Over the course of his ministry at Westminster Chapel, Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones delivered many Christmas sermons. The Christmas sermons offered here are delivered in the clear, expository preaching style for which Dr. Lloyd-Jones was known and appreciated. The central message of these sermons is the true meaning of Christmas: the Son of God came to the world to rescue sinners.
God With Us
Jesus Christ was born in Bethlehem. But who is Jesus? Some say Jesus was a great man and ethical teacher. Some say he was nothing more than a human teacher like many who came before him and would come after him. However, as Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones shows us from Scripture and in this sermon titled “God With Us,” Jesus was no mere man, but He was the very Son of God. He was God in flesh come to dwell with humanity through the incarnation. In the Old Testament God was present with His people through the temple and the manifestation of His glory. But in Bethlehem God became present with His people by being born of a virgin. In this, God the Son (the second person of God) takes upon a true human nature and becomes subject to all the infirmities of the flesh. As God becomes present in Christ Jesus, it is a new presence and is better than the presence of the Old Covenant. The message of the incarnation goes far beyond the story of the birth of Jesus. He did not come into the world to merely be an example or to simply teach, but he came to die for sins. This is the great hope of the Christian faith: God became a man to die so that humanity may know Him.
I Am He
Who is Jesus? Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones preaches from John 4:25–26 that Jesus reveals His identity to a Samaritan woman as the long-awaited Messiah. Here Jesus tells that He is not just another prophet or religious teacher, but He is God’s appointed Messiah that has come to bring salvation. Furthermore, He is not simply the savior of the Jewish people, but of all who believe. This is the message of all of Scripture – who Jesus is and what He has come to do. He was born in a lowly place to normal people, but He was born as the Son of God. He lived and preached the kingdom of God as the very one who would inaugurate the new heavens and the new earth. He died so that all who believed in Him might be saved. Many people have had false ideas about who Jesus is but Scripture is clear about who He is – He is the Savior of humanity. This sermon calls all to ask the vital questions: “Who do you say Jesus is? Is He your only hope in this world?” Salvation comes only by believing in Jesus Christ and His work.
Three-score and Fifteen Souls
All throughout the Bible, God’s beautiful story of redemption and salvation unfolds. The Bible shows that God is the author of history. Listen to the sermon “Three-score and Fifteen Souls” on Acts 7:14 as Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones talks about God’s plans and work in the lives of people thousands of years ago, and in the lives of people today. First, he points out the importance of recognizing the details in God’s plans in the Bible. It’s often easy to skip over the small details, but even these are important because they are also inspired by God. He shows how it is often in the details that the prophecies of old are fulfilled. God works as much in the small details as He does in the big ones. Dr. Lloyd-Jones goes on to show how God works in ways that go beyond worldly understanding. While people would look at outward appearances and large numbers, God can work through people least expected and in small numbers. The Christian’s job is not to be in control, but to surrender themselves to His work and realize that they are His people. Lastly, He points out that God works in this way to humble and help the Christian see His power and glory through His work.
A Gospel for Sinners
Preaching this Christmas sermon titled “A Gospel for Sinners” from Acts 8:25, Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones says that the greatest message the world can hear is the gospel. The gospel tells of what Christ has done for humanity. It tells that God loved the world so much that He sent His only begotten Son to die in the place of sinners who deserved judgment and condemnation. This is not a message of sentimentalism and shallow love, but it is one that proclaims the great power of God in salvation. Only by a direct act of God can sinful people be made righteous and holy before God their creator and king but humanity scorns and mocks this message. They think that the belief in a messiah who dies on a cross is utter foolishness and stupidity. They see it as backwards and barbaric; that it is not rational for anyone to believe. But the gospel is not according to the world’s wisdom, as God’s ways are not human ways. All human pride and arrogance are destroyed by the message that they are fallen sinners, dead and unable to save themselves from the wrath they so justly deserve. In Christ all the wisdom of God is made manifest.
