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What does it take to change man? Many in modern society say man simply needs political change, or to change his environment. But, in this sermon on Ezekiel 36:26, Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones says that Scripture gives us a very different answer. For in Scripture, man’s greatest need is not that he should become wealthy or emotionally fulfilled. Man’s greatest need is to be made right with God. For all men are naturally born with a sin-hardened and corrupted heart. We desire sin continually and reject God and his ways. This cannot be remedied by shallow and external change, but it requires true change. What is this change? According to the prophet Ezekiel, it is a change brought about by God granting a new heart to sinners. This is when God miraculously changes men from sinners to children of God. This wholly new orientation frees men from the bondage of sin and immorality, and gives them new desires for what is righteous, beautiful, and good. This is the free gift of salvation for all who believe in Jesus Christ. Here Dr. Lloyd-Jones asks the question, do you have this new heart? Or are you still trapped in sin and darkness?
We think we know what the Gospel and Christianity are, and for that, we have never really learned. If we fail to understand the completeness, we will fail to reap the benefits God has given. Have you been delivered from captivity? First, we all need forgiveness; we need to be washed of our sins. We cannot receive help from God until we receive forgiveness; we first must be in a right relationship with Him to receive anything from Him. But, after being made right, how can we live to His standards? Listen as Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones recounts the glorious truth from Ezekiel 36:27 that God says He will put His spirit in us and cause us to walk in His statutes. This is a promise! It is all God's work from beginning to end. This power is seen in the apostles–the acts of the apostles are really the acts of the Holy Spirit. The cowardice of men is now replaced with a unique confidence. Christianity is the most revolutionary force to ever exist. Christ not only justified us, He forgave us and then made us holy! God does not halfway complete His work; He gave us His Spirit to solidify the completion of it. Is the Spirit working on you?
The greatest tragedy in the world is the neglect of the Christian message. This neglect causes so much unhappiness and distress. Everything God does is a perfect work, in His salvation nothing is left undone–many people, even Christians fail to recognize this greatness. What do we need? We need a new attitude toward holiness. "Ye shall be my people." Join Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones as he seeks to view Ezekiel 36:28 from God's perspective. There is nothing more terrible than to be without God in the world; to do so is to belong to a realm that is dying and decaying–this is a tragic position, yet one the sinner delights in. Gain the assurance that God is your God, and that He will not let you go. Salvation brings a certainty when you go to God in prayer. "In Christ, we are brought to an inheritance that is incorruptible and undefiled", this is reserved in heaven for us BY God. Not only are we a holy nation as His people, but He is our God. He laid Himself down that He might bring us to God! Dr. Lloyd-Jones leaves us with one question,"Can you say, He is 'my God'"?
"I come to a place of final satisfaction." Listen as Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones preaches from Ezekiel 36:29-20 and rejoices in the fullness of the Christian life and hope of the Gospel! Christianity doesn't call you to scorn the luxuries and pleasures of life. The "laws of nature" that man discovers are simply rules God has put in place. God's dealings with men and the delivery of man from sin demonstrate His plan. God always works upon a plan. God will do nothing with us until our guilt has been dealt with; forgiveness is first in salvation. God's way is through Christ alone, then continues on in sanctification by the Holy Spirit. Man's real need is to know God and to know how to come to Him. The tragedy of today is that we don't know the cause of trouble because we are ignorant of God. A life not looking at God invariably leads to famine. God is what man was made for! The most terrible thing to happen to a human is to be abandoned by God. Intellectual and moral activity declines without God. The godless life starves the mind and the heart. The Christian life alone leads to fulfillment. Do you know true satisfaction?
God provides emancipation and deliverance from the captivity of sin, but the devil is also trying to provide a "solution." The Bible is careful to tell us and teach us how to discern what is true. Do you know what's true? If this world was the only one, it really wouldn't matter what we seek for happiness, but we will all have eternal life somewhere. Listen as Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones dives into the many parts of God's one way of salvation in this sermon on Ezekiel 36:31-32. Peace, plenty, and joy are all characteristic of this salvation. However, what about self-loathing over sin? Christianity doesn't start or end with us like the cults do, rather it brings us to see God and thereby we loathe ourselves. There is a fountain of evil within all of us. Do you disdain evil? Not naturally! We crave sin and find entertainment in it, our own sin is not a result of external circumstances. The world sees Christianity as a kind of "narrowness", but is it? Don't reject the love of God. This is the greatest issue of all. If you don't know the true evil within yourself, then it is not God who has given you peace. Ask God to reveal Himself to you and bring you to hate sin.
