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Sermon #4042

'But God': The Christian Message to the World

A Sermon on Ephesians 2:4


Ephesians 2:4 ESV KJV
But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, (ESV)

Sermon Description

It is not merely the outwardly wicked who are saved by grace who should be amazed at their salvation. Every Christian, even those who lived a supposed moral life before salvation, should be amazed at God’s grace. Salvation is entirely God’s work. In the sermon on Ephesians 2:4 titled “‘But God:’ The Christian Message to the World,” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones examines Paul’s introduction of the chief characteristics of the gospel. What makes the gospel good news? It is that in one’s salvation, they become a new creature. Conversion is not merely something added to life, but rather a new realm of thinking. The dead have become alive. Dr. Lloyd-Jones remarks that Christ’s redemptive work for such sinners seems impossible and yet it’s true. He died for the dead so the dead may be made alive. God has done this to show His unmerited favor. His kindness and love are displayed through the salvation of wretched sinners. Come to Christ and discover the exceeding greatness of His power to all who believe. Through the gospel, God has found a way of liberating sinners from all their sin. The Christian, therefore, should be amazed that God would save a sinner such as themselves and not be ashamed because it is the power of God.

Sermon Breakdown

  1. The sermon begins by introducing Ephesians 2:4-7 which highlights God's mercy, love, and grace.
  2. The passage is described as one of the most moving and gripping in Scripture which expresses the essence of the Gospel.
  3. The sermon then examines the word "but" in Ephesians 2:4 which introduces hope, a new realm of thinking, unexpectedness, God's action, and God's power.
  4. "But" introduces hope into a hopeless condition. The Gospel brings light into darkness and relief to those in need.
  5. "But" introduces an entirely new realm of thinking - from human and earthly to spiritual and supernatural. The Gospel represents a new dimension of understanding.
  6. "But" also introduces the element of unexpectedness. The Gospel comes as a surprise into hopeless and despairing situations.
  7. "But" emphasizes that salvation is entirely the result of God's action, not our own. Men are dead in sin and can do nothing. Salvation is all of God.
  8. The fifth "but" tells us why God has done all this - because of His mercy, grace, love, and kindness. God is unlike us. If God were like us, we would be doomed.
  9. The last "but" leads us to the greatness of the power by which God accomplishes all this. God's power is able to liberate us from sin and Satan. No one is beyond the reach of redemption.

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.