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Sermon #4081

The Inner Man

A Sermon on Ephesians 3:16


Ephesians 3:16 ESV KJV
that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, (ESV)

Sermon Description

In this sermon on Ephesians 3:16 titled “The Inner Man”, Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones expounds on the profound importance of the transformed inner man. He begins by pointing out Paul’s manner of prayer for the Ephesians. Paul begins by praying for the spiritual needs of the Ephesians and then goes on to pray for specific things that the Ephesians need. He does not pray that his own circumstances would be changed, nor that the circumstances of the Ephesians would be changed. Instead he focuses on spiritual need and specific needs. Dr. Lloyd-Jones then expresses the importance of the inner man and the heart, the center of the believer. For if the center (the thinking) and the heart of a person is set right, then everything else will fall into place. Dr. Lloyd-Jones points out that it is not that when one becomes a Christian that suddenly everything in the world is set right. The world is fallen and sinful, consequently full of disease and tribulation of many kinds, so that cannot be. Rather, when one becomes a Christian, they are being renewed daily in the inner man though the outer man is wasting away (2 Corinthians 4:16). The joy of the Lord is now their strength no matter the circumstance or the state of his outer self.

Sermon Breakdown

  1. The apostle Paul prays for the Ephesians in Ephesians 3:14-21.
  2. Paul approaches God carefully and reminds us that he bows his knees before the Father, who is the Father of all Christians through Jesus Christ.
  3. Paul's recorded prayers are worthy of study. This prayer in Ephesians rises higher than the others.
  4. Paul prays for things that are almost incredible and climaxes with "that ye might be filled with all the fullness of God."
  5. Paul is praying for Christians in Ephesus, though we don't know their names. But because they are Christians, Paul offers this lofty prayer for them.
  6. We should examine this prayer carefully. It contains the key to true Christian living.
  7. Paul prays for the Ephesians in light of the context and conditions they were in. He prays for their spiritual condition, not their circumstances.
  8. Paul's prayer is spiritual and specific. He singles out and specifies particular spiritual matters.
  9. Our prayers reveal a lot about our spiritual state. Are we concerned chiefly about circumstances or our spiritual state?
  10. Paul does not pray for a change in circumstances or promise circumstances will improve. The Christian life involves trials.
  11. Paul does not pray for a method to directly fight problems. He prays for strength in the inner man by the Spirit.
  12. The Christian way deals with problems by building up resistance in the inner man, not by directly changing circumstances.
  13. Paul's prayer is like building up bodily resistance to disease instead of just treating symptoms. We build up spiritual resistance to problems.
  14. The Bible never minimizes problems but builds up our resistance so we can overcome them. Christianity is realistic.
  15. Paul prays for strength in the inner man, the spiritual part of us, the opposite of the outward man, or body.
  16. The unregenerate man lacks an inner man and lives only for the outward, physical part of life. The inner man is the spiritual part.
  17. The inner man can find comfort even when the outward man is perishing. The inner man is renewed day by day.
  18. Trials can even stimulate the inner man. The devil sometimes overreaches in attacking us and reminds us of the inner man.
  19. Do we know we have an inner man? Is it being renewed though the outward man perishes? The key is strengthening the inner man.

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.