A Son; Given for Us
What makes Christianity different from every other religion? In a day when mysticism and spiritism are rife, the question inevitably comes up. In this sermon on Isaiah 9:2 titled “A Son, Given for Us,” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones looks at the prophecy where humanity is said to walk in darkness and disbelief. Modern humanity is no different from those ancient Israelites who had turned away from God and gone their own way. But God’s answer to this great act of rebellion is also the same. God has sent His Son to die upon the cross in the place of sinners who did not seek God or desire His mercy. Jesus Christ is God’s only appointed means of salvation. What makes Christianity different? The answer is Jesus. God has revealed His eternal purpose in His Son who was born as a servant in Bethlehem. This infant grew up and lived a perfect life and died upon the cross to save those that killed Him. This sermon forces all to ask the pointed question, “do I believe? Do I believe that God has sent His Son to die for me?” There is no more important question that one can ask because this question concerns the very soul. All must believe in Jesus Christ as Savior.
A Son is Born; a Son is Given
Can God and His promises be trusted? Christmas affirms that they can. In this sermon on Isaiah 9:6 titled “A Son is Born, a Son is Given,” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones teaches in this text that Christians must think more highly of the gift of Christ they are given from the Father. A gift tells about the one who gives as well as the one who receives. When Christians consider the greatness of God giving His Son, they understand three things. First, they must make much of God and not only Christ; the giver is as great as the gift. Second, they must be in very great need if they are given so costly a gift. Finally, their response must be one of amazement, gratitude, and praise. God loves so much that He gave the greatest gift that could be given. Christians should hold fast to that when they struggle to trust God’s promises. Christmas is the guarantee that they can trust God’s goodness.
The Magnificat 1
Is Christmas really that important? Does the story of Christ’s birth really matter? In this sermon on Luke 1:46–55 titled “The Magnificat I,” Dr. Martin Lloyd-Jones preaches of the true significance of Christmas. Christmas is not simply to warm hearts, nor only to produce a cheerful attitude. Christmas is a time when believers in Jesus Christ must magnify the Lord their God. Through an explanation of “The Magnificat” in Luke’s passage, Dr. Lloyd-Jones aids listeners with a rich and theologically profound explanation of Mary’s song of praise upon learning she is pregnant with Jesus. One of the first points Dr. Lloyd-Jones emphasizes is Mary’s heart in forgetting herself and praising the Lord. She is humbled and grateful that the Lord would choose her to bear the Savior of the world. She is able to praise God so thoroughly because her praise is based on understanding, not simply emotion. Since she is able to understand a portion of God’s glory, her emotions correspond and she praises God. She praises God’s power, without which not a soul on this earth would be saved. She praises His holiness, without which He would not be worthy of praise. She praises His mercy, without which everyone would be condemned. In God’s precious mercy, He chose Mary to bear Jesus Christ, the Savior of the world. Listen in as Dr. Lloyd-Jones helps the hearer worship God better.
The Magnificat 2
Do you ever worry about the state of Christianity in today’s world? Many denominations are leaving orthodox beliefs, traditional beliefs are scoffed at, our country seems to be falling apart. Where is God in all of this? In examining Mary’s song of praise, Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones shows us how God is always faithful to His people, although the times may be dark. We are reminded of the promise made to Abram that he would be the father of many nations. Yet did Abram see this promise fulfilled in his life? God’s ways are much higher than ours, a thousand years is like a day to Him. As His bride, the church should be faithfully and eagerly awaiting Jesus’s second coming. Though it has been over 2,000 years since Jesus fulfilled Old Testament prophecy, we can be assured that God will keep His promise. Dr. Lloyd-Jones also reminds us that this promise is personal, and that God has promised to keep us in the faith and rid us of all our sin. If you are discouraged today by the sin of others and yourself, find rest in the promise that all sins will be washed away.
