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Sermon #1095

Testing the Spirits (5)

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)


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.


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.