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Sermon #1050

Flesh and Spirit

A Sermon on John 1:16


John 1:16 ESV KJV
For from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace. (ESV)

Sermon Description

Every Christian must deal with old, evil desires that resurface, and every Christian must deal with indwelling sin. In this sermon on John 1:16 titled “Flesh and Spirit,” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones discusses the way that God deals with remaining sin in the life of the Christian. This namely occurs through progressively sanctifying them through the work of the Holy Spirit. Sanctification is the work of the Holy Spirit whereby Christians are enabled more and more to die to sin and live in righteousness. Dr. Lloyd-Jones elaborates that the Christian must also mortify, or kill, the sin in their life. A Christian who falls into sin is like the Israelite who forgets what it actually was like in slavery in Egypt and longs for the land of his slavery. Instead they must stand fast on Christ who has set them free. Moreover, Dr. Lloyd-Jones points out that legalism is not the same as obedience, because legalism assures people of salvation based on their own merit, rather than pointing them to a Savior who has set them free from the Law of Moses. If someone is trapped by their conscience and feels the weight of legalism pressing in, this sermon encourages that the gospel offers freedom from slavery to the law and sin.

Sermon Breakdown

  1. The Christian life is receiving the life of God - "of his fullness have all we received, and grace for grace."
  2. We receive the fullness of Christ through his incarnation, death, resurrection and work in sanctifying us.
  3. We must apply the work of redemption to our lives. We are "in Christ Jesus."
  4. Sanctification is the renewal of the whole person to the image of God, enabling us to die to sin and live righteously.
  5. We have a new life in the Spirit, though our body is not yet redeemed. The "old man" is dead, but the old nature remains in our body.
  6. We are not promised freedom from the old nature in this life. We must mortify the deeds of the body.
  7. Two errors to avoid are legalism (rules and rigorism) and passivity (doing nothing).
  8. We must act through the Spirit, not through legalism or passivity. We work out our salvation as God works in us.
  9. We are a unity of spirit, soul and body. Though our spirit is redeemed, we must not let sin reign in our mortal body.
  10. We find we can understand Scripture, pray, and mortify sin as we make the effort, through the power of the Spirit.
  11. We must realize who we are in Christ and act on that, finding the Spirit's power enabling us.

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.