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Sermon #1069

The Law and Modern Man

A Sermon on John 1:17


John 1:17 ESV KJV
For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. (ESV)

Sermon Description

Why is the law of God so important? In this sermon on John 1:17 titled “The Law and Modern Man,” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones preaches on the centrality of God’s law for understanding the gospel, humanity, and Christ. The Bible teaches that all are under the condemnation of the law because they have all sinned and broken God’s law. This is why humanity, in its fallen state, is opposed to God’s law – it only condemns them and their sinful lifestyle. But this same law that condemns also shows the need for the gospel and for Jesus Christ. In this way, the law can lead to life. For it shows the Christian how inadequate they are and how much they need salvation in Christ Jesus. This convicting use of the law brings great opposition from many unbelievers who claim that the idea of sin and punishment is backwards and cruel. Yet the Bible tells that God is a holy God who requires righteousness from all. Jesus came to fulfill the law because humanity could not. This is the heart of the gospel: God sending His Son to redeem sinners who are unable to save themselves.

Sermon Breakdown

  1. The sermon begins by introducing John 1:17 which states that the law was given through Moses but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. This verse provides the foundation for the sermon.

  2. The greatest problem in the world is a failure to understand what God has done through Jesus Christ. The Christian church exists to preach Christ, not man.

  3. The law was given through Moses to provide knowledge of sin, reveal God's standards, and show our need for grace. The law is essential for sanctification and understanding salvation.

  4. Neglecting the law leads to apostasy, pride, conflict, and a false view of life. Man begins to worship himself instead of God.

  5. Unrighteousness always follows ungodliness. There can be no morality without religion. Standards are lost without God and his law.

  6. Without law there is no discipline, punishment, or standards of good and evil. This leads to lawlessness and chaos.

  7. When law is abandoned, negatives and details are disliked. People prefer vague generalities over specific commands and prohibitions. But law deals with specifics.

  8. Law requires authority and sanctions to be effective. Without enforcement and consequences, law has no power. But authority and punishment are unpopular today.

  9. The world believes God is only love and man is essentially good. So moral example and appealing to man's reason is thought to be enough. But man is evil and needs law.

  10. It is wrong to expect Christian behavior from non-Christians. Only under grace can one live a Christian life. Until then, law is necessary to restrain evil.

  11. The sermon concludes by exhorting Christians to preach this message to others and not be misled by false idealism and sentimentality. True Christianity is based on law, justice, truth, and righteousness.

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.