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Sermon #1090

The Gifts of the Spirit (2)

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

As with every controversy in the church, one side pushes and another side emerges and wants to push back equally hard. It is difficult to find the right balance in the midst of such controversy. The gifts of the Holy Spirit—and specifically whether or not signs, wonders, and miracles should be expected in the church—is one of the most controversial topics of the past fifty years. Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones not only boldly enters into the controversy, but he strikes the right balance in the midst. In this sermon on John 1:26–33 titled “The Gifts of the Spirit (2),” Dr. Lloyd-Jones continues his response against those Christians who argue that the gifts of the Spirit ended after the apostolic age. He deals with common objections, noting the lack of biblical evidence, as well as the flaws in argumentation. The balance by Dr. Lloyd-Jones is struck as he objects to Christians who say miracles would be more common if only the church had enough faith. Moreover, the church needs to “claim” these miracles. Soberly, Dr. Lloyd-Jones draws attention to the sovereignty of the Spirit and rejects any ability within humanity to “claim” a special and unusual work of God. Listen and learn about the sovereignty of the Spirit and the need for Him to work today.

Sermon Breakdown

  1. The sermon examines John 1:26-33 which discusses the baptism of the Holy Spirit. This is meant to be a defining characteristic of Jesus's ministry and the church.
  2. The baptism of the Holy Spirit gives power to witness and share the gospel. This was essential for the early church and is still needed today.
  3. Some argue the gifts of the Spirit were only for the early church, but Acts shows the gifts were for Gentiles too. The gifts were meant to continue.
  4. The argument that the gifts stopped because they weren't mentioned in later epistles is flawed. The epistles were written for specific issues, so their silence does not prove the gifts ended.
  5. The idea that the gifts ended with the apostles is unbiblical. 1 Corinthians 13 refers to the eternal state, not the completion of Scripture. The church has always needed the Spirit's power.
  6. The fact that Paul, Timothy and others were sick at times does not prove the gifts had ended. Healing was not promised for every illness. God allows sickness for His purposes at times.
  7. History shows the gifts continued for centuries. Claims of their ending with the apostles are dubious and limit God's power. While claims should be tested, the gifts are still possible.
  8. The decline of the gifts was due to the institutionalization of the church, not God withdrawing them. The church quenched the Spirit, preferring reason and philosophy.
  9. The gifts are under the Spirit's control. They cannot be claimed or demanded but are given as He wills. While revival and gifts are always possible, the Spirit is sovereign over them.
  10. Both the belief that the gifts ended with the apostles and that they must always be present in fullness are unbiblical. The truth is they are possible, but under the Spirit's control.

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.