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 …
The Riches of His Grace
In this sermon on “The Riches of His Grace” from Romans 10:11–13 Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones continues unfolding the apostle Paul’s argument for the inclusion of Gentiles in salvation. Working from this passage, his second point in the series draws from the glorious fact that the same Lord Jesus Christ, who is Lord over all, is rich in grace to all who call upon Him. Since salvation depends entirely upon God and His power to forgive, there is hope for anyone. It’s the great central theme of the Scripture foretold by the prophets, brought about by Jesus in the gospel, and proclaimed by the apostles and the early church. What does this mean for today? It doesn't matter how much one has sinned or how profound their ignorance is, the riches of God’s grace are endless and He is sufficient to give to all. There is no work or effort one can add to their salvation because His riches in salvation are all-sufficient. All worldly distinctions and prejudices are foolish because God is rich to all, without distinction, and there is nothing one can ever need that cannot be found in this endlessly rich savior.
Jew and Gentile; no Difference
People love to make distinctions between themselves and others, between their tribe and other tribes. Fallen hearts tend to make these distinctions so as to elevate themselves above others, especially in religious matters. The apostle Paul has tirelessly labored in Romans to emphasize that there is no distinction between Jew and Gentile –– all sin falls short of the glory of God. If one does not follow the apostle here, they will construct different ways of salvation that appeal to the flesh. One may think being moral, good or kind is the way of salvation. But God’s way of salvation has always been the same — those who call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. There is no distinction between Jew or Gentile in any sense, whether in sin or salvation. In this sermon on Romans 10:11–13 titled “Jew or Gentle, No Difference,” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones expounds Paul’s teaching and brings contemporary application. Specifically, he applies Paul’s teaching here to dispensationalism and its teaching that makes a distinction between salvation for Jews and salvation for the church. In an amicable spirit, Dr. Lloyd-Jones challenges the popular movement by rightly connecting the Old Testament teaching on salvation with the New Testament. He emphasizes that there is only one way with one gospel and no distinctions.
Preaching and Salvation
In this sermon on salvation from Romans 10:14–17 titled “Preaching and Salvation,” Dr. Lloyd-Jones dives into some of the fundamental questions of Christianity: How does one receive salvation? What is the eternal position of those who have not heard? How should the gospel be preached? These questions are important to faith and occur frequently in the mind of the believer. They may be a prevailing source of uncertainty or perhaps doubt. But Dr. Lloyd-Jones quenches these points of uncertainty by focusing on this passage and the interpretation of Paul’s discourse. He goes back to the basics, proclaiming that salvation comes to those who cry out to the Lord. Dr. Lloyd-Jones explains the dynamic role of preaching and says that it is important because, as Paul writes, believing comes through hearing the good news. The world today is filled with doubt regarding the path to heaven. Is Christ the only way? Dr. Lloyd Jones answers this by drawing upon Scripture and other Christian theologians and shedding light onto the unbeliever’s path, specifically those who have never heard the gospel. Are they beyond the reach of salvation? Listen as Dr. Lloyd-Jones returns to the Christian fundamentals. Hear the good news preached again and be reminded of God’s sovereign power and incredible love.
Why does the Christian church gather weekly to hear a message when each person could be at home reading from the Bible? In his sermon on Romans 10:14–17 titled “Why Preaching?” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones addresses this question as he delivers a message about the importance of preaching as it is God’s chief way for the gospel to be heard. Reading is right and good for the knowledgeable Christian, but for someone newly touched by the Holy Spirit, the words of a pastor are formative to their acceptance of the good news. Dr. Lloyd-Jones recalls the Ethiopian man who was reading the Old Testament but could not understand the writings. He needed Philip to come into his chariot and explain its meaning. This is the wonderful power of preaching. In addition to this truth, Dr. Lloyd-Jones explains how important it is for believers to gather in church to hear a message. Believers, he says, need to be present for those who need help. Perhaps it is a person has lost a family member, needs encouragement, or needs help understanding the sermon. Believers are there to also lean on each other. He concludes by saying that preaching can be the powerful spark of revival and that the gathering of Christians has the potential to glorify God in ways that didn’t seem possible.
