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 …
Doctrine and Practice
Doctrine and practice must not be separated. This seemingly simple truth has a great impact on how Christians live and seek to obey Christ. In this sermon on Romans 10:1–21 titled “Doctrine and Practice,” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones expounds on the apostle Paul’s doctrine of the Christian life in all its glory and weightiness. Out of the great truths of justification by faith, predestination, and perseverance comes a view of the life that is grounded in the person and work of Christ. Christians must seek to trust God and His providence. They must be faithful to the command to evangelize and seek to love their neighbors as themselves. They must also be aware of the danger to intellectualize Christianity at the expense of practice. Some say things such as, “If God is sovereign, why pray?” or “If God elects, why evangelize?” However, Dr. Lloyd-Jones warns not to try to use vain logic to understand God, but rather read Scripture faithfully and submit to all of God’s teaching. How then does doctrine relate to practice? The answer is that doctrine informs how God desires His people to live as new creatures in Christ Jesus.
True and False Zeal
Is the Christian zealous for God? If so, is it a true or false sense of zeal? Paul points out that the church does have a zeal for God, but that it is not based on knowledge. In a sermon on Romans 10:1–2 titled “Trust and Zeal,” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones outlines the differences between true and false zeal in the Christian life. First, he outlines several tests that can apply to a person’s zeal to determine if it is a false sense of zeal. A few of these arguments include a zeal that has been imposed rather than genuine; a focus on actions rather than just being oneself; a likeness to frivolity and the flesh; and a focus on self and one’s own power rather than the Lord’s. On the other hand, a few arguments for true zeal include a zeal that is put on by the Lord; a result of true knowledge; zeal that is not showy but deep; and a result of genuine behavior. At the end, Dr. Lloyd-Jones charges believers to ensure they have true zeal for the sake of those who are lost. He challenges those who have heard the gospel and know the truth to be zealous and concerned for those who have not heard.
Knowledge of the Truth
What was the main trouble with the Jews that Paul is speaking about in Romans 10:3? It is that they did not have a complete and full knowledge of the truth of God. In this sermon on Romans 10:3 titled “Knowledge of the Truth,” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones says that a precise knowledge of the truth is essential to salvation and Paul is praying and longing for the salvation of the Jews because they lack this knowledge. The Jews may have been nice people and very zealous, but this cannot be mistaken for true Christian faith. Truth cannot be based in subjective terms because the gospel is truly objective. The Pharisees had misinterpreted the Old Testament teaching about the righteousness of God and the righteousness that He demands. This was ignorance on their part. Ignorance means that there is not full knowledge and the Jews were ignorant of the full knowledge of God. This stood in between them and their salvation. Dr. Lloyd-Jones urges the listener to have a precise knowledge because ignorant knowledge is the enemy. Without true knowledge, one will be lost, damned, and outside the kingdom of God.
Submit to God's Righteousness
Since the inception of the church, Christianity has battled the false belief of justification by works. In its modern Western form, many wrongly understand the gospel to mean going to church, doing good, or being a “nice” person. In this sermon on Romans 10:1–3 titled “Submit to God’s Righteousness,” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones proclaims that the current Christian culture continues to preach self-righteousness, self-reliance, and self-dependence. In its primitive form, the apostle Paul holds up the Pharisees as the prime example of those who are zealous for doing good works and yet are ignorant of what God’s righteousness requires in the gospel. Their lack of knowledge has set them against the God they claim to serve. They would rather construct their own righteousness than submit to the righteousness of God found in the gospel of Christ. The Pharisees, and many today as well, are trapped in believing they can save themselves. The problem, says Dr. Lloyd-Jones, is that the last people to believe the gospel and be saved are always those who think that they can save themselves. What is needed is the gospel of grace. What needs to be known and heard is the truth of what the Scriptures say God’s righteousness requires. Listen as Dr. Lloyd-Jones speaks of the tendency towards justification by works and the remedy, submitting to the gospel of grace.
Christ; the End of the Law
In this sermon on Romans 10:4 titled “Christ, the End of the Law,” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones says that this Scripture is the charter for all Christians and it sets them free. In this verse, Paul proclaims that Christ is the fulfillment of the law for righteousness. He means that the law was not temporary but it is eternal. God is not doing away with the law but rather upholding the law. It is an expression of God’s holy character and what He expects of the human race. So how is Christ the end of the law? Christ has fulfilled the law and done this for all who believe in Him. He came into the world as a God-man born under the law, lived a life of perfect obedience to the law, and died to satisfy the punishment of the law. The fulfillment is true because God raised Him from the dead. No one else was able to do this. Christ is the end of the law for all who believe. The moment a Christian believes in Christ, all that Christ has done for them becomes true of them since they have been united with Christ.
