God Has Received Him
A Sermon on Romans 14:1-4Read more
What really is legalism? In this sermon on Romans 14:1-4, Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones tackles this important subject asking what it is, how it can be fought, and the consequences that it carries within the church. Legalism is what happens when people take principles in Scripture, interpret them wrongly, and make them absolute rules that everyone is required to follow. Legalists tend to make indifferent things central. What does this mean? Mainly, that issues not core to Christianity are elevated to being make-or-break issues that are used as standards for measuring the depth of someone’s relationship with Christ. As Dr. Lloyd-Jones reminds us, what matters is that people have been received by God— it is not up to us to determine this. People frequently set up their own standards for determining if people are Christians, but where do they derive their authority from? Dr. Lloyd-Jones also addresses the question of if Paul was contradicting his stance against legalism when he said that he acts certain ways around certain people. Ultimately, this was to keep them from stumbling, and as Dr. Lloyd-Jones reminds us, Paul did not see these issues as central doctrines of Christianity. He closes with a charge— we are not to reject someone whom God has received, and ultimately, only God can make the call on whether or not this is the case. We are to trust Him with this and simply be obedient.
Additional Scripture Translations
Romans 14:1-4, New American Standard Bible
Principles of Conscience
1Now accept the one who is weak in faith, but not to have quarrels over opinions. 2One person has faith that he may eat all things, but the one who is weak eats only vegetables. 3The one who eats is not to regard with contempt the one who does not eat, and the one who does not eat is not to judge the one who eats, for God has accepted him. 4Who are you to judge the servant of another? To his own master he stands or falls; and he will stand, for the Lord is able to make him stand.
Romans 14:1-4, King James Version
1Him that is weak in the faith receive ye, but not to doubtful disputations. 2For one believeth that he may eat all things: another, who is weak, eateth herbs. 3Let not him that eateth despise him that eateth not; and let not him which eateth not judge him that eateth: for God hath received him. 4Who art thou that judgest another man’s servant? to his own master he standeth or falleth. Yea, he shall be holden up: for God is able to make him stand.
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.