What it Means to be a Christian
A Sermon on 1 Peter 1:8
8and though you have not seen Him, you love Him, and though you do not see Him now, but believe in Him, you greatly rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory,
8Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory:
What is the single most important thing in life? In this sermon on 1 Peter 1:8 titled “What it Means to be a Christian,” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones reminds the listener that the most fundamental part of everyone’s life is their relationship with Jesus. With so much false teaching being popularized today, many people misunderstand what it means to be a Christian. Some say they are followers of Jesus because they were baptized as infants, while others claim the name of Jesus because their parents were believers. However, in this sermon, Dr. Lloyd-Jones shows that a true relationship with Jesus has three basic characteristics. First, a Christian believes in Jesus— not just accepting historical facts about Him, but also believing in Him for salvation and submitting their life to following Jesus. Second, a true believer loves Jesus because Christians cannot believe in what He has done for them without being filled with love and thankfulness. Finally, Dr. Lloyd-Jones teaches, a true Christian rejoices in Jesus and His victory over death. Listen to this sermon as Dr. Lloyd-Jones teaches about what a thriving relationship with Jesus looks like and how anyone can have it today.
- The Christian is defined by their relationship to Jesus Christ.
- Many people have vague or incorrect ideas about what constitutes a Christian. Some think it is based on nationality, family, baptism, good works, or idealistic views. But Christianity is centered on Christ.
There are three aspects of a Christian's relationship with Christ:
Believing in Him: Realizing you are a sinner in need of a savior and trusting in Christ's atoning work on the cross. Not just believing facts about Christ but trusting in Him alone for salvation.
- Loving Him: Spending time with Him, pleasing Him, sacrificing for Him. Loving Christ is shown through obedience to His commands.
Rejoicing in Him: Finding unspeakable joy and glory in Christ for who He is and what He has done. Not rejoicing in self or circumstances but rejoicing in the person of Christ.
These qualities were true of ordinary Christians, not just apostles or church leaders. They apply to all Christians.
- We do not need to see Christ physically to have this relationship with Him. We have His Word and Spirit. We must seek Him through prayer, Scripture reading, and obedience.
- The church and world desperately need Christians who know Christ in this way.
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.