Book of Ephesians
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With so much input about how we are supposed to live our lives, how can we discern which way is correct? In this sermon, Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones explains from Scripture how Christians are supposed to live and why we are to follow these guidelines. In Ephesians 5:1-2, Paul says “we are to be imitators of God.” Christianity, Dr. Lloyd-Jones says, is more than just a moral code. Believers are never to obey simply because it is the normal “Christian” thing to do. Rather, we are to obey because we know what God has done for us and why God tells us to avoid certain things. The Lord, in his graciousness, did not leave us without reasons for obedience— instead, he tells us often in Scripture the reasons why we are better off obeying his instructions. Just as children are representatives of their families, so we who are God’s children act as representatives of him to the world. People should be able to look at us and see the Father because we should be striving to become like our heavenly Father in the same way that we often attempt to imitate our earthly parents.
Christians often talk about the atoning death of Christ when in conversation about spiritual things. It is often mentioned regarding its relation to our salvation. However, is it possible that it could mean even more? What is the impact it is supposed to have on the rest of our lives? In this sermon, Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones teaches from Ephesians 5:2 and instructs us on how this verse and Christ’s atonement apply to the lives of believers even after they are saved. The Scriptures are never satisfied with a mere general statement about the love of God— as this verse demonstrates, God’s love is specifically written about in the Bible because the specific acts of God demonstrate His love. A man’s conduct is determined by his doctrine. Dr. Lloyd-Jones reminds us “as a man thinks, so is he.” Thus, our view of the doctrine of Christ’s atonement will have consequences for our walks as Christians. In Christ’s atonement, we gain a clear example of the love of God. Dr. Lloyd-Jones points out that the measure to which we understand God’s love will be the measure to which we show it to others. Paul specifically exhorts us to love others as Christ loved us, and Christ loved us completely and unconditionally. Thus, his death on our behalf has massive implications for how we live after we’re saved because if we truly understand what he has done for us, we will share his love in word and deed with others.
The great message of Christianity is that we are not only saved from our sin and made right before a holy God, but we are made new creatures as the first fruits of the new creation in Christ. In Ephesians 5:3-5, Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones demonstrates how Scripture undercuts all doctrines of antinomianism, because by the power of the Holy Spirit all who are true believers are renewed and transformed daily through God’s grace. For it is the Gospel that truly transforms fallen men and women; it alone can overcome the depravity of fallen human nature and make it new in Christ. This is why all attempts to make men moral without the Gospel fail to address the deepest need of men. For when the church becomes more concerned with moralism than the Gospel, it loses focus of its mission. This has often happened throughout the history of the church, and today many are repeating this error. The remedy to this is to see the distinction between the church and the State. For it is the church that has been given the Gospel and it is the state that is to rule and bring justice. As Dr. Lloyd-Jones powerfully proclaims, the church must never stray away from its main goal in proclaiming the Gospel of God’s grace.
What are the behaviors that are to characterize the lives of Christians? What actions, thoughts, and type of speech should we avoid? In this sermon, Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones teaches from Ephesians 5:3-5 and Paul’s exhortation to live according to God’s Word. In this passage, Paul provides a list of things that are generally characteristic of those who do not follow Christ— sexual immorality, uncleanness, covetousness, and other vices. His point is that we are to make every effort to avoid them because they are not to characterize Christians. But, in a world that actively engages in and encourages such sins, how can believers avoid them? First, Dr. Lloyd-Jones says, we must kill temptation at the first hint of it— we must not allow it even a small foothold in our lives. We are to run at the sight of it. Paul states that such things are to “not even be named among you.” Many read these verses and conclude that Christians are to be dull people. Yet, that is not at all what these instructions mean. Rather, Jesus’ followers are to be characterized by giving thanks and by radiating God’s joy in every activity of life. A Christian’s speech, states Dr. Lloyd-Jones, should always be profitable and thoughtful. Listen as Dr. Lloyd-Jones teaches how we can honor God through how we live.
“All believers are called to be saints,” states Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones. This principle is well-supported from Scripture, yet there are some who teach that only a select few Christians should be recognized as saints. This is a key point because it recognizes the work of God in the lives of all who believe in him, not just a select few. Have you ever wondered what the goal of your salvation is? Dr. Lloyd-Jones, from Ephesians 5:5, demonstrates that it is to make us holy, not happy. Though happiness is a byproduct, it is not the main goal. This, says Dr. Lloyd-Jones, differentiates Christianity from cults. We see many people today who profess to be believers but are selling a Christianity that makes people wealthy and happy, the complete opposite of Jesus’ promise that his followers are called to obedience and would sometimes even suffer for his sake! The Kingdom of Christ and of God are the same, which means that true believers will follow the commands of Christ. Yet, some take this to mean that our salvation is brought about by our good works. Is this true? Dr. Lloyd-Jones presents the biblical case for why this view is unbiblical and helps us to understand that our salvation produces good works but does not derive from them.
