The Power of Christ Within
A Sermon on John 1:16
16For of His fullness we have all received, and grace upon grace.
16And of his fulness have all we received, and grace for grace.
Are Christians daunted by the phrase “work out your salvation with fear and trembling?” Is sanctification a topic that brings anxiety? This sermon on John 1:16 titled “The Power of Christ Within” addresses these questions. Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones shows how and why the Christian should fearfully participate in their own sanctification. He explains that the Christian must embrace and pursue sanctification, but they are also given divine power to grow in holiness. Additionally, he explains that a Christian should have fear related to the understanding that God is the one who works in them, and that the world is opposed to God. The Christian life is filled with a heightened awareness of responsibility and realization that they answer to an all-knowing and just God. Dr. Lloyd-Jones shows how to walk in holy fear while simultaneously holding fast to the salvation bought by Christ the Lord. Finally, Dr. Lloyd-Jones points out that the first and primary need of all humanity is the fear of the Lord. He points out that the beginning of wisdom is fear of the Lord and therefore fearing God is of primary importance to all creatures that are made in His image.
- The sermon text is John 1:16 which says "And of his fullness have all we received, and grace for grace." This verse summarizes the Christian gospel and salvation.
- The sermon aims to explain what it means to receive of Christ's fullness and live a Christian life.
- To be a Christian means to receive of Christ's fullness. Christ is the savior and his fullness has done everything for our salvation.
- 1 Corinthians 1:30 says Christ has been made unto us wisdom, righteousness, sanctification and redemption. The sermon focuses on Christ being made unto us sanctification.
- Sanctification is the process of being renewed in the image of God and enabled to die to sin and live to righteousness.
- Philippians 2:12-13 says to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you. This shows there are two elements to sanctification: our effort and God's power enabling us.
- We must make the effort to work out our salvation but we are given the power to do so by God. An illustration is Christ healing the man with the withered hand by telling him to stretch out his hand - the man was unable to do so in his own power but was given the power in Christ's command.
- The first way Christ sanctifies us is by giving us a new mind and understanding, specifically the mind of Christ (Philippians 2:5). We must let this mind be in us and operate in us.
- To live a holy life, we must walk in fear and trembling (Philippians 2:12) because of the holiness of God, the evil state of the world, and the final judgment. Only Christians can live this way.
- We are also motivated to live holy lives because we are sons of God (Philippians 2:15). We must live lives worthy of our heavenly Father.
- The greatest motivation is the example of Christ's humility and obedience (Philippians 2:6-8). Though Christ was God, he humbled himself, took on human form, and was obedient to death on the cross. We must have this same mindset of obedience to God.
- To be sanctified like Christ, we must say we are not our own but have been bought with a price. We must be willing to do anything to obey God's will, no matter the cost.
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.