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Sermon #4008

Holy and ... before Him in Love

A Sermon on Ephesians 1:4


Ephesians 1:4 ESV KJV
even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love (ESV)

Sermon Description

Why are Christians elected to salvation? In this sermon on Ephesians 1:4 titled “Holy and…Before Him in Love,” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones explores this doctrine that believers are chosen by God to be holy. Echoing the apostle John, Paul says the purpose of God in Christ for His people is to undo, remove, and rectify completely the effects of sin and the fall. By making His people holy and without blame before Him, Christ destroys the work of the devil. The ability to be in the presence of God and communion with Him is the goal for Christians. In Christ, the believer has a new love and affection for God. Salvation is nothing less than a new relationship with God whereby the Christian can stand before Him in His presence. If this is the end for which God has chosen His people, they must be concerned with preaching holiness to others. Holiness is not an addition to be added after someone is saved. Because they have been chosen, God will make them holy.

Sermon Breakdown

  1. The passage under consideration is Ephesians 1:4 - "According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love."

  2. Last week, we looked at the first part of this verse - "According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world." This refers to God choosing us to be inheritors of spiritual blessings.

  3. Today, we will look at the second part of the verse - "that we should be holy and without blame before him in love." This refers to the purpose for which God has chosen us.

  4. The terms "holy" and "without blame" refer to sanctification. "Holy" refers to inward purity while "without blame" refers to outward purity. Together, they refer to a state of perfection and wholeness.

  5. The phrase "before him" means in God's presence, referring to fellowship and communion with God. We are able to enter into God's presence through Christ.

  6. The phrase "in love" refers to the essence of holiness. Holiness is not just conformity to law but love - love for God and love for others.

  7. God has chosen us not just to the possibility of holiness but to the realization of holiness. Holiness will happen in the lives of the chosen. Lack of holiness shows one is not chosen.

  8. The doctrine of election does not lead to antinomianism but is the greatest incentive to holiness. God will make us holy, whether through the gospel or through chastening.

  9. Realizing one is chosen to holiness promotes holiness. We want to be worthy and pleasing when we stand before God.

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.