Now and Then
A Sermon on 1 Corinthians 13:9-13
9For we know in part and prophesy in part; 10but when the perfect comes, the partial will be done away with. 11When I was a child, I used to speak like a child, think like a child, reason like a child; when I became a man, I …
9For we know in part, and we prophesy in part. 10But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away. 11When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a …
The Christian’s hope in Christ radically changes how they see the future. Why is this? In this sermon on 1 Corinthians 13:9–13 titled “Now and Then,” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones answers this question. Christians are new people in Christ. This means that they now live new lives, not focused on the passing things of this world, but on the eternal things of God. Christians can look at the future, not as something dark and mysterious, but they can have hope knowing that Christ reigns over all things and will bring His kingdom to completion. This is not mere escapism, but it is a real hope experienced here and now based on the faithfulness of God. Unbelievers cannot have any true and lasting hope for the future. The best they can have is a blind optimism that cannot really give any hope. This sermon calls all to forsake their sins and look to Jesus who is the hope today and tomorrow. Only by believing in Jesus can anyone have their sins removed and become the children of God. This is the hope for everything in life.
- The Christian's view of the future is part of his whole view of life based on the teaching of the gospel. It is not vague or sentimental but concrete and can be stated.
- The Christian's view of the future is essentially positive, not negative. It is not escapism or based on despair of the present. It is confident and joyful.
- The Christian's view of the future depends on his view of the present. What he says about the "then" depends on what he says about the "now."
- In the present, the Christian knows certain things, like who Christ is and that his sins are forgiven. He has understanding of God's plan of salvation, purpose, ways, and patience. He sees Christ's glory.
- The Christian's knowledge, understanding, and vision are limited and imperfect. He knows, understands, and sees "in part." There is still mystery.
- In the future, the Christian will have full knowledge, understanding all mysteries. He will see God "face to face."
- Whether one has the Christian view of the future depends on whether one knows Christ now. Do you know him? Have you seen him? Do you understand?
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.