The New Birth
1Now there was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews; 2this man came to Jesus at night and said to Him, “Rabbi, we know that You have come from God as a teacher; for no one can do these signs …
1There was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews: 2The same came to Jesus by night, and said unto him, Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God …
What is so dangerous about the religious life? Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones takes up this question in this sermon titled “You Must Be Born Again” from John 3:1-8. He says that often times people who claim to be religious are trying to live as Christians without actually being saved. They try to be sanctified without being justified. This is a hopeless way to live because it treats Christianity as a graceless religion that is attained by works alone. This is similar to the error of intellectualism, which says that Christianity is about simply knowing and assenting to certain truths. Both of those views lose sight of what it means to be justified freely in the grace of God as the foundation of the Christian life. Both views replace the grace of God with works of humanity. Instead, you must be born again. The Christian must ask themselves if they believe the Christian life is merely intellectual and works based or if they trust the justifying grace of God that alone has the power to save and make fallen sinners new. This message of justification is the only hope that this world has and is central to the gospel of Jesus Christ for all who believe.
- Beware of the danger of trying to go on before we've started.
- It is the danger of assuming the vital thing instead of making quite certain sure that we have it.
- It is the danger of seeking sanctification before we know anything at all about regeneration.
- It is the mistake of trying to grow before you've been born.
- It is the danger of having a concern about the application of christian truth before there is any christian life.
- It is putting the application of the truth before there is definite evidence of life itself.
- It is the whole danger of thinking of Christianity in terms of ideas. Ideas which we are to apply rather than in terms of life.
- There are far too many of us, I think, who are prone to think of this whole matter in terms of ideas.
- It is the fallacy of assuming that we've got to do this. It's our grasping ideas and then masticating them, as it were. They become a part of us, and then we proceed to put them into practice.
- The danger for the religious person is to go in for a study and a knowledge of the Bible. And it's possible, my friends, to have a knowledge of the Bible which is really expert. And yet you've never known its meaning, you've never seen its teaching.
- It is the danger of this purely intellectual approach which forgets the heart, the whole men, the emotional feeling element.
- It is the danger of putting a. Decision in the place of regeneration.
- It all really can be summed up in this way by saying that it. Is the failure to realize that this is a gift of a new and. A divine kind of life.
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.