The Church and the World
A Sermon on John 1:26-33
26John answered them, saying, “I baptize in water, but among you stands One whom you do not know. 27It is He who comes after me, of whom I am not worthy even to untie the strap of His sandal.” 28These things took place in Bethany beyond the …
26John answered them, saying, I baptize with water: but there standeth one among you, whom ye know not; 27He it is, who coming after me is preferred before me, whose shoe’s latchet I am not worthy to unloose. 28These things were done in Bethabara beyond Jordan, where …
Has religion become something “formal” that is only done on certain occasions? Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones says this one of the greatest of all curses. Listen to this sermon on John 1:26–33 titled “The Church and the World” about how a Christian’s interaction with the world is their “witness.” Scriptures depict the Christian as a rejoicing person. No one can be an accurate and adequate witness of God without first receiving the Spirit’s power described here through baptism. The world often characterizes evangelicals as being so inwardly focused that they are not concerned about the world, but this is a myth. Dr. Lloyd-Jones touches on the “social gospel” and the gradual drifting of focus and influence of the church over time. Why does the church have such little influence today? This sermon pulls from the illustrations of the past to see how the influence of individuals has churned up the power to “turn the world upside down.” What is the business of the function of the church? It is to produce Christian people; this is where focus has been lost. The Christian must know what they believe, so that they can be the witness God has called them to be. By living differently, Christians can provide a radically different explanation for the difficult realities – death, calamity, hardship – and by this, to be the salt and the light of the earth.
- The church is not meant to be a court chaplain that is only useful on special occasions.
- The church is not meant to just provide vague comfort.
- The church is not meant to just enforce patriotism or appeal for morality.
- There have been three main views of the relationship between church and state:
- The Roman Catholic view that the state is subservient to the church.
- The Erastian view that the church is subservient to the state.
- The Reformed view that the church and state are complementary but separate.
- The primary task of the church is to produce Christian individuals, not just give advice to the state or protest things.
- The early church turned the world upside down by producing Christians, not talking politics.
- Constantine made Christianity the official religion of Rome because Christians had become so numerous.
- The Protestant Reformation and Puritan era influenced society by producing many Christians.
- The evangelical revival of the 18th century saved Britain from a revolution like France's.
- The only way to influence society is to produce so many Christians that governments have to listen.
- Two essential things are needed to produce many Christians: understanding the message and the power of the Holy Spirit.
- Apollos powerfully refuted the Jews and proved Jesus was the Christ after Aquila and Priscilla taught him more accurately.
- The gospel must be preached in the power of the Holy Spirit, not just with words.
- Christians must live differently for the world to listen, with an explanation for society's state and the way out.
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.