The Book of Romans
Dr Martyn Lloyd-Jones’s sermon series on the book of Romans were preached to the congregation at Westminster Chapel in the heart of central London on Friday evenings between October 1955 to March 1968. These sermons …
A Man Called Paul
Can natural abilities and good deeds save? Throughout history, humanity has searched for salvation in any way other than Jesus. No matter what talent or treasure a person may have, sin continues to contaminate all their good efforts. As Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones explains in this sermon on Romans 1:1 titled “A Man Called Paul,” the only way of salvation is through Jesus Christ. The apostle Paul knew this great salvation and gave his life to proclaim the good news of Jesus Christ. Church history shows how God prepared his mind and logic to use his natural gifts in a powerful way to tell Gentiles about Jesus. Those who are curious how God will use their life to advance His kingdom are encouraged to listen in as Dr. Lloyd-Jones walks through this message from Paul.
The strongest building is vulnerable by a weak foundation. How firm is the Christian’s foundation? As Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones proclaims in this sermon “Analysis” on Romans 1:1, a life built on the word of God and growing in sound doctrine is spared from the storms and threats that devastates many lives. Since the Christian’s union is with Christ and their fellowship with the local church, they grow in righteousness as they learn from the entire counsel of God. Listen as Dr. Lloyd-Jones overviews Paul’s letter to the church at Rome and explains the reason this letter is so important to the Christian life. In it is found certainty, security of salvation, and future glorification that awaits all who are declared righteous and saved by faith.
Paul; a Servant of Jesus Christ
Salvation cannot be divided; it is an all or nothing equation. No one can receive the gift of salvation without submitting their life to Christ any more than they can both skydive from an airplane and resist the laws of gravity. In the sermon “Paul: A Servant of Jesus Christ” on Romans 1:1, Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones powerfully shows how the apostle Paul submitted to the Lordship of Christ and was redeemed by our Master's love. Anyone claiming to be saved yet rejects Jesus’s authority over their life has no basis for assurance of salvation. The Christian’s assurance is built on God keeping His promise to fully and forever forgive their sin. Listen as Dr. Lloyd-Jones explains how Paul’s confidence in ministry flowed from this transforming truth.
Paul; an Apostle of Jesus Christ
Just who was the apostle Paul and what right did he have to speak for God? In this sermon on Paul the apostle from Romans 1:1, Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones seeks to answer these questions. While many question the credibility and authority of God’s chosen author of Romans, Dr. Lloyd-Jones shows Paul as a servant of the Lord Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, and be separated unto the gospel of God. In order to be categorized as an apostle, one had to have been explicitly called and empowered by the Lord Jesus Christ himself. Paul received this calling while travelling on the Damascus Road. As an apostle, he had the same knowledge, truth, and authority as all of Christ’s twelve apostles. Paul was explicitly called to share this knowledge and truth of the gospel with the Gentiles. Seeing now the impact of Paul’s ministry, one can question why God did not convert Paul at an earlier time. Dr. Lloyd-Jones emphasizes that the timing of God is one of the most fascinating things seen in Scripture. In time, the true fullness of God will come and as God has planned. In the same manner, God knew each of His children before the foundation of this world was formed, and His fullness will be revealed in His followers in His timing.
The Gospel of God
What is the gospel? It is certainly good news. It moved the apostle Paul every time he spoke of it. It is not law and neither is the gospel merely a list of moral commands. It is not simply an announcement that God will forgive sins. The gospel is not an appeal to do something nor a teaching on how to live better. In this sermon titled “The Gospel of God” on Romans 1:1, Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones explains what the gospel is not and explores what the gospel is. The gospel is a proclamation of what God has done. Some emphasize the Father’s work alone in the gospel and ignore the work of the Son. Others focus on Christ, nearly posturing His work of redemption against the Father’s will. Still some focus solely on the work of the Holy Spirit. Paul calls the gospel “the gospel of God.” This is to say, the whole of the Trinity is at work. The good news is a proclamation of what the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit have done. Listen as Dr. Lloyd-Jones proclaims this good news and puts the gospel of God before the listener.
Promised by His Prophets
In what way is the gospel connected with the Old Testament? Is the Old Testament relevant to New Testament believers? In this sermon titled “Promised by His Prophets” on Romans 1:2, Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones highlights the role of Old Testament prophets as they proclaimed and prepared God’s people for the Messiah. The gospel is, therefore, only new in one sense. It is new as it is based on events which happened in the New Testament. However, the gospel plan is not new. Listen as Dr. Lloyd-Jones explains the importance of studying the Old Testament and seeing God’s salvation proclaimed by the prophets. He highlights a number of Old Testament texts which announce the Messiah’s work; when He would come; that He would be a light to the gentiles; and would be despised, afflicted, and die vicariously for the sins of others. These prophets were not politicians but servants of God. Inspired by the Holy Spirit, they wrote and spoke inerrant Scripture. All Scripture is given by God and is profitable and these writings are for the listener’s benefit. Listen and see the depths of God’s redemptive plan as it unfolds in the Old Testament and comes to fruition in Christ.
