12But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name, 13who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of a man, but of God.
12But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: 13Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.
In the sermon titled “A More Excellent Way,” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones continues his series on John 1:12–13 by shedding light on the topic of the Holy Spirit. This topic, which is often shrouded in foggy notions and vague ideas, has light to bring to the Christian stranded in a dark season of lack of assurance. For anyone who fears grieving the Holy Spirit, there is assurance. The person who does not know God may fear losing their good name. They may fear failure, but be assured, Christians should not fear grieving the Holy Spirit. Dr. Lloyd-Jones touches on these notes, as well the difference between spiritual gifts and spiritual fruit, and several other chords that ring close to the heartbeat of the Christian. Before he closes his discourse, Dr. Lloyd-Jones focuses on the way that three of the fruit of the Spirit impact the Christian life – love, joy, and peace. The sermon asks the listener to examine their own soul and ask “do these divine realities live in my soul? Do I weep when the Holy Spirit is grieved by my sin? Does love for God and love for my neighbor mark my life? Does joy and peace mark my soul despite suffering and hardship?”
- The ultimate end and object of the incarnation and all Christ did was to give believers the power to become the children of God.
- Believers are born of God, not of blood, the will of the flesh, or the will of man.
- The Christian life opens up great possibilities that believers often fail to realize. Believers can know they are saved and be happy in God.
- Believers should examine themselves to confirm they are truly children of God. One test is whether the Spirit leads them. The Spirit leads believers to mortify sin and the deeds of the body.
- Another test is whether believers fear grieving the Spirit. Believers aware the Spirit dwells in them increasingly fear offending or grieving Him.
- Desertion or feeling abandoned by God is a sign of being a believer. Unbelievers do not experience the Spirit's presence and so cannot feel deserted by Him.
- Evidence of the Spirit's fruit - love, joy, peace, etc. - confirms one is a child of God. These fruits are the Spirit's work, not the believer's.
- Believers will be amazed at themselves in two ways: at the sin still in them and at the good now in them. Both amaze the believer.
- Love is the first fruit of the Spirit. It means loving God, other believers, and even one's enemies. This kind of love shows one is born again.
- Joy is another fruit of the Spirit. It is not the same as happiness. Believers can rejoice in the Lord despite circumstances. Joy in God shows His Spirit's work.
- Peace is another fruit of the Spirit. Believers have peace with God, others, and themselves. There is an inner rest even amid outer turmoil. This peace evidences the Spirit.
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.