Sermons on the Armor of God
The Armor of God
In this collection of 68 powerful sermons on the armor of God (spelled as Armour of God in some translations), Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones recognized that the Christian life is spiritual warfare, while understanding the whole …
Readers of Paul will soon recognize that he is a skilled and deliberate letter writer. In this sermon on Ephesians 6:10 titled “Introduction,” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones comes to the final section of Paul’s letter to the Ephesians and reminds the listener that his final point is no mere afterthought. This passage is crucial for understanding the Christian life. Dr. Lloyd-Jones masterfully surveys the message of Ephesians and makes thematic connections between what Paul has said previously and what he writes in this passage. While the apostle Paul has been reminding Christians who they are and how they have come to this point, it is vital for them to know the nature of their opposition. Since the devil is a real and powerful enemy, Dr. Lloyd-Jones shares that any doctrine of sanctification that does not take a stand against him into account will fall short of biblical teaching. Moreover, any teaching about the Christian life that depicts it as sentimental and not as a battle not only misrepresents the Christian message, but often is a sign of a cult. There is a struggle that wages against the Christian and they must be ready and willing to fight this glorious battle. Listen to Dr. Lloyd-Jones as he encourages all to fight the war of the Christian life.
The Only Way
Secularists sometimes acknowledge the value of Christianity upon society. They can appreciate the morals and values it can instill in a society’s citizens. Often, however, it is not true Christianity they want, but a version of Christianity that is palatable to their pluralism. They want a Christianity that speaks to moral problems, but it cannot speak to those problems as the only solution, just as an optional solution. In this sermon on Ephesians 6:10–11 titled “The Only Way,” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones confronts the popular idea that the Christian message is too narrow. In his defense of biblical Christianity, Dr. Lloyd-Jones demonstrates why Christianity’s exclusive claim to fix the moral problem is correct. The church must stand in defense that it has the only message that can solve moral problems of society. In saying Christianity is capable of solving moral problems of society, Dr. Lloyd-Jones is careful to distinguish true Christianity from misunderstandings of what Christianity is. Christianity is not moralism with its reduction of the Christian message to imitation of ethical teaching. Nor is it monasticism with its escapist mentality. Rather, Christianity is the call to be strong in the Lord with the power of His might where God has placed the believer.
There is a sharp difference between the symptom and the disease. History teaches that humanity is stuck focusing on the symptoms instead of the disease. In their quest to understand evil and various forms of paganism, fatalism occupied the minds of people in ancient times. Modern people are too sophisticated to believe their problems can be located in the spiritual realm, so they locate the problem in lack of education and ignorance. The belief is that the spread of culture and rationalism is the cure to all problems. Some Christians are likewise guilty of such optimism in the human spirit. To believe in a real devil and spiritual foes is ridiculed. Blinded by hubris, modern humanity marches forward with education with all the hope of “progress” as comfort. In this sermon on Ephesians 6:11–12 titled “The Enemy,” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones contests such ideas by reminding the listener of the apostle Paul’s words, “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world…” Dr. Lloyd-Jones gives a scathing critique of the solutions many put forward today while grounding believers in the sure truth of God’s word. The listener will find courage, comfort, and confidence as they listen to this helpful sermon on the Christian and the true nature of the disease.
The Enemy Described
Is it not madness to spend an entire message devoted to describing the devil? After all, is not Satan merely folklore and myth? Many sophisticated people today would conclude that focus on the spiritual realm at all is a sheer waste of time but Christians cannot shy away from what Scripture teaches. They acknowledge that their authority on spiritual matters is not themselves but the word of God. As Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones reminds, to talk about these things is the most practical thing a Christian can do because they are looking at the real cause of the present state of the world. The Christian has been given the ability to see the true nature of the conflict. In this message on Ephesians 6:10–13 titled “The Enemy Described,” Dr. Lloyd-Jones dwells on Paul’s description of the devil and makes inner biblical connections to his person and work. By examining the Scriptures on the topic, Dr. Lloyd-Jones equips Christians to understand the devil’s purpose and his kingdom of darkness. He encourages fearful saints to take fresh courage and understand the ancient foe well, knowing they have been given the power and resources by God to stand against the enemy and principalities and powers.
