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Sermon #4072

Personal Evangelism

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

“How can we have unity without uniformity?” In this sermon on evangelism from Ephesians 2:20–22 , Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones seeks to answer this question. Titled “Personal Evangelism,” His desire is to look at the application of the passage, namely the work of the Holy Spirit in building the church. First, according to Dr. Lloyd-Jones, Christians must not let others dictate their callings. As he states, there is a danger to just doing “the thing to do.” Each Christian has a responsibility before God to obey Him and Him only. Even the thing that seems like a reasonable call for a person may not be their call at all. By way of illustration, he uses his own call. After leaving his profession as a doctor for ministry, he was pressured by an executive in a missionary organization to become a medical missionary instead of a pastor. Dr. Lloyd-Jones found this to be a biblically ignorant action because the calling of God is between God and the person being called. Dr. Lloyd-Jones also discusses evangelism and several ways that Christians can be faithful. First, he notes that evangelism should an overflow of the Holy Spirit’s presence, not an endeavor to simply know all the answers. Second, faithfulness can be seen in being a good listener, faithful church attendance, and other such “small” tasks.

Sermon Breakdown

  1. The sermon focuses on Ephesians 2:20-22 which talks about believers being built into a holy temple for God.
  2. Dr. Lloyd-Jones has looked at this passage 75 times before in previous sermons. He says there are riches and depth in this passage which is why he has spent so much time on it.
  3. Dr. Lloyd-Jones calls attention to the last three verses of Ephesians 2 which talk about believers being built into a holy temple for God. This is a metaphor for the unity of the church.
  4. Dr. Lloyd-Jones says the apostle Paul was amazed at the unity of Jews and Gentiles in the church. Paul used the metaphors of the church being a state, a family and a building to convey this.
  5. Dr. Lloyd-Jones says the passage teaches that to be a holy temple, believers must be "fitly framed together". This means believers must be united in both theology and practice.
  6. Dr. Lloyd-Jones says the first principle for being united is to think of yourself as part of the whole building, not just an individual stone. You have a role to play but you are part of something bigger.
  7. The second principle is that although you are part of a whole, you still remain an individual. The challenge is to remain an individual without being individualistic.
  8. Dr. Lloyd-Jones warns against the danger of being too focused on activity and "the thing to do" rather than being. He says you should not let others dictate what you should do. You must follow God's calling for your own life.
  9. Dr. Lloyd-Jones warns against false notions of what believers should be doing. He says there are wrong ideas today about calling and vocation. Believers think God has a separate task for each person but this is not biblical.
  10. Dr. Lloyd-Jones says believers must be careful not to be too activist in their faith. They must grow in their faith first before rushing into action. New believers should not be forced into leadership roles or public speaking before they are ready.
  11. Dr. Lloyd-Jones says there is a danger of relying too much on technique and training rather than the Holy Spirit. Psychology and salesmanship techniques are being applied to evangelism and ministry in an unhelpful way.
  12. Dr. Lloyd-Jones illustrates this point with a story of a young minister who approached marital counseling like a psychological case study. He had forgotten the human element. Technique should not replace natural relationships.
  13. Dr. Lloyd-Jones says if training and technique were necessary for evangelism, how did the church exist for centuries without them? Evangelism should flow naturally out of a life filled with the Holy Spirit.
  14. Dr. Lloyd-Jones says instead of rushing into modern methods of evangelism, believers should focus on growing in their faith, understanding the Bible and being filled with the Holy Spirit. Holiness leads to evangelism.
  15. Dr. Lloyd-Jones lists several ways believers can serve God as "living stones" in the temple without formal ministry roles: attending church, giving financially, serving on committees, being kind and pleasant, listening to others, visiting the sick, defending the faith, prayer, living out their faith at work.
  16. Dr. Lloyd-Jones says believers must think of themselves in relationship to others in the church. They should see others as fellow stones in the temple, recognize others have a role to play, not compare themselves to others, help others overcome difficulties and bear each other's burdens.
  17. Dr. Lloyd-Jones concludes by saying it is a privilege to be built into God's holy temple and to share in God's work in the world. God lives in and through his church.

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.