The Magnificat 3
Have you come face-to-face with the real purpose of the Gospel? Has it made any vital difference to you? It's meant to change everything. Listen in as Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones preaches from Luke 1:46-55 and talks about the dangers of being unaffected by the Gospel, and what response and reaction it ought to invoke. "To be a Christian means that we have had an experience of the grace of God; that is essential Christianity.” Diving into Mary’s Magnificat, we see the recounting of her response to God's work; in a sense this was the first Christian experience. More than an amazement that she would have a child was the realization of what God was doing on a larger scale. Christianity is, “the life of God in the souls of men.” It is about what God does to us, not what we have done. The mark of a Christian is the experience of God’s grace, but this does not look exactly the same for everyone. Search yourself to see if, “The One who made you at the beginning is making you again.” Assurance is not in a feeling of entitlement to be forgiven, but rather in one who is immensely conscience of his own unworthiness. God’s mercy is on those who fear Him.
Christmas and Modern Man
Christmas is always a wonderful time of the year. People seem to be on their best behavior, full of cheer, and often become religious during this time. But what is the meaning behind Christmas? In this sermon on 1 Corinthians 1:20 titled “Christmas and the Modern Man,” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones preaches that the true meaning of Christmas is something that seems offensive, and even foolish, to the natural person. Today’s culture has missed the reason why God sent His Son to Earth in the first place; that is, to reconcile humanity back to Himself. This is the part of the gospel message that is offensive; the Christmas story makes one realize that they are helpless enough that they need a baby to come save them. Christmas is truly a miraculous story. A virgin gives birth to a boy who will save humanity from their sins. This message sounds like foolishness, yet this is the message that all must come to grips with and in hope believe that Jesus was the promised King who will redeem humanity. Some think that He was only a good teacher with good philosophy. This sermon will show that God cannot be made known through religious efforts and earthly wisdom, but only by believing in what the world considers to be foolish.
Not of This World
Why was the baby Jesus born in the manger? In this sermon on John 17:25 titled “Not of This World,” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones teaches that it was for nothing less than the redemption of the whole world. Jesus came into the world to live the perfect life and die upon the cross as the only way of salvation. This is opposed to those who claim that Christianity is concerned with merely moral reform. Christ did not come just to set an example for how to live, but He died so that people could have true life. This means that salvation is not about morality, nor is it about one’s own works, but salvation comes through Christ and what He has done. The world does not know this and many live their lives seeking their own pleasure and justification. But the death of Christ is nothing other than God dying in humanity’s stead for their redemption. As a result, all should turn away from themselves and the world by looking to Christ and His work. This message of Jesus is the only hope for salvation.
Will God dwell on Earth?
The Old Testament recounts the desire of David, the great king of Israel, to build a house of God befitting His glory and splendor. God redirected David’s desire and Solomon, David’s son, fulfilled this desire at a later time. Solomon built and dedicated a magnificent temple for God’s dwelling place among His people as a place for God’s people to commune with Him. In the sermon on 1 Kings 8:27 titled “Will God Dwell on Earth?” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones expounds this theme of God’s dwelling among His people in this special Christmas Day sermon by showing how the Son of God dwelt on earth in the incarnation. Jesus “tabernacled” among His people; He literally came to dwell on earth. This reality is a great paradox: that God could come and take on flesh and be the means of salvation. How can Christians respond in any other way than in great amazement and faith at this momentous occasion. Through the incarnation there is now a way to meet and commune with God that is impossible without the Lamb of God coming to taste death on the sinner’s behalf.
