Made Alive in Christ
1And you were dead in your offenses and sins, 2in which you previously walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience. 3 …
1And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins; 2Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: 3Among …
How can one make sense out of the awful state of the world? In this sermon on Ephesians 2:1–3 titled “Original Sin,” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones brings much needed clarity to today’s chaos, showing how humanity’s sinful nature is behind the wickedness seen all around. Since human nature is wholly given over to sin, one is unable to do good and obey all that the law of God requires. Those, like the humanist, that claim sin is simply an outdated religious superstition that can be replaced by modern psychology fundamentally misunderstand the extent of humanity’s sin and corruption. The sinful nature is not something that people lack within, but it is active rebellion against God. Dr. Lloyd-Jones explains that sin dominates the very will and the orthodox doctrine of original sin accounts for this sinful nature. It says that when the first man, Adam, sinned, all fell into sin and inherited the corrupt nature. This is why moral reform as a way of salvation is hopeless. If people could keep the law then there would be no need for the gospel and death of Christ. It is only by the saving grace found in the death of Christ that anyone can be delivered from sin and made righteous before God.
- The sermon begins by honoring the martyrs Hugh Latimer and Nicholas Ridley who were burned at the stake 400 years ago for their evangelical faith.
- The sermon will focus on Ephesians 2:1-3 which describes man's condition in sin. This is important to understand the greatness of God's grace.
- Man is dead in trespasses and sins, governed by the world and the devil. This explains the state of the world today.
- The sermon will explain man's condition in sin and why man is in this condition.
- Man is disobedient which leads to his condition. Disobedience is man's relationship to God and his desire to be God. This manifests in denying God's creatureliness, asserting self-sufficiency, and asserting autonomy.
- Man resents that there is anything beyond his comprehension. He believes he does not need God. This is the heart of man's objection and opposition to God.
- Man believes he can make a perfect world and life himself. He needs no aid. This is why the gospel offends man.
- Disobedience is active and amounts to enmity against God. Man cannot obey God in this state. Man delights in sinning.
- The terms "children of disobedience" and "sons of disobedience" mean disobedience is the source of man's character.
- The "natural mind" is enmity against God. Man is not free to choose good. Man is incapable of willing good.
- Man sins deliberately but cannot will good. Man enjoys sinning.
- The second term is "by nature" which means man is born with a disobedient nature. Man is not born neutral.
- The Psalmist says "Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me." Man is born with sinful tendencies and desires.
- The environment is not the only influence on man's sin. Man's nature is already polluted at birth. Man inherits a sinful nature.
- The third term is "all" which means this condition is universal to all mankind. Both Jews and Gentiles are in sin. Even the apostle Paul was the "chief" of sinners.
- The height of sin is to feel no need for God's grace. Self-righteousness and self-sufficiency is the greatest sin.
- The only explanation for the universality of sin is the biblical doctrine of the Fall and original sin in Genesis. Man is born in corruption with a polluted nature.
- Nothing but the power of God can save man from this condition. This is what God has done in Christ. Christians are raised from this condition by God's grace 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.