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Sermon #1164

Divine Guidance

A Sermon on John 4:13-14


John 4:13-14 ESV KJV
Jesus said to her, “Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” …

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Sermon Description

There is no doubt that God gives guidance and wisdom to believers, but how does He do this? In the Bible there is extraordinary proof of this as God gives visions to the prophets and apostles. Listen as Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones preaches this sermon from John 4:13–14 titled “Divine Guidance,” and shares that these extraordinary instances of God revealing Himself in order to make known His will are not the normal way that He leads. Christians should not expect God to communicate in these extraordinary events but they should look to many of the ordinary ways He guides and leads His people in the Spirit. Those who always look to an immediate and infallible revelation from God to guide them often fall into error. They should look to the Holy Spirit’s ordinary guidance that can be found in Scripture, wise advice, and enlightened common sense. All these things form the Christian conscience. It is not in a way that makes it an infallible guide, but it is an everyday means that God uses to guide and lead to a deeper knowledge of Him. Ultimately, the Christian’s conscience can only be bound by Scripture and God uses the ordinary things in life to lead to a deeper knowledge of Him and His will for the Christian life.

Sermon Breakdown

  1. There is no automatic or mechanical guidance in the spiritual realm. Guidance is not infallible or immediate.
  2. Guidance can be divided into two categories: exceptional (visions, dreams) and usual (common, customary). Exceptional guidance is clear, unmistakable and assured. Usual guidance involves general principles, enlightened understanding and inward leading.
  3. The world cannot provide guidance or satisfaction. It only offers worldly wisdom and leads to thirsting again.
  4. Jesus offers living water that completely satisfies and provides guidance. Whoever drinks it will never thirst.
  5. Intellectual satisfaction: The gospel provides a complete worldview that answers life's deepest questions. It addresses the problem of evil, purpose of life, etc.
  6. Conscience: The gospel fully answers the accusations and questions of our conscience through Jesus's work.
  7. Death: The resurrection of Jesus defeats death and provides hope. The world has no answer to death.
  8. Guidance: We need guidance on what to do in life's circumstances. The world cannot provide this but the gospel can.
  9. There are general principles for guidance in Scripture and we have an enlightened common sense as Christians to apply them. We follow biblical morality and wisdom.
  10. We experience inward leading of the Spirit which we must test against Scripture and common sense. God's leadings follow a pattern and never contradict His Word.
  11. We can seek guidance from pastors, teachers and other believers. But we must never make someone else our conscience.
  12. General rules: Don't anticipate God's leading. Put yourself in God's hands. Watch for openings and closings. Be prepared for delays and testing. Have peace in God's will. Wait for unanimity of heart and mind. God will not punish us for seeking His will.

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.