Book of Ephesians
Page 1 of 3
Are you rejoicing in your sufferings? Here in Ephesians 3:1 Dr. Lloyd-Jones lays out the elements of rejoicing in suffering in the example left by the Apostle Paul. The Doctor outlines the suffering for Christ’s sake found in this verse as well as verses 2 and 13 of this chapter. Looking to the example of Paul’s suffering here reminds the Ephesians and believers today that the message Paul was preaching was worth everything to him and is still worthy today. Paul was willing to joyfully face imprisonment and death for the sake of the gospel reaching the Jews and the Gentiles alike, which was the very reason for his imprisonment. Nothing was more precious to him than the message given to him by Christ. Paul’s suffering here in the book of Ephesians points to the gospel of Christ and its availability to both Jew and Gentile which was very controversial during that time. Dr. Lloyd-Jones encourages believers ask this question of themselves, to answer this question, and to begin to lay out the argument as Paul does here in Ephesians 3. Learn from Paul's example and face trials as he does here, rejoicing as a faithful prisoner of Christ.
What is the mystery of Christ? Why did God wait so long for Him to be revealed? Dr. Lloyd-Jones addresses here in Ephesians 3:2-7 explores the importance and uniqueness of the apostles and the glorious message not revealed until the New Testament. The mystery of the gospel has been revealed and can now be understood. It is not the vague feelings found in mysticism, the one true gospel. Through the recounting of Paul’s imprisonment to the Ephesians he encourages them to stay strong in the faith. That the mystery that has been revealed is true and marvelous and worth believing above all else. It is worth imprisonment as Paul is joyfully enduring. They needn’t worry about present circumstances and his imprisonment but should rather glory in their salvation, in the Gospel. God’s plan of salvation is a wondrous thing and worth contemplating. In all our intelligence, however, we could never unravel this wondrous mystery on our own. Dr. Lloyd-Jones soberly reminds us that we must be enlightened by the Holy Spirit in order to understand.
True unity can exist within the church! Since we are fellow heirs, members of the same body, partakers of the promise, harmony can be found between Jew and Gentile alike. Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones discusses from Ephesians 3:2-7 the general mystery, that is the mystery of Christ which is the glorious story of the Gospel and the particular mystery of the Gentiles now being fellow heirs, members of the same body, and partakers of the promise just as the Jews. Dr. Lloyd-Jones stresses here the importance of there now being no difference as to membership in the family of God between Jews and Gentiles. There is no longer a need for a Gentile to seek to become a Jewish proselyte, they are now members of the same body. This is important because this mystery had not always been known to the people of God. Paul, here in this text, is pointing out that this mystery has now been revealed, Jew and Gentile are members of the same body. Amidst this glorious message of salvation Dr. Lloyd-Jones also takes time to address a particular fallacy that is believed by some regarding this text and the biblical evidence against it.
The unsearchable treasures of Christ. Do you know what they are? Do you desire them more and more each day? Here in Ephesians 3:7-8 Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones lays out the calling and job of the Minister as addressed here by Paul. The Minister is called and appointed by God alone. He is called to preach the unsearchable treasures of Christ, that is Christ himself. Dr. Lloyd-Jones goes on to show that the treasures of Christ are for all believers. In Christ we find all that we need. And what is it that we need? We need wisdom, knowledge, understanding – where do we find this? In Christ. When we have understanding and realize our sin how can we possibly approach the God we know we need, but also know is Holy? We can approach Him only in Christ. Christ himself clothes us with His righteousness. How can we continue our lives with God when we are faced with sin and evil every day? Through sanctification in Christ. Christ is sanctifying us through the power of the Holy Spirit. Dr. Lloyd-Jones ends with an encouragement – knowing the unsearchable treasures of Christ, that is, knowing Christ, is the greatest treasure that we have. It is a great privilege and responsibility to take that treasure and show it to the unbelieving world. Do you treasure Christ today?
Is there hope for the world? Is there a purpose and plan for us? Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones addresses the question of hope amidst the seeming chaos and pointlessness of life on earth with a resounding yes! There is hope in and only in the gospel of Jesus Christ. In the darkness of the world and in the minds of men and women Christ is the light of the world. The world is God’s creation and He has had a plan and purpose for His creation since before the foundations of the earth were formed. This plan is revealed in God’s word, the Bible. The ultimate hope that we find in Christ does not, however, mean that we will find in our age the end of war and evil and darkness. The end of these things will come with the return of Christ. Rather, our hope is the hope of salvation in Christ that points us to our eternal home and reward, not a temporary peace in the circumstances of humanity. Do you find comfort in this hope today?
What is the greatest manifestation of the wisdom of God? Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones here in Ephesians 3:10 points us to the church. The church, that is Christianity and the salvation that it proclaims, is the greatest manifestation of God’s wisdom ever witnessed or to be witnessed. Even the angels in Heaven see it and are amazed. It is this manifestation of God’s wisdom that Dr. Lloyd-Jones discusses first in a series of three propositions from this text. His second proposition is that the Church is the median through which the variegated wisdom of God shines like light through a prism into its many beautiful colors. From these two propositions Dr. Lloyd-Jones dives deeper and gives two conclusions to be considered. First, consider that the Church was a part of God’s plan for His creation from the very beginning, not an afterthought as some believe. Second, consider that the church is not temporary as some have suggested, but is the final expression of God’s people on earth. Dr. Lloyd-Jones third and final proposition from this text is the consideration of how God has shown His wisdom throughout history. Dr. Lloyd-Jones encourages believers to meditate on and consider God’s wisdom through the ages, in the Bible and in all of history, and most importantly to consider the greatest manifestation of His wisdom, salvation through Christ.
All Christian doctrine is to lead to a practical result and outcome; the importance of confidence in prayer; the only way to pray with boldness; and access with confidence; is through Jesus Christ; practical application of this teaching; the danger of relying on feelings.
The devil is never able to block the most humble believer's heart access to God in prayer; prayer is as necessary as instruction; prayer for the unbeliever; God has chosen to work through prayer; the dangers of formalism and casualness; the Father of all; members of the household of God.
Prayer that is concerned with the spiritual and not the material; the Christian way of dealing with life's problems; build up the inner man; strengthen the resistance; the difference between the inner man and the outward man.
The importance of growth in the life of the believer; why does our inner man need to be strengthened? the fact of the devil; a reason for spiritual growth; how does spiritual weakness show itself? practical examples of the manner in which weakness shows itself; strong meat is not suitable for babes.