MLJ Trust Logo Image
Sermon #1178

The Spiritual Experience

A Sermon on John 4:27-30


John 4:27-30 ESV KJV
Just then his disciples came back. They marveled that he was talking with a woman, but no one said, “What do you seek?” or, “Why are you talking with her?” So the woman left her water jar and went away into town and said to the people, “Come, see a …

Read more

Sermon Description

What is the nature of a true biblical spiritual experience? Some people avoid all appearances of “religious ecstasy” while others are so overcome by a desire to experience God that they have an unhealthy spiritual life filled with subjectivity. In this sermon on John 4:27–30 titled “The Spiritual Experience,” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones examines the true nature of the spiritual life in Christ. He says that religious experiences are not something that can be made up on the spot or conjured up via human emotions. It is something that is brought about by God. One should also not discount the power of God to work in lives, for all throughout the Old and New Testaments God manifests Himself to His people. The Christian must always be receptive to what God has done and is doing in their lives. This sermon covers a topic that is important in the daily lives of Christians. It calls Christians to examine their spiritual lives to see if they are seeking to create ecstatic religious experiences rather than trusting God, or if they are suppressing what God is doing in their lives. Either way, this is a timeless message for all of God’s people.

Sermon Breakdown

  1. The sermon examines John 4:27-30 which describes the Samaritan woman leaving her water pot to tell others about Jesus after her conversation with him. This shows her life was completely changed after meeting Jesus.

  2. This passage illustrates what the Christian life is meant to be - being completely controlled by Jesus. Those who drink the living water Jesus gives will never thirst again.

  3. It is possible for Christians today to experience Jesus' presence just like the Samaritan woman did. We have the accounts of the early Christians and saints throughout history as evidence.

  4. The main purpose of salvation is to restore our knowledge of and fellowship with God which was lost in the Fall. We must seek to know God intimately.

  5. Jesus manifests himself to Christians today through spiritual means, not physically like when he walked the earth. These spiritual manifestations are wonderful and indescribable.

  6. There is great variety in how Jesus manifests himself to different people. It depends on God's sovereignty and the individual. We cannot stereotype or control these experiences.

  7. Jesus most often manifests himself through the Scriptures, opening our spiritual eyes and ears to understand and hear him in a new way. But he is not limited to this means.

  8. Jesus usually manifests himself to our internal spiritual senses rather than our external physical senses. But again, he is not limited to this. He can also appear to our external senses in exceptional circumstances, as in the case of Colonel Gardiner's vision.

  9. We must be careful and judicious in discerning whether an experience is from Jesus or not. But we must not limit God or deny that he can manifest himself in miraculous ways if he chooses.

  10. Heaven and the spiritual realm are all around us. We must seek to know God intimately through the means he has provided and be open to however he chooses to manifest himself to us.

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.