Explore Sermons By Dr. Lloyd-Jones

God's Mercy

Book of Romans

A Sermon on Romans 9:14-18

What shall we say then? Is there injustice on God’s part? By no means! For he says to Moses, “I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.” So then it depends not on human will or exertion, but on God, who has mercy. For the Scripture says to Pharaoh, “For this very purpose I have raised you up, that I might show my power in you, and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth.” So then he has mercy on whomever he wills, and he hardens whomever he wills. (ESV)

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What is the great mystery of salvation? According to Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones in this sermon on Romans 9:14–18 titled “God’s Mercy,” it is not why every sinner is not saved, but why any are saved. This is because as the apostle Paul says, God does not have to give mercy to anyone but He chooses to because He is a gracious God. There is no doubt that this is a hard teaching to grasp; this is seen in the fact that many wise and godly Christians have rejected it. Yet God’s word is clear that from start to finish, salvation is a free and gracious gift from God. For if God had to give salvation to everyone, how would it be all of grace? As the Scripture teaches, God gives mercy to whom He wills to give mercy and He hardens whom He wills to harden. This truth is seen in the Lord Jesus’s parable of the workers in the vineyard. Here it is seen that God is not obligated to give mercy to all, yet He chooses to give some in order that His name might glorified. What should be one’s response to this teaching? This great doctrine should cause the Christian to forsake all hope in themselves and look to Jesus who alone can save.

Additional Scripture Translations

Romans 9:14-18, New American Standard Bible (NASB)

14What shall we say then? There is no injustice with God, is there? Far from it! 15For He says to Moses, “I will have mercy on whomever I have mercy, and I will show compassion to whomever I show compassion.” 16So then, it does not depend on the person who wants it nor the one who runs, but on God who has mercy. 17For the Scripture says to Pharaoh, “For this very reason I raised you up, in order to demonstrate My power in you, and that My name might be proclaimed throughout the earth.” 18So then He has mercy on whom He desires, and He hardens whom He desires.

Romans 9:14-18, King James Version (KJV)

14What shall we say then? Is there unrighteousness with God? God forbid. 15For he saith to Moses, I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion. 16So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy. 17For the scripture saith unto Pharaoh, Even for this same purpose have I raised thee up, that I might shew my power in thee, and that my name might be declared throughout all the earth. 18Therefore hath he mercy on whom he will have mercy, and whom he will he hardeneth.

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.