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Sermon #1143

Dying to Self

A Sermon on John 3:30


John 3:30 ESV KJV
He must increase, but I must decrease.” (ESV)

Sermon Description

All are in in need of the forgiveness and redemption of God yet so many go through their life alienated from God and His Son. They live as fallen human beings devoid of the joy of the Lord. Working with John 3:30 in this sermon titled “Dying to Self,” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones says that those who have trusted in the gospel of God are forgiven of all sins and made inheritors with Christ. One of the signs of transformation is seeking to exult Christ and diminishing the self. It is as John the Baptist says, “I must decrease but He must increase.” Dr. Lloyd-Jones explains how there are signs to tell if one is truly turning away from themselves and looking to glorify Christ. They will seek their own glory less and think of themselves less. They will think of others as worthier than themselves. God uses the law to show the Christian their sin and their need for Christ. This law convicts of sin and causes the Christian to look not to themselves, but to Christ and His grace. In the law they see that only Christ can make them whole and that they are not worthy in themselves.

Sermon Breakdown

  1. The measure of our spiritual state is the relative positions of "He" (Christ) and "I" (self) in our lives.
  2. "He" (Christ) and "I" (self) are intimately related and react together. As one increases, the other decreases.
  3. It is a "must" that "He" (Christ) increase and "I" (self) decrease. This is an absolute law of the spiritual life.
  4. This process of Christ increasing and self decreasing is continuous. It is not a one time event.
  5. We must have an accurate view of ourselves. We must see ourselves as we truly are through the law which shows us our sin.
  6. We must become less self-centered. We must have less concern for self and more for Christ and others.
  7. Our prayer life is a test of this. There should be less petition and more praise, gratitude, and adoration.
  8. We should be less self-protective and self-defensive. We should not be easily hurt or offended. We should be "dead to self."
  9. We should be less self-reliant. We should rely on God's power and not our own. Our sufficiency is from God.
  10. The sermon closes with a hymn reflecting the theme of decreasing self and increasing 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.