The Holy Scriptures
It is common for the Christian to struggle with waiting on God’s timing and wonder why God seems to take so long to fulfill His promises. Considering all of the suffering in the world, why doesn’t God bring ultimate fulfillment now? Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones presses the listener toward the Old Testament where believers in the promise had to wait on the Lord. Many years had passed from the time that God promised a Messiah to the fulfillment of that promise. Listen to “The Holy Scriptures” as Dr. Lloyd-Jones examines Romans 1:2 and asks the questions: why does Paul reference the Old Testament at all? Is the Old Testament disconnected from the New Testament? The Old Testament is part of the authoritative Word of God which shapes the very understanding of the gospel. The writer of Romans wants the reader to understand that the promise given so long ago is fulfilled in Jesus Christ. While God seems to have been silent for so many years, His purposes were being achieved. Humanity has proven that they cannot save themselves and desperately needs a Savior. The sacrifice for sin has come in Christ and the Messiah must die and rise again. While God’s timing may be a mystery, He can be trusted. His promises are fulfilled in Christ.
Concerning His Son
The New Testament claims that Jesus is the incarnate Son of God but the unbelieving world continues to challenge this fact. What’s more recent, however, is the false religion that rejects this doctrine yet believes one can still be considered a “Christian.” Is the person of Christ necessary for Christianity? Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones argues that without a Biblical view of Christ, there is no Christianity and no salvation. Islam can exist without Muhammad and Buddhism can exist without Buddha, but Christianity cannot exist without Christ. That faith is built upon the identity, person and work of Jesus Christ. The God who made and sustains the world fulfilled the Old Testament prophecy. Listen to the sermon titled “Concerning His Son: from Romans 1:3–4 where Dr. Lloyd-Jones explains the necessity of the incarnation and belief in this central doctrine. Christless Christianity is not Christianity at all; it is damning hypocrisy. Rejecting Jesus as Messiah places one outside of the Christian faith. Rejecting the divinity of Jesus disregards the whole of His work. Rejecting the full humanity of Jesus imagines a savior who cannot save. Christianity is more than a list of rules, a way of life, or a set of principles. Christianity is about Christ.
Declared to Be the Son of God
Is Jesus really God? Some say He became divine at his baptism while others suggest He became the Son of God at His resurrection. The deity of Jesus Christ has always been challenged, not by those who are saved, but by those who want to remain in their sin. In this sermon titled “Declared to Be the Son of God,” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones argues that Jesus is and always was the unique Son of God from the beginning. In order to do the will of God the Father, His power and glory were hidden and yet He never became less than God. As the apostle Paul proclaimed in Romans 1:3–4, the resurrection of Jesus proves that He is God. Like a son of the king who is ceremonially announced as heir of the kingdom, Jesus is declared to be the sovereign over all creation and conqueror of death. Listen as Dr. Lloyd-Jones explains that the resurrection of Jesus Christ announces His incarnate deity. Raised in power and glory, Jesus is formally appointed as the Christ, the Lord of all creation. “Veiled in flesh, the Godhead see; Hail, the incarnate Deity!” Come and see Christ the Lord.
Jesus Christ; Our Lord
Christians are forgiven of sin so that they may follow their Savior. Some today reject this notion that one must submit to Jesus as Lord. They argue salvation is by grace, and therefore obedience is not necessary. While salvation is completely by grace through faith, the Christian faith must not be separated from obedience to Jesus. Can one accept Jesus as Savior and not as Lord? In this sermon titled “Jesus Christ, Our Lord” from Romans 1:3–5, Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones answers that question with a resounding no. The earliest Christians were persecuted over the word “Lord.” For them, Jesus was not only Savior, but he was also Lord. The very nature of believing the gospel becomes an issue of submission. Christians are commanded to believe, and thus obey the gospel. Dr. Lloyd-Jones shows that the only way one can accept Jesus is in this full sense: as both Savior and Lord. Faith is obedience to the word of God. If the word of God is rejected, then God is also rejected, making Him a liar. Receiving the gospel is, therefore, to obey Him and receive Jesus as Lord. The entire Christian faith depends on the recognition of this and this is what makes one a Christian. This is the work of God: that the Christian believes on Him who He has sent –– Jesus Christ, the Lord.’
