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Sermon #4119

Activities and Life

A Sermon on Ephesians 4:14-16


Ephesians 4:14-16 ESV KJV
so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes. Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the …

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Sermon Description

It is a grave error to think that Christian unity is primarily concerned with denominations and social gatherings. In this sermon on Ephesians 4:14–16 titled “Activities and Life,” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones proclaims that this misses the main point of Christian unity found in the Bible. Because the unity of faith is concerned with those who have been saved and adopted into the family of God, each and every believer is a part of the body with Christ Jesus as the head. When the church fails to understand this and thinks of itself as an institution or other social organization, it loses sight of its mission and calling as God’s people. Or, as Dr. Lloyd-Jones continues, when unity is thought of as everybody belonging to one church or denomination, correct doctrine and biblical faithfulness is inevitably minimized so that the church can have the appearance of being something that God never intended it to be. This is the great danger of many ecumenical movements that do not care about the truth as long as they can get many Christians to say that they are a part of the same church. The biblical answer lies in the correct understanding of the church as unified in the body of Christ, because it has been redeemed by His blood and sanctified by His Spirit.

Sermon Breakdown

  1. Unity is essential for the church but the nature of unity must be properly understood. Unity should not be thought of mechanically or organizationally.
  2. Unity is the result of something else - the nature of the church. Unity should not be the first thing or an end in itself. The body is most important, unity is just one characteristic.
  3. True belief and doctrine must come before unity. Speaking the truth in love. Love does not come before truth.
  4. Right relationship to the Lord and union with Him is essential. Fellowship depends on being in Christ.
  5. Life must come before unity. Life produces unity. The life of the church is Christ. Without Him there is no life.
  6. Activity is not the same as life. The church has confused the two. Works are like a machine, fruit is the result of life and growth.
  7. The church has been preserving the institution, concerned with appearances. But it has been dead, like the preserved body of Tutankhamun.
  8. Numbers are not the most important thing. A remnant, a few people truly devoted to God, is what really matters.
  9. It is the Head (Christ) who acts, not the body (the church). The body acts through the direction of the Head. The church has failed to remember this.
  10. The difference between an evangelistic campaign and revival is in the approach. Campaigns organize activities, revivals examine the spiritual state and seek God.
  11. The call of the New Testament is not primarily to do but to be - to be usable by God. Men used by God realized their own impotence and relied fully on Him.

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.