Book of Ephesians
Page 2 of 4
Forgiveness of sin is the heart of our redemption in Christ. But that is different than saying God’s primary motivation for redemption is forgiveness of sin. This, says Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones, is to place the human being at the center of salvation rather than God. Instead, the glory of God is the great motive that led God to plan and purpose redemption in Christ. As Christians we are often lethargic about our salvation. But Paul says we are redeemed to praise Him. Why should Advent illicit praise to God? Chiefly, because in the coming of Christ we see the revelation of God's glory. Although the glory of God is difficult to define, the term implies God’s beauty, majesty, splendor, greatness, might and eternity. Lloyd-Jones walks through various passages in order to demonstrate how this theme runs throughout Scripture (Genesis 3:24; Exodus 40:34-37; Isaiah 6; Luke 2:14; 2 Corinthians 4:6). Placing the glory of God at the front of our minds will have great effects in our evangelism ministry. By emphasizing the glory of God in our proclamation of the gospel we shall be much more apostolic in our method. While God is about His glory, the highest manifestation of that glory is found in the salvation of sinners. The church is, indeed, highly favored.
How great is the love we receive from both God the Father and God the Son! Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones considers the measure of this love and its central theme found in Christ who is called the “Beloved”. Lloyd-Jones traces this title throughout the Lord Jesus Christ’s ministry as well as its relation to the doctrine of eternal generation of the Son. Lloyd-Jones exhorts us to see the significance of the incarnation and virgin birth by remembering who Jesus Christ is: the Beloved, eternal Son of God. The incarnation is quite unimaginable as God the Father watches his Beloved Son suffer so that we might be forgiven of sin. The love of God is on display as the Son empties himself by taking on human flesh. The ultimate height of our salvation is that God loves us as he loves the Son, because we are united with the Beloved. The Christian is called beloved which reveals an intimacy surpassing anything we can possibly imagine.
Christ alone makes us Christian. Every generation of believers must reiterate this again and again because human beings are desperately trying to stay in sin yet have the benefits of salvation. Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones’s message is that God alone has devised a plan for man to be reconciled to God. If sin is taken seriously we will see that it's hopeless to try and save ourselves. This is why, as Lloyd-Jones proclaims, we need redemption. In other words, we need deliverance by payment of ransom. Outside of Christ we are in bondage to the Law and under the dominion of the Devil. But in Christ we have been ransomed, bought with a price. What was this price? The Apostle Paul takes up the Old Testament language of sacrifice and blood in order to show how the death of Christ fulfills the Law and the Prophets. The design of the Old Testament sacrificial system was propitiation as the result of expiation. This good news is the consistent testimony of the New Testament. Marytn Lloyd-Jones challenges us to never forget, we are not our own but were bought with a price.
We are forgiven of all sin, past, present and future! This marvelous truth is proclaimed as Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones gives this compelling and comprehensive exposition. While recognizing the distinction between redemption and the forgiveness of sins, Lloyd-Jones nevertheless says the forgiveness of sins is the first item of redemption. If the sinner does not have their guilt removed, then sanctification and glorification does not follow. Modern society dislikes talk of guilt, wrath, the cross and bloody sacrifice. They much more enjoy talk of the happiness and power that Jesus can bring. Lloyd-Jones thinks this is an incomplete Gospel. The fundamental component (or first item) we need is to be reconciled to God and this comes only when guilt is removed, forgiven, and ultimately covered by the death of Christ. He took our punishment, endured the wrath of God and bought us with the price of His life. Although forgiveness is difficult and sorrowful to God, as seen in the death of Christ, it is the only means that leads to absolute restoration with God. Listen as Lloyd-Jones grips our hearts with the message of complete restoration and present forgiveness found only through the blood of Christ.
How can the Apostle Paul be so exuberant in praise about the grace of God? Why is the grace of God something the Apostle constantly writes about? It is because he knew the grace of God; he experienced it. And it led to his worship and praise. In this sermon, Dr. Marytn Lloyd-Jones expounds Paul’s words on the riches of God’s grace. By better understanding God’s grace we get a glimpse into the very character of God. In the riches of God’s grace we see that he gives fully, freely and superabundantly. It can be no other way. He must give grace liberally because of who he is. Pastorally, Lloyd-Jones applies God’s grace to the Christian by highlighting our desperate need for it. Thankfully, his grace is sufficient for all our needs. Millions have drunk from it, yet it is still bubbling up, offering assurance for all who come and drink from it. The gracious and good news of the gospel is the free and full forgiveness for those who are in Christ Jesus according to the riches of God’s grace.
