Book of Ephesians
Page 1 of 4
What is the state of a person before Christ? Is the problem with humanity that we need more morality or is it much deeper? The Apostle Paul explains man’s greatest problem is that he is dead in trespasses and sins. Listen as Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones expounds Paul’s words in Ephesians 2. According to Lloyd-Jones, when the Christian has a strong understanding of the depth of their depravity, it makes the work of Christ all the more glorious. When the Christian sees the severity of their sin and their plight outside of union with Christ, they realize the great power and sovereignty of God in salvation and it inevitably leads to true worship and praise to God for all the grace and mercy that He shows in saving sinners. Because sin is so deadly, only the power of God can save. We cannot be unified with Christ by any other means. A true understanding of our sin will spur us on to evangelize the lost. We should want others to know of the great salvation that resides in Jesus Christ. The greatest problem with the sinner is not just that he does not come to church on Sunday or that he is not a part of the Christian social club. The greatest problem is that the sinner is alienated from God and is under God’s wrath. With this is mind, telling others about Jesus becomes all the more important a task.
What’s the fundamental problem with humanity? Is it a lack of education? Poor policies in the public sphere? What is it? Why are humans the way they are? In this sermon, Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones opens Ephesians 2:1-3 and explains the problem is much deeper than we thought. The problem is this: man is dead. Not physically dead––physically, man is very much alive. But in regards to spiritual things, humanity is born dead. Humanity sees no need for God and disregards his Word. Spiritual realities are boring to him and he does not find the Bible relevant. As a result, man is shaped by the present age, under the spiritual realm of darkness, and organizes his life apart from God. He doesn’t know it, because he’s dead. The result is eternal death. Listen as the Dr. explains that we must know the depths of this problem. As the problem is much deeper than one thought, the solution must be greater than we imagined. Our delight in the Gospel of Jesus Christ comes from our understanding of this. We were hopeless. We were dead. Without Christ, there was nothing we could do. Yet God loved us and he has made us alive.
How can we make sense out of the awful state of the world? With Ephesians 2:1-3, Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones brings much needed clarity to today's chaos, showing how man's sinful nature is behind the wickedness we see all around us. Since man's nature is wholly given over to sin, he is unable to do good and obey all that the Law of God requires. Those, like the humanist, that claim sin is simply an outdated religious superstition that can be replaced by modern psychology fundamentally misunderstand the extent of man’s sin and corruption. For the sinful nature is not something that people lack, but is active rebellion against God. Dr. Lloyd-Jones explains that sin dominates our very will. The orthodox doctrine of original sin accounts for this sinful nature. It says that when the first man, Adam, sinned all men fell into sin and inherited the corrupt nature. This is why moral reform as a way of salvation is hopeless. For if man could keep the Law there would be no need for the Gospel and death of Christ. It is only by the saving grace found in the death of Christ that any man can be delivered from sin and made righteous before God.
Without God, there is no hope, no peace and no relief from the guilt and stain of sin! In this sermon from Ephesians 2:1-3, Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones thoroughly explains the pervasiveness of the state of sinfulness derived from the absence of God's presence in our lives. The only remedy, the Doctor explains, is the exceeding greatness of God's power toward His believers. Christians will only understand how significant God's grace is when we realize the depths from which God saved us and the heights to which He has raised us. Only then can Christians truly be thankful for Christ's intervention on our behalf. This sermon is unique in that Lloyd-Jones shares a personal example of his unbelieving state before Christ. He shares that he used to be consumed with the lust of the flesh in that he desired to debate and sound clever in front of his peers. While preparing this sermon, the Doctor shares that he felt an immense hatred for himself and his previous state of existence. This personal story exemplifies the principle Lloyd-Jones began the sermon with: understanding the depravity of believers' previous state and contrasting it with God's immensely merciful treatment of our souls is the only way Christians can understand true grace.Without Jesus, people are doomed to perish while pursuing the flesh. With Him, people will be raised to life with God forever.
The apostle Paul tells us that all men are in sin and ruled by sin. Apart from the gospel we are dead in our sins and trespasses. Listen as Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones preaches from Ephesians 2 on the judgement of God is the only answer for the children of wrath. It is vital that we come to understand the wrath of God in order to understand both the grace and love of God. We can only understand, Christ, His life, and His death if we see the great problem of our sin and God’s wrath. This wrath is the manifestation of God’s just indignation, and this just judgment of sin can be seen from Genesis to Revelation as the plan and story of redemption unfolds. But, in God’s love he provided hope for sinful and fallen man. By sending His Son to die for us sinners who deserved nothing but condemnation and judgement, He provides a way of salvation and justification for his enemies. This is the glory of the gospel God, it is adoption and justification for those who deserve nothing but judgment. It is the adoption of God’s enemies as children and inheritors through the work of Christ.
As Christains, we are citizens of Heaven, yet remain in the world. The two powerful words that make this a reality are, as Dr. Lloyd-Jones explains in Ephesians 2:4, the words "But God." Without God's action in this world, we would have no hope for the future. Life, as The Doctor reminds us, cannot be understood unless we view it in light of God. How do we do this? Through the Bible; expository preaching teaches us what God says in His word. To be lights in this world, Christians are not simply to strive to solve social issues and wars, but to remind people of the true and only hope: salvation in Christ Jesus. Our hope is not to be placed in governments, people, programs or systems, but in the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ and His saving work on the cross. In addition, Dr. Lloyd-Jones preaches the importance of not simply preaching morality and its benefits. We are not to preach at people to be civil. We're to share the gospel and beg people to repent, and only then will they change. Christians can look forward to going to our true home in Heaven, and Dr. Lloyd-Jones reminds us of truth for our voyage through this short life through this sermon.
The gospel of hope; the Gospel revolutionises our thinking; to think in a spiritual manner; a new creature in Christ; salvation entirely the result of God's action; why God acts in salvation; the contrast between God and man; held captive by the devil.
The condition and state of the Christian; that which is true is to be grasped experientially; the doctrine of our union with Christ is fundamental to Christian life; Adam our federal head; this teaching explained; mystical union with Christ; a new spirit of life; regeneration makes a new Christian.
Salvation comparable to the resurrection of Christ; no longer under Law; but grace; born a child of Adam; crucified with Christ; a new humanity; the desires of the new man; the will of the Christian is exercised in a new direction.
There is true hope in Christ! One of the most comforting and practical teachings of Scripture is that all who are united to Christ in faith have been seated with him in the heavens. Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones brings this great news of hope from Ephesians 2:4-7, saying we have been delivered from this present evil world and its coming judgement because of the death and resurrection of Christ Jesus. For this reason, we should seek to set our minds not on earthly and carnal things, but in that which is heavenly and good. As Christians we should put our hope with Christ who has died in our place and acceded to heaven where he rules. This does not mean that we have no obligation to do good while we are on this earth, but it simply means that we should be as pilgrims- always looking toward our inheritance with Christ Jesus in heaven. This affects how Christians are to conduct themselves, for we should seek what is good, pure, and holy, fleeing from all worldliness and immorality. We should not be like the unbeliever who in his worldliness cares for nothing but what is present in the here and now, but we should always seek the heavenly inheritance that we have in Christ by believing in his Gospel.