For Unto us a Child is Born
The hymn writer Charles Wesley famously wrote a Christmas hymn about Jesus Christ, saying, “born a child and yet a king.” In this sermon “For Unto Us a Child is Born,” from Isaiah 9:6-7, Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones finds this as the great summation of the prophet Isaiah’s announcement 800 years before the coming of the Messiah in Isaiah 9:6–7. In this Christmas sermon, Dr. Lloyd-Jones reminds of the kingly aspect of the good news. He warns that while the personal aspect of salvation must never be forgotten, it must not stop there. Isaiah preaches the cosmic aspect of the coming Messiah. Christians are indeed saved individually, but there is a day coming when the entire cosmos will be restored. Jesus is the universal king of the cosmos for He was David’s greater son. There was great anticipation of the son of David. Dr. Lloyd-Jones demonstrates how many in the first century missed the characteristics of the Messiah’s coming. Jesus Christ’s first advent was not one of military might and power politics. Instead, He was born a child and yet a king. Nevertheless, Christ introduces justice, righteousness, truth, order, and peace. Listen as Dr. Lloyd-Jones explores the cosmic truth of the child born in Bethlehem. Hear proclaimed the coming of King Jesus and His rule for which there will be no end.
The Kingdom that Cannot be Removed
Why is the birth of Christ important? In this sermon on Daniel 2:44 titled “The Kingdom that Cannot be Removed,” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones explains why the birth of a baby in the little town of Bethlehem changes the whole course of human history. While this may sound like a grand claim, it is no exaggeration. For the baby that was born to Mary was none other than the long-awaited Messiah that was to bring the kingdom of God. While people put their hope in what looks good, God is quite different. He sent His Son to be born in a lowly place. He was not born amongst kings and the powerful. It is this Jesus who has died not only to forgive sins, but also that He might inherit the whole earth and rule all the kingdoms of the world. Dr. Lloyd-Jones explains how Jesus conquered through suffering on the cross. Only in Jesus is there salvation and true peace with God.
O Come Let Us Adore Him
The story of the human race points to Bethlehem. The focal point of history is Bethlehem. Everything in the Scriptures points to Bethlehem. In this Christmas sermon on Micah 5:2 titled “O Come Let Us Adore Him,” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones brings out the marvelous character of the season. But how does one respond to the Christmas season? Do they marvel at it? Are they amazed by it? Often people are distracted by many other messages during this time. Listen as Dr Lloyd-Jones looks at Micah 5:2 in order to move the church to adore the great Savior Jesus Christ. In this message, Dr. Lloyd-Jones says Christians marvel at Bethlehem because it is where God’s promises are fulfilled. In Bethlehem, God the Father was vindicating His character and proving Himself to be faithful, beginning in Genesis 3. What is more, it is in Bethlehem that the eternal counsel by the triune God was made manifest as the Son of God came to earth. Jesus Christ was just like every other babe, for He was fully human. But He was unlike every other babe in that He is from everlasting. Listen as Dr. Lloyd-Jones connects the promises of God from the Old Testament to their fulfillment in the babe in the manger. He encourages the listener to come, adore, and marvel at the mystery of Bethlehem.
The Promise Fulfilled
Lists of names or genealogies can seem quite obscure, boring, and irrelevant. In his message on Matthew 1:1 titled “The Promise Fulfilled,” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones says the essence of the Christmas message is found in Matthew’s genealogy. If Christianity was just a teaching or philosophy then historical events in the Bible would not matter. If Christianity was merely a new outlook on life, then dates would be no concern. Since Christianity is based upon and concerned with the person of Christ, one can recall that there was a given day when Christ was born. Because Christians are concerned with a person and not just a teaching, they remember that this event really did happen. Take away the event and Christ is taken away. Take away Christ and there is no Christianity. Dr. Lloyd-Jones highlights the names of David and Abraham in the genealogy in order to connect the coming of the Messiah with the Old Testament promises. The essence of the Christmas message can be summarized in the fulfillment of these two promises, says Dr. Lloyd-Jones. In God’s covenant with David, He establishes that it is through His posterity that His universal kingdom will be fulfilled. Through Abraham, God commits Himself to the salvation of the nations. Dr. Lloyd-Jones calls listeners to reflect upon the Christmas season and find comfort in the fulfillment of the promises of God. Listen as Dr. Lloyd-Jones bring the message of comfort and joy in the fulfillment of Old Testament promises.
