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Sermon #4100

The Body of Christ

A Sermon on the Body of Christ from Ephesians 4:4-6


Ephesians 4:4-6 ESV KJV
There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call—one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all. (ESV)

Sermon Description

In this sermon on the body of Christ from Ephesians 4:4–6, Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones shows four principles that prove the importance of every believer in the church. He begins by explaining the organic nature of the church; every member is a completely new creation in Christ. Just as a baby is formed by a single cell, so also the church is created new in a single man, Christ Jesus. Secondly, the church by its nature is diverse and unified. Just as a body is made up of many parts, so also is the church made up of many members with different roles. If it were not for the different parts of the body, then the body would be useless. Third, the body is interdependent. Each part of the body depends on the other. If one member suffers, the other members suffer. If one member is honored, the other members rejoice as well. Lastly, the body works toward the same end, and that is that the wisdom of God might be made known to the rulers and authorities of the heavenly places. This sermon will be an encouragement to all members of the body of Christ, for the simple fact that each Christian is in the body of Christ and they are a significant member.

Sermon Breakdown

  1. The sermon examines Ephesians 4:4-6 which emphasizes unity in the church.
  2. The sermon notes that the apostle Paul is appealing to the Ephesians to walk worthy of their calling.
  3. The sermon highlights that Paul gives reasons and explanations for his exhortations, not just commands. He appeals to the mind and gives doctrinal truth.
  4. The sermon emphasizes that Paul is dealing with the practical implications and applications of the doctrines he laid out in Ephesians chapters 1-3.
  5. The sermon notes that Paul repeats the word "one" seven times in Ephesians 4:4-6, possibly to signify the perfection and divinity of God.
  6. The sermon observes that Paul groups the uses of "one" into three groups of three, with each group centered on one person of the Trinity: the Spirit, the Son, and the Father.
  7. The sermon notes that Paul lists the Spirit first, then the Son, then the Father, following the order of Christian experience.
  8. The sermon emphasizes that the unity Paul speaks of already exists; we simply need to preserve it. Paul is not calling us to create unity but to protect the unity that the Spirit has already established.
  9. The sermon highlights that the unity Paul has in mind is first and foremost a spiritual unity, not an institutional or organizational unity. It is the unity of the universal church, spanning all times, places, and denominations.
  10. The sermon notes that Paul's favorite illustration of the unity of the church is the human body. The church is the body of Christ.
  11. The sermon observes that a human body starts as a single cell and grows into many diverse parts that work together in unity and interdependence. Similarly, the church is a new creation, not just a collection of separate parts. We have a unity of origin and life.
  12. The sermon points out that in the body, there is diversity in unity. The parts are diverse but work together in interdependence. Similarly, the church exhibits a diversity of gifts within an essential unity.
  13. The sermon notes that every part of the body is essential for the proper functioning of the body. Similarly, every member of the church is essential and important, no matter how prominent or obscure their role may seem.
  14. The sermon highlights that all the parts of the body work together to a common purpose. Similarly, all members of the church work together to fulfill God's purposes in the world.
  15. The sermon concludes by emphasizing that if we understand the doctrine of the church as the body of Christ, we will work to preserve unity, avoid rivalry and jealousy, and care for one another. Our identity is found in our shared membership in the body of 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.