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Sermon #5381

Grace Not Gifts

A Sermon on Luke 10:20


Luke 10:20 ESV KJV
Nevertheless, do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.” (ESV)

Sermon Description

“It is our fatal tendency to rejoice in the wrong things in connection with our spiritual life and experience.” Humans are so quickly impressed with spiritual success and dangerously blinded by pride. How fast they forget the true joy that their names are recorded in the book of life and heaven is guaranteed. In this sermon on Luke 10:20 titled “Grace Not Gifts,” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones teaches the listener not to rejoice in gifts but in God’s grace. He explains why people experience fluctuations in their Christian life, with seasons of great security and joy followed by seasons of pride, sadness, and unsteadiness. There is a profound difference between gifts and grace, and the result of the security found in knowing God’s children’s names are written in heaven.

Sermon Breakdown

  1. The passage under consideration is Luke 10:20 - "Notwithstanding in this rejoice not, that the spirits are subject unto you; but rather rejoice, because your names are written in heaven."

  2. The 70 disciples returned from their mission excited about their success in casting out demons. However, Jesus warns them not to rejoice primarily in their gifts and abilities.

  3. We have a tendency to be interested in manifestations and experiences rather than principles. We focus on the outward and spectacular rather than the inward and real.

  4. Gifts and abilities are not a sure proof of true Christianity. Judas Iscariot had the same gifts as the other disciples. God can give gifts to anyone.

  5. Rejoicing primarily in gifts and experiences can lead to pride, self-conceit and an unsteady Christian life. Our lives fluctuate based on our experiences.

  6. Gifts and experiences are transient and uncertain. We should focus on what is permanent and eternal.

  7. We should rejoice in our relationship to God and our salvation rather than in gifts and experiences. Our names are written in heaven by God's grace.

  8. Rejoicing in our salvation emphasizes what we are (children of God) rather than what we do. It focuses on grace rather than works.

  9. Knowing our names are written in heaven means we can rejoice in God's care, our perseverance, and the hope of heaven.

  10. We can know our names are written in heaven by: believing in Christ, obeying God's commands, loving other Christians, and the witness of the Holy Spirit.

  11. We should make rejoicing in our salvation the main focus of our lives rather than gifts, experiences or anything pertaining to self.

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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.