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Sermon #4214

Worry and Anxiety

A Sermon on Worry and Anxiety from Ephesians 6:10-13

Scripture

Ephesians 6:10-13 ESV NASB 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

What brings a Christian to a place of worry and anxiety? How does one fight the discouragement that is brought about when one becomes anxious for the future? In this sermon on worry and anxiety from Ephesians 6:10–13, Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones begins to tackle these questions and addresses the way that the devil incapacitates believers through worry. Drawing from the story of Martha in the New Testament, Dr. Lloyd-Jones reminds listeners that the devil desires to overwhelm Christians with good responsibilities, effectively preventing followers of Christ from meditating on the spiritual. Yet the Christian should not be out of control in this way. Drawing from several common worries, such as wellness and the future, Dr. Lloyd-Jones addresses the fact that good things were never meant to be at the center of one’s life. The way in which to fight the enemy when one is tempted to grow anxious is to declare the truth: that God has never failed His people and the Christian’s future rests secure in His hands. Dr. Lloyd-Jones concludes by offering this relief of stress to the Christian: leave the future in the hands of a loving God, and allow Him to lead through His will.

Sermon Breakdown

  1. The sermon begins by introducing the topic of the wiles or schemes of the devil from Ephesians 6:10-13. The preacher notes that the Christian life is a constant struggle and fight against the devil and his forces.

  2. The preacher then transitions to discussing how the devil uses discouragement and worry to paralyze believers. He notes how some Christians are prone to excessive introspection, morbidity, and worrying about lack of progress which the devil exploits.

  3. The preacher highlights how the devil uses anxiety and worry to crowd out spiritual thoughts and realities from the minds of believers. He uses the example of Martha being distracted and troubled by many things to illustrate his point.

  4. To counter worry and anxiety, the preacher recommends recognizing the devil's hand in producing these feelings, reprimanding yourself for worrying as a Christian, realizing the need for self-discipline and maintaining a proper sense of proportion and priorities in life with God at the center.

  5. The preacher then discusses how the devil uses fear of the unknown future to discourage believers by getting them to imagine frightening possibilities. He notes how this can be a waste of time and is a failure to trust in God as a loving heavenly Father.

  6. To counter fear of the future, the preacher recommends recognizing fear of the future is often due to a lack of faith in God's promises and unbelief. He recommends attacking the devil's lies with the truth of God's word and past faithfulness.

  7. The preacher transitions to discussing how the devil uses confusion over guidance, answers to prayer and faith healing to trouble believers. He notes how some teach these areas are simple when they are actually quite complex.

  8. The preacher argues that if guidance, answers to prayer and faith healing were simple and mechanical, there would be no growth in the Christian life and no need for the New Testament. He cites examples of Paul struggling with guidance and not always receiving healing to show these areas are complex.

  9. The preacher examines James 5:13-15 and Mark 11:22-24, noting that while some interpret these to teach that prayer and faith guarantee healing and answers, the facts show this is not always the case in reality. He argues the "prayer of faith" is given by the Spirit, not worked up by the individual.

  10. The preacher argues God normally guides through means like Scripture, reason, counsel of others and circumstances. He recommends not claiming guidance or healing but committing everything to God, being willing to accept whatever His will is, leaving matters with God and not being anxious, doing your work and being ready for God's leading.

  11. The preacher concludes by warning against acting against your conscience or inward sense of God's leading. He notes if you follow God's principles, you will have peace in knowing you sought to act as His child, even if the outcome is not what you desired.

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.