Knowledge of the Truth
A Sermon on Ephesians 4:20-21
20But you did not learn Christ in this way, 21if indeed you have heard Him and have been taught in Him, just as truth is in Jesus,
20But ye have not so learned Christ; 21If so be that ye have heard him, and have been taught by him, as the truth is in Jesus:
Salvation only happens by repenting of sin and believing in Jesus Christ. In this sermon on Ephesians 4:20–21 titled “Knowledge of the Truth,” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones warns against those who reduce salvation to a mere intellectual assent. The gospel is not dependent on the wisdom of people and their ability to comprehend it. All are born in sin and blindness, unable to see the truth or know God. But true Christianity and faith are a result of what the Holy Spirit does in bringing dead people to life and making them new creations in the Savior Christ Jesus. Understanding true doctrine and godliness are a result of salvation, not the means of it. All who are truly saved have a growing knowledge of God, as His word is absorbed by hearts freed from the blinding nature of sin. Those who know much about the Bible and about doctrine but who have never been broken by their sin are deceived and lost. They presume intellectual understanding is an acceptable substitute for confession of sin and faith in Christ. The church must always be wary of confusing these two kinds of knowledge. Many are self-deceived and lost because they have no real relationship with God, but instead are puffed up with knowledge.
- Christianity is primarily a matter of knowledge and understanding, not just feelings or experiences.
- To become a Christian means to undergo a profound change in understanding. Our eyes have been opened to the truth.
- The first thing that happens when someone becomes a Christian is that their eyes are opened to their own hopeless condition and need for a savior.
- Our eyes are then opened to see the truth of the gospel - that Jesus is the Messiah and deliverer.
- This opening of eyes and gaining of understanding is the work of the Holy Spirit. No one comes to faith through natural ability alone.
- The "unction" or "anointing" of the Holy Spirit gives insight and understanding, even to the simple and uneducated.
- To "learn Christ" means to come to a knowledge of the truth about Him - who He is and what He has done.
- This knowledge of Christ is not just a knowledge of doctrine or theology in an abstract sense. It is a personal knowledge of Christ Himself.
- The knowledge of Christ is not just that our sins are forgiven, but that Christ delivers us from sin itself.
- The knowledge of Christ is the "truth as it is in Jesus" - meaning the truth is found only in the historic person of Jesus, not in ideas alone.
- In Jesus "are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge." All truth is found in Him.
- We must never separate knowledge of doctrine from the person of Christ. Knowledge of Christ leads to a new life conformed to Him.
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.