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Sermon #5643

The Right Diagnosis

A Sermon on 2 Timothy 1:12


2 Timothy 1:12 ESV KJV
which is why I suffer as I do. But I am not ashamed, for I know whom I have believed, and I am convinced that he is able to guard until that day what has been entrusted to me. (ESV)

Sermon Description

The Gospel is what enables living well in the midst of difficulty. In this sermon on 2 Timothy 1:12, Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones poses these questions: what is the Gospel, and how does it impact the Christian? Paul’s main principle in this passage is that everything must be examined, including our lives, in the context of the whole collection of Scripture. Just as a doctor would want to address the root cause of an issue instead of merely trying to fix the symptom, so too, the Christian must look to Scripture and see the roots of the sin and seek to weed it out instead of attempting to merely fix the outward manifestations of the issue. Our framework for understanding this depends on our view of life. Dr. Lloyd-Jones contrasts the biblical view with the unbiblical, which is based on the principle that everything is constantly in flux and that life is a random accident. In contrast, God’s plan has a purpose and is not based on blind chance — it provides hope and rest, and best accounts for the condition of the world today. For Christians, this provides the hope and foundation needed to face difficult times.

Sermon Breakdown

  1. The sermon begins by posing the question of what life and the world are about. Dr. Lloyd-Jones presents two views: the non-biblical view that life is an accident and meaningless versus the biblical view that life has meaning and purpose under God.

  2. The non-biblical view cannot adequately explain the origin of life or the order and design in the universe. It suggests there is no ultimate purpose or meaning to life. This view leads to cynicism and despair.

  3. The biblical view is that God created the heavens and the earth. The Bible begins by declaring the existence of God, not arguing for it. God's existence can be seen in nature, reason, morality, and ontology. However, the ultimate proof is God's revelation of himself in history.

  4. The Bible teaches that God is triune: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. God is eternal, glorious, holy, just, powerful, wise, loving, merciful, and compassionate. He has a plan and purpose for creation.

  5. God created a perfect world, but sin and evil entered through the fall of Satan and man's rebellion. This explains the imperfection and suffering in the world. However, God did not abandon the world. He is still in control and working out His purposes.

  6. God called Abraham and made a nation of Israel to influence the world. God revealed His character and power through Israel's history. God also gave prophecies of the future through Israel.

  7. There are two types of history: the history of man's actions and the history of God's interventions. God's interventions culminate in the sending of Jesus Christ to save the world.

  8. God will ultimately end history and the world, not man. The gospel provides the only hope and meaning in life. To understand life's problems, one must start with God and believe in the whole gospel.

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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.