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Sermon #4079

Prayer; Boldness and Access

A Sermon on Ephesians 3:12

Scripture

Ephesians 3:12 ESV NASB KJV
in whom we have boldness and access with confidence through our faith in him. (ESV)

Sermon Description

In this sermon on Ephesians 3:12 titled “Prayer: Boldness and Access,” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones discusses the privilege and importance of prayer. The apostle Paul makes the point that Christians have access to God in prayer through Christ and can come with boldness and confidence. Dr. Lloyd-Jones also shows the importance of doctrine and practicing in one’s prayer life. If Christians focus on doctrine only, they will miss the point. But if all doctrine is abandoned and one simply hopes to “practice,” then the point is missed again. Rather one must know what God says about the Christian life, prayer, and faith in Christ and then apply those things in practice. How can one expect to come to God with boldness if they do not first understand how? Christians can boldly approach the throne of grace in prayer through faith in Christ; He has made the way. He is the access to God. Dr. Lloyd-Jones gives two principles to think about in prayer life. First, when coming to God in prayer, Christians must not rely on feelings, mood, or state of being to inform how to pray or if they pray at all. They must realize that these can be tools used by the devil to keep the Christian from prayer, to plague them with doubts, and remind of their sins. Secondly, Christians must preach to themselves. They must remind themselves over and over of the truths of Scripture. They must remind themselves in the throes of doubt that Christ is the redeemer and mediator. He is faithful to forgive and the Christian can boldly approach God in prayer through Him. Dr. Lloyd-Jones concludes with this great reminder, “Draw nigh unto God and He will draw nigh unto you.”

Sermon Breakdown

  1. The apostle Paul wants the Ephesians to understand that the purpose of Christian doctrine and teaching is to bring believers into the presence of God through prayer.
  2. Christian doctrine is meant to lead to practical results and outcomes in the lives of believers. Truth is meant to be applied, not just known intellectually.
  3. The ultimate purpose of the Christian faith is to give believers boldness and access in prayer before God.
  4. Paul uses the terms “boldness,” “access,” and “confidence” to describe the manner in which believers can approach God in prayer. These terms indicate a fearless, unhindered, and assured approach to God.
  5. Believers can have boldness and access in prayer through faith in Jesus Christ. He is the only way to the Father.
  6. Because God is holy, eternal, and all-powerful, the only way sinful human beings can approach Him is through Jesus Christ. The Old Testament sacrificial system demonstrated this truth.
  7. In order to have boldness and access in prayer, believers must reject reliance on feelings and preach the truth of the gospel to themselves. They must remind themselves of God’s holiness, their own sinfulness, and Christ’s atoning work.
  8. When believers draw near to God in prayer with boldness and access through faith in Christ, God will draw near to them. They will experience His presence, comfort, and strength.

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.