Righteousness by Law
The Jews have continued to believe that their actions, mainly their dedication to keeping the law, is what justifies them. The Jews have misunderstood the law and its purpose. Because of this, Paul is laying to rest this foolish thinking once again. In this sermon on Romans 10:5 titled “Righteousness by Law,” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones shares how Paul is essentially saying that even Moses said that those who attempt to live by their actions will also be judged by their actions. He points out that the Jews were ignorant of God’s righteousness, ignorant of their own abilities, and thus have not submitted themselves to the righteousness of God. Paul continues to emphasize the doctrine of justification by faith only. There is not one thing in the process of salvation that has to do with a person; it is entirely a matter of God’s free sovereign choice. If the Jews want to live by their actions to the law, then Paul says they must keep the whole law. One is not able to only keep certain laws. If even one law is broken, they have failed completely. Dr. Lloyd-Jones reminds that no one wants to live under that kind of rule and reign and Christians should be thankful of the Lord’s work in them, breaking them free from the law.
Righteousness by Faith
How far away is the truth? What quest or journey must be traversed in order to find God? Is there some kind of special act one must perform in order to make their way to God? Many people teach that God is so far away that the gap is unspeakably difficult to cross. Others teach that one must cross the gap to God by their own efforts. Whether it is Roman Catholicism, the mystical way, or Protestant intellectualism, Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones finds the answer to such false systems in the apostle Paul’s words in Romans 10:5–8. The apostle invokes the great preacher of the law – Moses – in order to show that God has revealed Himself perfectly clearly. There is no need to ascend to heaven or descend into the deep. God, through Christ, has revealed Himself fully in the gospel and the gospel way is not about human efforts. It is not about their assent or justification by works. Salvation is about justification by faith alone in Christ Jesus alone. In this sermon on Romans 10:5–8 titled “Righteousness by Faith,” listen as Dr. Lloyd-Jones applies Paul’s gospel message to contemporary ears and encourages with the grace-filled message of our savior.
Jesus is Lord (1)
Paul has finally laid to rest the theory of salvation through the law. Salvation is through faith alone and Paul tells the church in Rome that they must first declare “Jesus is Lord” in order to be saved. This is one of the great statements of the Christian gospel. The only way to be righteous before God is to believe God and his word by faith. In this sermon on Romans 10:9–10 titled “Jesus is Lord (1),” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones says that the Christian must first consider the content of this saving faith. Salvation is all about Jesus and the fact that He is Lord. Christ is the firstborn of all creation and it is through Him that all was created. It is also through God that all of the cosmos will be restored once again. The second point is that God raised Christ from the dead. Without being completely clear of those two points, there is no salvation.
Jesus is Lord (2)
In this sermon on Romans 10:9–10 titled “Jesus is Lord (2),” the question is asked: who is Jesus? The answer in Scripture is that Jesus is Lord. The writers of holy Scripture tell that Jesus is far more than a human teacher; He is God’s anointed and the long-awaited Messiah that has been promised in the Old Testament. What does it mean that Jesus is Lord? As Lord, Jesus is worthy of all praise and trust. Jesus has come to fulfill all that God promised and He is God’s Son. The Christian must believe that Jesus is who He says He is, not simply who they want Him to be. This is important today because many say that Jesus is nothing more than a mere man who teaches people how to live and others say that Jesus is simply a man of faith. But Scripture is clear that Jesus was a real man, God in the flesh, who had come to die for the sins of the world. What does it matter if one says that Jesus is Lord or not? According to God’s Word, everything depends on who one says that Jesus is. If one confesses that Jesus is Lord they will be saved, but if they reject Him, they reject the only way of salvation.
Why Christ Died
What is the content of saving faith? Why is the death and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ significant? In this sermon on Romans 10:9–10 titled “Why Christ Died,” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones addresses these vital questions. The belief in the death, burial, and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ is central to the Christian faith. It is these beliefs that form the heart of the Christian faith because only through Jesus becoming a man and dying for the sins of fallen people can God forgive sinners. Jesus came to this earth in the form of a servant in order to die and the resurrection declared not only that Christ had died for sinners, but it declared His victory over death, sin, and Satan. Christians have a living Savior who, after atoning for sin, ascended into heaven where He now rules over the whole earth and from where He will come to judge the living and the dead. The resurrection, explains Dr. Lloyd-Jones, is God’s public proclamation to the whole universe that he is satisfied with His son who has honored the law completely. God is proclaiming that He and His law are completely satisfied.
