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Sermon #1065

Living in Christs Fullness

A Sermon on John 1:16

Scripture

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

Sermon Description

The Christian must ask themselves if they are happy with what they have and if they experience deep contentment. These are indicators that they have tasted of the fullness of Christ. The Christian is able to be content in success or in suffering. Christians are able to actually possess contentment regardless of their circumstances, even in the loss of possessions, health, or loved ones. In this sermon titled “Living in Christ’s Fullness,” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones points out that the disciples of Christ possess contentment despite thorns in the flesh, imprisonment, and persecution through living in His fullness. The Christian will find that when their affections are in Christ, they are secure and so is their joy. When suffering comes, it should push affections closer to Christ. In this discourse, Dr. Lloyd-Jones addresses how the Christian can possess contentment in all circumstances. Moreover, he shows that prosperity can, like suffering, drive one away from true contentment and toward self-sufficiency. It can move one away from the Savior who is the only secure hope. Come, listen and learn how to find real and satisfying contentment in prosperity and in suffering and press into the fullness that is found in Christ alone.

Sermon Breakdown

  1. The apostle Paul calls attention to two portions of scripture: John 1:16 and Philippians 4:11-13.
  2. A Christian is someone who has received the fullness of Christ. We must accept no lesser definition.
  3. It is vital that we examine ourselves to see if this is true of us. There is nothing more tragic than imagining you are a Christian but finding out you are not.
  4. The way Paul examines himself is by:
    • The explicit teaching of the New Testament
    • Examples of people in the New Testament who manifested the fullness of Christ
    • Reading church history and biographies of saints
  5. Paul gives insights into himself and what it means to receive the fullness of Christ in Philippians.
  6. The last picture is in Philippians 4:11-13. This follows Paul saying to be anxious for nothing but pray about everything.
  7. The man who has received Christ's fullness has peace that transcends understanding. But there is something even beyond that: contentment.
  8. Contentment is highly valued. Godliness with contentment is great gain. The world seeks contentment in many ways but cannot find it.
  9. Paul tells us he has learned contentment in any circumstance. He knows how to live in need and in prosperity. He has learned the secret of being content in any situation.
  10. This contentment is possible for all Christians and we should all seek to attain it.
  11. The reason it's possible is because it's not based on us but on receiving Christ's fullness. Temperament is irrelevant.
  12. Paul helps us see how to attain contentment. First, it persists in all circumstances without exception. The test of contentment is always having it.
  13. Second, it makes us independent of circumstances. Most lack of contentment comes from dependence on circumstances, people, success, wealth, etc.
  14. Third, contentment must be learned. It does not come automatically with salvation. There is an element of discipline.
  15. Paul says he has learned contentment through experience. But he has also been initiated into the secret of contentment by the Holy Spirit.
  16. The secret is being able to do all things through Christ who strengthens us. Christ infuses strength into us.
  17. Receiving Christ's fullness decreases our desire for other things. The knowledge of Christ gives complete satisfaction so we need nothing else.
  18. In adversity, we are driven to Christ and find contentment in him. In prosperity, we see worldly things for what they are and cling to Christ.
  19. We get contentment by learning, by being shown the secret, and by Christ infusing strength into us.

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.