Book of Ephesians
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Every new parent knows the stress of navigating advice while raising children. Christian parents especially understand the weight of this calling. We hear from the culture around us, with all the experts bombarding us with parenting philosophies. No issue is more contentious (and has been) than discipline. How are Christians to understand the modern resistance to discipline in many spheres of life, not just parenting, but civil authority and criminal reform as well? Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones shows how the Bible presents a sophisticated picture on the topic of discipline and exposes the false idea that the human nature is essentialy good. While rejecting the traditional Victorian model of fatherhood and motherhood, with its excessiveness and sometimes brutal treatment of children, the Bible does not therefore deny the need for discipline, righteousness, justice and punishment. Instead, it calls Christians to consider the right discipline and true discipline. We must not misunderstand the themes of law and grace as we care for our children. Nor should we limit our understanding of how God has revealed himself in Holy Scripture. Listen as Lloyd-Jones presents us how the Old Testament and New Testament provides us with a full picture for biblical parenting.
How should parents discipline their children? It can be a hard topic since past abuse often provokes a parent to not discipline at all. In reaction to this, many Christians can react wrongly too. Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones reminds us that Christians need balance, especially when it comes to disciplining children. We cannot be reactionaries and revert to the old tyrannical methods, nor can we deny where Scripture says discipline is necessary for children. In expositing Ephesians 6:1-4, Lloyd-Jones provides parents and those in authority over children several principles to guide them in not provoking their child to anger. Importantly, there is a call towards self-examination by parents. The Doctor sets Ephesians 5:18 as the paradigm to commence this self-examination. Being filled by the Holy Spirit will give parents power that is not uncontrolled, capricious, unreasonable, selfish, severe or thoughtless. In other words, the fruit of the Spirit will be evident in parent’s lives. When this is the case, loving discipline is never domineering or possessive and guards against exasperating a child by changing rules and methods. Listen closely as Lloyd-Jones provides practical advice for parents that is biblically based.
What is distinctive about Christian parenting? While non-Christians bring their children up with some form of nurture and admonition, Christian mothers and fathers engage in these duties with an entirely different category. Parenthood, from a Christian perspective, makes its highest priority nurture and admonition of their children with a knowledge of the Lord. Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones gives Christian parents practical advice showing how this is the parent's responsiblity. The discipleship of children begins with the home. Lloyd-Jones challenges parents to consider what our home life is like from the parents general attitude about Christ and the church, and to direct teaching and worship within the daily rhythms of our Christian life with children. This challenging message to parents will show important nuances in raising children to follow Christ as Lord and Savior, never forcing them to a decision, but leading them with love. The church needs to take its calling to be Christian parents seriously. We need to think soberly about what is the better way in accomplishing this tremendous task. Lloyd-Jones is a faithful guide towards these ends.
Many Christians see Christianity simply as a way to change the world through politics and social work. They insist that the role of the Church is pronounce a judgment on every current world event. However, Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones exposits Ephesians 6:5-9 showing us that while the Church should have much to say on current events, its primary responsibility is the proclamation of God’s Word. It is only there that the deepest and most central problems in the world are addressed. Everything else is just symptomatic of man’s fallen and sinful nature according to the Bible. This is why the Gospel is so important, it alone addresses man’s relationship to sin and to God, it alone gives the answer in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. So, when the church moves away from the Gospel as the central message and heart of Christianity, it soon becomes like every other human institution and society. But when the church proclaims Scripture as God’s revelation to sinners and the hope of salvation that is contained within, it brings a new message, wholly different from any other that the world has to offer. For it proclaims the Gospel of Jesus Christ as the hope for all sinners who will repent and believe.
The goal of the Church is to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ to sinners. This is the central message of the church as proclaimed by Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones from Ephesians 6:5-9. The church is never to use its voice as just another platform of social and political change. But sadly, many Christians are willing to minimize the proclamation of the Gospel for the sake of political commentary and cultural influence. For when Christians do this, they often alienate those that they seek to evangelize by criticizing their political and social position. As a result, the lost and unbelievers think that the church is just another activist organization trying to convince them of another perspective on government of economic policies. But the times when Christians had the greatest influence in society were not when they were concerned with politics and social change first and foremost, but when they proclaimed the Gospel of the forgiveness of sins and the coming Kingdom of God. This call to singular focus by Dr. Lloyd-Jones could not be more fitting, since believers must think scripturally about all matters if we are to truly impact our world and work for Christ. The church must never shrink from proclaiming the whole Gospel of God and the glorious news of salvation in Jesus Christ for all who believe.