Results of the Resurrection
What is at the center of history? In this sermon on Romans 10:9–10 titled “Results of the Resurrection,” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones proclaims that it is Jesus Christ, the crucified Messiah. His sacrificial death on the cross of Calvary is the means by which God conquered sin, Satan, and the power of death. All the blessings that Christ gives are procured by His suffering and rising from the grave. He then ascended into heaven, where He lives and intercedes for His people. After ascending into heaven, He sent the Holy Spirit just as He promised, to empower and comfort believers and the church. Jesus will return to bring His Kingdom to completion by finally destroying death and evil once and for all. These glorious truths should lead all believers to trust and hope in God that He is faithful to bring the work of redemption to completion. Christians ought to live in light of this hope and never look to themselves for wisdom and strength, but rely wholly on Him who has conquered the grave and defeated death.
Essential for Salvation
What are the essential truths that must be made known for a person to be saved? Many say that the Bible teaches that one must only believe on the name of Jesus Christ to be saved. Others preach that one must believe in the person of Mary or that they must have extraordinary knowledge in order to be saved. In this sermon on Romans 10:9–10 titled “Essential for Salvation,” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones shows the fallacy of both extremes. One temptation is to take away essential doctrines of the gospel in order to make it less offensive and more inclusive. The other temptation is to add more to the gospel than what is necessary, making it impossible for anyone to come to God and creating a works-based salvation. Dr. Lloyd-Jones shows through Scripture that the gospel message must include an explanation of who Jesus is, why He is needed, and why He is sufficient. This sermon will remind the listener of the biblical truth that a true evangelistic message must include repentance towards God and faith in Jesus Christ. In light of the truths presented in this sermon, the listener will be challenged to analyze their own beliefs and practices to see if they line up with the message of the apostles. Listeners will be encouraged to be bold in the proclamation of the gospel because it is the only true hope for the world.
The Condition of The Heart
Why do some people demand that society must be more tolerant while simultaneously being intolerant of Christianity? Some even say that they believe in Jesus, yet scoff at the doctrine of repentance, saying that modern humanity needs a more intellectual message for today’s world. In this sermon on Romans 10:9–10 titled “The Condition of the Heart,” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones confronts the notion that confessing Jesus as Lord is only an intellectual action and shows that true belief in Christ is one that affects the whole personality. By analyzing the book of Romans, one is able to see that the unbelief of a person cannot be broken by intellectual argument because the intellect has been darkened by the condition of the heart. Dr. Lloyd-Jones reminds that one’s condition before salvation hated God and that hatred controlled their thoughts towards God. One’s words reveal the condition of the heart, and out of the mouth is what reveals whether or not one truly believes in Christ. If the listener is struggling to know what true belief is, this sermon will help them analyze Scripture and apply it to their life.
A Change of Heart
Is salvation merely an intellectual endeavor that begins and ends with the mind or does it include the heart? In this sermon on Romans 10:9–10 titled “A Change of Heart,” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones examines what the apostles preached in their missionary journeys and what true salvation looks like. Throughout the New Testament, the apostles preach that saving faith is not only in the mind, but that it must include a change of heart. In the Old Testament, God promises to change the heart of stone into a heart of flesh. The question now is not whether or not the mind believes, but if the heart believes that Jesus is Lord. In today’s age many believe that one must only make a decision in order to be saved. Yet if this decision does not stem from a heart burdened by sin and seeking repentance from God, then it is not saving faith. Dr. Lloyd-Jones shows the hope of salvation that can only be given by God through the Son, a salvation that is so miraculous it changes a wicked heart into one that loves God.
In this sermon on Romans 10:9–10 titled “Saving Faith,” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones gives a roadmap through the Christian life as they experience God. Encountering God means that salvation is not only an intellectual decision or that God can be made known through reasonable thinking. Scripture demands that the Christian have faith in God and a faith that includes all of their being. But how can one possess such faith when they are full of fear and doubt? It is hard enough for a person to keep small commitments to themselves. Dr. Lloyd-Jones shows that it is precisely through encountering God that the Christian is given this faith by Him. God initiates this relationship that leads to Godly sorrow over sin, turning from them and putting faith in Jesus Christ. These are the very beginning steps in the Christian life and without them, one cannot be called a Christian. If one has been convicted of their sins, repented, changed their thoughts about God, and grieved over their sinfulness, they have shown the true marks of one who has encountered God and believed in the Lord Jesus Christ.
