MLJ Trust Logo Image
Sermon #4057

Peace With God

A Sermon on Ephesians 2:17

Scripture

Ephesians 2:17 ESV NASB KJV
And he came and preached peace to you who were far off and peace to those who were near. (ESV)

Sermon Description

What some describe as loneliness is actually a lack of peace with God. It is a worldwide problem that often goes undiagnosed and is the most pervasive disease on the planet. In this sermon on Ephesians 2:17 titled “Peace With God,” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones explains Paul’s words to the Ephesian church, primarily focusing on the necessity of peace with God. An important emphasis Dr. Lloyd-Jones makes is that Christ now preaches through the apostles what he was preaching in His own ministry: Jews and Gentiles alike are sinners and need peace with God. Jews in the New Testament made the fatal moralistic mistake of equating knowledge with obedience. Likewise, Gentiles fell short in that they chose to disobey the Lord with their sinful lifestyles. Dr. Lloyd-Jones uses vivid imagery to help listeners understand the reality of humanity's natural state of turmoil with God. He illustrates that the ocean is being pulled upon both by magnetic forces from the moon and the gravitational pull from the earth. This in turn causes massive turmoil and unrest in the ocean. This is similar to humanity’s natural state. Humanity is not at rest; it is at war with God. Dr. Lloyd-Jones ends his sermon on an encouraging note: humans bear many burdens they need not bear simply because they have not brought them before the Lord. Listen in as Dr. Lloyd-Jones helps understand peace with God.

Sermon Breakdown

  1. The apostle Paul is speaking about how God has brought Jews and Gentiles together in the church through Jesus Christ.
  2. Jesus Christ broke down the barrier between Jews and Gentiles by dying on the cross. His death abolished the law and commandments that separated Jews and Gentiles.
  3. Jesus Christ created one new body, the church, out of Jews and Gentiles.
  4. Jesus Christ reconciled both Jews and Gentiles to God through his death on the cross.
  5. The question arises of how Jesus Christ's work is applied to people. This verse answers that it is through preaching.
  6. There is disagreement over whether "preaching peace" refers to Jesus's earthly ministry or the apostles' preaching after his ascension. There are arguments for both views.
  7. The important point is that the Christian message proclaims peace with God to both Jews and Gentiles.
  8. Man's fundamental need is peace with God. Without God, man is restless and unhappy.
  9. The wicked are like the restless, troubled sea, casting up mire and dirt. They have an inner turmoil and no peace.
  10. The cause of man's restlessness is being subject to opposing forces: conscience/memory of God vs. sinful nature.
  11. The result of this inner turmoil is that the wicked are never satisfied and always restless. They try to escape through pleasure or busyness but cannot find peace.
  12. The need for peace with God is universal, for both Jews and Gentiles. Both are equally in need of reconciliation to God.
  13. Nearness to God is relative, not absolute. Both moral, religious people and openly wicked people need the gospel. Both lack peace with God.
  14. The test of one's standing with God is whether one knows God, not one's morality or religious observance. Many outwardly good people do not know God.
  15. Only Jesus Christ can provide peace with God through his atoning death. He reconciles man to God and provides inward peace.
  16. One must receive Christ's peace by faith in him. Then one can have confidence to come before God and leave one's anxieties with 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.