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Sermon #1093

Testing the Spirits (3)

A Sermon on John 1:26-33

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Scripture

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)

Description

Various predictions on the future have been made over the last several years regarding the end times, the rapture of the global church, or some other event in the future. How should Christians respond to these claims? Are there questions or criteria that can help as they analyze such truth claims? Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones provides some of those in this sermon on John 1:26–33 titled “Testing the Spirits (3).” Christians must be very cautious when evaluating such claims and must measure a “prophet’s” word against Scripture. How do they know if someone is a true prophet? The Bible says they know someone to be a true prophet if what they predict comes to pass. Dr. Lloyd-Jones reminds his listeners that regular mental faculties that God has given the Christian, coming alongside the Scriptures, provide enough to “discern the spirits” as Scripture instructs. What are some other helpful criteria? First, be wary of any idea that exalts the self to a place of prominence. Second, when the physical aspect of a spiritual experience is emphasized, be cautious. Third, be careful of those things that only happen after they are mentioned— the danger of what Dr. Lloyd-Jones refers to as the “power of suggestion” is very real, and must be avoided. He closes with a reminder to discern the spirits and to embrace and hold to the simplicity that is in Christ.

Topics

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.