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Sermon #4019

The Counsel of His Own Will

A Sermon on Ephesians 1:11-14


Ephesians 1:11-14 ESV KJV
In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will, so that we who were the first to hope in Christ might be to the praise of his glory. In him you also, …

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Sermon Description

Perhaps no truth of Scripture is more uncomfortable for certain Christians than predestination. In this message on Ephesians 1:11–14 titled “The Counsel of His Own Will,” Dr. Lloyd-Jones reminds that one cannot simply ignore themes in the Bible just because there are disagreements or debates over them. With reverence, without prejudice, and with submissive hearts, Christians come to the Bible open to the truth contained within God’s Holy Word. Dr. Lloyd-Jones asks a penetrating question that all Christians must contemplate: “why I am what I am as a Christian?” Does one’s answer to that question reserve any glory for themselves or does the answer reserve all glory to God? With keen observation and interpreting Scripture with Scripture, Dr. Lloyd-Jones demonstrates that God is fully responsible not only for the initiation of salvation, but He also is fully responsible for carrying it out. What great assurance this is for Christians. What praise and adoration should be for such a great salvation. Listen as Dr. Lloyd-Jones expounds this wonderful truth of God’s deliberation of salvation according to the counsel of His will.

Sermon Breakdown

  1. The sermon begins by revisiting Ephesians 1:11-14 which discusses God's eternal purpose and plan of salvation.
  2. Paul uses several important terms in these verses like "predestined", "purpose", "counsel", and "will" to describe God's sovereign plan.
  3. These terms are not just referring to God's plan in a general sense but specifically to how God's plan is applied to us.
  4. We must approach these profound doctrines with the right spirit - without prejudice, submitting fully to Scripture, and not relying on philosophy or human reasoning.
  5. The overarching theme in these verses is the glory of God. Our salvation is meant to bring God glory.
  6. God's plan of salvation originated in His own will and purpose. It was not suggested to Him by anything outside of Himself.
  7. God's purpose and plan is not just theoretical but He actively works to carry it out in history and in our lives. He is in control of everything.
  8. We have become partakers of God's salvation because He predestined us to it according to His will and purpose. We did nothing to deserve or earn it.
  9. God has been working out His plan progressively through history - in the call of Abraham, the giving of the Law, the exile and return from exile, the coming of Christ, etc.
  10. God continues to work out His plan in our lives by drawing us to Himself, regenerating us, gifting us with the Holy Spirit, etc. Our salvation is entirely His work.
  11. The sermon will continue next week by exploring the means God uses to apply His plan of salvation in our lives. But we must start by recognizing that salvation is for the glory of God alone.

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.