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Sermon #4103

Divisions in the Church

A Sermon on Divisions in the Church from Ephesians 4:4


Ephesians 4:4 ESV KJV
There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call— (ESV)

Sermon Description

There is no question that the church tends to be divided over many different issues— some are important, but many are centered more around preferences than essential doctrines. In this sermon on divisions in the church from Ephesians 4:4, Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones preaches about divisions in the church and how a right perspective on human nature and on the Holy Spirit brings unity to believers and the church. The Holy Spirit not only prepares people to become Christians, but He makes them Christians as well and puts the seal of God on those who believe in Him. Realizing this hope of the Christian calling provides something for believers to unite around. Another type of division that is common within the church regards the natures of people’s conversions and the depth of sin from which they were saved. Many believers feel that the depth of their relationship with the Lord is related to the intensity of their salvation experience. However, Dr. Lloyd-Jones explains why this is not only unbiblical, but also a hindrance to community within the church. He says, “We must not dwell on what we’ve been called from, but we must dwell on what we’ve been called to.” By focusing on the equally sinful condition before the Lord, the complete dependency on Him, and on the hope of the calling as Christians, Christians can avoid these dissensions that so easily tear the Christian body apart.

Sermon Breakdown

  1. The apostle Paul is instructing the Ephesians on how to maintain unity in the church.
  2. God's purpose is to unite all things in Christ, starting with the church. The church shows God's wisdom to the world.
  3. The unity of the church reflects the unity of the Trinity - one God in three persons.
  4. Paul discusses the unity created by the Holy Spirit - one body, one Spirit, one hope.
  5. The Holy Spirit calls us to one hope - our future with God. This hope promotes unity.
  6. We must not dwell on our past or present differences, but focus on the one hope ahead.
  7. Looking back at our past lives, conversion experiences, or current differences causes division.
  8. Forgetting the past and pressing forward to our heavenly calling brings unity.
  9. Our one hope is a life free from sin, with Christ, and like Christ - reigning with Him.
  10. We have the same destiny, expectation, and foretaste of heaven - so we should be united.
  11. Setting our hearts on heaven, not earthly things, protects the unity of the Spirit.
  12. We share one faith, one hope, one journey to God - so we should be one, without division.

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.