The Mystery Revealed
A Sermon on Romans 11:23-24
And even they, if they do not continue in their unbelief, will be grafted in, for God has the power to graft them in again. For if you were cut from what is by nature a wild olive tree, and grafted, contrary to nature, into a cultivated olive tree, how much more will these, the natural branches, be grafted back into their own olive tree. (ESV)
God’s sovereignty and man’s responsibility can be difficult to reconcile, especially when reading different passages in the Bible that seem to contradict. In this sermon, Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones leads us through a phrase-by-phrase analysis of one such passage, Romans 11:25-27. The word blindness here, he says, is actually better translated as “hardened.” What does Paul mean by saying that Israel has been hardened? Dr. Lloyd-Jones provides reasons and evidence as to why this most likely refers to the majority of the Israelite nation as a whole, not every individual Israelite, since some of the Jews were indeed saved and thus were shown to not be hardened. As the rest of this passage states, this blindness was only temporary— God established it, and God took it off at the fulness of the Gentiles. To better understand this oft-confused phrase, Dr. Lloyd-Jones presents the various views and why it makes sense that Paul is making another broad reference, this time indicating a majority of Gentiles. The passage ends by saying that “all Israel will be saved.” This meaning, too, has been hotly debated throughout church history. Dr. Lloyd-Jones demonstrates his reasoning as to why he believes it is not referencing all the elect Jews as a whole, nor the elect Jews and Gentiles combined, but a different group altogether. Listen as he methodically steps through this difficult passage to help us better understand its meaning and application for our lives.
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.