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Sermon #5255

A Small Life

A Sermon on Psalm 118:5


Psalms 118:5 ESV KJV
Out of my distress I called on the LORD; the LORD answered me and set me free. (ESV)

Sermon Description

What does it mean to have a broad perspective on life? Many criticize Christianity for being closed-minded and leading to a narrow life, but in this sermon on Psalm 118:5 titled “A Small Life,” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones shows that Scripture has a different view of the Christian life. Rather than being narrow and closed-minded, the Christian is the one who truly understands the world and who has true and lasting joy because they know God. The Christian trusts in Jesus Christ for the salvation from sin. The Christian has received joy and lives in this joy because God has given a great gift of grace. The narrow life is the life that has no hope after death and no joy in life’s Creator. This sermon is a call to obey the gospel of God by believing in Jesus Christ and to find true and lasting peace as a child of God. Anyone who has not renounced the old life of sin, come to Christ and forsaken themselves to come to God is on the path to destruction apart from God and His goodness. There is no salvation and true peace part from faith in Jesus Christ.

Sermon Breakdown

  1. The Bible presents truth in many forms - history, illustrations, pictures, images, etc. It is not just direct teaching.
  2. People fail to understand the Bible because they only look at one aspect of how it presents truth, e.g. just the teachings or just the history.
  3. The psalmist is writing from experience, not just theory. He wants to share what actually happened to him.
  4. The psalmist not only shares his experience but also presents the general biblical teaching. His experience illustrates the overall message of Scripture.
  5. The life without God is a small, narrow life. Its outlook is confined to the visible, present world. It reduces man to just a physical being. It sees no purpose or meaning in life.
  6. The life without God depends entirely on man and his faculties. As man ages and declines, this life gets smaller and smaller. It has no hope beyond death.
  7. The life with God starts with the infinite, spiritual God. It sees man as made in God's image, with a soul and spirit. It finds meaning and purpose in glorifying God.
  8. The life with God gets bigger and bigger as you go on. It faces difficulties with God's power and hope. It continues to expand into eternity.
  9. We are delivered from the small life without God into the large life with God by crying out to the Lord. Salvation is open to all through faith in Christ.
  10. The incarnation and atonement of Christ display the depth and breadth of God's love. We can never fully comprehend the glory of what God has done.
  11. We experience the breadth and length and height and depth of God's love here and now, and then fully in eternity.

Old Testament

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.