Explore Sermons By Dr. Lloyd-Jones

A Rock of Offence

Book of Romans

A Sermon on Romans 9:30-33

Israel’s Unbelief

What shall we say, then? That Gentiles who did not pursue righteousness have attained it, that is, a righteousness that is by faith; but that Israel who pursued a law that would lead to righteousness did not succeed in reaching that law. Why? Because they did not pursue it by faith, but as if it were based on works. They have stumbled over the stumbling stone, as it is written,

“Behold, I am laying in Zion a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offense;
and whoever believes in him will not be put to shame.” (ESV)

Read more

Why is Jesus Christ a stumbling stone? In this sermon on Romans 9:30-33 titled “A Rock of Offence,” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones explains what this statement means and how it impacts one’s life. The apostle Paul says that Jesus is a stumbling block to His fellow and beloved Jewish brethren. This is because many of them still seek to justify themselves by the law. Because they seek to justify themselves, they stumble at the teachings of Jesus when He says that He has fulfilled the law and that He is the only way to know God. One’s relationship to God is entirely dependent on whether they know God or not. What does all this mean for today? This teaches that it is only Jesus that saves and all other attempts to make one’s self right, whether it is through the works of the law or any other way, is hopeless. How then can humanity be saved? The answer is found in trusting Jesus Christ and believing that He has been sent from God and died for humanity’s sin. It is to believe that Jesus is the Son of God that has come to take away the sin of the world and that He is the only savior from God.

Additional Scripture Translations

Romans 9:30-33, New American Standard Bible (NASB)

30What shall we say then? That Gentiles, who did not pursue righteousness, attained righteousness, but the righteousness that is by faith; 31however, Israel, pursuing a law of righteousness, did not arrive at that law. 32Why? Because they did not pursue it by faith, but as though they could by works. They stumbled over the stumbling stone, 33just as it is written:

“Behold, I am laying in Zion a stone of stumbling and a rock of offense,

And the one who believes in Him will not be put to shame.”

Romans 9:30-33, King James Version (KJV)

30What shall we say then? That the Gentiles, which followed not after righteousness, have attained to righteousness, even the righteousness which is of faith. 31But Israel, which followed after the law of righteousness, hath not attained to the law of righteousness. 32Wherefore? Because they sought it not by faith, but as it were by the works of the law. For they stumbled at that stumblingstone; 33As it is written, Behold, I lay in Sion a stumblingstone and rock of offence: and whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.

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.