That Your Joy may be Full
A Sermon on Ephesians 3:14-20
14For this reason I bend my knees before the Father, 15from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name, 16that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner self, 17 …
14For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, 15Of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, 16That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in …
While the Christian life is to be one of joy, it is common for Christians to feel depressed. Why is this? In this sermon “That Your Joy May Be Full” from Ephesians 3:14–21, Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones continues exploring the reasons for spiritual depression. One reason many fall into spiritual depression is that they fail to realize what they were meant to be, what is available for them, and what God intends. Relying on initial experiences of forgiveness, this person fails to go on in their faith and grow in their knowledge and understanding. This leads the individual to their biggest problem: they don’t really know the love of God. Listen as Dr. Lloyd-Jones explains God’s intention for the Christian and how one might receive what intended for them. This should not leave the believer with a feeling of hopelessness, but rather an eagerness and joy as they see what they can become. When they understand the truth that Christ dwells in them, they are ravished by Him and love Him. What is the Christian destiny and where are they heading? The Christian will spend eternity enjoying God. Today, the downcast soul must fight spiritual depression through regaining this robust view of who they are and where they are heading.
- The sermon text is Ephesians 3:14-21, one of Paul's prayers for the church in Ephesus.
- The sermon discusses the causes of spiritual depression and unhappiness in Christians. A major cause is failing to realize what God intends for us and what is available to us.
- Paul prays that Christ may dwell in our hearts by faith. This means Christ being permanently resident in our lives, not just an occasional visitor. Christ should be the head and we should be his slaves.
- Paul prays that we may know the love of Christ in its full extent. We can never fully comprehend it but we can continually experience more of it.
- Paul prays that we may be filled with all the fullness of God, meaning experiencing all that God has for us at any given moment. This is like a bottle in the ocean, filled with the ocean.
- These petitions describe what all Christians are meant to experience, not just certain exceptional ones. We dishonor God by being content with less.
- The first step is accepting this is meant for us and is possible for us. We must desire it and feel dissatisfied without it.
- We must realize we need to be strengthened in our inner being by the Spirit before we can experience these things, or we will collapse under the glory. We need preparation.
- This experience is entirely a gift of God, given in his timing and way. We pray for it, perhaps for a long time, as it is something we come to want intensely.
- We must believe God is able to do this for us, as it is his work and manifestation. We can never ask too much of him.
- We must persist in seeking this and not be content until we experience Christ's presence and love in this way. We will know without doubt when it happens.
- The degree of experience may vary but we should seek the utmost fullness of God and knowledge of Christ. We should give God no rest until we know Christ's love that surpasses knowledge.
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.