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Sermon #4144

Evils not ... Among Saints

A Sermon on Ephesians 5:3-5


Ephesians 5:3-5 ESV KJV
But sexual immorality and all impurity or covetousness must not even be named among you, as is proper among saints. Let there be no filthiness nor foolish talk nor crude joking, which are out of place, but instead let there be thanksgiving. For you may be sure of this, that …

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Sermon Description

What are the behaviors that are to characterize the lives of Christians? What actions, thoughts, and type of speech should be avoided? In this sermon on Ephesians 5:3–5 titled “Evils Not…Among Saints,” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones teaches on Paul’s exhortation to live according to God’s word. In this passage, Paul provides a list of things that are generally characteristic of those who do not follow Christ— sexual immorality, uncleanness, covetousness, and other vices. His point is that Christians are to make every effort to avoid them. But in a world that actively engages in and encourages such sins, how can believers avoid them? First, Dr. Lloyd-Jones says, Christians must kill temptation at the first hint of it— they must not allow it even a small foothold in their lives. They are to run at the sight of it. Paul states that such things are to “not even be named among you.” Many read these verses and conclude that Christians are to be dull people. Yet that is not at all what these instructions mean. Rather, Jesus’s followers are to be characterized by giving thanks and radiating God’s joy in every activity of life. A Christian’s speech, states Dr. Lloyd-Jones, should always be profitable and thoughtful. Listen as Dr. Lloyd-Jones teaches how one can honor God through how they live.

Sermon Breakdown

  1. The apostle Paul addresses Christians in Ephesians 5:3-5, not the world. These verses contain warnings for believers.
  2. Christians must avoid fornication, uncleanness, covetousness, filthiness, foolish talking, and jesting. These things characterize non-Christian society and must not be part of the Christian life.
  3. Christians must not even mention these sins and vices, let alone do them. We must avoid them in speech, thought, and action.
  4. Christians today face more temptation than in Paul's day due to modern media. We must be vigilant to avoid these sins in newspapers, TV, movies, books, etc.
  5. Christians are not meant to be dull but joyful. We show joy through "giving of thanks" - expressing gratitude to God in speech, life, and using our money for God's kingdom.
  6. Christian speech should be thoughtful, profitable, gracious, and "seasoned with salt." It should not be foolish, empty, or aimless. Humor is allowed if natural and uplifting.
  7. Covetousness, the love of money and what it buys, is idolatry. We must not worship money or anything other than God.
  8. Christians are "saints" - holy ones set apart by God for His use. Our conduct should "become" or match our identity as saints.
  9. Covetousness is idolatry, the worst sin, as it means worshipping something other than God. We must worship God alone.

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.