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Sermon #3167

Seeking the Spirit

A Sermon on Romans 8:16


Romans 8:16 ESV KJV
The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, (ESV)

Sermon Description

In his sermon on Romans 8:16 titled “Seeking the Spirit,” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones expands upon an important Christian phenomenon: spiritual confirmation. Reading from Romans 8:16, he reminds how “the Spirit Himself” testifies with the believer’s spirit after being saved, inducting him or her into God’s family. However, should that believer then seek additional spiritual confirmation or more of the Spirit? In short, Dr. Lloyd-Jones says they should seek but a person should be careful of the methods in asking for more of the Spirit. Dr. Lloyd-Jones warns Christians to avoid groups that claim they can administer the Spirit by staying in a room until He comes or laying hands on an individual. This is not how Scripture describes receiving more of the Spirit, and only apostles could give the Spirit by laying on hands, he says. God distributes the Spirit in a more Biblical way. Dr. Lloyd-Jones points to Christ’s encouraging descriptions of God as a loving father; if knocked on, the door will be opened; and if asking for bread, a father would not give his child a stone. In closing, Dr. Lloyd-Jones tracks Christian figures across the centuries, reading their accounts of how much of the Spirit they received, and how much more is in store for those who call upon Him.

Sermon Breakdown

  1. The spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit that we are the children of God. This is the highest form of assurance and the highest point a human can reach in this life.
  2. This assurance should be sought. Love demands certainty and it is unnatural for a child not to desire assurance of their Father's love.
  3. This assurance cannot be taken by faith. It is given by the Spirit and experienced. Faith leads us to pray for it, not claim we have it.
  4. This assurance is not received by attending meetings or having hands laid on us. There is no evidence the apostles' power to impart the Spirit is possessed today.
  5. We should not hold "tarrying meetings" waiting for this assurance. This denies the Spirit's sovereignty and opens us to deception.
  6. We should understand the nature of this assurance. It is knowing and rejoicing in Christ's love, not seeking experiences or manifestations.
  7. We should seek holiness and God's glory, not comfortable feelings. We cannot witness without this assurance.
  8. We should seek this assurance through: understanding its nature; seeking the right thing (God's glory); pleasing God; reading Scripture; importunate prayer; and persevering.
  9. Many saints (Goodwin, Whitefield, Spurgeon) have taught we should seek this assurance through prayer, obedience, and perseverance. We should not rest without it.
  10. We should pray for greater faith, assurance, full assurance, enjoyment, and glory. We should ask Christ to tell us we are His and grant us assurance.

The Book of Romans

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.