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Sermon #4124

Darkness and Light

A Sermon on Ephesians 4:17-19


Ephesians 4:17-19 ESV KJV
Now this I say and testify in the Lord, that you must no longer walk as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their minds. They are darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, due to their hardness of …

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Sermon Description

The greatest hindrance to belief in the gospel does not arise from human intellect, but from the heart that has been darkened by sin. In this sermon on Ephesians 4:17–19 titled “Darkness and Light,” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones highlights the warning of Christ that all people in their natural state are alienated from God and unable to pursue what is good and right. This is because the effects of the fall extend to every aspect of humanity. It corrupts the mind, hardens the heart, and distorts the will. Despite this fallen state, humanity still places great worth and confidence in their ability to reason and know morality. This is evident in the many great philosophers of the ancient world who after all their learning and knowledge were still never able to come to true knowledge of God. As Dr. Lloyd-Jones teaches, this shows that what people need is not simply more knowledge, but a new heart and mind that is freed from the mastery of sin and its domination. However, freedom from sin comes only through the gospel of grace and the sovereign working of the Holy Spirit. This is why it is so important to pray that God would work in the hearts and minds of others to reveal Himself to them and give them a true understanding of the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Sermon Breakdown

  1. The apostle Paul describes the vain and empty life of unbelievers in Ephesians 4:17-19.
  2. Their lives are aimless and pointless, amounting to nothing in the end.
  3. Paul explains why people live this way. He says their understandings are darkened and they are alienated from the life of God due to ignorance and hardness of heart (Ephesians 4:18).
  4. The most disastrous effect of the Fall was the darkening of human understanding. The Bible frequently refers to unbelievers as "fools" who lack understanding.
  5. Unbelievers live in darkness and cannot see the truth, even though they claim to be wise (1 Corinthians 1-2).
  6. The gospel is compared to light overcoming darkness. When people are saved, their eyes are opened and they are turned from darkness to light (Acts 26:18).
  7. Even the most intelligent unbelievers have darkened understanding. Their intellects are useless until enlightened by the Holy Spirit.
  8. Christians should not be surprised or troubled that unbelievers reject the gospel. Their understanding is darkened so they cannot see the truth.
  9. Christians' duty is to pray for revival - for the Holy Spirit to open blind eyes and overcome darkness. No human effort can overcome spiritual darkness. Only the Spirit can do this.

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.