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Sermon #1181

Spreading the Gospel

A Sermon on John 4:28-30


John 4:28-30 ESV KJV
So the woman left her water jar and went away into town and said to the people, “Come, see a man who told me all that I ever did. Can this be the Christ?” They went out of the town and were coming to him. (ESV)

Sermon Description

What compels Christians to spread the gospel? In this sermon on John 4:28–30 titled “Spreading the Gospel,” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones preaches on what true evangelistic zeal looks like in contrast to the false zeal of cults and other religions. He notes that cults and worldly originations always use mechanical ways of spreading their message, as if by a tape recorder. Why is this? Dr. Lloyd-Jones explains this as a sign that their message lacks any power to really transform people and motivate them to bring it to others. They must rely on lifeless and cookie-cutter means of teaching. This is in stark contrast to what is found in the gospel. He looks at the Samaritan woman whom Jesus meets at the well. Upon hearing the news of who Jesus is and believing in Him, she leaves behind her water jar, and goes into the city to tell everyone about her new faith. This is what true evangelism looks like: it is not the result of calculated methods and plans, but it is an outflow of an inward change. It is the power of the Holy Spirit made manifest in the lives of believers. It is the true knowledge of who God is and what He has done that compels Christians to share the gospel.

Sermon Breakdown

  1. The sermon examines the story of the Samaritan woman at the well and her reaction to meeting Jesus. It looks at how we should examine ourselves in light of her reaction and response.

  2. The sermon notes that the woman had a deep conviction of sin upon meeting Jesus. She felt her whole life was laid open before him.

  3. Jesus became the dominating factor in her life, causing her to leave her water pot behind. Everything else became secondary.

  4. The next step after conviction of sin and Jesus becoming the center is telling others about him. The woman rushes to tell the people of her city about Jesus.

  5. The sermon emphasizes that the woman's action arose spontaneously. No one told her to do this or trained her. It arose from within.

  6. The sermon contrasts this with cults that have a scheme, system, and training to proselytize others in a mechanical fashion. The Christian response is spontaneous, not imposed.

  7. Other examples of spontaneous Christian responses include Andrew telling Peter about Jesus, Philip telling Nathanael, Christians spreading the gospel after being scattered, and Paul feeling compelled to preach the gospel.

  8. The sermon notes that the best Christian workers have the best knowledge and experience of the truth, not the best techniques. They have the Holy Spirit working within them.

  9. The sermon says that attributing success to methods is wrong. Everything must be attributed to the Holy Spirit. Relying on methods is wrong.

  10. The sermon asks why the woman's response was spontaneous. The first reason given is that she found something - Jesus as the Christ. Christians have found the truth, they are not just seekers.

  11. The sermon gives an illustration of someone on their deathbed sending for a Christian. A Christian would be able to point them to Jesus, not just say they are seeking the truth themselves. Christians have something to impart to others.

  12. The sermon will continue the following week.

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.