(Remembrance Sunday 1958) Our conduct affects our relationship to God; the world at large deceived by vain words; modern man's attitude towards Christianity : a thing of the past that is to be pitied; the modern attitude to sin; man reduced to the level of a beast; the fact of the wrath of God; when and how it is manifested; the physical suffering of sin; the need for prayer for revival.
We are to walk as children of the light. What does this mean? What are the implications for our lives? What is sanctification, and what role do we play in it? In this sermon, Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones tackles these questions and more using Ephesians 5:7-8. Sanctification in the New Testament, as seen in these verses, follows this principle: it is not something we receive or take, but rather results from a correct understanding of the truth that leads to our application. In this passage, Paul says that believers have become children of the light, and that this understanding should cause us to walk as such— a perfect case of sanctification resulting from a correct understanding of God’s Word! It is active, not passive. The difference between a Christian and a nonbeliever, Dr. Lloyd-Jones says, is the difference between being in the light and being in darkness. Several other passages in Scripture use this same analogy. The change that takes place when one follows Christ is massive— from darkness to light, from death to life. It is not a mere topical change, but is rather a completely new creation. If you are struggling with feeling that God can’t help you climb out of the mess you have made, be encouraged. Those who trust in Jesus as their savior are changed from the inside out. No one is too lost.
How do we know if we are born-again Christians? What are some ways we can test our lives to see if we have been saved? What are the manifestations of darkness? Why should we know them? In this sermon on Ephesians 5:8-13, Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones walks us through a standard against which we can measure our lives, teaching that it is important to know these so that we can see whether or not we are producing the fruit that stems from being a follower of Christ and being changed by the Holy Spirit. The first manifestation is the mind— those who are in darkness are ignorant of God and the truth about themselves and the state of their souls. They deny that their sin is grievous enough to separate them from God, and they don’t see the need to submit their lives to the authority of Jesus Christ. Another manifestation is the will. Many people today are trying to make the world a better place— they see all the crime in the world and think that it will be fixed with more money or success. However, dealing with unrighteousness without addressing the underlying ungodliness will avail nothing: the foundational issue must be fixed in order to see change. This is what needs to be repaired in order for the world to be a better place.
We are called to walk in the light of the Lord, but what is this light? How is it manifested? What is the difference between a good, moral person and someone who is a Christian? First, says Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones, he has a knowledge of the Lord that he lacked before— he now has a knowledge and understanding of spiritual truth. A Christian is one who knows God intimately, beyond mere intellectual assent to the truth of His existence. He also now has a heart that desires to know God more and follow his commands. He desires holiness. Next, this light is manifested in his will— rather than works of darkness, his life exhibits the fruits of righteousness. With Ephesians 5:9-10, Dr. Lloyd-Jones points out a key fact about the difference between “works” and “fruit.” Fruit signifies growth, and it signifies that it is occurring naturally. Thus, Paul is writing that a believer will have a desire to please the Lord flowing out of him naturally because Christ is life! Fruit is the expression of that which we are rooted in, as a believer is rooted in Christ. Listen as Dr. Lloyd-Jones illustrates the importance this can have for our own walks, and why it is such a tragedy that the church is often filled with more works than it is with fruit.
How can we know if we are in the faith? In this sermon focused on Ephesians 5:8-10, Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones provides one such test that we can measure our lives up against to see if we have been made new by Christ. The test that we must apply to our lives is this: are we bearing fruit? What is this fruit? Paul writes that it is all forms of goodness, righteousness, and truth. But how are these different from each other? Goodness, says Dr. Lloyd-Jones, is one of the characteristics of God. It means “benevolence,” and it hits at an understanding of balance and desire for the happiness of others. The next form listed is righteousness, and on the surface it might seem that it means the same as goodness. However, Dr. Lloyd-Jones points out that it carries a legal concept with it— it means that someone is right and just. Paul is saying that a believer’s life should be characterized by these principles. A Christian knows what he is doing and why he is doing it. Finally, what is truth? It is the light that illustrates and makes manifest. Those who have been saved by Christ are called to be his witness to the world. Dr. Lloyd-Jones reminds us that, in seeking these traits, our goal should never be to reach this in and of themselves, but rather in order to please the Lord. This is what sets Christian men apart from good men.