12But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name, 13who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of a man, but of God.
12But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: 13Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.
“It is not so much what we are saved from, but what we are saved for.” With these words, Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones exhorts the Christian to the mortification of sin and acknowledges that they are not under the dominion of the flesh. He goes on to describe how Christians who fight against their own flesh are no longer under its rule or reign, but rather united to Christ who has already died to sin and is alive in righteousness. In this sermon on John 1:12–13, Dr. Lloyd-Jones unpacks the intricacies behind unity with Christ and how that unity is the freedom from sin. Moreover, Dr. Lloyd Jones gives hope for the Christian who question their salvation. Do wrongdoings haunt the conscience and encourage faithful acts? Does sin continually feel cheaper until righteousness is the only worthwhile endeavor? Is there an alienation from the former life of sin and a desire to be a citizen of a life that pursues righteousness? These things illustrate a heavenly citizenship and assurance of salvation. These very truths are essential to the joy-filled Christian life. Dr. Lloyd-Jones gives these proofs, along with several exhortations, to live in a manner worthy of the one and only God who calls His children into His own kingdom and glory.
- If we are true believers in Christ, we are children of God. Nothing is more important than knowing this with certainty.
- We must know we are children of God to live and enjoy the benefits. We are passing through this world as strangers. Everything will be left behind. Only our relationship with God is certain.
- God provides ways for us to know we are His children so we can live accordingly. The New Testament focuses on assurance of our faith.
- One way to know is if we are led by the Spirit. The Spirit leads us to assurance in various ways, including mortifying sin.
- Mortifying sin involves a negative aspect (stopping sin) and a positive aspect (renewing our minds and realizing we will be like Christ). The positive aspect has general and specific parts.
- Generally, we must think spiritually, not be conformed to the world. Specifically, we must realize our position in Christ as new creatures and children of God. We must reckon ourselves dead to sin but alive to God.
- We must understand we are no longer under sin’s dominion, though sin remains in us. We are freed from sin’s dominion and now serve righteousness.
- Paul uses an analogy to help us understand. Just as we once yielded our members to sin, now yield them to righteousness. Ask what benefit we had from sin; the answer is nothing. But now we have fruit in holiness and eternal life.
- We must follow Paul’s argument and reasoning. Sanctification is not just surrendering and letting God do the work. We must work out the argument and apply the doctrine.
- We must realize our body is the temple of the Holy Spirit. We must surrender our body and its parts as instruments of righteousness.
- Those in Christ have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. This does not mean rejecting natural desires but using them selfishly. We must use God’s gifts for His glory.
- We have the power to mortify sin through the Spirit. God has given us the Holy Spirit so we have no excuse. We must obey God’s commands to holiness.
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.