What Makes a Christian?
A Sermon on 2 Corinthians 4:1-6
Paul’s Apostolic Ministry
1Therefore, since we have this ministry, as we received mercy, we do not lose heart, 2but we have renounced the things hidden because of shame, not walking in trickery nor distorting the word of God, but by the open proclamation of the truth commending ourselves to every person’s conscience in the sight of God. 3And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing, 4in whose case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelieving so that they will not see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. 5For we do not preach ourselves, but Christ Jesus as Lord, and ourselves as your bond-servants on account of Jesus. 6For God, who said, “Light shall shine out of darkness,” is the One who has shone in our hearts to give the Light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ.
1Therefore seeing we have this ministry, as we have received mercy, we faint not; 2But have renounced the hidden things of dishonesty, not walking in craftiness, nor handling the word of God deceitfully; but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God. 3But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: 4In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them. 5For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus’ sake. 6For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.
What does it mean to be a Christian? Many believe that being a Christian is about the family of origin, or the church of one’s baptism. But in the sermon on 2 Corinthians 4:1–6, Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones shows why this is wholly opposed to what Scripture says about the nature of Christianity. To be a Christian is to be born again; it is to receive a new nature through faith in Jesus Christ. Just as God spoke in the beginning and there was light, it is also with salvation, God speaks through His Spirit to make dead sinners new. Christianity is not about social change, but it is about the miracle of the salvation of souls. The Church must proclaim the gospel to all so that they might know Jesus as their Savior. Only Jesus can free humanity from their sin and immorality, and only Jesus can free sinners from their ignorance and make them children of God. This message asks the question: Do you know Jesus? Have you received new life in the gospel or are you still in sin and death? This sermon is a call to believe in the only savior, Jesus Christ.
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.