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Sermon #5675

The Battle for the Mind

A Sermon on the Battle for the Mind from 1 Peter 1:13

Scripture

1 Peter 1:13 ESV NASB KJV
Therefore, preparing your minds for action, and being sober-minded, set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. (ESV)

Sermon Description

Why does the Bible encourage sober-mindedness? Many are surprised that the Christian faith involves the mind at all, because they think that religion is inherently irrational. But in this sermon on the battle for the mind from 1 Peter 1:13, Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones shows how God calls Christians to use their minds to know Him. Christians are called to purposely think about God and the world as they are in a battle for the mind. This is a different message than what the world often tells people in an irrational age of celebrity worship and cults of personality. The world can give no account for the human mind, because Scripture tells that all are slaves to sin and their minds are wholly darkened. The Christian can only think about and understand the world when they receive the grace of God and come to new life in Christ. This sermon issues the call to leave behind sin and turn to Jesus who alone can save and renew a relationship with God.

Sermon Breakdown

  1. The sermon opens by introducing 1 Peter 1:13 which says "Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind". The preacher notes this verse shows Christianity is not just emotional but requires thinking.
  2. The preacher argues thinking is increasingly discouraged today through various societal factors like brainwashing, propaganda, mass society, busyness, and worship of experts.
  3. The preacher says the greatest problem today is the "battle for the mind" and many thinkers are concerned about threats to free thinking.
  4. The preacher outlines deliberate and insidious threats to thinking like brainwashing, advertising, propaganda, subliminal messaging, mass society, welfare state, "social engineers", busyness, cult of personality.
  5. The preacher argues these forces are turning people into unthinking victims and slaves. People are thinking less, reading less, and living thoughtless lives of pleasure and entertainment.
  6. The preacher says the only hope is the Christian message which calls us to "gird up the loins of your mind". Christianity alone guarantees freedom of thought.
  7. The preacher anticipates objections that Christianity inhibits free thinking and is like "brainwashing". He argues the Bible shows people can hear the same message and respond differently, showing there is no compulsion. Conversion is not a long process of repetition and exhaustion like brainwashing.
  8. The preacher argues Christianity has historically been the most liberating force for the mind. It gave common people access to ideas and spurred desire for learning. Key movements like the Reformation, Puritan era, and evangelical awakenings spurred thinking.
  9. The preacher says Christianity guarantees freedom of mind because it gives the true view of human nature. If humans are just animals, there's no point in thinking. But humans are made in God's image with reason and responsibility.
  10. The preacher says sin has enslaved our minds, but Christ came to set us free. Christianity provides what we need to think rightly: new birth, strength, power through the Spirit.
  11. The preacher challenges the listener to think about life's big questions which Christianity answers: Who are we? Why are we here? What happens after death? How can we be saved? Have you thought about these questions?
  12. The preacher says every teaching that denies Christianity enslaves the mind. Only Christ can set our minds free. We must awake, think, and turn to Christ for light and deliverance.

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.