Saviour of the World
Why should a Christian feel sorry for their sin? Why should Christians turn from sin and follow Jesus? In the sermon titled “Saviour of the World,” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones begins with an examination of the “nations” in Romans 1:3–5. He shows that the gospel has gone forth to those previously under the wrath of God. Hope has gone to those who previously had no hope. The Messiah is not only the Savior of Israel, but the Savior of the whole world. This truth leads to the apostle Paul’s climax: God does what He does for His name’s sake. God is saving a people for His own fame and glory so that His people live to the praise of His glory and grace. Therefore, Christians no longer continue in sin. Their desires have changed and they want to love Him. Listen to this sermon as Dr. Lloyd-Jones exhorts Christians to live for His name’s sake, to desire that all would bow their knee to Him, and to look forward to His coming as King of kings and Lord of lords. Christians are a people looking for the blessed hope of His appearing.
The Called of Jesus Christ
Why does God love people? Many believe He loves those who do good. This belief stems from the idea that one must first change and then God will love them. Is His loved based on human ability to change? In this sermon on Romans 1:6–7 titled “The Called of Jesus Christ,” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones explains that God’s love is not contingent on the person changing, but just the opposite. That change is based on God’s love. Christians are not those who are earning love from God, but rather Christians are those who already are loved by God. Listen as Dr. Lloyd-Jones explains that God loves His people in the same way He loves His Son. This love is based purely on His grace and it’s a love that has the power to change. Because of His love, Christians are called the beloved; they are called saints. The motivation to change is no longer based upon human hope that God might accept them. The motivation to change now comes from the call: “Be who you are.” If Christians are indeed the beloved of God, let them display it. If they are indeed saints, let them show that they are saints. Christians are who they are by grace and distinct from the world, that they may glorify God.
Grace and Truth ... by Jesus Christ
The church in Rome was an extraordinary church whose faith was known by all the believers. In this sermon titled “Grace and Truth… by Jesus Christ,” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones examines some of the reasons that the apostle Paul writes as highly as he does of this church in Romans 1:6–7. Like all believers, they were once sinful men and women, but God in His grace called them out of the world to be a holy people set apart for His great purposes. All Christians are saved by God’s grace alone and there is nothing they can do to contribute to their salvation. Because they are saved, they are at peace with God and one another. These great doctrines of the Christian faith serve as the foundation of the Christian life. This is a life of loving one another and seeking to share the message of Christ with all. Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones emphasizes that all true living must come from true doctrine and a true knowledge of God. This sermon confronts all with the message of God’s free grace to sinners who have no other hope than Jesus Christ. The church in Rome was a congregation of redeemed believers who trusted in Jesus and sought to live according to the calling of God in their lives.
My God; Through Jesus Christ
Conversion is not the end of the Christian journey; it’s the beginning. The apostle Paul was aware of this and longed to visit the Christians in Rome so that he might strengthen them. In this sermon titled “My God, Through Jesus Christ” from Romans 1:7–15, Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones displays the apostle Paul’s love for others which stems from his confidence in the Lord Jesus Christ. Filled with the Spirit, Paul’s passion is clearly seen as he thinks of others, prays for them, and seeks to visit them. Among many Christians today, the primary concern is for oneself. A person talks about their own personal journey toward God. It’s not uncommon to hear a Christian declare, “I'm just focusing on myself right now.” But is this the way of Christ? Through Jesus, Christians have confidence before God. Christians are no longer simply “seeking God,” but rather seeking to love others through the assurance they have found in Jesus Christ. Listen in as Dr. Lloyd-Jones demonstrates how the gospel motivated Paul, not only with the desire to visit and strengthen others, but to pray for them. As Paul comes to God in prayer, he comes through the one in whom he has such confidence: the Lord Jesus Christ. Jesus is the way of salvation and the Christian desires all others to be built up in Him.
Submitted to the Will of God
Perhaps the pastoral question most often asked by the Christian church concerns the will of God. Christians want to know what decisions they ought to make. They want to make plans, but are often perplexed and overwhelmed by the prospect of making the wrong decision. Many faithful believers have desires, intentions, and longings for their lives, but hesitate and/or doubt because they wonder if these things are in accord with the will of God. In short, faithful Christians often ask: “How do I know the will of God? How can I be guided by God’s will?” As Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones says of the apostle Paul in this sermon titled “Submitted to the Word of God” on Romans 1:7–15, nothing is more characteristic of Paul than his submission to God. It would be appropriate then to learn from the great apostle on this topic. Dr. Lloyd-Jones outlines several principles from the apostle Paul’s life which teach about unfulfilled desires, longings, plans, hinderances, open doors, shut doors, and prayers. Dr. Lloyd-Jones notes the importance of Christians using minds, reason, common sense, godly counsel, and circumstances in order to determine and interpret God’s will in their lives. A fundamental characteristic for determining God’s will for the Christian is the Holy Spirit’s witness to their spirit. Listen as Dr. Lloyd-Jones explains what this means and how the Christian can fully submit to the will of God.
