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Sermon #4161

The Spirit of Christ

A Sermon on Ephesians 5:21


Ephesians 5:21 ESV KJV
submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ. (ESV)

Sermon Description

In this sermon on Ephesians 5:21 titled “The Spirit of Christ,” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones speaks of the profound and simple truth that Christians love others because they are loved by God. The whole of the Christian life is to be motivated by the love of God for all that He is and has done. Christians have received all the blessings and mercies of God in Christ, and they have been forgiven of all sins and cleansed from all unrighteousness by the blood of Christ. It is this great truth that is at the center of all that Christians do and it should be done out of love. Dr. Lloyd-Jones then gives a special caution to those who have been given authority by God such as husbands and elders; they must exercise authority as ones who have been saved by the grace of God. It is this emphasis on love that separates Christianity from all other religions, philosophies, and political ideologies. Christianity alone grounds all that Christians do as a response to the gracious love of God. It does not see authority and power as something to serve the self, but ultimately all things are for God and His kingdom. And this power is not to be lorded over others, but all are to be submissive to one another in the church. It is this great life of love that sets Christians apart from all others.

Sermon Breakdown

  1. The apostle Paul is addressing Christians who are filled with the Spirit. One characteristic of Spirit-filled Christians is that they submit to one another.
  2. Christians are not to be like unbelievers who are filled with wine and excess. Christians are to be filled with the Spirit.
  3. Submitting to one another is both a continuation of what Paul has already said and an introduction to what he will say next.
  4. Paul repeats the call to submit to one another in the sections on wives and husbands, children and parents, and servants and masters. This shows it is an important principle.
  5. We must understand why we are to submit to one another. The reason is "in the fear of Christ."
  6. "In the fear of Christ" is not a casual addition. It is essential to Paul's teaching.
  7. "In the fear of Christ" provides the motives for submitting to one another.
  8. We submit to one another not because it is good in itself or bad not to. We submit in the fear of Christ.
  9. We do not submit due to some political or social philosophy. We submit in the fear of Christ.
  10. We do not submit just to follow social conventions or to keep the law. We submit in the fear of Christ.
  11. The difference between Christians and non-Christians is that Christians know why they do what they do. They do it in the fear of Christ.
  12. We submit to one another because Christ himself clearly taught us to do so.
  13. We submit to one another to show gratitude to Christ for what he has done for us.
  14. We submit in the fear of disappointing or grieving Christ, who loves us and gave himself for us.
  15. We submit in the fear of facing Christ's judgment and finding our works burned up, though we ourselves are saved.

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.