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Sermon #5562

Salvation Impossible to Man

A Sermon on 2 Corinthians 5:21


2 Corinthians 5:21 ESV KJV
For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. (ESV)

Sermon Description

What is salvation? Many see salvation as nothing more than doing good works; others think salvation is merely about being a part of a church. But in this sermon on 2 Corinthians 5:21, Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones preaches on the true nature of salvation as found in Scripture. He says that salvation is not about works or anything one does, but it is a matter wholly of God’s grace. People cannot do anything to save themselves apart from God’s grace in Jesus Christ. Humanity’s sin is the ultimate problem in life and is the source of all evil and suffering in this world. This great evil cannot be overcome by social change or good works, but it can only be overcome by the power of God in the gospel. There is no hope apart from the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. While salvation may be impossible for humans, nothing is impossible with God.

Sermon Breakdown

  1. The sermon text is 2 Corinthians 5:21 - "For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him."

  2. The sermon examines two views of salvation - the view after the flesh (man-centered) and the view after the spirit (God-centered).

  3. The view after the flesh believes salvation is within man's competence, it is not too difficult, and requires willpower and effort. This view relies on good works, religion, and morality to reconcile with God.

  4. The biblical view of salvation is that it is utterly impossible for man in his own strength. It is the greatest problem in the universe.

  5. Salvation requires the incarnation and atonement of Jesus Christ. God had to become man to represent man.

  6. Jesus had to live a perfect life and die as a substitute for sinners. He took on the punishment for sin so God could forgive sinners.

  7. God imputed the sins of sinners to Christ and punished Christ instead of sinners. Christ died as a substitute for sinners.

  8. The only thing required of sinners is to believe in Christ and his atoning work. By faith, sinners are joined to Christ and receive his righteousness.

  9. Those who believe are new creatures, forgiven, and adopted into God's family. Salvation is by grace through faith alone, not works.

  10. The sermon urges people to believe the message of reconciliation - that Christ was made sin so that sinners can be made the righteousness of God. Salvation is found in Christ alone.

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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.