When Not to Pray; but to Act
A Sermon on Ephesians 4:22-24
22that, in reference to your former way of life, you are to rid yourselves of the old self, which is being corrupted in accordance with the lusts of deceit, 23and that you are to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, 24and to put on the new self, which in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth.
22That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; 23And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; 24And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.
It’s a fact of the Christian life that Christians will always fight sin and temptation. In this sermon on Ephesians 4:22–24 titled “When Not to Pray But to Act,” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones highlights this spiritual battle as Christians put off the old self and all its ways. Christ commands fleeing sin and the devil and to pursue a life that is consistent with being children of God, benefactors of Christ and His work. This putting off of the old self and pursuit of Christ is not something that Christians do passively but are commanded to do actively. Simply praying about sanctification, but never acting in pursuit of holiness is not enough and does not take account of the many commands that God’s word gives. Nor do they see that Christians are able to flee temptation and sin. As Dr. Lloyd-Jones continues, all Christians are called and able to obey God, growing in sanctification. For in the power of the Spirit all Christians are to fight against the old self. They are to wage war against all ungodliness and worldliness that still dwells in them. This is done by consistently seeking to put off the flesh and put on the spirit of righteousness. God who has called His people to salvation also calls them to pursue holiness and sanctification.
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.