MLJ Trust Logo Image
Sermon #1078

Christianity and Morality (1)

A Sermon on John 1:26-33


John 1:26-33 ESV KJV
John answered them, “I baptize with water, but among you stands one you do not know, even he who comes after me, the strap of whose sandal I am not worthy to untie.” These things took place in Bethany across the Jordan, where John was baptizing. The next day he …

Read more

Sermon Description

In the sermon “Christianity and Morality (1),” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones preaches from John 1:26–33. He first explains that to be a Christian is to be filled with Christ’s fullness. This achieves righteousness and gives fuel for fighting remaining sin. The overarching theme of this sermon is to make a distinction between morality and Christianity. Morality is a wonderful thing, but outside of faith in Christ it is futile. He remembers the parable of the Pharisee and the tax collector where the Pharisee deems himself extremely righteous but is not. The tax collector knows he is nothing but a sinner and he is justified. It is this point that Dr. Lloyd-Jones seeks to drive home. In order to be a Christian, one must repent in “sackcloth and ashes,” knowing that they cannot achieve righteousness on their own and must put faith in Christ. To enter the kingdom of heaven, one must be like a child. They must be entirely poor in spirit, knowing that they cannot possibly bridge the gap to God without an intercessor. The Christian must rejoice in the fact that Christ has interceded on their behalf.

Sermon Breakdown

  1. The sermon examines John 1:26 and 33 which discuss John the Baptist's baptism and how it differs from Jesus's baptism.
  2. The sermon has been discussing how to receive the "fullness of Christ" over the past year. Receiving the fullness of Christ is more than just belief, it requires union with him.
  3. The sermon examines how to receive the fullness of Christ by comparing John the Baptist's baptism with Jesus's baptism.
  4. John the Baptist's baptism could not provide the fullness of Christ. His baptism only provided forgiveness of sins, it did not provide new life through the Holy Spirit.
  5. The sermon argues that one must understand Jesus's identity and purpose (as the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world) to receive the fullness of Christ.
  6. The sermon outlines three positions people can have: unbaptized, baptized by John's baptism, baptized by Jesus's baptism. Only Jesus's baptism provides new life through the Holy Spirit.
  7. John's baptism represents religion and morality, whereas Jesus's baptism represents Christianity. Religion and morality cannot provide the fullness of Christ.
  8. Morality is concerned with outward actions and "correctness", whereas Christianity transforms the heart and mind. Christianity goes beyond outward actions.
  9. John's baptism only required "decency" towards others, whereas Jesus requires loving one's enemies and radical self-sacrifice.
  10. Jesus's teaching was utterly unexpected and unique. It upset preconceived notions and reversed the natural order. This is represented by the mountain being made low and the valley being lifted up.
  11. The "mountains" of pride, self-confidence, and human ability must be brought low to receive the fullness of Christ. One must be "born again".
  12. The "valleys" of the poor in spirit, meek, and hungry are lifted up. They recognize their unworthiness and need for Christ.

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.