The Origin of Evil
The presence of evil in the world is undeniable. While many philosophies and religions try to make sense of the world by denying its existence, the human experience quickly refutes their ideas. The Christian may not be challenged by the specious claim that evil does not exist. However, the Christian worldview is challenged with the question of the origin of evil. Does the Bible give an account for the origin of evil? In this sermon on evil from Ephesians 6:10–13 titled “The Origin of Evil,” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones declares that this is an important question for Christians to consider. He says that an understanding of the origins of evil will reflect an understanding of God. Since the apostle Paul has been teaching on these evil spiritual forces, Christians need to consider where these evil principalities and powers originate. Dr. Lloyd-Jones provides extended teaching on the topic by looking at various Old Testament passages, including Genesis. Dr. Lloyd-Jones combines this teaching with clues given in the New Testament about the personality of the chief strongman, Satan, and argues for a pre-cosmic fall. Dr. Lloyd-Jones maintains that in order to make sense of the world today, the Christian must look back to eternity past. Listen in as he instructs on this perplexing but all important topic on the origin of evil.
The Wiles of the Devil
In times of battle and great war, military leaders will do all that is necessary in order to obtain information about their enemy’s strategy. Likewise, in the spiritual warfare of the Christian, they have to know how the enemy will attack. Thankfully, they have been told in God’s word who the enemy is and how he operates. Therefore, there is great encouragement in considering the works of the devil. In this sermon on spiritual warfare from Ephesians 6:10–13 titled “The Wiles of the Devil,” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones uses this Scripture to aid the Christian in their understanding of the fiery darts that come from his hand and his evil army. While Satan is not omnipresent and is always subservient to God, he nevertheless has much power. His attacks on the world and Christian people specifically are strategic. Based upon the authority of God’s word, Dr. Lloyd-Jones systematically exposes the devil’s strategy. He demonstrates how the evil one manifests his power over humanity. This practical message is encouraging as Dr. Lloyd-Jones lists some of the ways evil spirits affect the minds of humanity.
The Devil and the Nations
Secular politicians, newspapers, and the media look at conflict and wars around the world and cite economic and political factors as the cause. In this sermon on Ephesians 6:10–13 titled “The Devil and the Nations,” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones states that this sort of reductionism demonstrates that natural humanity is preoccupied with the symptoms but not concerned with the true cause. Great conflict and war, according to the Scriptures, is the arena of a much deeper reality than economics or politics. The answers provided by politicians to a restless world will never be sufficient. Only the Bible gives an adequate answer to these things. The apostle Paul says that Christians wrestle not with flesh and blood but against principalities and powers. At the levels of the individual and national, this world is the arena of spiritual conflict. The devil and demonic powers are at work together with the pride, greed, and lusts of people to usurp God’s authority. God has responded to this demonic influence by instituting human government to restrain and punish evil. Ultimately, however, God has answered this demonic threat by sending Christ to crush the seed of the serpent. Listen to Dr. Lloyd-Jones as he expounds this text and answers important questions for what these truths mean for today.
Christianity is often rejected by people in western society who posit themselves as too sophisticated for the backwards beliefs of the Christian faith. Yet, there is undoubtedly a rise in contemporary culture in occult activity like astrology, black magic, divination, and spiritism. In the West there is a reversion back to a pre-Reformation, and even pre-Christian, bondage to demonic powers. How is one to think about these phenomena? Why should Christians even attempt to deal with this unusual topic at all? In this sermon on Ephesians 6:10–13 titled “Spiritism,” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones looks across Scripture to help the listener understand the general activity, as well as the particular operations of evil and malevolent spiritual forces in the world. This sermon on demonology helpfully classifies the outworking of occult activity in its ancient and modern forms. Dr. Lloyd-Jones’s interest in the topic, however, is not merely an attempt to satisfy an intellectual curiosity. Christians must know about these things in order to understand their Bibles, reach the nations that are influenced by demonic powers, and equip the church with the ability to test the spirits rather than continue in ignorance.
