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Sermon #1038

In the Image of God

A Sermon on John 1:16


John 1:16 ESV
For from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace. (ESV)

Sermon Description

From the beginning of history, humanity has sought out self-knowledge. They have sought it through philosophy, religion, and science, yet have found nothing of eternal value. In this sermon titled “In the Image of God,” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones preaches from John 1:16 that God knows the deceitful heart of humanity. He shows that the truth about humanity is not found within themselves, but rather in the Creator God. Moreover, Dr. Lloyd-Jones explains that humans are a fallen race. The image of God has been distorted by sin and sin does not speak the truth about human purpose and nature. Sin convinces people that they are the ultimate authority; that they, like Adam, may decide what is right and wrong instead of submitting to the Creator. The truth about humanity is ultimately found in Christ who is the whole man; that is to say that He was perfect in His humanity. He submitted to His heavenly Father in every way that humans have not. Christ is not merely the full man, He is also the divine mediator and perfect sacrifice. What is the height of mankind? How can a sinful people see a holy God? Look no further than the Son of God incarnate.

Sermon Breakdown

  1. The sermon begins by introducing the verse John 1:16 which states "And of his fullness have we received, and grace for grace." Dr. Lloyd-Jones notes that this verse summarizes how Christians receive grace from Jesus Christ.

  2. Dr. Lloyd-Jones then discusses how humans cannot become Christians or know God without Jesus's incarnation and sacrifice. Jesus had to become human in order to save humanity.

  3. Dr. Lloyd-Jones argues that humans cannot truly know themselves or achieve wisdom without God's revelation. Humans have tried to gain self-knowledge and wisdom through philosophy and science but have failed.

4.Dr. Lloyd-Jones discusses several modern views of human nature including the biological view, the Marxist view, and the Freudian psychological view. He argues that these views contradict each other and fail to fully explain human nature.

  1. Dr. Lloyd-Jones says that humans are full of contradictions like being both great and petty. This is why humans cannot achieve self-knowledge alone. Only God can fully understand the human heart.

  2. Dr. Lloyd-Jones cites Jeremiah 17:9 which states "The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?" He says this shows that only God can understand the human heart.

  3. Dr. Lloyd-Jones says that when humans recognize they cannot achieve self-knowledge alone, they can ask God to search their heart as in Psalm 139:23-24. This is the beginning of wisdom and repentance.

  4. Dr. Lloyd-Jones cites Jeremiah 10:23 which states "O Lord, I know that the way of man is not in himself: it is not in man that walketh to direct his steps." He says this shows humans cannot direct themselves and need God.

  5. Dr. Lloyd-Jones argues that the only way to truly understand human nature is to look to Jesus Christ, the perfect God-man. Jesus is the "second Adam" who shows what humans were meant to be.

  6. Dr. Lloyd-Jones concludes by saying we can only know ourselves and achieve wisdom by knowing Jesus Christ. We must "behold the man" - Jesus Christ.

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.