Called to Preach (1)
In the first part of his sermon on Romans 10:14–17 titled “Called to Preach (1),” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones answers an important question: what makes a preacher? As he curates a biblical list that describes an ideal pastor, Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones declares the first reason for preaching. Quoting from Romans, he reads, “And how can they believe in whom they have not heard?” The primary reason for preaching is to herald the good news to those who have not heard. As Paul wrote, people cannot believe in something unless they’re told of it. The second reason for preaching, he says, is because a person is called. Dr. Lloyd-Jones gives a number of New Testament examples of people being called to preach the good news. Chiefly, he cites Christ’s calling of the disciples. Lastly, he reminds the listener how important it is for a preacher to be appointed by the congregation. He again quotes passages from the New Testament where the church selected and prayed over certain people to bring the message locally and abroad. A person cannot appoint himself to preach. He must be given the responsibility by the church body. Dr. Lloyd-Jones concludes by saying that these three points are essential to preaching and the great opportunity to share the promise of Christ.
Called to Preach (2)
In the sermon on Romans 10:14–17 titled “Called to Preach (2),” Dr. Lloyd-Jones elaborates on the qualities that make a good preacher. He dives into an equally important discussion: how does a person know if he’s called to preach? Reading from this passage, he answers this question by reiterating the biblical definition of a preacher. He says that a preacher is one of God’s ordained ways to spread the good news, for how can people believe without first hearing? But how does a person know if he’s being called? Dr. Lloyd-Jones says that person may feel a pressure they cannot shake, an inclination toward a certain notion. Second, he says that the person must feel a burden for the souls of men and women. It is not enough for a man to want to speak in front of the congregation. This person must also care deeply about the spirits of those to whom he ministers. Lastly, in accordance with the person’s burden for the souls of men and women, the man must be willing to preach the gospel. He must live for it, Dr. Lloyd-Jones says. He must be willing to preach the facts of the good news: Christ’s redemptive death on the cross and the incredible salvation that comes through faith.
The Preachers Message (1)
In his sermon on Romans 10:14–17 titled “The Preacher’s Message (1),” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones tackles an important question: what are preachers supposed to preach? Drawing from Paul’s writing in this passage, he reminds that preaching is God’s primary purpose for delivering the gospel. How is a person supposed to judge if a pastor is exercising good preaching? Dr. Lloyd-Jones devises a test. If the message does not bring “glad tidings,” it should probably be reconsidered. The good news is called the good news for a reason, he says. The incredible salvation believers have through the grace of God is cause for celebration. Dr. Lloyd-Jones gives three common examples of people preaching without the gospel’s joy. He says to be wary of people saying Christians are supposed to bring the kingdom; the kingdom is already coming. He says to look out for people who preach strictly on Christ’s morals as morals are not God’s grace. He also says to beware of preachers who tell the congregation to put their faith in the church; the church is not the avenue to salvation. With that, Dr. Lloyd-Jones concludes his sermon in stating that the one true faith believers have is in Jesus Christ and the joy that comes with it.
The Preachers Message (2)
In his sermon on Romans 10:14–17 titled “The Preacher’s Message (2),” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones talks about the great joy believers have within the gospel. Reading from this Scripture passage, he reminds the listener of the basics of the good news and how it should inspire Christians. He says that preaching is God’s chief appointed role for sharing the gospel to the congregation and unbelievers. Because of this responsibility, it’s important for preachers to integrate the good news into their message. Dr. Lloyd-Jones offers this suggestion with a warning to the congregation: do not grow tired of hearing the gospel. It is easy for Christians to forget the amazing power bestowed by God to those who believe. Dr. Lloyd-Jones takes an opportunity to remind Christians of what they have in Christ. He says that God gave His Son for the forgiveness of sins simply because He is rich in mercy and grace, as seen in Ephesians 2. Dr. Lloyd-Jones expounds upon the daily intercession Christ takes for Christians at the right hand of the Father. He goes on to describe the groaning of the Holy Spirit that prays when believers don’t know what to pray for. With these incredible privileges, Dr. Lloyd-Jones concludes with a call to obey the gospel and take joy in the promises within.
