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Sermon #5402

In the Beginning was the Word

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 is the world as it is and what can one do about it all? Only the Bible can help with the answer, as it accounts for who God is and what He has done. Thankfully, while everything else leads to greater despair, Christians have the Bible to turn to in times of trouble and turmoil. The apostle John says, “grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.” In this sermon on John 1:17 titled “In the Beginning was the Word,” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones asserts that this is the announcement of all Christianity. He contrasts how the law was given through Moses, but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. Christianity is not a teaching or point of view as if it was something to be given. Christianity is essentially the person of Christ Himself. Dr. Lloyd-Jones turns to the introductory phrase in John’s gospel which says, “In the beginning was the Word.” Jesus, “the Word,” expresses and reflects perfectly the mind of God. He is a perfect and complete revelation of the almighty and eternal God. The Word was made flesh. He was born as a man with human nature and came in the likeness of sinful flesh, yet the world moves on as if it never happened. Grace and truth came through Jesus Christ and it is to Him alone that one turns.

Sermon Breakdown

  1. The sermon focuses on John 1:17 which contrasts the law given through Moses and grace and truth coming through Jesus Christ.
  2. The law reveals our sin but cannot justify us. It shows us our need for grace.
  3. Grace and truth came through the person of Jesus Christ, not just His teaching. Christianity is centered on Christ himself.
  4. The word "came" in John 1:17 emphasizes that grace and truth came in the person of Christ, who came from heaven to earth. The law was just "given" through Moses as a channel, but Christ himself came.
  5. Jesus Christ is the eternal Word, who was with God and was God from the beginning (John 1:1). He is the perfect expression of God.
  6. Jesus Christ, the Word, was face to face with God the Father in intimate fellowship from eternity past (John 1:1).
  7. Jesus Christ as the Word created all things (John 1:3). Though he became a helpless baby, he is the Creator.
  8. In Jesus Christ was life, and that life was the light of men (John 1:4). In him dwells the fullness of deity (Col. 2:9).
  9. No one has seen God, but Jesus Christ has revealed him (John 1:18) as the only begotten Son in the bosom of the Father.
  10. The incarnation means the eternal Word became flesh (John 1:14). The Son of God became the Son of Man so that sons of men could become sons of God.
  11. Jesus Christ came to declare and reveal the Father, to bring grace and truth. Grace is the forgiveness of sins; truth is the knowledge of God.
  12. We must believe in Jesus Christ, the incarnate Son, to receive grace and become children of 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.