Regardless of whether we are the boss or employee, we work for God. From Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones comes this powerful exposition of Paul's message in Ephesians 6:5-9, that both the master and the slave are under the authority of God. This has great significance for how both are to conduct themselves in their respective roles. Slaves are to serve their masters honestly, and they are to do so as hard workers. Masters are to treat their slaves kindly, remembering that they are slaves of Christ Jesus. It is the heavenly perspective that the Gospel brings that is to inform how both live. As new creatures in Christ both should remember that this life is passing and transitory, for all believers are pilgrims in this world looking forward to their true home in heaven with Christ their Savior. Both slaves and masters are to see life in this new perspective in which both are subject to Christ as their Lord in heaven and under his authority. This provides a radical new understanding of relationships that is different from anything worldly philosophies have to offer. In Christ we are no longer defined by our social position and status, but by his blood we are a new people who are to love and serve one another because of who and what Christ has done for us.
Readers of Paul will soon recognize that he is a skilled and deliberate letter writer. As Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones comes to the final section of Paul’s letter to the Ephesians, he reminds us that his final point is no mere afterthought. This passage is crucial for understanding the Christian life. Dr. Lloyd-Jones masterfully surveys the message of Ephesians and makes thematic connections between what Paul has said previously and what he writes in Ephesians 6:1-13. While the apostle Paul has been reminding Christians who they are, and how they have come to this point, it is vital for them to know the nature of their opposition. Since the devil is a real and powerful enemy, any doctrine of sanctification, says Dr. Lloyd-Jones, that does not take our stand against him into account will fall short of biblical teaching. Moreover, any teaching about the Christian life that depicts it as sentimental, and not as a battle, not only misrepresents the Christian message, but often is a sign of the cults. There is a struggle that wages against the Christian and we must be ready and willing to fight this glorious battle. Listen to Dr. Lloyd-Jones as he encourages us all to fight the war of the Christian life.
Secularists sometimes acknowledge the value of Christianity upon society. They can appreciate the morals and values it can instill in a society’s citizens. Often, however, it is not true Christianity they want, but a version of Christianity that is palatable to their pluralism. They want a Christianity that speaks to moral problems, but it cannot speak to those problems as the only solution,just as an optional solution. In this message on Ephesians 6:10-11, Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones confronts the popular idea that the Christian message is too narrow. In his defense of biblical Christianity, Dr. Lloyd-Jones demonstrates why Christianity’s exclusive claim to fix the moral problem is correct. The church must stand in defense that it has the only message that can solve moral problems of society. In saying Christianity is capable of solving moral problems of society, Dr. Lloyd-Jones is careful to distinguish true Christianity from misunderstandings of what Christianity is. Christianity is not moralism, with its reduction of the Christian message to imitation of ethical teaching. Nor is it monasticism with its escapist mentality. Rather, Christianity is the call to be strong in the Lord with the power of his might where God has placed you.
There is a sharp difference between the symptom and the disease. History teaches us that mankind is stuck focusing on the symptoms instead of the disease. In their quest to understand evil, various forms of paganism and fatalism occupied the minds of men in ancient times. Modern man is too sophisticated to believe our problems can be located in the spiritual realm, so he locates the problem in lack of education and ignorance. The spread of culture and rationalism is the cure to all our problems, he says. Some Christians are likewise guilty of such optimism in the human spirit. To believe in a real devil and spiritual foes is ridiculed. Blinded by our hubris, modern man marches forward with education, with all the hope of “progress” to comfort him. In this message on Ephesians 6:11-12, Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones contests such ideas by reminding us of the Apostle Paul’s words, “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world…” Dr. Lloyd-Jones gives a scathing critique of the solutions many put forward today and ground believers in the sure truth of God’s Word. Find courage, comfort, and confidence as you listen in to this helpful sermon on the Christian and the true nature of the disease.
Is it not madness to spend an entire message devoted to describing the devil? After all, is not Satan merely folklore and myth? Many sophisticated people today would conclude that focus on the spiritual realm at all is a sheer waste of time. But Christians cannot shy away from what Scripture teaches. We acknowledge that our authority on spiritual matters is not ourselves but based upon the Word of God. As Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones reminds us, to talk about these things is the most practical thing a Christian can do. Why? Because we are looking at the real cause of the present state of the world. The Christian has been given the ability to see the true nature of the conflict. In this message, Dr. Lloyd-Jones dwells on Paul’s description of the devil in Ephesians 6:10-13 and makes inner biblical connections to his person and work. By examining the Scriptures on the topic, Dr. Lloyd-Jones equips Christians to understand the devil’s purpose and his kingdom of darkness. Listen carefully to this important sermon by Dr. Lloyd-Jones. Ye fearful saints fresh courage take! For we understand our ancient foe well and have been given the power and resources by God to stand against the Enemy and principalities and powers.