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Sermon #1147

The New Covenant

A Sermon on John 3:30


John 3:30 ESV KJV
He must increase, but I must decrease.” (ESV)

Sermon Description

Jesus Christ is the means by which His people become a new creation. Where Adam fell and brought condemnation and sin into the whole world, Christ Jesus came to not only reverse the effects of the fall, but to make a new and better creation. As Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones explains in the sermon “The New Covenant,” the new creation is better than the one that Adam inhabited; it is more glorious and complete. Central to the new creation is the renewal of humanity. This renewal is accomplished by Christ as the head of the new covenant, and this new covenant is brought about by His atoning work on the cross. Those whom are redeemed become the first born of the new creation and become a part of Christ’s body, the church. This creates a new community of believers who have partaken of the new covenant and are united to Christ by the grace of God. As believers in Christ, the church has freedom to pursue a life of righteousness and holiness. It is this great truth of the new covenant that grounds the Christian life. Jesus as the mediator of the new covenant provides a new way to live and because of this, the church and Christians have a new way of relating to the world, fellow believers, and God.

Sermon Breakdown

  1. The sermon text is John 3:30 which states "He must increase, but I must decrease." This verse illustrates a principle that governs the Christian life.
  2. John the Baptist said this verse to his disciples to silence their jealousy over Jesus's increasing success and popularity. John points out that Jesus must increase because of who he is and what he can do.
  3. Mere focus on self can increase self-awareness. Decreasing self comes from increasing focus on Jesus and realizing the truth about him.
  4. The sermon considers reasons why Jesus must increase in our lives and understanding. One reason is that Jesus is the head of a new humanity. He is the "second Adam" and "last Adam."
  5. Another reason Jesus must increase is that he is the head of the church. The church receives every blessing from him. He is the source of the church's life, sustenance, and everything.
  6. The sermon discusses the new covenant Jesus mediates which provides forgiveness, dying to the law and sin, rising to new life, being conformed to Jesus's image, and unsearchable riches.
  7. The sermon asks whether we find complete satisfaction in Jesus, desire to know him more, have increasing concern for his glory, have seen his glory, and long for his appearing. These are signs he has increased in our lives.
  8. To help Jesus increase in our lives, we should count our blessings, rejoice in him always, and behold his glory. By beholding his glory, we are changed into his image.

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.