17If anyone is willing to do His will, he will know about the teaching, whether it is of God, or I am speaking from Myself.
17If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself.
In its deepest time of need, the world did not receive the Son of God. This is as true today as it was when the Gospel of John was written. But why does the world persist in its unbelief? In light of its desperation, how is it possible that the world continues to reject the extraordinary message of the gospel? In this sermon on John 7:17 titled “To Know God,” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones continues his study of unbelief and says that unbelief is moral rather than merely intellectual. He then goes on to expound why this must be the case based upon an understanding of the nature of God and the truth of the Christian faith. In their prejudice, people want to make Christianity an intellectual or detached academic endeavor. Intellectualism allows exploration of religion in lab coats rather than coming face-to-face with the fact that all are sinners who cannot approach a holy God with feeble intellect. While the majority of the world rejects the gospel of Christ, Christians have eyes to understand the moral dilemma and flee to Christ by faith. Listen to Dr. Lloyd-Jones teach on unbelief to not only understand its characteristics, but more importantly to worship the Son of Man who came to seek and save the lost.
- The true approach to Christian truth is essentially moral rather than intellectual.
- That first proposition is true of necessity. Truth, religious truth is not something theoretical and abstract. It is personal.
- God is not only personal, but because of the nature of God. God is from eternity to eternity, without beginning or end of days. He is the creator of the whole universe.
- Man is not a pure intellect in a kind of vacuum. Man, every one of us, is a very strange amalgam. We are mind and heart and will. Oh, yes, but we are many other things also, as there's body and there are lusts and passions and desires, and we are sinners.
- We are a mass of prejudices. We never start with an open mind. Every time we express an opinion, we are defending ourselves. We start with a bias. We are against the truth.
- Man has a free mind, we are told. Free mind and free thought. It's a complete impossibility.
- This is the condemnation that light is come into the world. Why doesn't everybody believe it? And men loved darkness rather than light because their deeds were evil.
- His men readied with an open mind to consider the light. Not at all. The moment that light flashes on him, he knows what it's doing. It's revealing his sinfulness. It's revealing his evil. And he doesn't like that.
- He wants to protect himself. He says this isn't true. Who is this fellow? Are you asking me to believe something that was taught 2000 years ago? They have not the knowledge we've got. Who is this fellow that you're asking us to believe in? Impossible.
- But that is, you see, because he disturbs us, isn't it?
- The trouble about Christianity is not that it talks about miracles, but that it talks about you. And because it exposes you as you are and looks at you in your sin and shame and your meanness and your pettiness and your spite and your jealousy and your envy and puts it all on the surface. And you hate it.
- For that reason, men love darkness and hate the light. That is why it is supreme nonsense to think that you can ever arrive at a knowledge of christian truth by means of your intellect alone.
- No, we call in the intellect to defend us against the searching light of God. Eternal light. Eternal light.
- How pure the soul must be that placed within thy searching sight it shrinks not, but with calm delight can live and look on thee. It can't be done. And we hate that. And so we put up our defenses.
- We erect the intellectual camouflage. It's nothing but self defense. Guarding the prejudice, trying to get rid of the uncomfortable feeling.
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.