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Sermon #4032

Power to us-ward Who Believe

A Sermon on Ephesians 1:19-23


Ephesians 1:19-23 ESV KJV
and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to the working of his great might that he worked in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places, far above all rule and authority …

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Sermon Description

Hardly anyone claiming the title “Christian” would deny the need for God’s power in salvation. There is, however, a fundamental difference between the person who says salvation is the power of God in addition to something they do, and those who say salvation is God’s power working in them and through them. The latter has roots in the apostolic testimony but the former does not. Neither is this a mere linguistic quibble, says Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones, but one’s very assurance is at stake. In this sermon on Ephesians 1:19–23 titled “Power to Us-ward Who Believe,” Dr. Lloyd-Jones says Paul is not simply concerned with God’s power towards His people, but His power in them. This is ultimately the final grounds of the Christian’s assurance. When they consider all that glory entails, especially standing before a holy God and seeing Him face-to-face, how can they ever have confidence that they will be fit to stand? Given that the world, sin, and the devil are constantly at war against the Christian, how will they ever overcome? Dr. Lloyd-Jones shows how the apostle Paul’s prayer calls minds to the resurrection power of God in order to assure that glory will be attained by God’s saints. It is God and by His power alone Christians are made and not even death will keep them from glory.

Sermon Breakdown

  1. The sermon focuses on Ephesians 1:19-23 which describes the power of God.
  2. The sermon examines three petitions Paul makes for the Ephesians: to know the hope of God's calling, the riches of His inheritance, and the exceeding greatness of His power.
  3. The sermon focuses on the third petition: to know the exceeding greatness of God's power. This power is in believers, not just toward them.
  4. There are two views of salvation: I plus God's power, or God's power working in and through me. The sermon focuses on the latter view.
  5. Christian salvation is a demonstration of God's power in us. No one can make themselves a Christian; only God can make Christians.
  6. Evidence for this includes: the Gospel is the power of God unto salvation; we preach Christ crucified, the power and wisdom of God; our faith is in demonstration of the Spirit and power; the word came in power and assurance; we are God's workmanship; God began a good work in us; God works in us to will and do; Paul labors according to God's working in him.
  7. A Christian is a new creation, which only God can do. We have unworthy views of Christianity if we think it's what we do, not what God does.
  8. The power of God in salvation is exceedingly great. It surpasses our expression and comprehension.
  9. This power is energizing, efficacious, and kinetic. It overcomes and prevails. It comes from God's essential might and inherent power.
  10. The resurrection of Christ demonstrates this power. It overcame the power of death, hell, and Satan.
  11. Whatever is against us, God's purpose will prevail. Nothing can withstand Him. Nothing is too hard for Him.
  12. We can be confident God will make us fit for heaven and glory, through His power working in us.

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.