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Sermon #1137

... of Heavenly Things

A Sermon on John 3:9-13


John 3:9-13 ESV KJV
Nicodemus said to him, “How can these things be?” Jesus answered him, “Are you the teacher of Israel and yet you do not understand these things? Truly, truly, I say to you, we speak of what we know, and bear witness to what we have seen, but you do not …

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Sermon Description

What is one of the most important things when receiving the message of Christ? In this sermon on John 3:9–13 titled “…Of Heavenly Things,” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones says that it is the ability to learn as one who knows nothing . Naturally, humanity does not know God; they are of the earth and know earthly things. This is one of the reasons it is so hard to believe in the gospel. Sinful humanity cannot understand the gospel of Jesus so they reject Him. But God tells that He cannot be understood by the finite human intellect, nor can Scripture be reduced to what can be understood. This is why believing is a gift of divine grace that God gives to sinful people in order that they may know Jesus Christ. The heart of the gospel is the new life that God gives to all who truly believe in Jesus Christ. No one can come to God in pride and arrogance but must come as children ready to learn. All must come to learn of the gospel as desperate sinners who can only know God by His grace.

Sermon Breakdown

  1. The sermon focuses on the story of Nicodemus from John 3. Nicodemus was a religious leader who came to Jesus at night.
  2. Nicodemus recognized Jesus as a teacher from God based on the miracles. He came to Jesus because he felt a lack in himself that Jesus seemed to have.
  3. The sermon emphasizes having a hunger and thirst for righteousness. Nicodemus exemplified this in coming to Jesus. We must act on our spiritual hunger and seek Jesus.
  4. The sermon highlights Jesus' knowledge of people. Jesus knew Nicodemus fully and addressed his deepest need. We must submit fully to Jesus' knowledge of us.
  5. The sermon says Nicodemus' main issue was that he was still in control of himself. Though humble in coming to Jesus, he had not become as a little child. He came as a teacher, not as a penitent.
  6. Nicodemus felt the need for help but not helpless. He thought he just needed an addition to what he already had. But he needed to start over and be born again.
  7. Nicodemus was focused on understanding, but Christianity is about life and receiving life from Jesus. Understanding is not enough. We must be born of water and Spirit.
  8. In summary, the sermon highlights coming to Jesus in hunger, submitting to him fully, recognizing our helplessness, and being born again by his Spirit. Mere understanding or supplementing what we have is not enough.

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.