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Sermon #4095

The Fullness Experienced

A Sermon on Ephesians 3:19

Scripture

Ephesians 3:19 ESV NASB KJV
and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. (ESV)

Sermon Description

In this sermon on Ephesians 3:19 titled “The Fullness Experienced,” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones explains that the fullness of Christ that Paul speaks of is not a theoretical idea, but it is at the very heart of the Christian life. For all Christians should live a life that is marked by the transforming presence of Christ and His gospel. Christians live this life by pursuing Christ and seeking to come to a deeper understanding of who He is. It requires self-examination of one’s heart and actions. It is primarily by reading God’s word and seeking Him in prayer that believers come to a greater knowledge of who they are and their relationship to Christ. This requires Christians to subject themselves wholly and completely to God’s word and Holy Spirit. This includes their emotions and desires, as well as their mind and intellect. As this happens throughout the lives of Christians, they grow in both their knowledge and love of God and Jesus Christ. For this reason, Dr. Lloyd-Jones challenges the listener to grow in sanctification daily by taking up one’s cross and forsaking sin and unrighteousness. This is one of the most important marks of a true Christian. They continually seek God throughout their lives and strive to know him more every day.

Sermon Breakdown

  1. The apostle Paul prays that the Ephesians may be filled with all the fullness of God.
  2. This is the highest and most sublime prayer that can be offered. It is the end and goal of all theology and spiritual experience.
  3. We must be careful in interpreting this phrase to avoid false mysticism (being absorbed into God) or pantheism (God being absorbed into us).
  4. The fullness of God dwells in Christ, and we are complete in Him. We can be filled with God's fullness as branches in the vine or members of Christ's body.
  5. Though filled with God's fullness, we do not all become equal or identical. God gives different measures of faith and gifts. But we can all be filled to overflowing.
  6. This fullness of God is an essentially practical reality, not just abstract contemplation. It leads to power, revival, and effective ministry.
  7. To be filled with God's fullness means God controls our mind, heart, will, and all our faculties. Our thinking is dominated by God's mind. Self is replaced by God's love. Our will is lost in God's will.
  8. When filled with God's fullness, all our spiritual aims and instincts are satisfied: to know God, love God and others, hunger for righteousness, power to serve God.
  9. When filled with God's fullness, we lack no good thing. We never hunger, thirst, or feel empty or insufficient. We have learned contentment in all circumstances through Christ.
  10. Christ died to make this fullness possible, not just to save us from hell. This fullness is for now, not just in heaven. We must press on to attain this fullness, not settling for less.
  11. This fullness is not an "it" or substance but knowing Christ personally. We must go to Him, speak to Him, wait on Him, and He will fill us.

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.