Hearing of Faith
How is a person saved? Is it through just hearing the gospel or is it through faith? The debate is a theological divide in the Christian church. In this sermon on Romans 10:16–17 titled “Hearing of Faith,” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones gives firm biblical grounding in salvation that comes not just by hearing, but by faith in Christ and His sacrifice on the cross. Dr. Lloyd-Jones says that there are two types of hearing: hearing that falls on the ears and hearing that moves a person to believe. Quoting the words of Isaiah, he reveals that this has always been the case. Not every person who hears believes. It was the same in the Old Testament, the New Testament, and today. Dr. Lloyd-Jones points out that this is an example of divine inspiration in Scripture. In a relatable “church goer” example, Dr. Lloyd-Jones reviews the elements needed for a person to hear the gospel with faith. That person’s heart must be opened by God and they must then trust in Christ’s redeeming death on the cross. To convey this incredible truth, Dr. Lloyd-Jones draws on other examples from the New Testament that embody and proclaim this faith today.
Faith and Obedience
In Romans 10:16–17, Paul explains that for a person to come to faith, they must hear the good news. But what comes after receiving faith? In this sermon on Romans 10:16–17 titled “Faith and Obedience,” Dr. Lloyd-Jones answers this question affirmatively by pointing to the early church in Paul’s time. After faith, a change was expected in the believers. They could no longer participate in idol worship or immoral rituals. Dr. Lloyd-Jones says that they must submit themselves to the gospel with obedience. A good test to see whether or not a person really has faith is to look at their actions. Are they changed after believing or do they give, as Dr. Lloyd-Jones calls it, “intellectual assent”? These are people who merely acknowledge the gospel as the truth but do nothing to back it up. They never left behind worldly habits and practices. But Dr. Lloyd-Jones points out that as James said, faith without works is dead. Obedience shows faith and faith encourages obedience. In closing this sermon on obedience, he extends the message of salvation, reminding believers and unbelievers alike of the joy found within.
Faith and Joy
What is the Christian’s reaction to the gospel? In this sermon from Romans 10:16–17 titled “Faith and Joy,” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones declares the first action of a Christian is to obey. There is a difference between people who merely hear the gospel and those who take action from it. Some listen and forget and some listen and do. He declares that this is the primary reaction to the gospel. The secondary reaction is joy. Dr. Lloyd-Jones raises a powerful question: if Christians are supposed to be lights in this world, why are so many caught up in their own problems and gloom? He says that Christians should be the happiest people on earth. He gives examples of some of the most joyous people in the New Testament: the Philippian jailor, the shepherd who found his sheep, and the woman who washed Christ’s feet. These are all people who, in different ways, heard the good news and responded appropriately. Dr. Lloyd-Jones reminds that Christians have great cause to rejoice as they have been forgiven of much sin and are promised an eternal inheritance with God. Dr. Lloyd-Jones concludes that in light of those joyous New Testament believers, perhaps Christians today should reevaluate their reaction to the gospel and reconsider the life they’ve been given.
The Case of the Jews
Did the apostle Paul really claim that the gospel had been proclaimed throughout the world? What could he have meant by such a statement? What about the Jews and how can he claim that the majority of Jews have not obeyed the gospel? Did most of them hear the gospel preached? Some would protest and think that Paul was obviously mistaken. In this sermon on Romans 10:18–21 titled “The Case of the Jews,” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones looks at the connection between the Old Testament anticipation of the coming Messiah and the large-scale rejection of Jesus Christ by the Jews and also during Paul’s day. By interpreting Scripture with Scripture, Dr. Lloyd-Jones demonstrates how the Jewish people should have known about the suffering Messiah from their own Scriptures. The New Testament often assumes the clarity of the gospel in the Old Testament and yet there is a blindness to the clear teaching. The gospel from the apostle Paul was not a message that should be hidden from the masses. There was no hint of a “mystery religion” where only a select few knew the right details in order to be “initiated.” Dr. Lloyd-Jones contends that God was taking the gospel message through appointed apostles, prophets and preachers so that it would be heard by everyone, everywhere.
