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Sermon #4208

Attacks on Assurance (1)

A Sermon on Ephesians 6:10-13


Ephesians 6:10-13 ESV KJV
Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against …

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Sermon Description

The Christian can struggle with assurance of salvation, feel tormented by past sins, or disbelieve that they could truly be saved. In this sermon focused on Ephesians 6:10–13 titled “Attacks on Assurance (1),” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones diagnoses the real cause of struggles with assurance. Often the devil causes the Christian to question whether anyone can be sure of their salvation or he makes them feel presumptuous to be so certain of their salvation. The truth is that only the devil makes one look back at sin—Christ makes them look back to His work on the cross. That is where the Christian must place their confidence. God commands His people to be certain of their salvation and to know the truth that they are saved as seen in 1 John 5. Christians are encouraged to not be so busied with the state of their spiritual health that they make themselves ill but instead lay hold of the promise of salvation and rest in Christ.

Sermon Breakdown

  1. The devil attacks the realm of assurance and experience. He tries to persuade us that assurance of salvation is impossible or unnecessary.
  2. The Roman Catholic church teaches that no one can have assurance of salvation in this life. They believe it is presumptuous. Some Protestants also believe assurance is presumptuous.
  3. The Bible teaches that assurance of salvation is possible and we should seek it. 1 John 5:13 says we can know we have eternal life.
  4. The devil will try to convince us that if we lack assurance, we are not truly saved. But it is possible to be a Christian without assurance, especially due to lack of teaching. Assurance should come from understanding justification by faith.
  5. The devil will try to make us look to the past, bringing up past sins, wasted time, lost opportunities, or what we could have accomplished. But we must forget the past and press on. God can restore the years the locusts have eaten.
  6. The devil will try to shake our assurance by bringing up a particular past sin. We must realize our past sins are forgiven and we are new creations in Christ. Our present belief is what matters.
  7. The devil will attack us through variations in our experiences, feelings, and enjoyment of God. But our relationship to God does not depend on our feelings. We must focus on God's grasp of us, not our grasp of Him.
  8. Our feelings fluctuate but God does not change. We can lose our hold of Him but He will never lose His hold on us. We must draw comfort from His grasp of us, not our grasp of Him.
  9. When the devil shakes us over varying feelings, we must remember we are saved by God, not our feelings. Rely on God alone and our feelings will be restored.

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.