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Sermon #5642

The Age of Reason

A Sermon on 2 Timothy 1:12


2 Timothy 1:12 ESV KJV
which is why I suffer as I do. But I am not ashamed, for I know whom I have believed, and I am convinced that he is able to guard until that day what has been entrusted to me. (ESV)

Sermon Description

As time has progressed and the world has become more secular, many charge that the gospel is useless, outdated, and has failed despite being given several centuries to flourish and establish itself. In this sermon on 2 Timothy 1:12 titled “The Age of Reason,” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones answers some of the criticisms of the gospel and helps the listener understand how they can formulate a biblical answer that is intellectually and spiritually satisfying. The first difficulty is the definition of the gospel. While many different people will offer to have their own “version” of the gospel, Dr. Lloyd-Jones points to Scripture and reminds that Paul defined the gospel therein. Second, many feel that the gospel has failed. Yet Dr. Lloyd-Jones reminds that it has accomplished exactly what it was established to do: to reconcile people to God through faith in Jesus’s atoning sacrifice for their sins. Third, some object that the gospel is of no value because progress has left it far behind. Yet the struggles of people today are no different than they were in the first century — Scripture is still incredibly relevant. So what is the gospel? What is human authority? Does reason have limits? Listen as Dr. Lloyd-Jones answers these questions and points to why humans need divine revelation and why Scripture is the best answer to problems today.

Sermon Breakdown

  1. The sermon opens by introducing 2 Timothy 1:12 as the main text and focus. The context of suffering and imprisonment is established.

  2. The sermon identifies three main difficulties people have with understanding the gospel:

  3. The gospel cannot be known or defined.

  4. The gospel has failed.
  5. The gospel is outdated.

  6. The sermon argues that the gospel can be known and defined. The early church defined it in the creeds and confessions. Paul himself defines it in his letters.

  7. The gospel has not failed. It never promised to end war, poverty, or suffering. It promised salvation and reconciliation with God which it accomplishes.

  8. The gospel is timeless. It represents the unchanging truth of God, not the changing ideas of men. The human condition has also remained the same over time.

  9. Human reason and philosophy are inadequate for understanding life's deepest questions and man's greatest needs. There is an irrational element to human nature that reason cannot account for. Reason also cannot grasp spiritual realities like love.

  10. The Bible is God's answer to human inadequacy. It provides revelation of spiritual truth that human reason could never attain.

  11. The Bible is authoritative because:

  12. It claims to be the Word of God, not man's ideas.

  13. Its content displays a majesty beyond human invention.
  14. It has a transforming power.
  15. It has a unified message despite its diversity of authors and times.
  16. It contains predictive prophecy.
  17. It is a record of historical events, especially the life of Christ.

  18. We must either rely on human reason which has failed or submit to the authority of Scripture. We cannot pick and choose what to believe from the Bible.

  19. The message of the gospel is that Christ died for our sins and rose again so that we can be reconciled to God. This is a message of history, not philosophy.

  20. We must repent of relying on human reason, admit our inadequacy, and believe the gospel message. Faith then takes over where reason fails.

Sermons on Knowledge

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.