A Picture of Unbelief
A Sermon on John 7:25-30
25So some of the people of Jerusalem were saying, “Is this Man not the one whom they are seeking to kill? 26And yet look, He is speaking publicly, and they are saying nothing to Him. The rulers do not really know that this is the Christ, do they? …
25Then said some of them of Jerusalem, Is not this he, whom they seek to kill? 26But, lo, he speaketh boldly, and they say nothing unto him. Do the rulers know indeed that this is the very Christ? 27Howbeit we know this man whence he is: but …
People often view the Jews who encountered Christ but did not believe him as fools. They ask, How could they not see he was the son of God? How could they be so stubborn and full of unbelief? However, in Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones’ sermon on John 7:25, he shows us that but for the grace of God, we might have done the same thing. Dr. Lloyd-Jones first explains why the Jews in the passage believed so strongly that Jesus was not the Christ. He describes how the Jews, believed their whole lives that no one would know where the Christ would come from. Because they knew Jesus and where he came from, he could not be the Christ. However, Dr. Lloyd-Jones points out that the place they believed him to be from, Nazareth, was actually wrong, and no one really knew his birth place, Bethlehem. Jesus could have explained this simply to the Jews and refuted their point; however, in sheer stubbornness and “dogmatism” the Jews talked over Jesus and refused to listen to him. Dr. Lloyd-Jones shows us how the passage relates to the reason behind why many people reject the gospel today. Unbelievers today often dismiss the gospel as folklore and myth before even hearing it. They, with their dogmatic beliefs in philosophy and worldly knowledge only care to find biblical inconsistencies to prove the gospel wrong, rather than listening to it and learning about it. They make claims that morality is completely separate from Christianity and that death is the end, as if they absolutely know them to be true. However, they don’t “know” these things. They can only wonder and assume that these claims are true. Just like the Jews, who had convinced themselves that the Messiah would appear in marvelous glory and set them free from the Romans, unbelievers today are so heavy set on their world philosophy and knowledge that they don’t even consider that Christianity could be true. Like Aristotle and Plato, the unbelievers may try to know God or reject his existence, but they will never be satisfied with their conclusions. The only way to know God and receive eternal life is through Christ. Dr. Lloyd-Jones concludes his sermon by asking the question, “Will you base you position on the dogmatic positions of men, or listen to Christ?” Don’t risk your eternal future on man’s wisdom; listen to Christ.
- Unbelief makes dogmatic assertions which are entirely wrong and false.
- Unbelief does this because people don't take the trouble to find out the facts. They accept popular sayings without examining the truth.
- Unbelief does this because people believe false teachings from authorities without verifying the truth.
- The Jewish teachers had substituted their own reasoning and theories for the plain teaching of Scripture.
- Jesus had to correct the false interpretations of the Pharisees and scribes. They were teaching man's doctrines instead of God's Word.
- Examples of false dogmatic assertions today: God is only love and won't punish sin; evolution disproves creation; man can save himself; there is no sin, hell or afterlife.
- We must ask unbelievers: What is the basis for your knowledge? How do you know what you claim? Have you really investigated the facts?
- Unbelief refuses to listen to Jesus and consider His claims even though He alone has come from God and reveals the truth.
- Jesus claimed to know God, come from God and be sent by God to save us from our sins.
- Jesus knew the exact time of His death was determined by God. He came to do the work God sent Him to do.
- We must choose between the dogmatic assertions of ignorant men or the truth revealed by the Son of God.
- We must stop arrogantly claiming to know and instead listen to Jesus, who alone has the words of eternal life.
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.