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Sermon #4220

Who Does the Fighting?

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

Christians are called to fight a spiritual battle but how are they to fight? What role do they play in this struggle? Are they to be passive, or are they alone to be the ones engaging the enemy? In this sermon on fighting in the Christian life from Ephesians 6:10–13 titled “Who Does the Fighting?” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones preaches on spiritual warfare and the responsibility that Christians have to be fighting in their lives. The phrase “Let go and let God” is popular today among many Christians, but is it Biblical? Are they to just surrender to God and let Him fight all of their battles? Dr. Lloyd-Jones presents strong arguments from Scripture that demonstrate otherwise. He argues that if this was the case, many of the exhortations seen in the New Testament to believers are unnecessary. Many passages in Scripture instruct the Christian to play an active role in fighting spiritual warfare—to resist the devil, put to death the deeds of the flesh, stop lying, fight the good fight, and many other such encouragements. God’s word is consistent and clear— followers of Jesus are commanded to take action. Dr. Lloyd-Jones also notes that this is a relatively new doctrine, and one that ignores Christian teaching on this subject that has been accepted for thousands of years. Because of these reasons, he says, Christians are to understand that their role in spiritual warfare is an active one.

Sermon Breakdown

  1. The teaching that says "let go and let God" makes the exhortations and instructions in the epistles unnecessary and wrong.
  2. The teaching contradicts the military metaphors used in the Bible that tell us we have to fight and wrestle. We are soldiers in God's army fighting in the battle.
  3. The teaching is inconsistent with how Paul describes living the Christian life. Paul says he disciplines his body, runs the race, and fights the fight. He doesn't describe a life of passively letting God do everything.
  4. The teaching ultimately leaves everything up to us to maintain the position of surrender and abiding in Christ. If we fail, it is because we failed to abide, not because God failed us.
  5. The teaching denies the doctrine of the new birth by implying we have no new power or ability in us. It says we remain utterly hopeless without Christ's strength. But the Bible says we become new creatures with a new power and ability.
  6. The teaching is too passive and mechanical. The Bible calls us to active discipline, growth, and obedience. The Christian life is not simple or mechanical.
  7. The teaching claims to be a "shortcut" to victory but there are no shortcuts in the spiritual life. All cults claim to provide a simple shortcut to spirituality.
  8. The argument that "it works" is not sufficient. All false teachings can produce temporary results and experiences. We must test teachings by Scripture, not results alone.
  9. We must reject teachings that claim the Christian life is quite simple. We wrestle against spiritual forces of evil, so we must fight the good fight and put on the whole armor of God.

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.