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Sermon #1080

What Baptism did You Receive?

A Sermon on John 1:26-33


John 1:26-33 ESV KJV
John answered them, “I baptize with water, but among you stands one you do not know, even he who comes after me, the strap of whose sandal I am not worthy to untie.” These things took place in Bethany across the Jordan, where John was baptizing. The next day he …

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Sermon Description

What does it mean to be a Christian and receive the fullness of Christ? Is there a difference between Christianity and religion? Listen in the sermon “What Baptism Did You Receive?” as Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones walks through the stages of the Christian life and answers these pressing questions. Christ is the essential element to a new life and He alone characterizes the difference between having life and having life abundantly: “God deals with you not on the basis of your ancestors.” One cannot rely on those who’ve gone before. There is a thirst, hunger, and longing that is an essential pre-requisite to acquiring such life. Dr. Lloyd-Jones follows the life of Apollos who was instructed not just by way of books so as to imitate the religion of the Jews, but in the way of the Lord and salvation and being zealous in the Spirit. Christianity is not merely something that one must do or even know. It is a revival of the heart, one that requires honesty, instruction, and humility. To be mighty in knowledge is to be mighty in the knowledge of the Scriptures, growing in accuracy and in affection. These truths are rekindled in proclamation of Scripture from John 1:26–33.

Sermon Breakdown

  1. There are grades or stages in the Christian life. Apollos and the disciples at Ephesus illustrate this.
  2. It is possible for a Christian to have a lot spiritually but still lack something vital. Apollos knew the Scriptures, was instructed in the way of the Lord, spoke accurately about Jesus, was fervent in spirit, and bold in preaching, yet still lacked something.
  3. The thing that makes the vital difference between these stages is the baptism of the Holy Spirit. Apollos only knew the baptism of John. The disciples at Ephesus only knew the baptism of John.
  4. To receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit, honesty, instruction, and humility are essential. Apollos and the disciples were honest and humble enough to receive instruction.
  5. Apollos was an eloquent, learned, and mighty man, yet humble enough to receive instruction from Priscilla and Aquila, a tentmaker and his wife. Humility and a thirst for God are prerequisites to receiving this blessing.
  6. John Wesley and the Moravians illustrate this principle. Wesley saw the Moravians had something he lacked and was humble enough to learn from them.
  7. Many think religion is enough, but it is not. We must receive the life of Christ and His fullness.
  8. The baptism of the Holy Spirit brings new life, not just an addition to our life. It brings abundance and overflowing.
  9. The difference between these two stages is greater than the difference between a non-Christian and a Christian in the first stage. Illustrations from church history and Spurgeon show this.
  10. Revivals show many receive such an experience of the Spirit that they doubt they were really Christians before, though they were. The difference between the stages is so great it seems that way.
  11. Apollos and the disciples at Ephesus show there are stages in the Christian life and we must recognize this or fall into error.
  12. The church today lacks power because many remain in the first stage and know nothing of the second. We must understand the difference to see revival.
  13. John the Baptist's baptism and Jesus' baptism show this difference. John's was preparatory, but Jesus' brings new life.
  14. The incidents with Apollos and the disciples were recorded to show us this difference between the baptisms and stages.

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.