The Christian Experience
A Sermon on Ezekiel 3:1-3
1Then He said to me, “Son of man, eat what you find; eat this scroll, and go, speak to the house of Israel.” 2So I opened my mouth, and He fed me this scroll. 3And He said to me, “Son of man, feed your stomach …
1Moreover he said unto me, Son of man, eat that thou findest; eat this roll, and go speak unto the house of Israel. 2So I opened my mouth, and he caused me to eat that roll. 3And he said unto me, Son of man, cause thy belly …
Why it is beneficial to study the Old Testament? Reading through the Old Testament can seem challenging and confusing at times, but in this sermon on Ezekiel 3:1–3 titled “The Christian Experience,” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones illustrates it is very applicable to the life of a believer today. This passage addresses the essence of the Christian experience, which is the knowledge of God. Preaching from the book of Ezekiel, Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones helps the listener better understand what differentiates proper and false experiences of God from each other. First, false experiences are external to people—it is something that is added on to their life, not an integral part of who they are. Second, false experiences of God vary depending on a person’s season of life. In difficult times, people are much quicker to turn to the Lord because they realize how much they need Him—however, when situations are going well, they make the mistake of thinking they can walk without Him. Third, this false Christianity has only a vague influence on someone’s life. Real Christianity, however, is the polar opposite. It is practiced regularly because it is at the core of who a believer in Christ is. Christianity, Dr. Lloyd-Jones says, is a heart religion that influences all the actions of a believer’s life. Listen as he helps the listener discern between true and false Christianity, and the importance of following wholeheartedly with one’s life.
- The passage for the sermon is Ezekiel 3:1-3 which describes Ezekiel eating a scroll from God.
- The symbolism of eating the scroll is meant to convey a lesson in the form of a picture. The message and lesson are what matter, not the symbolism itself.
- What is described regarding Ezekiel's call applies not just to prophets but to all Christians. Every Christian is meant to be an evangelist.
- The nature of Christian experience is the theme of the sermon. Last week the sermon looked at awareness of God as essential to Christian experience. This week examines response to God's call.
- False religion is external, outside oneself, added on. It is spasmodic, only reminded of at times. It is a vague, general influence. It is a perpetual hindrance, making one wish to be free of it. It is negative and repressive.
- True religion is experimental, tasted and proved. It is inside oneself, controlling one's life. It is at the center of one's life, in one's mind, will, and heart. It leads to joy.
- To gain true Christian experience, take God's Word in its entirety. Take time to thoroughly digest it. Receive it into your heart. Let it rebuke and humble you. Let it lift you up and move you to action.
- The lives of saints illustrate these principles. Take and eat the scroll God offers through His Word.
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.