Spiritism and the Christian
Do not tinker with demons! In this sermon on Ephesians 6:10–13 titled “Spiritism and the Christian,” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones addresses the topic of spiritualism and the use of mediums. He says that while the Bible never denies the existence of spirits and other powers, it nevertheless condemns the use of these spirits to commune with the dead and divine the future. He uses the example of Saul and the witch of Endor as an example of the pagan spiritism that God’s word unequivocally condemns. It is only out of a spirit of unbelief that people are tempted to turn away from God and try to consult the dead. This reliance on unholy demonic powers is a fundamental denial of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit and His loving providence over the entire world. It is only when people reject God that they turn to pagan idolatry. Furthermore, some have argued that the Bible, particularly the ministry of Jesus, is compatible with spiritualism. Dr. Lloyd-Jones states that to do so is to reject the clear teachings of the gospel that it is the Holy Spirit and the power of God that empowers the ministry of Jesus, not so-called spirits and medians. Only the true power of God can preserve and lead to all truth and righteousness.
In a culture that does not readily address the spiritual, especially topics such as demon possession, Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones addresses the fact that demon possession is a topic that demands to be talked about. God’s holy word addresses the topic on numerous occasions, it is explicitly mentioned in the Gospels themselves, and it is both a historical and missional issue. Focusing primarily on involuntary demon possession, Dr. Lloyd-Jones defines this occurrence as anything from the individual receiving power above their own capacity to potentially causing a sudden change of mood. In this sermon on Ephesians 6:10–13 titled “Demon Possession,” Dr. Lloyd-Jones goes on to speak about how devil possession cannot be localized to certain areas of the world, but recognized as occurring anywhere in the world, specifically where the kingdom of darkness is explicitly at work and sometimes under the guise of hypnotism and mesmerism. Yet despite the presence of darkness, Dr. Lloyd-Jones recognizes that Christ has always been able to overwhelm the kingdom of darkness and will continue to do so. Though the world denies the gospel and entertains evil, Christ has come to undo the powers of evil and the possession that the devil has had over His creation.
Common and Special Grace
Humanity is in a helpless state of sin and depravity as a result of the fall. People are fallen and wholly unable to save themselves. In this sermon on Ephesians 6:10–13 titled “Common and Special Grace,” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones proclaims the grace of God is the answer to this great problem. For in God’s love He has not left the world alone in its wickedness and depravity. He has provided a means of salvation in Jesus Christ as the only escape from sin. He has also provided common grace to restrain the sinful actions of people and nations. One of the most prominent forms of common grace is the institution of government. While government does not save souls, it nevertheless restrains mankind’s sinful desires and actions. It is only by the saving power of the special grace of God that hearts and minds are renewed and turned to the light. Outward confirmation of the law of God can never bring salvation and true life. Listen as Dr. Lloyd-Jones exposes the lie of false religions and teachers who replace the grace of God with human works. There is true life in Christ Jesus in the gospel. This is the only hope that God has given the world, and it is the only hope that the church can proclaim to sinners and fallen people.
The Strong Man Disarmed
Because of Adam’s sin, the whole world became subject to sin and the rule of Satan. The devil, also called the prince of the world, blinds people from seeing and believing in the truth of the gospel. In this sermon on Ephesians 6:10–13 titled “The Strong Man Disarmed,” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones describes the way Christ has broken the grip that the evil one has on the world. For Jesus has bound the strong man and by the proclamation of the gospel, the works of Satan and all who follow him are destroyed. This means that Christians can take the gospel to the ends of the earth knowing that Jesus has overcome the evil forces that once dominated this world. Even while Satan and his demons still have some control and influence in the world, the day will come when Christ will return and vanquish the devil and all who worship him once and for all. As Dr. Lloyd-Jones explains, Christ Jesus will bring to completion what which He started on the cross when He comes again to bring the new heaven and earth. This gives all who love Christ confidence and boldness knowing that He has overcome the devil and will finally defeat him on the last day.
