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Sermon #4145

The Kingdom of Christ and God

A Sermon on Ephesians 5:5


Ephesians 5:5 ESV KJV
For you may be sure of this, that everyone who is sexually immoral or impure, or who is covetous (that is, an idolater), has no inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God. (ESV)

Sermon Description

“All believers are called to be saints,” states Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones. This principle is well-supported from Scripture, yet there are some who teach that only a select few Christians should be recognized as saints. This is a key point because it recognizes the work of God in the lives of all who believe in Him, not just a select few. In this sermon on Ephesians 5:5 titled “The Kingdom of Christ and God,” Dr. Lloyd-Jones demonstrates that the goal of salvation is to make one holy, not happy. Though happiness is a byproduct, it is not the main goal. This, says Dr. Lloyd-Jones, differentiates Christianity from cults. Many people today profess to be believers but are selling a Christianity that makes people wealthy and happy, the complete opposite of Jesus’s promise that His followers are called to obedience and would sometimes even suffer for His sake. The kingdom of Christ and of God are the same, which means that true believers will follow the commands of Christ. Yet, some take this to mean that salvation is brought about by good works. Dr. Lloyd-Jones presents the biblical case for why this view is unbiblical and helps explain that salvation produces good works but does not derive from them.

Sermon Breakdown

  1. The apostle Paul issues a solemn warning in Ephesians 5:5 that no immoral or impure person has an inheritance in the kingdom of God.
  2. Paul says "you know this" to emphasize that this truth should be self-evident to Christians. However, Christians often need to be reminded of this truth.
  3. There are many reasons why Christians may not fully grasp this truth:
  4. We tend to be subjective in our faith and focus on our own happiness rather than God's holiness.
  5. We are adept at rationalizing and excusing our own sins.
  6. The devil subtly persuades us that our sins are not really sins.
  7. We must look at God's view of sin and evil, not our own subjective feelings. God is holy and cannot tolerate sin.
  8. This warning is frequently repeated in Scripture, showing its importance. Many examples are given from 1 Corinthians, 2 Corinthians, 1 John, and Revelation.
  9. The warning means that those who habitually and characteristically engage in such sins will not inherit the kingdom. It does not mean that anyone who commits such a sin once is excluded.
  10. The kingdom belongs to both Christ and God. The standard of holiness has not changed from the Old Testament to the New Testament. Christ did not come to abolish the law but to fulfill it.
  11. Some argue this is "preaching the law" and not grace, but grace and law cannot be separated. We are saved by grace through faith but called to holiness.
  12. This does not contradict justification by faith. Justification is one step in the process of salvation that includes regeneration, sanctification, and glorification. If we are justified, we will experience that whole process, though imperfectly.
  13. Warnings like this help test whether our faith is genuine and also help in our sanctification by convicting us of sin. Our reaction shows whether we are truly in the kingdom.
  14. If we have the hope of heaven, we will purify ourselves. If not, we show we have no inheritance in the kingdom. There is no contradiction between warnings and grace. Grace completes the work it begins.

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.