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Sermon #4150

Acceptable Unto the Lord

A Sermon on Ephesians 5:8-10


Ephesians 5:8-10 ESV KJV
for at one time you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light (for the fruit of light is found in all that is good and right and true), and try to discern what is pleasing to the Lord. (ESV)

Sermon Description

How can one know if they are in the faith? In this sermon on Ephesians 5:8–10 titled “Acceptable Unto the Lord,” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones provides one such test that a Christian can measure their lives up against to see if they have been made new by Christ. The test that one must apply to their lives is this: are they 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 points to an understanding of balance and desire for the happiness of others. The next is righteousness which might seem to mean 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 they are doing and why they are 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 that in seeking these traits, the goal should never be to reach this in and of themselves, but rather in order to please the Lord. This is what sets Christians apart from good people.

Sermon Breakdown

  1. The sermon focuses on Ephesians 5:8-14 which contrasts darkness and light. Dr. Lloyd-Jones discusses how Christians were once darkness but are now light in the Lord.
  2. Dr. Lloyd-Jones discusses the characteristics of darkness - ignorance, dullness, deadness, and unfruitful works. The characteristics of light are knowledge, feeling, and proving what is acceptable to the Lord.
  3. Dr. Lloyd-Jones holds up Ephesians 5:9 as a "prism" to the light which breaks it up into goodness, righteousness and truth. These are the fruits of the light.
  4. Goodness means benevolence, promoting the happiness of others, and being concerned with benefiting others. It is the opposite of selfishness and mirrors God's goodness.
  5. Righteousness means conforming to the law, uprightness, and justice. It means treating others fairly and not violating rules or coveting other's possessions. Righteousness comes from godliness.
  6. Truth means openness, transparency and honesty. It is the opposite of deceit, hypocrisy and pretense. Light exposes the truth. Christians should be open and honest, with nothing to hide.
  7. Proving what is acceptable to the Lord means discovering what pleases God. It is the key to manifesting goodness, righteousness and truth. It differentiates Christians from moral non-Christians.
  8. Christians seek to please God, not themselves or others. They live to God's glory, not their own standards. They owe everything to Christ's sacrifice.
  9. Dr. Lloyd-Jones concludes that only Christians live to please God and do all for His glory. Love for God demands our all.

The Book of Ephesians

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.