The Christian and the Devil
Does Satan really have free reign on earth? The Bible teaches that the whole world is in the kingdom of Satan and under his power. Those who live in the world are blinded by his lies and continually live under his power. In this sermon on Satan and the Christian from Ephesians 6:10–13, Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones reminds that Christ Jesus has come into the world and by His death and resurrection has overthrown the devil. Those who are in the kingdom of God have been rescued from the power of Satan and transferred to the kingdom of God. Those who are of God can never fall again and become subject to the devil's power. This does not mean that the devil will not try to destroy the faith of Christians. He is a lion seeking to devour , but if Christians resist him, he will flee, for the power of Christ is greater than the devil. Christians live continually battling against the schemes of the Satan as he is opposed wholly to the kingdom of God and the church. However, Christians can now know that Christ will return and vanquish Satan once and for all. Christ will bring the kingdom of God to completion and destroy the kingdom of Satan. This hope should strengthen the church and Christians in their faith, love, and trust in Christ and in his gospel.
Schism in the Church (1)
The unity of the church is undoubtedly one of the most important things for all Christians to seek. But what is unity? In this sermon on division in the church from Ephesians 6:10–13, Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones seeks to answer this without falling into extremes. On the one hand, the ecumenist says that unity is about all Christians belonging to one worldwide church and that doctrine must be minimized so that division is not caused. Dr. Lloyd-Jones argues that this is an imbalanced and unbiblical position as it does not have a high enough view of doctrine and truth in the life of the Christian and church. The other imbalance that must be avoided is that of the schismatic who divides the church not over the essential truths of the faith, but over things such as carnal desires and inclinations. This is seen when Paul rebukes the Corinthians for dividing over who to follow, Paul or Apollos. This is division for the wrong reason. Dr. Lloyd-Jones goes on to condemn those that cause division because of what he calls an attitude of “bigotry.” This is the person who holds so tightly to their preferences that division and disharmony occur in the church.
Schism in the Church (2)
The Protestant Reformation created a monumental break within the Western church. It is difficult to deny the necessity of Luther and the Reformers’ break from the Roman Catholic Church whose leaders were unwilling to address heresy and apostasy within the church. But what about the subsequent divisions following the Reformation? Do they carry the same legitimacy as the magisterial Reformers’ break with Rome? Can one know if a division is justified or not? In this sermon on Ephesians 6:10–13 titled “Schism in the Church (2),” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones engages these most difficult questions. No doubt this sermon challenges every church, denomination, and individual Christian. He treats the danger of schism throughout church history. On the other side of those who champion a vague doctrine stand those Christians who create schisms over every minute point of interpretation. Dr. Lloyd-Jones says this is part of the wiles of the devil. Acknowledging that division and schism within the church cannot be fixed with a simple formula, he offers several principles to consider as individuals, churches or denominations consider whether division is justified. Listen to wise counsel from Dr. Lloyd-Jones on divisions in the church with this timely message for the evangelical church.
What are cults? Why are they so dangerous? In this sermon on Ephesians 6:10–13 titled “Cults,” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones says that cults are groups that are not Christian, but nevertheless claim to be. They teach things that fundamentally deny the Christian faith and gospel. Often, cults are centered around one person who claims to have received a special divine revelation. These cults either deny the authority of Scripture altogether, or they put another authority on equal level or above that of the Bible. Many of these cults minimize or deny the doctrines of sin, the incarnation, and the atonement. Unlike heresies, cults are groups that are entirely outside of the church and Christianity. Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones says that cults are one of the many ways that the devil deceives people. False teaching can and does destroy people’s lives because it sets them on the path to destruction by denying the true gospel. This is why the church must be clear that the gospel is by faith alone in Christ who is both truly God and man.
