Real Christianity? - the Test
A Sermon on Romans 8:5-8
For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit. For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace. For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God’s law; indeed, it cannot. Those who are in the flesh cannot please God. (ESV)
The metaphors for life and living abound in this sermon on Romans 8:5-8 by Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones. He piles together vivid illustrations of nourishment, abundance, movement, genuineness, warmth, and vigor. This is because the true “test” of Christianity is whether a person is genuinely “alive to God.” There is no such thing as a Christian who has not been “made alive” by God or has been born again by the Spirit. If there is only death, warns Dr. Lloyd-Jones, there is not true Christianity, no matter how moral a man may be. While on the outside someone may superimpose Christian morality onto their life, it is ultimately inauthentic and artificial. It is a lifeless duty, and lacks the warmth and spontaneity of genuine Spirit-wrought change that always accompanies regeneration. This, of course, argues Dr. Lloyd-Jones has practical implications. It will change our understanding of evangelism. It will also impact how we understand “backsliding” in the Christian life. Moreover, it changes how we evaluate the fruit of our Christian lives. Listen as he combats a lifeless, mechanical Christianity with an authentic biblical Christianity that is full of life, joy, and authentic Christian service to the Lord Jesus Christ.
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.