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Sermon #5406

The Ladder

A Sermon on John 1:50-51


John 1:50-51 ESV KJV
Jesus answered him, “Because I said to you, ‘I saw you under the fig tree,’ do you believe? You will see greater things than these.” And he said to him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, you will see heaven opened, and the angels of God ascending and descending on …

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Sermon Description

Why did Jesus live and die as a man here on earth? In this sermon on John 1:50–51 titled “The Ladder,” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones explains that according to the Scriptures, it was for the salvation of sinners. Jesus alone serves as the ladder that connects God and humanity. This is accomplished by His death, burial, and resurrection, wherein He redeems all who repent and believe in Him. It is in Christ that the person and power of God the Father is revealed to humanity. Without grace, sinners cannot know God or love Him. Furthermore, Jesus fulfills the righteous requirements of the law by granting true righteousness and holiness to His chosen people. Christians are then freed from the wrath and condemnation of God. In the gospel, Jesus died in the place of sinful people so that they could live as children of God and inheritors of all the blessings of God. They are then able to overcome the schemes of Satan, who is the enemy of God, and continually opposes the gospel and the mission of the church. In Christ Jesus, God has given Christians the power to overcome sin, flesh, temptation, the world, and the devil. While all are powerless on their own, the gospel of Jesus Christ is able to overcome all sin and evil in the world.

Sermon Breakdown

  1. Jesus is the ladder between heaven and earth, God and man.
  2. The top of the ladder is in heaven, where Jesus came from. Jesus shares the glory of God the Father.
  3. The rungs of the ladder are the steps Jesus took from heaven to earth. He passed by the angels, was made a little lower than the angels, took on human flesh, humbled himself to death on the cross, and descended into Hades.
  4. The bottom of the ladder is Hades, the place of the dead. Jesus descended there after dying on the cross.
  5. The ladder is capable of linking heaven and earth. Jesus can bring us to the knowledge of God, kept God's law perfectly, overcame temptation from the devil, bore the wrath of God on our behalf, conquered death and the grave in the resurrection, and ascended back to heaven.
  6. The blessings that come from the ladder are forgiveness of sins, reconciliation to God, justification, adoption as God's children, sanctification, the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, hope of eternal life, ministry from angels, and resurrection from the dead.
  7. We must be "on the ladder" - in Christ - to receive these blessings and benefits. We must see, believe in, and hold onto Christ.

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.