Distinct Roles of Church and State
A Sermon on Ephesians 5:3-5
3But sexual immorality or any impurity or greed must not even be mentioned among you, as is proper among saints; 4and there must be no filthiness or foolish talk, or vulgar joking, which are not fitting, but rather giving of thanks. 5For this you know with certainty, that no sexually immoral or impure or greedy person, which amounts to an idolater, has an inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God.
3But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints; 4Neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient: but rather giving of thanks. 5For this ye know, that no whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.
The great message of Christianity is that Christians are not only saved from their sin and made right before a holy God, but they are made new creatures as the first fruits of the new creation in Christ. In this sermon on Ephesians 5:3–5 titled “Distinct Roles of Church and State,” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones demonstrates how Scripture undercuts all doctrines of antinomianism, because by the power of the Holy Spirit all who are true believers are renewed and transformed daily through God’s grace. For it is the gospel that truly transforms fallen men and women; it alone can overcome the depravity of fallen human nature and make them new in Christ. This is why all attempts to make people moral without the gospel fail to address the deepest need of humanity. When the church becomes more concerned with moralism than the gospel, it loses the focus of its mission. This has often happened throughout the history of the church, and today many are repeating this error. The remedy to this is to see the distinction between the church and the state. It is the church that has been given the gospel and it is the state that is to rule and bring justice. As Dr. Lloyd-Jones powerfully proclaims, the church must never stray away from its main goal in proclaiming the gospel of God’s grace.
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.