The Gospel and the Jews
Why is the Jewish nation now outside the kingdom of God? In this sermon on Romans 10:18–21 titled “The Gospel and the Jews,” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones analyzes and confirms that it is not because the Jews lack hearing or because there is a lack of plain teaching to them. Paul has made three things very clear thus far in Romans: the way of salvation, the inclusion of the Gentiles, and the exclusion of the Jews. The Jews did in fact receive very clear teaching about this from Moses and other prophets. Moses even explicitly said that the kingdom of God would be taken from the Jewish nation and given to a nation bearing fruit. So if the Jews have heard and received teaching, what are the reasons they are no longer in the kingdom? It was due to their false views on salvation. They thought of it in terms of their nation and the fact that they were circumcised. They had a false confidence in their flesh, holding onto their family lineage, and the fact that they had the Scriptures of the Lord. That proved to be their stumbling block. God requires that believers be not only hearers of the law but also doers of the law.
Tragedy of the Jews
As it pertains to human knowledge, human understanding, or human works, the Jews of Paul’s day would be in a position of entire advantage. Yet the majority of Jews, as Paul laments in Romans, did not obey the gospel. Why? Moreover, what does it mean that Paul cites Scripture against the Jews calling them “disobedient” and “gainsaying”? In this sermon on Romans 10:18–21 titled “Tragedy of the Jews,” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones grounds the tragedy of the Jews in God’s sovereign election and their prejudice against the Lord Jesus Christ. Salvation belongs to the Lord, as Dr. Lloyd-Jones reminds the listener. The way of salvation from old covenant to the new covenant is determined by the sovereign grace of God. The “whosoever” of salvation is tied to “whosoever” as God determines, whether that is predominantly Jews or predominantly Gentiles. But Dr. Lloyd-Jones leaves room for human responsibility as well. Many of the Jews in the first century were simply set against the gospel. Jesus experienced this in His earthly ministry with the Pharisees as did Paul in his ministry. Listen as Dr. Lloyd-Jones tackles the topic of divine sovereignty and human responsibility and as Paul explained the tragedy of the Jews, Dr. Lloyd-Jones calls the church to self-examination and praise in the sovereign election of God.
Learning the Lessons from Israel’s History
How could it be that the foolish and ignorant Gentiles would predominately receive the gospel, whereas God’s chosen people, the Jews, would predominately reject the gospel? Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones has been tracing the apostle Paul’s argument through Romans, seeking to answer this query following the inspired text of Scripture itself. In this sermon on Romans 10:18–21 titled “Learning the Lessons,” he transitions from exposition to application of the many exegetical principles he has established in earlier messages. Dr. Lloyd-Jones notes the important role in the personal application of Scripture, which many of the Jews in Paul’s day missed. Furthermore, he traces the history of the church as illustrative of “dead orthodoxy” that abandons the Lord Jesus Christ and persecutes His church. The answer to such alarming tendency of so-called “Christians” persecuting the church is a posture of self-examination and returning to the ultimate authority – the word of God. Dr. Lloyd-Jones asks the church to remain open to the scrutiny of Scripture, remaining humble before it and others, while rightly handling the whole of the Bible. Listen to this vital message from Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones as he cautions the church to take serious the tragedy of the Jews, not merely as a historical interest, but more importantly as a means of God’s grace in the life of His people.
The Gospel of Peace
What is the nature of true peace? Many say that peace is simply the absence of war or conflict. In this sermon on Romans 10:15 titled “The Gospel of Peace” however, Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones says that there is a better peace that God gives. The Bible says that all are in sin and wholly corrupt. They fight each other because they are sinners who are alienated from God. This wrong relationship with God is the source of all strife and hostility amongst people, and until people are made right with God, they will not be made right with one another. This is why God not only provides a way for all to be redeemed from their sins, but also to restore their relationship with God. This right relationship is what gives true and lasting peace because it gives the knowledge that God loves humanity and has died for all. This peace shows that one can rest in God and not themselves. It shows that while this world is passing away, one has hope in the world to come when Christ returns to bring the new heaven and the new earth. What does this mean for believers now? This means that they should not look to any other source of peace than what God has given in His Son.