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Sermon #5411

Beyond Understanding

A Sermon on John 3:5-9


John 3:5-9 ESV KJV
Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not marvel that I said to …

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Sermon Description

What is Christianity interested in? In this sermon on John 3:5–9 titled “Beyond Understanding,” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones answers that Christianity isn't interested in a person’s actions but instead is interested in a person’s individual relationship with God. That relationship secures eternal life. People come and leave this world individually, he states. And when they depart from this world, they are in two camps. They can be in the world’s, or they can be in God’s. There is only one way to enter God’s camp, Dr. Lloyd-Jones says. A person must be born again to receive eternal life. The New Testament has different names for this: regeneration, made anew, or God’s workmanship. However, the result is still eternal life with God. Dr. Lloyd-Jones reminds that this being born again is not of a person’s doing. This spiritual birth is made possible entirely through God. It is a miracle, purely unexplainable and beyond a person’s understanding. In closing, Dr. Lloyd-Jones points to the incredible power of the gospel in the life of Paul; no person is beyond God’s merciful and perfect love.

Sermon Breakdown

  1. Jesus tells Nicodemus that to enter the kingdom of God, one must be born again.
  2. Being born again means being born of the Spirit. It is a spiritual rebirth.
  3. The flesh and the spirit are opposed to each other. The flesh refers to our sinful nature and leads to sinful acts. The spirit refers to God's nature and leads to righteousness.
  4. We cannot transform ourselves from the flesh to the spirit through our own efforts. We must be born again of the Spirit.
  5. Being born again is God's action, not our own. It is a supernatural, miraculous work of the Holy Spirit.
  6. The new birth is a secret operation. We cannot fully understand how it happens, just as we cannot understand the wind. But we can see its effects.
  7. In the new birth, God puts a new principle of life in us that gives us a new governing disposition. Our faculties remain the same, but they are directed to new ends.
  8. When we are born again, we become aware of the new life within us. We have new spiritual interests and desires. We have a new power to live righteously.
  9. We should rejoice in the new birth because it is the only hope for salvation. It depends on God, not on us, so no one is beyond hope.
  10. If we desire the new birth, that is a sign God is already working in us. We should ask Him for it, and He will grant it.

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.