Assurance of Salvation
Can a person be assured that they are saved or is salvation something that only God can know? In his sermon on Romans 10:9–10 titled “Assurance of Salvation,” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones answers these questions by bringing the listener to Scripture. In the Bible, the answer is much more gracious and loving than the answers given commonly by people. Salvation is a work of God, not of humans, and how wonderful this truth is. If salvation was dependent on works, no one should have assurance of salvation. Think about how often people fail on the simplest of tasks and how often they let down those who love them most. Yet saving faith is given by God and because this is the case, they can rest in the assurance that God is the author of their salvation. Dr. Lloyd-Jones will show in this sermon on the assurance of salvation that it is the object of the Christian’s faith that gives assurance and it is God’s desire for every Christian to be assured of their salvation. Thank God He does not leave His children in the dark but has given a way to be bold in their salvation.
A Right Confession
What are the evidences of salvation? Some say that confessing belief in Jesus is what saves but in this sermon on Romans 10:9–10 titled “A Right Confession,” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones shows that confession only comes after a heart has been changed. This sermon shows that confessing Jesus as Lord is the confirmation of salvation but it is not what saves the person from their sin. The church in Acts gives an example that true salvation has evidence: one confesses that Jesus is Lord, turns away from their sin, follows the teaching of the Bible, and continues in fellowship with other believers. If one does not have these as marks in their life, confession is pointless because the heart has not been changed. By applying Paul’s letter, one sees that the work of a Christian is to proclaim Jesus as Lord by words and lives, not by parading Him around as a bumper sticker or Christian T-shirt. The work of God is much deeper than just outward signs and He works on the person in their entirety.
Confessing the Lord Jesus Christ
What does it mean to confess Jesus as Lord? Talk is cheap and when dealing with matters of life and death, one should think carefully about what it means to profess that Jesus is Lord. In this sermon on Romans 10:9–10 tiled “Confessing the Lord Jesus Christ,” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones gives a practical list of what a true profession of faith will look like. If Jesus is Lord, it means that He is over everything. If He is the Lord of one’s life, then every part of their life should be changed when they encounter Jesus. If one is not sure if they have encountered Christ, they can ask themselves these five questions: “do you have a changed attitude towards sin? Do you love being with other Christians? Are you concerned with God’s glory? Are you able to give a reason for your hope when asked? Are you not ashamed of Christ, regardless of the consequences?” The answer to these questions reveal the truth about one’s heart. These are marks that can only come from God Himself through salvation. Dr. Lloyd-Jones will help the listener see that following Jesus is the greatest thing that they can ever do. It is more than an intellectual commitment; it transforms everything about the Christian.
This Great Salvation
What is Scripture all about? What makes the writings of the Old and New Testaments unique? In this sermon on salvation from Romans 10:11–13 titled “This Great Salvation,” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones preaches on how Paul appeals to the Old Testament prophet Isaiah to show that salvation is for all who believe, both Jew and Gentile. Scripture reveals the one unified plan of salvation brought to pass in Jesus Christ. It speaks as one voice to humanity and declares that God has acted in Jesus Christ so that sinners can be saved. Those who want to do away with the Old Testament are in great danger of not only disregarding God’s holy Word, but they are also in danger of perverting the message of salvation. The whole Old Testament looks forward to when Jesus would come and die to save Jews and Gentiles. The message of Scripture is not an irrelevant one; it is the only message of salvation and forgiveness of sins.
God of Jew and Gentile
How does someone receive salvation? Paul says in Romans 10:11–13 that the first principle of salvation is belief and more specifically, belief in Christ Jesus. Paul just told the church in Rome that they must confess with their mouth that Jesus is Lord and now he says that they must believe in Him. All who believe will never be put to shame. Although the law and the devil may work against the Christian, the Lord has conquered all these things so that nothing in the whole cosmos could shame His people. In this sermon on Romans 10:11–13 titled “God of Jew and Gentile,” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones points out that this specific passage thoroughly and completely emphasizes that salvation and belief are open to whoever calls on Christ, meaning that it equally applies to the Jews and the Gentiles. All are born under Adam, which means that all people groups are under the same condemnation. Paul is sharing that despite what they previously thought, the Jews have no special standing in regard to salvation. The hope is that all people are saved by believing in Christ. Once that is done, God’s salvation is perfect and secure for all eternity.