Called to Preach
In this sermon on Romans 1:7-15, Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones reminds the listener about the apostle Paul and the great apostle's attitude toward his work. In his message titled “Called to Preach” Dr. Lloyd-Jones calls all Christians, especially men called to ministry, to characterize their work as service. He calls all Christians to follow the apostle Paul by rendering their service in the same way he renders his service. Paul’s call to preach the gospel was not a profession or an opportunity to demonstrate his personality. Paul refused to build service to Christ around himself. True Christian preaching for Paul was not about self-promotion, carnal zeal, and relying on the flesh. Instead, Paul served God in his spirit, surrendering completely to the Holy Spirit. Paul’s service, says Dr. Lloyd-Jones, was whole-hearted service. Paul was not merely external in his ministry, but instead valued sincerity. Listen as Dr. Lloyd-Jones brings a challenging reminder of the true nature and character of Christian ministry.
The apostle Paul dedicated his ministry to proclaiming the gospel of Jesus Christ and making known the glory of God. This singular focus is made clear as Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones preaches “Serving God” from Romans 1:7–15. Paul was not a cultural commentator, nor was he a politician, but he was concerned that what God has done in Jesus Christ be known to all. From this, Dr. Lloyd-Jones argues that the church should imitate Paul with the great doctrines of salvation and of God. Many preachers have lost this focus on biblical truth and use the pulpit as a platform for nothing more than social or political change. He says that this is in contrast to Paul who said that his ministry was to proclaim Christ and Him crucified, not the changing interests of humanity. This is why Paul writes to the Romans, expounding many great teachings, some of which are hard to understand. The church today should not be content to substitute God’s word with the mere opinion of people, but they ought to stand firm on the truth of God as given by the Holy Spirit in the writings of the apostles and prophets. For it is only God’s word that has the message of salvation.
The Fellowship of Believers
Despite Paul’s great power given by the Holy Spirit, the authority given by Christ to preach the gospel to the Gentiles, and his extraordinary experiences, the apostle Paul never put himself up on a pedestal. He expected to pour into the church at Rome, but he also wanted to be encouraged by them as well. As Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones explains in the sermon “The Fellowship of Believers,” this is a glimpse of the doctrine and nature of the Christian church in Romans 1:7–15. Paul’s depiction of the communion of the saints is one which consists of fellowship in the Holy Spirit. Neither color of skin, nor social status, nor education matter. What matters to Paul and constituted his desire to fellowship with them was that they were fellow members of the body of Christ. Dr. Lloyd-Jones challenges the human desire to limit fellowship to certain types of Christians – perhaps those Christians found to be most interesting or stimulating. The encouragement from Dr. Lloyd-Jones is to enjoy the fellowship of all Christians. This, he says, is the New Testament understanding of fellowship. Listen as Dr. Lloyd-Jones explains what the apostle Paul found so encouraging about these simple Christians in Rome, and the dangers of contemporary “movements” as they often replace the role of the church in the Christian life.
The Whole Counsel of God
For whom is the gospel? Does the Christian gospel seem more palatable for a suburban context? It might seem that a learned man like the apostle Paul would feel more comfortable preaching to philosophers, stoics, and epicureans rather than the common men and women of the city. As Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones demonstrates in his message on Romans 1:14 titled “The Whole Counsel of God,” this could not be further from the truth. Show Paul a soul – whether that soul be wise or unwise, Greek or Barbarian, rich or poor, slave or free – and he would preach the gospel to them with great profundity and fullness. In this challenging message, Dr. Lloyd-Jones holds up Paul as an example of what it means to be a gospel Christian. The Christian cannot forget that, like Paul, they are under obligation to all humanity. There is a universal need of all nations and all people to hear the gospel. Dr. Lloyd-Jones provocatively says that if preachers today cannot preach to everybody, they should not preach to anybody. Gospel preachers must develop an ability to preach to a range of people otherwise they will give the impression that the gospel is only for a certain type of person. Humbly listen as Dr. Lloyd-Jones dispels false ministry methods and calls Christians to once again impart the whole counsel of God to the whole world.
Not Ashamed of the Gospel
The Protestant Reformation erupted from Romans 1:16-17. In this sermon, Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones examines these vital and crucial verses that were the catalyst for Martin Luther. Some of the audience to whom Paul wrote may have been ashamed and discouraged in their faith but in boldness and inspiring confidence, Paul wrote “I am not ashamed of the gospel.” Though the world ridicules the teachings of Christ and calls those who believe foolish, our faith is a fact, not a philosophy. The world might see us as fools, but we are affirmed and protected by our Savior. The gospel is full of hope for the fallen world. As the Doctor explains, Paul’s teaching exposes the sin of humanity and that Christ’s death and resurrection were for all social statuses. Thus, every person can rest in the hope that there is joy of being loved by our Lord and in being considered foolish in the eyes of the world.