Saints ... and Faithful in Christ Jesus
A Sermon on Ephesians 1:1
The Blessings of Redemption
1Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God,
To the saints who are at Ephesus and are faithful in Christ Jesus:
1Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, to the saints which are at Ephesus, and to the faithful in Christ Jesus:
What is the minimum of what it means to be a Christian? In this sermon on Ephesians 1:1 titled “Saints…and Faithful in Christ Jesus,” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones addresses this question. Three striking descriptions are proclaimed from this text: saints, faithful, and union with Christ. Dr. Lloyd-Jones centers his sermon around these descriptors and shows what the apostle Paul meant by these terms. While many Christians have a tendency to emphasize one of these descriptions over against the other, Dr. Lloyd-Jones calls the Christian to hold these together. The failure to do so is damaging to the church as Christianity is reduced to either some form of “easy believism” or an academic exercise. Correct doctrine, holiness, and participation in Christ must be at the center of one’s definition of “Christian.” Christians who have a burden for the lost must know who they are and what they are called to be, according to Dr. Lloyd-Jones. Having a robust understanding of what it means to be a Christian has a direct effect on one’s witness to the world.
The apostle Paul addresses this letter to ordinary Christians, not just leaders or scholars. The teachings in this letter apply to all believers.
Christians are "saints" - set apart and cleansed from sin to be holy unto God. Every Christian is a saint, not just exceptional believers.
Christians are "faithful" - they believe in and hold to the Christian faith. They are dependable in their faith and willing to defend it.
Christians are "in Christ Jesus" - united to Christ through faith. His death, resurrection, and ascension are counted as theirs. They share in his blessings and inheritance.
The order of "saints, faithful, in Christ Jesus" is important. The primary mark of a Christian should be their holiness as saints set apart to God. Faith and union with Christ follow from that.
There is no separation between being a saint and being faithful. True faith in Christ always produces holiness. Holiness always comes through faith in Christ.
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.