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Sermon #SD08


A Sermon on 2 Timothy 1:6


2 Timothy 1:6 ESV KJV
For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands, (ESV)

Sermon Description

In one’s fight against depression, a person must deal with an incredible power: their feelings. In this sermon on 2 Timothy 1:6 titled “Feelings,” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones deals with the problem of feelings in the Christian life. Everybody wants to be happy. The problem is that no one can make themselves happy. The human is not a master of self and cannot produce feeling. Try as hard as one might, a person cannot generate true emotions. One’s feelings are dependent on factors seemingly outside of one’s control. As a matter of fact, feelings seek to control the person. The world refers to this as a mood. A person controlled by their feelings may be referred to as a “moody” individual. Dr. Lloyd-Jones explains that the Christian need not be controlled by their feelings. While feelings come and go, there is a great difference between rejoicing and feeling happy. Dr. Lloyd-Jones calls his listener to seek not happiness, but righteousness. The person seeking happiness will never find it. However, seeking after righteousness, the believer often discovers they are happy. The listener is encouraged to discover that Christians are called to seek Jesus Christ above all, and in Him is found lasting joy.

Sermon Breakdown

  1. The scripture verse being discussed is 2 Timothy 1:6 which exhorts Timothy to "stir up the gift of God" within him.
  2. The overall topic of the sermon series is "spiritual depression" and how to diagnose and treat it.
  3. Everyone desires to be happy, but happiness depends on many factors like temperament, physical condition, etc. Our feelings tend to be variable and unstable.
  4. The greatest danger is allowing our changeable feelings to control and dominate us. We must not be ruled by our feelings and moods.
  5. Our feelings should be engaged as Christians, but we cannot directly create or generate feelings within ourselves through our will or effort.
  6. There is nothing quite as variable as our feelings which depend on many factors like temperament, physical condition, circumstances, etc.
  7. We must not doubt our Christianity just because we lack a particular feeling or experience that others testify to. There are many reasons for variations in feelings.
  8. We must recognize the difference between rejoicing and feeling happy. We are commanded to rejoice in the Lord, but we cannot directly make ourselves feel happy. Happiness depends on circumstances, but rejoicing is a choice.
  9. The key is learning to "stir up the gift" - we must speak to ourselves and our feelings, not let our feelings speak to and dominate us. We must rouse ourselves from dullness and melancholy through effort and action.
  10. To find joy and happiness, we must seek righteousness and the Lord Jesus Christ himself - not thrills, experiences or good feelings. Seeking him leads to joy, peace and happiness as a byproduct.

Spiritual Depression

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.