17 which says "For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ."

  2. The sermon then says that the purpose of the sermon is to help the congregation appreciate the blessings available to Christians. The gospel of John was written to clarify Jesus's identity and the blessings of belief in him.

  3. The sermon states that understanding Jesus's identity and the blessings of belief in him are extremely important, especially in troubled times. The sermon says people feel lost, frustrated and empty without this understanding.

  4. The sermon says people fail to realize these blessings due to confusion over Jesus's identity and not recognizing the darkness within themselves. The sermon will now focus on needing to understand the law to understand grace.

  5. The sermon states that dismissing the law prevents one from appreciating grace. One needs to be delivered from the law's condemnation to receive grace. Not understanding the law is a major reason Christians fail to receive the gospel's blessings.

  6. The sermon says understanding the law is vital for individuals, the church, the nation, and international relations. The world's problems stem from not understanding the law.

  7. The sermon says the law shows God's nature and the truth about ourselves. God gave the law so we could see ourselves in his light and know the truth about ourselves.

  8. The sermon says the Ten Commandments were given in two tables: one concerning God, the other concerning human relationships. Jesus affirmed this order of God first, then others. The world's problems come from reversing this order.

  9. The sermon says starting with human relationships presupposes you love yourself properly. But you can't love yourself or others until you know the truth about yourself, which comes from God. Starting with self leads to selfishness, envy, and war.

  10. The sermon says the world fails to recognize we are governed more by desires than reason. Crime shows sin is not limited to the ignorant. The world needs to know it must be helped in God's way, not its own.

  11. The sermon says God gave the law to show he is the only God, almighty, spirit, holy, and demanding worship. God is jealous and will not tolerate other gods. He is just and judges sin.

  12. The sermon says God judges now through events like war, and will ultimately judge the world through Jesus. The test is one's relationship to God. There is mercy only for those who love and obey God.

  13. The sermon says God delivered Israel from Egypt as part of his plan to redeem the world through them. Despite enemies, God will achieve his purpose for his people. Do we know, love and live for this God? We must plead for others to do the same before it's too late.

  14. The sermon ends with a prayer and hymn.

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.