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Sermon #1116

Cleanse the Temple

A Sermon on the Cleansing of the Temple


John 2:13-17 ESV KJV
The Passover of the Jews was at hand, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. In the temple he found those who were selling oxen and sheep and pigeons, and the money-changers sitting there. And making a whip of cords, he drove them all out of the temple, with the sheep …

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Sermon Description

Christians have the job to live among the world, but not of the world. In this sermon on the cleansing of the temple, Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones speaks from John 2:13–17 about what it looks like to live a life that stands apart from the world. He begins by stating that Christians must know that Jesus is the answer to everything. This means they must choose to listen to Him over anything else. Rather than twisting His words to fit into what they want them to mean, they need to clearly understand and live out the truths He gives through His holy word. Dr. Lloyd-Jones points out that that the most important thing in the Christian walk is their relationship with God. However, the greatest danger is to misuse that relationship. He relates this to the Israelites of the Old Testament, and reminds that God is the true judge and knows the heart. While He is the judge, He has also come to cleanse and restore. He has come to give hearts that love Him and desire to honor Him. He has come to restore and shine through His people so that all the world can see Him.

Sermon Breakdown

  1. The sermon begins by establishing that the passage being discussed is John 2:13-17 which describes Jesus cleansing the temple.

  2. The first point is that the Christian message is practical and engages with the real world, not a "fairy tale."

  3. The second point is that the Bible alone provides an understanding of why the world is the way it is. No other philosophy or worldview adequately explains the human condition.

  4. The third point is that Jesus is the answer and solution to everything. His arrival and work is the turning point of history.

  5. The fourth point is that Jesus has many sides and aspects to his person and work. We must consider him in his totality, not focus on certain attributes to the exclusion of others.

  6. The fifth point is that the passage shows Jesus' zeal for God's house and righteousness. He pronounces and executes judgment on the misuse and corruption of the temple.

  7. The sixth point is that the greatest need is for Jesus to come in power into the church. We must pray for revival and reformation in the church.

  8. The seventh point is that when Jesus comes in power, he manifests his glory, authority, zeal and reinstitutes reform. He drives out corruption and restores simplicity and purity.

  9. The eighth point is that when the church is reformed and revived, it impacts the whole nation and culture. Righteousness is exalted in society.

  10. The ninth point is that we must pray for Jesus to come into his temple and manifest his glory and power. This should be our first and primary prayer.

  11. The sermon ends with a benediction praying for God's grace, love and fellowship to continue with them.

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.