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Sermon #SD05

That One Sin

A Sermon on 1 Timothy 1:16


1 Timothy 1:16 ESV KJV
But I received mercy for this reason, that in me, as the foremost, Jesus Christ might display his perfect patience as an example to those who were to believe in him for eternal life. (ESV)

Sermon Description

Sincere Christians face real problems in life. The idea that someone might become a Christian and never deal with doubt, discouragement, depression, and suffering is unbiblical. It’s possible for genuine Christians to be miserable. While Satan cannot rob Christians of their salvation, he can make them miserable Christians. In this sermon on 1 Timothy 1:16, Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones examines one particular strategy which Satan may use in depressing Christians: reminding them of past sin. Something one did, or said – “that one sin” – can haunt them years later. While this Christian certainly believes God saves sinners, they feel that that sin is in a different category; that the gravity or volume of past sin places them outside of God’s grace. Listen in as the Doctor explains that depression caused by looking at past sin stems from a poor understanding of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Jesus did not die for a certain kind of sinner–He died for the greatest of sinners. The grace required to save the most respectable person in society is the same grace which saves the least. As Satan tempts to despair, God’s chosen must look to the cross of Jesus Christ and see He who died for all of our sin.

Sermon Breakdown

  1. The sermon addresses the condition of spiritual depression that afflicts Christians.
  2. The causes of spiritual depression are:
  3. Failure to understand the doctrine of justification by faith.
  4. Having a superficial view of Christianity that believes signing a decision card is enough.
  5. The existence of problems and difficulties in the Christian life as evidenced by the New Testament epistles.
  6. The devil attacking Christians and trying to make them miserable.
  7. Two main explanations for the condition of being unhappy about past sins:
  8. The devil trying to rob Christians of their joy.
  9. Ignorance of doctrine and a failure to understand the New Testament doctrine of salvation.
  10. Christians in this condition should not just pray to be delivered but should think through doctrine.
  11. They should consider the example of Paul who obtained mercy despite being a blasphemer and persecutor. This shows no sin is beyond forgiveness.
  12. All sins are the same in being a violation of a relationship with God. There are no gradations of sin.
  13. The real issue is a person's relationship to God's law and their unbelief, not any particular sin.
  14. These Christians do not fully believe the Scriptures, e.g. 1 John 1:9, that God will forgive all sins.
  15. They do not fully realize what Jesus accomplished on the cross in dealing with all sins, past, present and future.
  16. They need to understand justification means being declared righteous permanently, not just at the moment of belief.
  17. They need to realize their union with Christ means their old sinful self has died and they have a new identity in Christ.
  18. Christians should look at their past sins and praise God for his grace rather than become depressed.

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.