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Sermon #5442

Seek Honour from God

A Sermon on John 5:44


John 5:44 ESV KJV
How can you believe, when you receive glory from one another and do not seek the glory that comes from the only God? (ESV)

Sermon Description

Salvation comes only through belief activated by seeking honor that comes from God. In this first sermon on John 5:44, Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones explains that true saving belief is impossible when humankind seeks its own honor. Though they professed to know God, the Jews were far from Him because they sought their own honor from people. The honor of people is ultimately the seeking of the same supreme position Satan offered Eve in the garden. Now, in this second installment titled “Seek Honour From God,” Dr. Lloyd-Jones explains that the belief that saves comes from seeking honor from God. The honor that comes from God is an honor that begins by giving Him the supreme position in the heart, mind, and life. This honor, in reality, is the essence of belief that humbles oneself to a lowly position and God to the supreme position. Possessing this saving belief means that one knows that God exists, accepts that God is holy, receives God’s word as the truth, and is convicted of his or her own sin and need for forgiveness. Belief that seeks honor from God includes these actions and leads one to accept their utter hopeless estate without Him as a desperate sinner before God. When belief is marked by these qualities, it leads one to God and to receive honor from Him. The listener is encouraged to consider this message from Dr. Lloyd-Jones and ensure that the honor sought is honor from Him, an honor that leads to salvation and His glory.

Sermon Breakdown

  1. The sermon text is John 5:44 - "How can ye believe, which receive honour one of another, and seek not the honour that cometh from God only?"
  2. The sermon begins by revisiting the context of John 5 where Jesus confronts unbelieving Jews after healing a man. Jesus aims to bring them to faith and salvation.
  3. Jesus diagnoses their unbelief as seeking honor from each other rather than God. This makes faith in Jesus impossible.
  4. Seeking honor from others is the greatest barrier to faith in the world. Salvation is not determined by intellect or brain power, but by one's heart orientation.
  5. The purpose of salvation is to bring us to know God. Many cults and religions offer benefits like happiness or prosperity, but Christianity is about God.
  6. To seek God's honor means believing He exists and is a rewarder of those who seek Him (Hebrews 11:6). We must believe in the God revealed in Scripture.
  7. God is eternal, omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent, holy, just, and the Creator. The Bible reveals our relationship to Him - either blessed or cursed.
  8. Seeking God's honor means desiring to know and be blessed by Him above all else. It is the opposite of seeking human honor and approval.
  9. Seeking God reveals our inability to reach Him and earn His blessing. We realize we are sinners deserving condemnation. This drives us to Christ, the only way to be reconciled to God.
  10. If the Jews had truly sought God's honor, they would have seen their sin and need for a Savior. They would have believed in Jesus, the promised Messiah and sacrifice for sins.
  11. We must see ourselves as sinners before a holy God to believe in Christ. Then we flee to Him as our only hope, like the hymns "Just As I Am" and "Rock of Ages".

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.