MLJ Trust Logo Image
Sermon #4126

Hearing and Learning Christ

A Sermon on Ephesians 4:20-21


Ephesians 4:20-21 ESV KJV
But that is not the way you learned Christ!—assuming that you have heard about him and were taught in him, as the truth is in Jesus, (ESV)

Sermon Description

Those who try to separate the call of the gospel from the call to be holy make a great error. In this sermon on Ephesians 4:20–21 titled “Hearing and Learning Christ,” Dr Lloyd-Jones argues that the Bible presents the life of faith as a pursuit of holiness and righteousness that comes out of the new person through the Holy Spirit. Christians ought not separate belief in the gospel from living out the call of God in their lives to be imitators of Christ and to obey all that He commands. Preachers who misunderstand the connection between holiness and belief in the gospel often confuse listeners that they seek to evangelize by presenting the Christian life as compartmentalized. However, as Dr. Lloyd-Jones points out, even the pursuit of holiness in the life of the Christian is ultimately a result of what God has done in and through His Son Jesus Christ. Christians can easily fall into legalism when they disconnect the sovereign act of salvation from everyday Christian life. Christians must avoid dualisms knowing that Christ made them a new people by His death and resurrection. Therefore they respond in love and obedience, not as a way to gain favor with God, but because Christ has already done so for them.

Sermon Breakdown

  1. The apostle Paul is addressing Christians in Ephesus who were once pagans. He wants them to understand that they cannot continue living as pagans now that they have learned Christ.
  2. Christianity is not just an emotional experience. It involves learning and understanding. The Ephesians have learned Christ through hearing and being taught the truth about him.
  3. The Ephesians cannot continue living as pagans because everything about Christ leads to holiness. There cannot be a division between believing in Christ and living a holy life.
  4. The truth in Jesus is the truth about God, Jesus, and the gospel. It reveals God as the holy Father, Jesus as the holy Son, and the gospel as leading to holiness.
  5. Hearing Christ means understanding and believing the message about him, not just listening to it. It means the message has gripped you and become the most important thing.
  6. Being taught in Christ means you are united to him and are learning from the inside, not as an outsider. The teaching imparts life, not just knowledge.
  7. To hear Christ and be taught in him means understanding that God sent Jesus to live, die, and rise again to deliver us from sin and make us holy. We are now part of Christ and destined for heaven.
  8. If you have truly learned Christ in this way, you cannot continue living as a pagan. Everything about him makes that impossible.

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.