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Sermon #1048

God Works in You to Will and to Do

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

The Christian must ask themselves: what characterizes their life? Do they see themselves becoming increasingly more godly? When they sin, are they convicted and fueled on to godly repentance? In this sermon on John 1:16 titled “God Works in You to Will and to Do,” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones discusses one major doctrine of the Christian faith, namely, the doctrine of progressive sanctification. He elaborates that the Christian is always being made more holy by God. The way that God sees fit to accomplish this task is not all at once, like an explosion, but more like the wearing away of rocks along the seashore. At times there are great storms that move boulders, but more commonly there is the constant ebb and flow of the tide that slowly erodes the rocks on the shoreline. Similarly the Christian life will have great times of power where sin is cast off with great vigor, and at times it is a constant reviving of faith in the word of God that will erode the strongholds of sin in the Christian’s life. Dr. Lloyd-Jones highlights that this work is done by God through His word and Spirit. The Christian’s walk is enabled and led by the Spirit.

Sermon Breakdown

  1. We receive of Christ's fullness through understanding. Ignorance is the greatest trouble in the church.
  2. Christ is God's wisdom, righteousness, sanctification and redemption.
  3. Sanctification is the process of being renewed in the image of God and enabled to die to sin and live to righteousness. It's the work of the Holy Spirit.
  4. The Holy Spirit separates us from the world, gives us new birth and a new nature. We are new creations in Christ.
  5. We must work out our salvation with fear and trembling, because God is working in us. We have a responsibility, but God gives us the power.
  6. God began the work of salvation and will complete it. This should give us comfort.
  7. The Holy Spirit restrains us from sin, convicts us of sin and leads us to God's will. Every Christian is led by the Spirit.
  8. The Spirit leads us to God's Word, prayer and meditation. We must make time for these.
  9. The Spirit enables us to understand the Scriptures, which are the instrument of our sanctification. We need the Spirit to understand the Bible.
  10. Sanctification comes through understanding the truth, not through experiences. We are sanctified as we continue in God's Word.
  11. The New Testament epistles teach doctrine and then application. We must know the doctrine to understand how to apply it.
  12. Most of our troubles come from not knowing the Scriptures. The Spirit will give us understanding as we read the Bible.
  13. God will complete the work of salvation He began. We will be perfected, glorified and see Jesus face to face.

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.