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Sermon #1095

Testing the Spirits (5)

A Sermon on John 1:26-33


John 1:26-33 ESV 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 …

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Sermon Description

What is the place of spiritual gifts in the life of believers and the church? How should Christians approach the command to test the spirits? In this sermon on John 1:26–33 titled “Testing the Spirits (5),” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones helps the church think through these questions and how to apply the answers to life. “The general purpose of our baptism with the Holy Spirit is evangelism,” he says. What are the main points of the Scriptural texts that address spiritual gifts, such as in 1 Corinthians? First, gifts should never be used as an end in and of themselves— all gifts are temporary and, as is written elsewhere in Scripture, are to be used for the benefit of others. One of the primary reasons for these texts was because a spirit of competition had entered in among the believers, and they were becoming so distracted that they were losing sight of the bigger picture. The main reasoning for these gifts is to glorify the Lord. The second point, according to Dr. Lloyd-Jones, is evangelism. The third is the edification of the body. Some Christians live in pursuit of these gifts, but Dr. Lloyd-Jones offers a helpful reminder— do not seek the gifts selfishly, but rather indirectly by pursuing the Lord and trusting that He will give what is needed to accomplish His purposes.

Sermon Breakdown

  1. The sermon is focused on 1 Corinthians 12-14 which deals with spiritual gifts. The primary purpose of these chapters is to correct the abuse and misuse of spiritual gifts in the Corinthian church.
  2. Spiritual gifts are not meant to be an end in themselves. They are not meant to be the central focus. The central focus should always be on Jesus Christ.
  3. Spiritual gifts are meant to glorify God and for evangelism. They are meant to benefit and edify the church.
  4. There are wrong ways to seek spiritual gifts such as seeking them for selfish reasons, to feel important, or for thrilling experiences. The right way is to seek God and His love.
  5. It is wrong and dangerous to try and induce spiritual gifts through psychological methods. Spiritual gifts are given through the sovereignty of the Holy Spirit, not through human effort or methods.
  6. The best way to receive spiritual gifts is by seeking God, His love, His glory, and the power to witness - not by directly seeking the gifts themselves.

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.