MLJ Trust Logo Image
Sermon #4026

Tests of Christian Profession

A Sermon on Ephesians 1:15-16


Ephesians 1:15-16 ESV KJV
For this reason, because I have heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love toward all the saints, I do not cease to give thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers, (ESV)

Sermon Description

How does one know they are saved? The world calls anyone a “Christian” even if they are associated with theism or morality in a Western context. The title has lost its distinctiveness due to the evaporation of its first century meaning. This is a problem for the church, as it is difficult to know who is truly a Christian and who is deceived or ignorant of the meaning. What then is the test of salvation? In this sermon on Ephesians 1:15–16 titled “Tests of Christian Profession,” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones suggests the apostle Paul provides the ultimate test as he is giving thanks and petitioning in prayer on behalf of the Ephesians. There are just two things necessary: faith in the Lord Jesus and love for all the saints. Within these two tests, Dr. Lloyd-Jones expounds not only the significance of the terms used by Paul, but also the apostolic order in which they occur. It is faith in the Lord Jesus, then love for all the saints. Paul is uninterested in vague sentimentality in the church. Faith (in the biblical sense) in the person of Jesus Christ is non-negotiable. Only after this, but definitely following it, is love for all the saints. Faith and works are joined here.

Sermon Breakdown

  1. The apostle Paul is writing to the Ephesians, giving thanks for their faith and love.
  2. Paul heard of their faith in the Lord Jesus and love for all the saints. These are the grounds for Paul's certainty and assurance regarding the Ephesians.
  3. Faith in the Lord Jesus is the most vital test. It is the central, defining characteristic of Christianity.
  4. Loving the brethren is proof of new life and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. It shows we have been born again and given a new nature.
  5. Faith in the Lord Jesus comes before love for the saints. We must have right belief before right practice.
  6. The terms "Lord Jesus" show that Jesus is both God and man. He is the crucified one, the Son of God, the Lord of glory.
  7. We cannot separate "Lord" and "Jesus." We come to and believe in the Lord Jesus. We cannot accept Him as Savior without accepting Him as Lord.
  8. Faith in the Lord Jesus means trusting in Him alone for salvation, relying entirely on His work on our behalf. It means having no confidence in ourselves or our own works.
  9. Loving the saints is proof of loving God. We love them because of the relationship we share through God's love and grace.
  10. We love all the saints, not just the ones we like or are similar to us. We see them as fellow children of God, regardless of external factors.
  11. The Christian's interest in others depends on their relationship to God, not on worldly measures of status or worth.

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.