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Sermon #4071

Parts of the Whole

A Sermon on Ephesians 2:20-22


Ephesians 2:20-22 ESV KJV
built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone, in whom the whole structure, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord. In him you also are being built together into a dwelling place for God by the Spirit. (ESV)

Sermon Description

If an employee of a company decides that they are not going to consider the good of the company when making decisions, the employee is not going to last long. In humanity’s natural state, this selfish attitude will invade all of life. How can the church be different? In this sermon on Ephesians 2:20–22 titled “Parts of the Whole,” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones examines the startling reality of unity and diversity in the church because of the work of the Holy Spirit. The church is composed of many different stones and Dr. Lloyd-Jones asserts that it is the job of each stone to think of itself in relation to the rest of the building. He argues that many people are not grounded enough in their identity as a member of the church and tend to be too subjective. Also, many become selfish and claim aspects of the church (such as ministries, churches, and denominations) as their own, rather than focusing on serving for the glory of Christ. Each stone has a specific part to play in the wall, not with meaningless activity, but serving in whatever way God calls them to serve. Also, Dr. Lloyd-Jones notes that a dangerous mistake is when people start “doing without being.”

Sermon Breakdown

  1. We must always think of ourselves in terms of and in relationship to the whole building. We must think of our position and privilege as Christians first.
  2. We must realize that our first and chiefest function always is to glorify God and to live to the glory of the Lord Jesus Christ.
  3. The church's chief business in this world is to glorify God and Christ.
  4. We must realize we are representatives of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. People will judge the Christian faith by what they see in us.
  5. The church is the pillar and ground of the truth. We display the truth by knowing and spreading God's Word.
  6. We must do all we can to spread the truth. This is the function of the church and we are all meant to do this as living stones in the wall, fitly framed together.
  7. Everything we do must be governed by the unity of the Spirit and love. We must speak the truth in love.
  8. We must discover what exactly we are called to do and what we are meant to do. We each have a special part to play.
  9. We must be careful not to put doing before being. We must be established in the faith before rushing into action.
  10. There are false notions of what constitutes doing. More activity does not necessarily mean better results. We must examine the results of our actions.
  11. We must be careful of false activism and putting doing before being. We must not violate fundamental laws of life given by God.
  12. There are false understandings of the scriptural doctrine of a call. We should wait on God to show us what He wants us to do instead of rushing into action.
  13. The greatest need of the hour is a mighty spiritual awakening in the whole church. Revival comes through prayer and humbling ourselves before God, not increased human activity and effort.

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.