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Sermon #5420

Governed By Darkness

A Sermon on John 3:19


John 3:19 ESV KJV
And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil. (ESV)

Sermon Description

What is the source of humanity’s objections to Christianity? Many in modern times claim that Christianity has been refuted by modern science and learning. They believe that while it may have been acceptable to believe in things such as miracles, the deity of Christ, and the bodily resurrection in more ignorant times, people are now enlightened. In this sermon on John 3:19 titled “Governed by Darkness,” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones shows that the word of God gives a different answer. According to Scripture, people reject Christianity not because of intellectual objections, but because of their sinful nature. Scripture teaches that all are fallen and blinded by sinful desires. What is the answer to this great dilemma? People can only see the world, themselves, and God when God reveals Himself to them in His grace. There is no other way to know God truly. This act of grace is not based on human intellectual capabilities, but on God’s grace. In the gospel Jesus is the answer to humanity’s fallen and sinful state. Only Christ can heal the spiritual blindness and give true life.

Sermon Breakdown

  1. The sermon begins by introducing John 3:19 which states that light has come into the world but men loved darkness instead because their deeds were evil.
  2. Dr. Lloyd-Jones says this verse shows that Jesus is continuing a statement he was making to Nicodemus about condemnation and judgment.
  3. Jesus emphasizes God's love in sending his Son to save the world, not condemn it. However, by rejecting Jesus, people condemn themselves.
  4. Dr. Lloyd-Jones says this message is still relevant today. Many people claim to want solutions to the world's problems but reject the only solution: Jesus.
  5. Dr. Lloyd-Jones says the reason people reject Jesus is because they are deluded about themselves. They think the issue is primarily intellectual but it is really moral.
  6. People think they have intellectual difficulties with Christianity but God is incomprehensible so no one can fully understand him intellectually.
  7. If the issue was intellectual, Christianity would only be for intelligent people. But people of all intellects can become Christians.
  8. The fact that the same person can go from rejecting to accepting Christianity shows the issue is not intellectual.
  9. If only unintelligent people were Christians, Dr. Lloyd-Jones's argument would be wrong. But many intelligent people are Christians.
  10. The real issue is man's relationship to God, not intellectual beliefs. But man is deluded about himself and thinks the issue is intellectual.
  11. Man believes he needs more knowledge and information but the real knowledge - Jesus - has already come. Man is still looking for what has already been revealed.
  12. There has been no advance in knowledge about God, man, morality, or life's biggest questions in the last 2000 years. Modern man is not more advanced or developed in these areas.
  13. If progress was the answer, modern man would be hopeless since he would have to wait for future generations to find the truth.
  14. Claims of modern knowledge and progress are relative and constantly changing. What was claimed as truth 50 years ago is now seen as false.
  15. The real issue is not intellectual or about needing more knowledge. The light - Jesus - has already come. The issue is moral - man loves darkness instead of light because his deeds are evil.
  16. All people, regardless of intellect, share the same moral condition. All people by nature love darkness rather than light.
  17. The problem with man is that his mind is not free but is blinded by darkness. Man is depraved and loves evil, rejecting the light to protect his sin.
  18. Dr. Lloyd-Jones urges the listener to realize the only reason for rejecting Jesus is slavery to sin, not intellectual reasons. If the listener confesses this and asks for mercy, Jesus will free them from darkness.

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.