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Sermon #5067

The Magnificat 1

A Sermon on Luke 1:46-55


Luke 1:46-55 ESV KJV
And Mary said, “My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he has looked on the humble estate of his servant. For behold, from now on all generations will call me blessed; for he who is mighty has done great things for me, and …

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Sermon Description

Is Christmas really that important? Does the story of Christ’s birth really matter? In this sermon on Luke 1:46–55 titled “The Magnificat I,” Dr. Martin Lloyd-Jones preaches of the true significance of Christmas. Christmas is not simply to warm hearts, nor only to produce a cheerful attitude. Christmas is a time when believers in Jesus Christ must magnify the Lord their God. Through an explanation of “The Magnificat” in Luke’s passage, Dr. Lloyd-Jones aids listeners with a rich and theologically profound explanation of Mary’s song of praise upon learning she is pregnant with Jesus. One of the first points Dr. Lloyd-Jones emphasizes is Mary’s heart in forgetting herself and praising the Lord. She is humbled and grateful that the Lord would choose her to bear the Savior of the world. She is able to praise God so thoroughly because her praise is based on understanding, not simply emotion. Since she is able to understand a portion of God’s glory, her emotions correspond and she praises God. She praises God’s power, without which not a soul on this earth would be saved. She praises His holiness, without which He would not be worthy of praise. She praises His mercy, without which everyone would be condemned. In God’s precious mercy, He chose Mary to bear Jesus Christ, the Savior of the world. Listen in as Dr. Lloyd-Jones helps the hearer worship God better.

Sermon Breakdown

  1. Mary's initial reaction to the angel Gabriel's announcement was incredulity and skepticism. She couldn't believe what she was hearing.
  2. After the angel reminded her that with God nothing is impossible, Mary submitted to God's will. She said "Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word."
  3. When Mary visited Elizabeth, Elizabeth's greeting caused Mary to burst forth in praise and worship. Elizabeth said "Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb."
  4. Mary's praise is an expression of the depth of her feelings. She refers to her "soul" and "spirit" showing she is moved to her core.
  5. Mary's praise manifests itself in adoration ("My soul doth magnify the Lord") and rejoicing ("my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour").
  6. The cause of Mary's praise is not primarily what has happened to her, but rather who God is and what He is doing in salvation. She sees the meaning and significance of God's action.
  7. Mary praises God for His greatness, glory, and majesty ("My soul doth magnify the Lord"). Though we can't make God greater, we can help others see and appreciate His greatness.
  8. Mary praises God as "Saviour" - the one who delivers and keeps. She sees God's salvation in the past, present, and future.
  9. Mary praises God for His power and might ("He that is mighty hath done to me great things"). God's power enables Him to be Saviour. The world needs God's power.
  10. Mary praises God for His holiness ("holy is His name"). God hates sin because He is holy. His holiness necessitates dealing with sin through salvation.
  11. Mary praises God for His mercy ("His mercy is on them that fear Him"). If God were only holy and mighty, there would be no hope. But God is also merciful.
  12. Mary praises God for His faithfulness in fulfilling His promises ("He hath holpen His servant Israel, in remembrance of His mercy; As He spake to our fathers, to Abraham, and to his seed for ever").

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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.