Can man discover the mysteries of God? Does God hide His will from mankind? As the Apostle Paul expands his teaching on God’s grace, he moves from election and predestination to “mystery." This mystery, warns Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones, is no incomprehensible mystery as taught in the ancient religions, reserved only for a select few. Nor is it a vague teaching, antithetical to propositional truth as many contemporary Christian movements want to make it. Instead biblical mystery is something hidden from natural man, yet God has fully revealed it. It is an open secret which sinful humanity cannot see. It is a truth that God must reveal to individuals. This has great implications for evangelism. The gospel is comprehensible to anyone, no matter their intellect, as long as God reveals it to them. Lloyd-Jones insists that this is the work of the Holy Spirit; he opens the eyes of men and women to the revelation of Jesus Christ in the Scriptures. Faith is not opposed to reason, but reason alone cannot bring someone to God. The mind of a man, at its best, is irrelevant; God must bring them to this truth. We desperately need His grace!
How do we make sense of today's world? What message do Christians have for those around us? According to Paul’s letter to the Ephesians, we have been given the ultimate revelation and that gives us an unique, supernatural perspective of everything. What natural man cannot see or understand, God has revealed to the Christian a profound mystery: God is reuniting together all things in Christ. In this passionate sermon, Dr. Marytn Lloyd-Jones expands upon this cosmic theme. While he maintains the orthodox position in rejecting universalism, Lloyd-Jones also pushes against the narrow view that only the redeemed men and angels are part of God’s universal purpose. Instead, he argues, all of creation, excluding fallen men and fallen angels, will be united in Christ in perfect harmony at the end of the ages. We are here face to face with a reality beyond personal salvation. Paul is taking us to a place our finite minds can barely consider! Hear Lloyd-Jones explain this great truth and see what it means for our engagement with the world around us.
Political peace and social unity is something we hear often in the media. Communities need to strive to lay down their tribal identities that divide people and embrace unity. How might Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones respond to this kind of plea? More importantly, how does the Apostle Paul talk about unity? In this sermon Lloyd-Jones expounds on the great themes of unity, harmony and peace in the letter to the Ephesians. In the church there is no nationalistic boasting from the Jews nor philosophical snobbery from the Greeks for they are all one in Christ. The Apostle Paul, who first boasted in his flesh as a Hebrew of Hebrews, now boasts that he is an apostle to the Gentiles. How did this come about? It comes about from God’s grand purpose of reuniting all things together in Christ. It is only as we look to our inheritance as Christians can true peace and true unity be realized. Only by setting our affection upon the spiritual inheritance in Christ can true reconciliation take place. The world does not know this or understand this unity. Hear Lloyd-Jones speak to this important topic that has implications for our lives today.
No truth of Scripture is perhaps most uncomfortable for modern Christians than predestination. Lloyd-Jones reminds us that we cannot simply ignore themes in the Bible just because there are disagreements or debates over them. We must with reverence, without prejudice, and with submissive hearts come to the Bible open to the truth contained within God’s Holy Word. Lloyd-Jones asks a penetrating question that all Christians must contemplate: why I am what I am as a Christian? Does your answer to that question reserve any glory for yourself? Or does your answer reserve all glory to God? With keen observation and interpreting Scripture with Scripture, in this message, Lloyd-Jones demonstrates God not only is fully responsible for the initiation of salvation, but He also is fully responsible for carrying it out. What great assurance we have as Christians! What praise and adoration should our response be for such a great salvation! Listen as Lloyd-Jones expounds this wonderful truth of God’s deliberation of salvation according to the counsel of His will!
Does the sovereignty of God minimize the responsibilty of man? Reformed theology is often caricatured by insisting it promotes a world where people lack true humanity. God’s work in salvation is said to be in contradiction to human responsibility of proclaiming the gospel and the sinner believing the gospel. But that is not Reformed theology, says Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones. A fundamental truth is lacking in the common objection. While it is absolutely God’s work, He uses means to accomplish His work. As Lloyd-Jones preaches from Ephesians 1:11-14, he reminds us of these means which are always constant as God is working. If these means are not present, then a person cannot become a Christian. They are necessary for the sinner to move from being under the wrath of God to being in Christ. Listen as Lloyd-Jones carefully works through God’s Word and teaches on this extremely important subject. Whether you are a faithful Christian who desires to better understand the relationship between evangelism and the work of God or a skeptic of Reformed theology, Lloyd-Jones will assist in explaining this important truth of Scripture.