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Sermon #1092

Testing the Spirits (2)

A Sermon on John 1:26-33

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John 1:26-33 ESV NASB KJV
John answered them, “I baptize with water, but among you stands one you do not know, even he who comes after me, the strap of whose sandal I am not worthy to untie.” These things took place in Bethany across the Jordan, where John was baptizing. The next day he saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world! This is he of whom I said, ‘After me comes a man who ranks before me, because he was before me.’ I myself did not know him, but for this purpose I came baptizing with water, that he might be revealed to Israel.” And John bore witness: “I saw the Spirit descend from heaven like a dove, and it remained on him. I myself did not know him, but he who sent me to baptize with water said to me, ‘He on whom you see the Spirit descend and remain, this is he who baptizes with the Holy Spirit.’ (ESV)


With all the opinions on truth in the world, how is the Christian supposed to determine which ones are correct? In this sermon on John 1:26–33 titled “Testing the Spirits (2),” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones provides a helpful framework for thinking through how Christians can be discerning when analyzing different truth claims. First, they must use reason. God does not tell His children to “check their brains at the door” when they are saved. Instead, He calls them to exercise wisdom and discernment. He gave tools to use and that includes reasoning abilities. Next, Christians are to use the Scriptures and compare everything alongside of Scripture. He then provides some general principles that can be applied as they look to identify false truth claims. First, he says, the Christian must be very cautious of any idea claiming to be truth that is relatively new. Second, they must reject teachings that blatantly contradict the teachings of Scripture. Third, they must use their reasoning and be skeptical of anything that appears to be overly spectacular. Dr. Lloyd-Jones elaborates on these points and helps the believer think about how to sift through the countless truth claims being advanced in the culture today.


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.