The Leading of the Spirit
A Sermon on John 1:12-13
12But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name, 13who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of a man, but of God.
12But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: 13Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.
How does one know that they are born of God? How do they know if they are walking by the flesh or by the Spirit? Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones addresses the Christian’s lack of assurance in John 1:12–13 by discussing the leading of the Holy Spirit in the daily life of the Christian and connects the Christian’s conscience and convictions to the inner work and leading of the Holy Spirit. Furthermore, he addresses the grave error of antinomianism and religious traditionalism for the Christian. He also addresses if a Christian should abstain from certain foods or practices for the season of Lent and confronting a religiosity that embraces the “leading of the Spirit” apart from the Word of God, considering that the Spirit is instrumental in the illumination of the Word and the renewing of the Christian’s mind. Dr. Lloyd-Jones provides this as a test for the Christian who lacks assurance: “Does your conscience allow you to return to sin again and again or does it rebuke you and draw you further and further into a holy life and practical love for God?” Dr. Lloyd-Jones addresses these and other issues surrounding what it means to be led by the Spirit of God and know what it is to be born of God.
- The sermon examines what it means to be led by the Spirit through looking at our relationship to the Spirit.
- Being led by the Spirit is one of the most practical tests of being a Christian. It shows that we have truly been born again.
- The leading of the Spirit is constant and continuous in the life of a Christian. It is not confined to certain times of the year or periods.
- The leading of the Spirit is not mechanical or imposed. It does not mean rigidly following a set of rules. Rather, it means realizing our identity in Christ and living out the implications.
- The first evidence of being led by the Spirit is recognizing God working in us, even against our own desires, to will and to do His good pleasure.
- The Spirit leads us to self-examination. We become dissatisfied with ourselves and desire to be conformed to Christ. We are afraid of being superficial or "Laodicean."
- The Spirit leads to breathings after holiness - a longing for heart purity and righteousness. Our desire for holiness becomes greater than our desire for happiness.
- The Spirit leads to an increasing sensitivity to temptation and sin. We become grieved not just by sin we have committed but by its very approach.
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.