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Sermon #5354

Man and Dogma

A Sermon on Matthew 22:34-40


Matthew 22:34-40 ESV KJV
But when the Pharisees heard that he had silenced the Sadducees, they gathered together. And one of them, a lawyer, asked him a question to test him. “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all …

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Sermon Description

What is the relationship between teaching and good deeds in the Bible? In this sermon on Matthew 22:34–40 titled “Man and Dogma,” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones responds to those that say they do not want dogma, but only what is practical and what helps them love their neighbor. He shows the fallacy of this question because Biblical dogma, or teaching, is related to love of neighbor and good deeds. It is only once the sinful nature of humanity, the redemptive work of Christ, and the need for repentance is understood that anyone can understand why they must love their neighbor. Moralistic legalism exists when the teachings of Scripture are done away with in order to focus on morality. This creates a false Christianity that is devoid of the gospel and therefore devoid of any hope. The church must preach the whole counsel of God. This includes both the need for salvation from sins and the need to live in holiness and righteousness towards one’s neighbors. Love of neighbor and love of God are connected and make one whole. Christians must see that the teachings of Scripture are what compel them to love and serve others just as Christ did.

Sermon Breakdown

  1. The sermon begins by addressing a common attitude that doctrine and theology are unimportant compared to practical Christian living and loving one's neighbor. Dr. Lloyd-Jones argues this is a false dichotomy and that true Christian living depends on right belief and doctrine.
  2. Dr. Lloyd-Jones introduces Jesus' teaching in Matthew 22:34-40 on the two greatest commandments: loving God and loving your neighbor. He notes that loving God comes before loving your neighbor.
  3. Dr. Lloyd-Jones argues that God must come first because he is God, he is the creator, we are dependent on him, and we cannot escape him. If we do not put God first, there will be no peace.
  4. Dr. Lloyd-Jones argues that we cannot truly know ourselves or our neighbor without first knowing God. We tend to think too highly or too lowly of ourselves, but we are ignorant of our true nature apart from God.
  5. Dr. Lloyd-Jones outlines the biblical doctrine of man's sinfulness and fallenness. Because of sin, man is selfish, self-centered, governed by lusts and desires, and at enmity with God. This is why men cannot love each other.
  6. Dr. Lloyd-Jones proclaims the gospel of Jesus Christ as the only hope for men to be reconciled to God and enabled to love one another. Only through Christ can we get a new heart, a new nature, and God's love poured into our hearts.
  7. Dr. Lloyd-Jones gives the example of Jews and Gentiles coming together in love in the early church through the gospel. This demonstrated the power of the gospel to overcome divisions and enable love between enemies.
  8. Dr. Lloyd-Jones argues that without the doctrines of Christianity - the incarnation, atonement, resurrection, regeneration, etc. - there is no hope for men to love their neighbors. Doctrine is essential, not opposed to practical living.
  9. Dr. Lloyd-Jones calls the listeners to repent of their sin and selfishness, believe in Christ, and ask God for a new heart and new life so they can love their neighbors.

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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.