The Resistance of Unbelief
A Sermon on 1 Timothy 1:12-16
12I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has strengthened me, because He considered me faithful, putting me into service, 13even though I was previously a blasphemer and a persecutor and a violent aggressor. Yet I was shown mercy because I acted ignorantly in unbelief; 14and …
12And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who hath enabled me, for that he counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry; 13Who was before a blasphemer, and a persecutor, and injurious: but I obtained mercy, because I did it ignorantly in unbelief. 14And the grace of …
In this sermon on 1 Timothy 1:12–16 titled “The Resistance of Unbelief,” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones shares about the danger of unbelief. The resistant unbelieving person is one who has made the decision not to believe, not merely one who has not heard the good news of Jesus Christ. Unbelief is not purely intellectual, Dr. Lloyd-Jones preaches. A popular assumption among non-Christians is that secularism is an intellectual pursuit and that Christianity is the opposite. This is not helped by Christians who are amazed that other Christians could be intellectuals. When looking to the Scriptures, one sees that many Christians throughout history have proved the intellectualism of Christianity. One must merely look at the letters of Paul to see the greatness and grandeur of Christian doctrine. This doctrine is meant to feed the mind and soul of the believer who humbles themselves and puts their faith in Jesus Christ. Dr. Lloyd-Jones also exhorts his listeners that the reason so many people have not committed to Jesus Christ is because they refuse to admit that they are wrong. It is difficult to humble oneself before God and admit that one is wrong, but this is what repentance and belief requires.
- Unbelief is not merely a matter of intellect or ability. It is a state or condition of the soul.
- Unbelief is not a matter of scholarship or knowledge. Scholars and knowledgeable people exist on both sides.
- Unbelief is not a question of mental balance or suffering from a complex. While psychological conditions exist, Paul's life shows unbelief was not due to a lack of mental balance.
- Unbelief produces prejudices that twist facts to fit preconceptions.
- Unbelief produces false dogmatism, making pronouncements without evidence. For example, saying miracles cannot happen so they did not happen.
- Unbelief produces an active resistance to the truth. People dislike admitting they are wrong and yielding control of their lives.
- Unbelief is ultimately an enmity against God and self-assertion against God.
- Unbelief means being in the grip of the devil, blinded from seeing the truth.
- People do not need more knowledge or intellect to believe, they need a heart that loves the light instead of darkness. The light of Christ has already come.
- Unbelief leads to being alienated from God and held by the devil. Only Christ can set someone free from unbelief.
Face to Face with Christ
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.