The perfection of the Christian salvation; God's action to remove sin; the exact opposite of what man thinks; the temple in the soul; the temple is ruined and sacked by sin; sin leads to loneliness and confusion; the Gospel that undoes the effects of sin.
Discover the benefits that come when we forfeit sins for the glory of God. Exceeding riches of God’s grace are found to be endless in Christ! In this sermon on Ezekiel 36:34-35, Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones addresses the sin that ruins man and defaces the image of God. Listen to the hope of the Gospel in undoing these effects of sin. Sin wastes life; it is not just "negative", it is devastating—nothing in man is left unaffected. Both in general and in particular, sin makes utterly useless that which was designed to be productive. This is an unproductive and barren age. History shows great productivity in ages of great faith. What is the condition of souls today? Look at sex, work, drinking, gambling, and beauty and see how happiness and pleasure become ends in themselves. Taken out of context and isolated from the glory of God, these become idols. Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones reveals the real and abhorrent nature of such sin. Sin always produces a crop of misery, shame, regret, and suffering. Nothing in sin enables the soul or increases man’s faculties. The Holy Spirit must break, smash, and convict. What peace and sustenance do you have in time of need? What fruit do you produce? Acknowledge and confess your sin before God!
Sin pollutes and perverts–it is an attack on God's greatness and glory. Learn from Israel's example in Ezekiel 36:35-36; when the heathen looked on Israel's desolation, they mocked God. Man is designed to bear God's image, but sin always distracts from the glory of God and taints the image of God, not man. God’s plan is to punish sin and to restore us. Listen to this marvelous preview by Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones on the Christian Gospel and God's way of salvation. Salvation vindicates God’s name and displays His glory. Many agencies in this world can give peace, healing, and happiness, but only up to a point. Salvation restores man to his created position. Forgiveness is merely the beginning–all the effects of the Fall become undone. God deals with both the guilt and power of sin; Christ bore our punishment! We cannot deal with our own sin because we continue in it. The Gospel makes the weak strong. Regain not only a knowledge of God, but a communion with Him as His own child! When God works, it is unmistakable to all. Do you have new interests? Do you hate things you formerly loved? Salvation always displays God's wisdom. Can you say, “I am what I am by the grace of God”?
Why is the birth of Christ important? In this sermon on Daniel 2:44, Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones explains why the birth of a baby in the little town of Bethlehem changes the whole course of human history. While this may sound like a grand claim, it is no exaggeration. For the baby that was born to Mary was none other than the long-awaited Messiah that is to bring the Kingdom of God. While men put their hope in what looks good, God is quite different. He sent His Son to be born in a lowly place. He was not born amongst kings and the powerful. It is this Jesus who has died not only to forgive sins, but also that He might inherit the whole earth and rule all the kingdoms of the world. Dr. Lloyd-Jones explains how Jeus conquered through suffering on the cross. The only question is, do you believe in this Jesus? Are you looking to the passing and temporal kingdoms of this world, or are you looking to God’s Kingdom? There is no more important question to answer in this life or in the life to come. For only in Jesus is there salvation and true peace with God.
Is man good? Listen as Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones shows the relevancy of Daniel's prophesy and the Bible as a whole from Daniel 7:9-14. Man's sinful state is explained and there is a prophecy of what is yet to come. Much of what Scripture conveys has already become part of history. The Bible's future prophesies are verified by this history taking place as it was foretold. Is there any glimmer of hope for mankind? Find the answer here. Learn to distinguish between two types of history–the perspective of man and of God. Daniel's prophecy combines both. A glance at history shows an array of wars as Daniel prophesied. Then, a shift from the war of the beast to that of the intellect occurs. Man is trying to change laws, time, and nature. Man's history is written in rebellion to God, proclaiming that control belongs to man. God's perspective shows the vanity of this. God only permits man's free hand for a time. Man's kingdom will be utterly destroyed, as they have been throughout history. We must look at Christ’s Kingdom! This history is altogether different from any other. The message of Christianity is a completely new and eternal Kingdom where man serves God forever. Are you in this kingdom?
About Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones
Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones (1899-1981) was a Welsh evangelical minister who preached and taught in the Reformed tradition. His principal ministry was at Westminster Chapel, in central London, from 1939-1968, where he delivered multi-year expositions on books of the bible such as Romans, Ephesians and the Gospel of John. In addition to the MLJ Trust’s collection of 1,600 of these sermons in audio format, most of these great sermon series are available in book form (including a 14 volume collection of the Romans sermons), as are other series such as "Spiritual Depression", "Studies in the Sermon on the Mount" and "Great Biblical Doctrines". He is considered by many evangelical leaders today to be an authority on biblical truth and the sufficiency of Scripture.