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Sermon #4216

True and False Zeal

A Sermon on Ephesians 6:10-13


Ephesians 6:10-13 ESV KJV
Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against …

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Sermon Description

Why do people have a hard time finding the proper balance in life between too much activity and too much rest? Society today is saturated with the message that people should always be doing something in order to be productive. Yet others would say that life should be lived casually and restfully. What does Scripture say? In this sermon on Ephesians 6:10–13 titled “True and False Zeal,” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones explains why this battle is so important for a follower of Christ. One way that Satan attacks is through one’s view of their own actions. He tries to keep them from finding the balance between the two extremes of activity for the kingdom of God. What are these extremes? The first is called antinomianism, which is an interpretation that disregards instructions in Scripture as things to be obeyed. On the other side is legalism, a view that demands a strict lifestyle with no room for obedience based on principle. Either of these views, says Dr. Lloyd-Jones, will lead to a general slackness in one’s Christian walk and a failure to apply the truth to oneself. Christians are called to follow Christ and to demonstrate their love for Him by obeying His commands, but they must not allow this to build a worldly zeal within — rather, they must overcome this scheme of the devil by realizing that they must obey God out of a desire to please Him and know Him better.

Sermon Breakdown

  1. The devil attacks our view of conduct and practice. He drives us to extremes: antinomianism (against law) or legalism (justification by works).
  2. Antinomianism is an intellectual faith without good works. It wrongly applies justification by faith and eternal security. The answer is that faith without works is dead. We are saved for good works.
  3. Legalism relies on asceticism, good works, and law to be justified. It is a false understanding of separation from the world. The answer is that we are justified by faith alone, not works.
  4. We must have a balanced view of conduct: faith and works, grace and law, freedom and discipline. We must apply the Word to ourselves and give diligence to grow in godliness.

  5. The devil also attacks our general behavior, driving us to extremes of slackness or carnal zeal.

  6. Slackness is a lack of discipline and failure to apply the Word. We must discipline ourselves in time, prayer, church attendance, and self-examination. Revival comes through restored discipline.
  7. Carnal zeal is living on our own activities and busyness rather than true understanding and growth. It relies on atmosphere and momentum rather than the Spirit. We must avoid extremes and follow Christ's balanced example.

  8. We must watch against the devil's wiles in our conduct and take up the whole armor of God. The world is watching us, so we must abstain from fleshly lusts and have a good testimony.

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.