Book of Romans
Dr Martyn Lloyd-Jones’s sermons on the book of Romans were preached to the congregation at Westminster Chapel in the heart of central London on Friday evenings between October 1955 to March 1968. These sermons were preached from the beginning of October until the end of May each year, with breaks being taken for Christmas and Easter. Dr Lloyd-Jones began his ministry at Westminster Chapel in 1938, and his ministry there lasted for thirty years until his retirement in 1968. As such, his Romans series came at the end of his preaching career. Spanning 366 sermons over twelve years, his series on the book of Romans is the longest expositional series Dr Lloyd-Jones ever did.
Dr Lloyd-Jones regarded the book of Romans as the ‘first in importance’ among the New Testament epistles. Indeed, it is likely that Dr Lloyd-Jones saw his exposition of the book of Romans as his most important work, as evidenced by the fact that he chose his Romans sermons as the first of his many sermons to be published following his retirement. His official biographer Iain Murray writes;
Many hundreds of unrevised manuscript copies of sermons thus existed by 1968, of which, for reasons already noted, comparatively few had appeared in print. He did not hesitate in choosing to put his Romans sermons first for publication in book form, to be followed by those on Ephesians.
Dr Lloyd-Jones’s hope for these sermons on the book of Romans was that they will ‘not only help Christian people to understand more clearly the great doctrines of our Faith, but that they will also fill them with a joy “unspeakable and full of glory” and bring them into a condition in which they will be “Lost in wonder, love, and praise”’.
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What is the purpose of God's law? Why was it given to us? From the pulpit of Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones, listen as the words of Paul are explained showing what the law could not do, why the law could not do it, how the Lord has done what the law could not, and the result that is produced in us. Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones walks us through these four points in his sermon on Romans 8:3-4. The law cannot enable us to fill its own demands, which is righteousness. A believing Christian is no longer under the law or the under the reign of sin, but rather living a life under grace in a new life with Christ. Why does the law fail at this? Because it depends on us and our efforts and we are weak. However, it does show us our great need to be delivered from sin. Finally, at the heart of the Gospel, God has provided salvation for us through His own actions. Christ gave the law, but not in order to save men. He alone produces the only way of salvation and justification. The Doctor continually emphasizes Paul’s point, the law cannot save us and that it only allows us to see the sin in our lives.
The reality of the Incarnation; Christ's sinlessness; the Virgin Birth and the 'Immaculate Conception'; the infirmities of Christ's human nature; the necessity for a coming as a man.
An offering for sin; perfectionism not taught here; Christ's death and imparted righteousness; justification and sanctification not to be separated.
The general tenor of the Christian's life; different appearances of walking in the flesh; the leading of the Spirit; a false division between Christians; holiness and assurance.
He contrast between Christian and non-Christian; the so-called 'carnal' and 'spiritual' Christians; spiritual death and hating God; rebellion against the law; total inability.
Are you concerned about yourself as a soul? What are some characteristics of a true Christian? Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones is adamant that Paul is contrasting a Christian verses non-Christian in Romans 8:5-8 and outlines several key points that should set a Christian apart. Paul’s primary object is to establish the final certainty for all who are in Christ. A Christian is one who is habitually dominated by the Holy Spirit and minds things of the Spirit, which is not something done out of duty. They also do not set their mind on religion, religious phenomena, or theology. Rather, they are fully committed and guided by the Spirit. A true Christian is concerned about himself as a soul first and foremost. This means that their identity is in Christ and His work of salvation, not in a person’s human identity, career, family, or hobby. A Christian is also aware of his own sinfulness and concerned about the state of this world. These traits, and more, show someone who is guided by the Spirit as a true Christian.
New life in Christ; the necessity for understanding regeneration; the test of real Christianity; the artificial and the spontaneous; spiritual life and the backslider.
Why Paul uses 'peace' here; peace and righteousness; at peace with God; ourselves and others; the ability to please God
Will a Christian’s mortal body be raised from the dead when Christ returns? Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones says that it will based on Paul’s teaching in Romans 8:8-11. The Doctor says that Paul is painting a picture of the Christian in today’s world by showing us what the future will look like. While a Christian is still in this world, their body remains dead because of sin, but it will be raised from the dead when Christ returns! The two phases of the Spirit dwelling within us point to our physical bodies and they are temples of the Holy Ghost. Just as Christ was filled with the Spirit, so is a Christian and He serves as our seal and assurance that our bodies will be resurrected. We can be certain of this because Christ will always finish His work in our lives. Christ will redeem us and our mortal bodies from the fall and anyone who says otherwise is denying scripture. We can look with great anticipation to the day that our mortal bodies will be free from disease and decay, worthy of the Holy Spirit that dwells within us.
What is sanctification? How are we moved toward greater holiness and away from sin? Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones explains that Paul has been referencing the process of sanctification throughout the book of Romans but specifically addresses the theology of it in this passage of Romans 8:12-13. While Romans 7 is a battlefield for a Christian’s flesh and spirit, Romans 8 shows the victory that we have in Christ. While there is a war that wages in our mortal bodies, God always provides a way for a Christian not to sin. A Christian is immediately released from the reign of sin by giving it over to Christ. The Doctor explains that it is a matter of our own actions; Christ does the rest for us. If we live by the flesh, we will die by the flesh. However, if we live by the Spirit, we are able to continually mortify our flesh and give it over to Christ. Paul is phrasing this using the present tense, meaning that this is a process that we must continually be active in. Christians can rejoice that we are no longer under the obligation of the flesh and that Christ has given the Holy Spirit as our helpmate.
About 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.