MLJ Trust Logo Image
Sermon #5435

Search for Scripture

A Sermon on John 5:39


John 5:39 ESV KJV
You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that bear witness about me, (ESV)

Sermon Description

In his sermon on John 5:39 titled “Search for Scripture,” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones unfolds the fourth witness to Jesus: the Scripture. The Jews thoroughly searched the Scripture and claimed to know the Scripture, and the leaders of the Jews thought themselves to be the teachers of the Scripture. In the Scripture, they thought they possessed eternal life. They even believed that just because they possessed the Scriptures, as opposed to the Gentiles, they were set apart to eternal life. The prejudice and misinterpretation of the Scripture by the Jews dripped with hypocrisy. In providing more testimony to validate His claims, Jesus stated that the Scriptures testified about Him. The entire Old Testament pointed to Jesus through either direct prediction or preparation. Scripture validated His person, work, and identity. The Jews possessed a knowledge of Scripture, but one that led ultimately to self-deception. They held the Scripture at arms-length and imported their own ideas into Scripture instead of studying to determine what was really proclaimed, namely Jesus. The listener is encouraged to ask themselves: “Is this you? Have you engaged Scripture and think you know it all, yet you are deceived? Has the Scripture led you to Jesus and His redeeming work on the cross for your sins?” If not, they may well be self-deceived which will lead to eternal destruction.

Sermon Breakdown

  1. The scriptures can be grievously and terribly misused.
  2. The Jews thought that the mere fact that they possessed the scriptures at all in and of itself automatically saved them.
  3. The Jews also thought that their general acquaintance with the scriptures somehow or another saved them.
  4. The real trouble with these Jews was that instead of listening to the scriptures, they feisted their ideas onto the scriptures.
  5. These Jews misinterpreted and misunderstood the teaching of the scripture. They concentrated so much upon the letter that they missed the spirit.
  6. They didn't search the scriptures. You can read them without searching them.
  7. The scriptures show the need of salvation. They make us wise unto salvation in the first place by showing us our dread and our terrible need of salvation.
  8. The scriptures reveal God in his majesty, his greatness, his holiness.
  9. The scriptures show that we're lost. God says, if you don't live this life, you are under condemnation.
  10. The prophets thundered one after another, don't put your faith in things like that. The Lord takes no delight, they said, in that kind of offering, he wants obedience, he wants holiness, he wants truth.
  11. The Old Testament scriptures taught that, but thank God, they didn't stop at that. The Old Testament not only shows men that he's a desperate and a vile and a hopeless sinner, they showed him how God himself is going to provide a way to save him and to deliver him.
  12. Running right through the Old Testament from beginning to end is this amazing promise concerning himself.
  13. Listen to some of the details. When is this deliverer, this son of God, going to come into this world? Read the 9th chapter of Daniel's prophecy and you'll be able to work it out to the exact time at which he came.
  14. Where is he going to be born? He's going to be born in Bethlehem, says Micah.
  15. What kind of life is he going to live when he comes? Is he going to be a great king, a great monarch, a great military leader? No, he's going to be a servant.

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.