But God ...
"But God" - a Sermon from Ephesians 2:1-10
Made Alive in Christ
1And you were dead in your offenses and sins, 2in which you previously walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience. 3 …
1And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins; 2Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: 3Among …
Is it possible that the gospel can be summarized in just two words? In this sermon "But God", Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones answers in the affirmative. Given the context of Paul’s transition from sin to salvation in Ephesians 2:1-10, great hope shines forth with just two words: “But God.” These two words suggest hope for the sinner and is the only message that holds out hope for the individual and a world that is dead in trespasses and sins. As Dr. Lloyd-Jones contends in this sermon, these two great words tell that salvation is entirely a divine action and in contrast to the sin of humanity. “But God” shows He is unlike men, slow to anger and abounding with grace towards those who deserve wrath. In a world full of anxiety, stress, and difficulty, humanity’s great hope and joy is summarized in this brief statement. Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones reminds the listener that God has entered into this state of death by offering hope through Christ. The human condition is not hopeless but can be changed through the intervention of a merciful God.
- The gospel comes in as a flash of light into the darkness. It is the only hope in the world.
- The gospel begins where man ends. Man's extremity is God's opportunity.
- The two words "but God" are the apostle's favorite words to introduce the gospel. They suggest hope, the miraculous and supernatural, surprise, and God's salvation.
- The first three verses of Ephesians 2 describe man's hopeless condition in sin under God's wrath. Then comes "but God."
- "But" suggests hope. The gospel is the only hope in the world because only it understands the cause of our troubles in sin and Satan. Statesmen and philosophers fail because they don't understand this.
- "But God" introduces the miraculous, supernatural, and divine. We shouldn't be nervous about this. Without it there would be no gospel.
- The gospel is surprising. If it's not surprising to us, we haven't understood it. Paul himself was surprised by God's grace.
- Our salvation is all of God, from beginning to end. We must give Him all the glory. No man can save a soul.
- God has done all this because He is eternally different from us. He is rich in mercy, love, grace, and kindness. The cross shows the measure of His love.
- "But God" shows the power of God and the difference He makes. He gives life to the dead, raises us up, and seats us in the heavenly places in Christ. This is assurance.
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.