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Sermon #1119

God With Us

A Sermon on John 2:21

Scripture

John 2:21 ESV
But he was speaking about the temple of his body. (ESV)

Sermon Description

Jesus Christ was born in Bethlehem. But who is Jesus? Some say Jesus was a great man and ethical teacher. Some say he was nothing more than a human teacher like many who came before him and would come after him. However, as Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones shows us from Scripture and in this sermon titled “God With Us,” Jesus was no mere man, but He was the very Son of God. He was God in flesh come to dwell with humanity through the incarnation. In the Old Testament God was present with His people through the temple and the manifestation of His glory. But in Bethlehem God became present with His people by being born of a virgin. In this, God the Son (the second person of God) takes upon a true human nature and becomes subject to all the infirmities of the flesh. As God becomes present in Christ Jesus, it is a new presence and is better than the presence of the Old Covenant. The message of the incarnation goes far beyond the story of the birth of Jesus. He did not come into the world to merely be an example or to simply teach, but he came to die for sins. This is the great hope of the Christian faith: God became a man to die so that humanity may know Him.

Sermon Breakdown

  1. The sermon focuses on John 2:21 which says "But he spake of the temple of his body." This verse provides insight into the meaning and significance of Jesus's incarnation and birth.

  2. The temple in Jerusalem was a type or figure of Jesus's body. Jesus's body is the true temple where God dwells. The temple points to and foreshadows Jesus.

  3. Jesus's statement that he would raise up the temple in three days after it is destroyed refers to his resurrection from the dead, not the literal temple. His body is the temple.

  4. The incarnation is a mystery that the world does not understand. The world sees only Jesus's body, not the divine nature dwelling within. They do not recognize him as the Son of God.

  5. Jesus's body is the meeting place between God and man. He is the new temple where we meet God. The old temple pointed to him.

  6. There is a mystery in how the divine and human natures are joined in Jesus, yet remain distinct. The infinite God dwells in the finite human body. This is a miracle.

  7. Jesus's life involved both revelation and concealment. At times his glory was revealed, at times hidden. Only those with eyes to see perceive the glory.

  8. Jesus showed both power and weakness. He did mighty miracles, yet was crucified in weakness. This paradox displays the mystery of the incarnation.

  9. The purpose of the incarnation was for Jesus to die and rise again. He was born to die and conquer our enemies. His death and resurrection are central.

  10. Jesus came to bring an end to the old covenant and establish a new one. The destruction of the temple in AD 70 marked the end of the old system of worship.

  11. Jesus is the only way to meet God. He is the true temple and high priest. We meet God through faith in him, not through temples or rituals.

  12. The church and individual Christians are now the temple where God dwells. God inhabits us through his Spirit. We are his dwelling place.

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.