Christianity and Morality (2)
A Sermon on John 1:26-33
26John answered them, saying, “I baptize in water, but among you stands One whom you do not know. 27It is He who comes after me, of whom I am not worthy even to untie the strap of His sandal.” 28These things took place in Bethany beyond the …
26John answered them, saying, I baptize with water: but there standeth one among you, whom ye know not; 27He it is, who coming after me is preferred before me, whose shoe’s latchet I am not worthy to unloose. 28These things were done in Bethabara beyond Jordan, where …
Christianity is moral, morality cannot in and of itself arrive at saving faith. People can be moral, but still rotting on the inside; the Pharisees exemplified this. Simple morality cannot make the crooked straight. Without the gospel, morality is merely a corrective. Christianity, however, produces true righteousness. Dr. Lloyd-Jones both exhorts and encourages hearers in this sermon that the only righteousness to be found is the righteousness of Christ Jesus. Christ’s exemplary life, substitutionary death, and miraculous resurrection give access to the righteousness of God. It is the reminder yet again that the greatest gift Christianity has to offer is the gift of God Himself. Dr. Lloyd-Jones describes what righteousness in the kingdom of God looks like. The kingdom of God is peaceful, holds the power of God, and gives life. The only way to get rid of the unrighteousness bestowed upon all at birth is the gospel of Jesus Christ, and it is the only remedy to humanity’s pervasive sickness. Dr. Lloyd-Jones reminds his hearers that Christ is making all things new, so they must use their gifts to glorify Him.
- The sermon is based on John 1:26-33 which introduces John the Baptist and his message.
- The sermon's main point is the difference between morality and Christianity. Morality is corrective but does not transform. Christianity transforms by the power of God.
- John the Baptist's message prepares the way for Jesus by calling people to repentance and good works. But Jesus' message is superior, offering transformation by the Holy Spirit.
- The crooked shall be made straight - Christianity can transform even the most corrupt person into righteousness. This is impossible by human effort alone.
- The rough ways shall be made smooth - Christianity brings peace, joy and tranquility in place of turmoil. This is impossible through morality alone.
- These transformations are possible through God's salvation and power, not human effort. "With men it is impossible, but not with God."
- God's power works through regeneration - giving new life and a new nature. This is a secret, spiritual work that changes one's heart and disposition.
- Regeneration produces growth, liberty, and the ability to keep God's law through the Spirit's power. It makes perfection and ultimate faultlessness possible.
- Regeneration is available to all people, not just the moral or elite. The gospel offers hope and transformation for everyone.
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.