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Sermon #4070

Built Together by the Holy Spirit

A Sermon on Ephesians 2:20-22


Ephesians 2:20-22 ESV KJV
built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone, in whom the whole structure, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord. In him you also are being built together into a dwelling place for God by the Spirit. (ESV)

Sermon Description

How can something be one and yet many different things? This is the nature of the church where each member is different, but part of one body. In this sermon on Ephesians 2:20–22 titled “Built Together by the Holy Spirit,” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones probes into how this can happen and who produces it. First, Dr. Lloyd-Jones makes a distinction between individuals and being individualistic. The former is, as he notes, a beautiful aspect of the church. Each stone is hewn differently—every Christian is different—but each stone does not pursue isolation. Each stone needs the others to be a temple. The differences in the church, according to Dr. Lloyd-Jones, spotlights the nature of a living God. However, who is the one responsible for the unity in the diversity? As he observes from Ephesians, the builder of the temple is the Holy Spirit (vs 22). As Dr. Lloyd-Jones notes, the church is a miracle. The Holy Spirit must bring all to the conviction of their depravity and sin in order to shape and mold them into stones for the temple. Also, the Holy Spirit is the one who opens eyes to the truth of the gospel, gives understanding, produces the same fruit, and gives different gifts to members of the church. No one is able to do anything apart from Him.

Sermon Breakdown

  1. The church is like a building, a holy temple, that is being built up.
  2. We are living stones in this building.
  3. There is an element of choice and rejection in selecting stones for a building. Not all stones are identical.
  4. The stones are prepared beforehand to fit in the building. It is a secret work done without noise.
  5. We must realize the privilege of our position in the church. There is nothing like it.
  6. The problem is how to have unity without uniformity and remain individuals without being individualistic.
  7. This problem exists in many areas of life, not just religion. We must combine equality and individuality.
  8. In the church, we have different functions but are part of the same building. We are not all meant to be the same.
  9. The source of unity is that the building is the work of the Holy Spirit. He is the guarantor of unity.
  10. The Holy Spirit convicts us all of sin, enabling us to see our hopelessness and need for salvation. This is necessary for unity.
  11. The Holy Spirit enables us all to receive the truth. No one can receive spiritual truth on their own. This is vital for unity.
  12. The Holy Spirit leads us to the same truth about Jesus Christ. Unity comes from shared belief, not absence of belief.
  13. The Holy Spirit unites us to Christ, the cornerstone, and dwells in us. We have no life apart from Christ.
  14. The Holy Spirit produces the same fruit in all Christians: love, joy, peace, patience, etc. This fruit promotes unity.
  15. The Holy Spirit gives all spiritual gifts. We can't boast in any gift, so there is no basis for division.
  16. The Holy Spirit gives all the power we need to live the Christian life. We have received everything from 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.