The Gospel of the Kingdom
What is the gospel is? A great tragedy today (even among professing Christians) is not knowing what the gospel of Jesus Christ is. In this Christmas sermon on Matthew 4:23 titled “The Gospel of the Kingdom,” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones preaches on the message that frames the beginning and end of the Lord Jesus’s ministry. By looking at both Matthew 4:23 and 24:14, he explores the message of the gospel from the perspective of the kingdom of God. Dr. Lloyd-Jones reminds that the greatness of the gospel is the good news of God’s kingdom (or His rule and reign). People are often guilty of reducing the gospel to subjective terms such as personal happiness or peace. They often start with themselves and end with themselves. But as Dr. Lloyd-Jones teaches, the gospel of the kingdom reminds that the whole world is involved in God’s redemption. The good news of the kingdom reminds that the Son of God came to this earth not to simply make people respectable, but to make them obedient to God. This obedience to the King brings Him glory. Listen as Dr. Lloyd-Jones answers the most important question of all: why was it necessary for Jesus Christ to come into the world?
The Wisdom of Man
How does Jesus shatter thinking of what it means to be great? In this sermon on Luke 1:51–53 titled “The Wisdom of Man,” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones looks at Mary’s song of praise and what it tells about Jesus. Worldly people look to what is outwardly strong and impressive. They look to what is grand and dignified. Yet the Bible tells that God uses the weak and the seemingly unimpressive things to shame the wisdom of the world. There is no better example of this than Jesus Christ. He was born as a baby to a family of no reputation in the land of Judea. But it is this Jesus who is the Savior of the world and the Redeemer of humankind. He did this by dying a humiliating death upon the cross of Calvary and rising from the grave three days later. This is a message of salvation, not to those who are prideful and arrogant, but to those that know they are weak and poor of spirit. It is a message for the outcast and the despised. This gospel asks the question of everyone: “do you believe in Jesus or do you trust in yourself for your own salvation?”
The Light of God
If one begins the Christmas season by acknowledging that the world is in darkness without Christ, and admitting that there is fear of death, illness, pain, and, war, then they can truly praise the coming of the Son of God. In this sermon on Luke 1:76–79 titled “The Light of God,” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones focuses on the father of John the Baptist, Zacharias, who understood the condition of the world and the significance of his son’s ministry in preparing the way for the Messiah. John the Baptist’s ministry brought a word concerning the world’s real need, says Dr. Lloyd-Jones. John’s message of salvation to the Jews was one that challenged the leading conceptions of how and from what God was delivering His people. Humanity’s sin and rebellion against God is the problem. Christmas, says Dr. Lloyd-Jones, is not about a principle but a person who brings peace—peace with God, peace with self, and peace with others. Listen as Dr. Lloyd-Jones explains why Jesus Christ is the light of God in a dark and restless world.
Those days ...
Every Christmas season a battle rages. For Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones the battle rages over the historical facts about the birth of Christ. While many deny the facts of Christmas altogether, Dr. Lloyd-Jones says there is a much more dangerous message distributed among the culture during the Christmas season. It is a message which says that it does not matter whether the Son of God actually was born in a particular location and in a particular year. Whether the birth of Christ is true or historical makes no difference at all because we can still say we have a noble teaching in the Christmas story, and it can still help people have a better life. This psychologizing of the Christmas message, says Dr. Lloyd-Jones, sounds wonderful, but in the end it is the most hopeless message the world has ever heard. Why? Because sinful humanity is left with nothing but an exhortation to live a moral life. But the historical, biblical facts of the Christian Gospel is about what God has actually done in time through the Son of God. In this Christmas Day sermon, Dr. Lloyd-Jones expounds the relationship of the Lord Jesus Christ to time, emphasizing that the Son of God was before time, manifested in time, come late in time, in the fullness of time, is himself the center of time, and will come back to end time! Listen as Dr. Lloyd-Jones battles for the true Christmas message in this sermon on Luke 2:1.