What distinguishes counterfeit forms of Christianity from real Christianity? In this sermon on Ephesians 6:10–13 titled “Counterfeits,” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones addresses false forms of Christianity and shows what makes them so different from biblical Christianity. He says that the cults always offer purely practical advice, but never any doctrine. This is wholly opposed to Christianity that grounds all life in teaching. The cults simply seek to make people’s lives more comfortable, but there is never true and lasting spiritual renewal. The true church of Jesus Christ is different because it alone has the gospel of God that is able to save to the fullest. God has the power to not only deliver from sin and judgment, but also to totally transform men and women. The church must stand against all false teaching and counterfeit forms of Christianity by boldly preaching the one and true gospel of Jesus Christ. This is a timely sermon for those dealing with cults and people involved in them because this sermon has the message of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the only true and lasting hope in this life.
How does the devil operate against individuals in the church? It is important to know the wiles of the enemy to become better equipped in spiritual warfare against him. In this sermon on Ephesians 6:10–13 titled “Watchfulness,” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones notes the absence of literature that recognizes the devil for what he does. He provides a couple examples from history that properly reveal the wiles of the devil, such as Pilgrim’s Progress by Paul Bunyan and Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis. Resources like these come alongside Scripture to help the Christian watch carefully. That being said, there is no substitute for consistent prayer rooted in Scripture and accompanied by self-examination. These essentials help defend the three main lines of attack: mind, experience, and behavior. The devil produces an error of imbalance somewhere in the three so that Christians either do too much or too little to recover. Dr. Lloyd-Jones draws out the dangers of over-emphasizing in these areas leading to intellectualism, emotionalism, or pragmatism. The solution that he offers his listeners for perfect balance comes from a true view of the gospel. Christians must submit to God’s way of delivering them wholly and completely, through mind, experience, and behavior.
Philosophy and Vain Deceit
Why is philosophy and worldly thinking such a danger to Christianity? In this sermon on Ephesians 6:10–13 titled “Philosophy and Vain Deceit,” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones examines the relationship between biblical revelation and philosophy. The apostle Paul was aware of the temptation to substitute divine revelation for worldly thinking. This is to subordinate God’s wisdom to the vain teaching of the world, according Dr. Lloyd-Jones. This is a great threat to the church in all times and places, but especially in the modern world where science is given such a high place of authority. Many are willing to reinterpret the Bible in light of what Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones refers to as “mere theories.” Christians are called to stand on the word of God in all areas of life. Scripture is to be the ultimate and final authority in all matters of life, faith, and philosophy. The gospel calls Christians to believe in God and in His Son, Jesus Christ, even when they do not understand Him. It is a call to rest in the knowledge of who God is, even when they do not fully grasp everything there is to know about God. This sermon is an invitation to trust in God for all blessings and happiness in this life.
Knowledge Puffs Up
What does it mean to know God and His word? Some say that by merely knowing many facts about the Bible, they truly know God. But in this sermon on Ephesians 6:10–13 titled “Knowledge Puffs Up,” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones preaches on the need to know God with true knowledge. Many Christians are tempted to think about the Bible as just another book from which to learn. But this is not the Bible of the living God. Scripture demands that Christians approach it as God’s word and in a way that they learn who God is. Mere theoretical knowledge is not the goal of Christian growth. Christians must encounter God as He has revealed Himself in His word, and they must look to Scripture as the speech of God. Christians must seek to know God, not merely know about Him. They must have a personal knowledge of God. Theological debates cannot replace loving God and each other, for true knowledge of God is a saving knowledge based in His Son, Jesus Christ. This sermon calls each and every Christian to a deeper and fuller knowledge of God as found in His word.