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Sermon #4167

Purification of the Bride

A Sermon on Ephesians 5:25-27


Ephesians 5:25-27 ESV KJV
Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, …

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Sermon Description

Sanctification is an essential and inevitable part of life for all who are truly regenerate and saved. In this sermon on Ephesians 5:25–27 titled “Purification of the Bride,” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones describes it is a lifelong process by which the believer is conformed to the image of Christ and grown in love and knowledge of God the Savior. It is the outworking of the justification and forgiveness of sin that all Christians receive at salvation by becoming partakers of the gospel of Christ Jesus. The word of God is essential to sanctification. However, this is not the belief that Christians are to “let go and let God,” but rather it is the recognition that the word of God is the means that the Holy Spirit uses to grow Christians in knowledge and love of Christ. Another erroneous view of sanctification and salvation is that of baptismal regeneration. This is the view that at baptism Christians are cleansed of original guilt and the stain of sin. Biblically, baptism is a sign of the transformation and new life that one has in Christ, not the means of acquiring it. Another essential aspect of sanctification is the conviction of sin by the Holy Spirit. The word of God, particularly the Ten Commandments, can be used to further sanctify and bring Christians closer to God.

Sermon Breakdown

  1. The sermon examines Ephesians 5:25-27 which discusses Christ's love for the church.
  2. The relationship between a husband and wife should mirror Christ's relationship with the church. A husband should love his wife the way Christ loves the church.
  3. Christ's love for the church is practical, not theoretical. We see this through Christ's actions.
  4. Christ gave himself up for the church. He sacrificed himself for the church.
  5. Christ continues to do things for the church, not just sacrificing himself once. He sanctifies and cleanses the church.
  6. To sanctify means to set apart. Christ set the church apart for himself. The church is his special possession.
  7. To cleanse means to purify. Christ purifies the church from the guilt, power, and pollution of sin. This is a continuous process.
  8. Christ cleanses the church through the "washing of water by the word." This refers to baptism which represents purification and the Holy Spirit's work. But the real work is done through the word of God.
  9. The word of God is the instrument the Holy Spirit uses to cleanse us. The operations of the Holy Spirit are generally through the word.
  10. We must be careful not to separate the Holy Spirit from the word. Doing so has led to error and departure from the faith.
  11. The word that sanctifies us is the whole Bible, all of God's truth. It teaches us about God, sin, redemption, Christ's work, the Holy Spirit, the church, the second coming, and more.
  12. The word first teaches us about God - his nature, character, and attributes. Knowing God promotes sanctification.
  13. The word teaches us about human sinfulness and its consequences. This shows us our need for sanctification.
  14. The word teaches us about God's purpose of redemption and Christ's work. Christ's work on the cross powerfully promotes sanctification.
  15. Exhortations in the word urge us to sanctification and holiness in light of these doctrines.
  16. Sanctification is a work of God through the Spirit using the word. We must start with God, not ourselves or our problems. The word humbles us and leads to sanctification.

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.