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Sermon #1068

He Condemns and Convicts

A Sermon on John 1:17


John 1:17 ESV KJV
For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. (ESV)

Sermon Description

Why do Christians often live as if they do not have the benefits of salvation? In this sermon on John 1:17 titled “He Condemns and Convicts,” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones answers this question by pointing toward a true understanding of what Christians are saved from. He says that essential to understanding salvation is a correct understanding of how Christians were condemned under the law of God. All were in bondage to sin and death and because they lived a life of unrighteousness, the law of God condemned them. The law itself is not sinful, but entirely righteous and holy. However, because humanity is sinful, they are condemned by breaking of the law. Christians must understand that salvation in Christ is freedom from the curse of the law. It is freedom from the just condemnation that befalls all who break God’s commandments. This means that now that believers are in Christ, they have the benefit of His righteousness covering them. The listener should ask themselves: “Do I have this benefit of salvation? Am I freed from the law of sin and death by the gospel of Christ?” It is only by trusting and believing in the gospel that anyone is saved for there is no other way to God than through His Son who has taken the place of those who believe in Him.

Sermon Breakdown

  1. The sermon focuses on John 1:17 which states "For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ."

  2. Dr. Lloyd-Jones asks why many Christians do not enjoy the blessings offered in the Gospel and salvation. He says it is because of uncertainty about Jesus, failure to understand the incarnation, and confusion about the law.

  3. Dr. Lloyd-Jones says the law reminds us we are in the presence of God, reveals God's character, and shows us our duty to God and others. The law was given at creation and reiterated at Mount Sinai.

  4. Dr. Lloyd-Jones says the law's main function is to define sin. Without law there is no sin. The law brings knowledge of sin.

  5. The law reveals the sinfulness of sin by showing that sinful desires and coveting are as bad as sinful acts. The law exposes the depths of sin in the human heart.

  6. The law stirs up sinful passions in sinful human beings. What is meant for life brings death. The law is not the problem, human sinfulness is the problem.

  7. The law shows all people to be guilty before God. No one can be justified through the law. The law leaves the whole world condemned.

  8. Many people do not see their need for Christ because they do not understand the law and their own sinfulness. Understanding grace requires understanding the law.

  9. Dr. Lloyd-Jones calls the congregation to feel the conviction of sin so they can know the power of grace. He prays for hearts freed from sin to praise God.

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.