Lord; Teach Us to Pray
A Sermon on Ephesians 2:18
18for through Him we both have our access in one Spirit to the Father.
18For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father.
In this sermon on Ephesians 2:18 titled “Lord, Teach Us to Pray,” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones addresses some of the reasons prayers can be so ineffective. Ephesians 2:18 states that “through him we both have access in one Spirit to the Father.” This verse shows the complexity of prayer. According to Dr. Lloyd-Jones, a detrimental fallacy in the church is that prayer is simple. Some people focus on the reality that Christians have access to God through Christ and yet neglect the Spirit. They can pray with flawless doctrine but their prayers are “useless.” “You can be absolutely orthodox but at the same time be spiritually dead,” Dr. Lloyd-Jones shares. The other side neglects doctrine and says that all one needs is the Spirit. They elevate experience and throw out doctrine. However, Dr. Lloyd-Jones notes that both right doctrine and life in the Spirit are absolutely essential. There is no other way to have access to God apart from these two and nothing should be added to these doctrines.
- The sermon focuses on Ephesians 2:18 which states "For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father."
- The sermon emphasizes that this verse highlights the most important truth - the doctrine of the Trinity and how the three persons of the Trinity work for our salvation.
- The ultimate goal of salvation is to bring us to God as our Father. Our conception of salvation is incomplete without realizing this.
- The sermon then focuses on how we can have access to God the Father. This raises the question of prayer and how our prayers can be effective.
- There are two essential truths we must grasp to have access to God the Father through prayer according to Ephesians 2:18 - Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit. Both are absolutely essential.
- Jesus Christ admits us into the presence of God because he is our sin bearer. He died on the cross to bear the punishment for our sins. His bloodshed and sacrifice are essential to grant us access to God.
- Jesus Christ is also our great High Priest. After dying on the cross, he rose again and ascended into Heaven. He presented his own blood to God the Father. God accepted his sacrifice and allows Christ to sit at His right hand. This allows us to come boldly to the throne of grace.
- We can have access to God the Father through Christ because we are given Christ's righteousness. Christ lived a perfectly righteous life and His righteousness is imputed to us. We can stand before God clothed in Christ's righteousness.
- We have access through Christ because we are given new life in Him. We are born again and become partakers of the divine nature. We are in Christ, seated with Him in the heavenly places.
- We must be utterly dependent on Christ and His work to have access to God the Father. If Christ had not died for our sins, God could not receive us. Christ's sacrifice was absolutely necessary.
- We should come before God with confidence and assurance because of what Christ has done - as our sin bearer, our High Priest, our righteousness and the one who gives us new life. We have access through Christ 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.