Explore Sermons By Dr. Lloyd-Jones

The Terms Defined

Book of Romans

A Sermon on Romans 11:16-17

If the dough offered as firstfruits is holy, so is the whole lump, and if the root is holy, so are the branches.

But if some of the branches were broken off, and you, although a wild olive shoot, were grafted in among the others and now share in the nourishing root of the olive tree, (ESV)

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In Romans 11:16–17, Paul provides more evidence of why the rejection of Israel was not final. Israel's stumbling was only temporary and because of their fall, the gentiles have received salvation. Paul explains that Israel's belief will be like coming to life from death. In this passage, he uses two illustrations to explain the Jews’ and the Gentiles’ relationship to the truth. In this sermon on Romans 11:16–17 titled “The Terms Defined,” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones breaks down both illustrations and defines the words and context of the words. In essence, if one is part of the whole, and the whole is holy, then they, too, are also holy. Dr. Lloyd-Jones points out that the term “holy” does not always mean sinless, but it means set apart by God. Some parts of the "dough" or "branches" (as used in the illustrations) have been cut off, but can once again be grafted in and take the blessings of the whole. God has the power to remove something once and for all, but He can also graft a part back into the whole. This is what will be done with the Jews. It will be a glorious day when all of Christ’s followers and those who believe the true gospel will be raised up and reunited with the whole.

Additional Scripture Translations

Romans 11:16-17, New American Standard Bible

16If the first piece of dough is holy, the lump is also; and if the root is holy, the branches are as well.

17But if some of the branches were broken off, and you, being a wild olive, were grafted in among them and became partaker with them of the rich root of the olive tree,

Romans 11:16-17, King James Version

16For if the firstfruit be holy, the lump is also holy: and if the root be holy, so are the branches. 17And if some of the branches be broken off, and thou, being a wild olive tree, wert graffed in among them, and with them partakest of the root and fatness of the olive tree;

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.