The Book of Romans
The famous series of Friday night sermons on the Letter to the Romans, split into 14 volumes to parallel the books, plus a small collection of 13 individual sermons preached at Westminster Chapel.
Abraham Justified By Faith
The overwhelming message of Romans is that the righteous will live by faith. In the sermon “Abraham Justified By Faith” from Romans 4:1–3, Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones believes that this is for the sake of the Jews who may not understand their Old Testament and are now rejecting this “new” message. There is only one covenant of grace and it was the same in the Old Testament as it was in the New. God’s way of dealing with humanity has always been the same. In this sermon, Dr. Lloyd-Jones also discusses how Abraham and David were justified in the Old Testament dispensation. By what was Abraham justified? By faith, as the Scripture states that Abraham believed and it was counted to him as righteousness. This is the first time in the Bible that the doctrine of justification by faith has been presented this clearly. When Abraham believed, it meant that he trusted and committed to what God said and this was established as a covenant. Dr. Lloyd-Jones warns that even though Paul continues to review the same points, the Christian must never skip over a Scripture that seems less applicable and appealing. This chapter provides a great explanation for justification by faith and it is essential to grasp and understand these arguments.
Justifying the Ungodly
Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones asks, “Who is the man who can be justified?” He answers that it is anyone that produces no works and is ungodly. In accordance with Paul’s preaching throughout Romans that would be everyone. Paul says this because the act of justification is entirely a work of Christ and no work that we do could ever be part of that process. In this sermon titled “Justifying the Ungodly” from Romans 4:4–8, Dr. Lloyd-Jones also explains that because all are ungodly, justification does not make them righteous: it means that Christ has imputed His righteousness to their account. In this passage, Paul discusses both Abraham and David, both of whom were people of the Old Testament that received salvation by faith. Paul quotes David in this passage and Dr. Lloyd-Jones explains that forgiveness is noted as the first step in the process of reconciliation. Christ covers sins, forgives iniquities, and does not impute the sins against the sinner. Instead, God imputed those sins on His Son Jesus, which were then taken to the cross. A Christian realizes that they play no part in this process and salvation is purely God’s work on the cross.
Was Abraham, a prominent figure in the Old Testament, justified by works? Paul says no; he was justified by faith alone. Just as a teacher lectures and then makes time for possible questions, Paul presents his case on the true gospel and a message on salvation and then answers potential questions that might arise. The Jews may have suggested that since Abraham was not justified by works, it was because he was circumcised. Paul again says no. Abraham was the father to all, both circumcised and uncircumcised, because Scripture shows that he was justified before he was circumcised. In the sermon “Faith Alone” on Romans 4:9–16, Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones shows that Paul warns against those who merely held to their own circumcision as a means of salvation. Dr. Lloyd-Jones explains how the Jews had not properly understood why the Lord gave them the sign of circumcision and how Paul refutes their wrong beliefs. When Abraham was credited as righteous, it is the first time in Scripture that salvation by faith alone was defined. The Lord promised that because of Abraham’s faithfulness, his seed would produce the Son of God.
Salvation Guaranteed by Grace
What is the difference between the promise of God and the law of God? In the sermon “Salvation Guaranteed by Grace,” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones expounds on the teaching of the apostle Paul in Romans 4:13–17. Here is the promise that Christ’s salvation given by God to Abraham and his descendants is a gift of grace. The law, on the other hand, says, “Do this and live!” These are two different things that are both explained in Jesus Christ. He died and fulfilled the law wholly, and it is by grace that all who believe become inheritors of His salvation. Does this mean that the law is evil? Paul gives an emphatic no to this question. The law's purpose was to point toward a gift of salvation, not provide salvation. What does the law and the promise have to do with today’s Christian? This is not an abstract theological question but it concerns the central question of salvation. It asks all to examine themselves to find out if they are truly resting in the promise of Jesus Christ or in themselves. This sermon on salvation by grace calls all to believe in the gospel of Jesus Christ as the only means of salvation.
The Nature of Faith
How does faith impact one’s entire life? In the sermon “The Nature of Faith” on Romans 4:18, Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones outlines five ways that Abraham’s faith affected his whole world, not just his justification. It is important to note that faith is much different from merely belief. Faith is an unwavering, concrete certainty. Faith is the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not yet seen. Because of Abraham’s strong faith, it allowed him to truly believe God’s promises for him and his life. It enabled him to rest on God’s word alone without any other evidence. His faith also helped him believe the promises of God even though they seemed completely impossible. Lastly, his faith enabled him to act upon the promises that the Lord set before him. Dr. Lloyd-Jones also outlines how Abraham’s faith enabled him in these five ways. When one examines their own life, it can be easy to trade faith for merely belief. True faith faces the facts and makes a person strong, never staggering at the Lord’s promises. May the listener hear this sermon and be encouraged to have faith like Abraham.
Faith Glorifying God
What is faith? In this sermon on Romans 4:18–22 titled “Faith Glorifying God,” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones dissects the negative and positive aspects of the nature of faith through the illustration of Abraham presented in Romans 4:18–22: “No unbelief made him waver concerning the promise of God, but he grew strong in his faith as he gave glory to God, fully convinced that God was able to do what he had promised.” Abraham’s faith was not one that looked to itself, nor to his circumstances, but its essence was to give glory to God. He considered the nature of God – the God who never makes His promises lightly, never changes His mind, and is fully capable of doing what He has promised – and Abraham applied that knowledge to his circumstances. In one’s own experience, though they may find they are weak in faith, all they need do to strengthen it is to follow the example of Abraham and many others put forth in Scripture as examples of great faith. The Christian must grow in their knowledge of God – objectively, as He’s revealed Himself in the Scriptures and personally, through prayer and time spent in His presence – and apply that knowledge to the particulars of their lives. Faith is simply holding onto the faithfulness of God.
Raised for Our Justification
What is faith? Is it simply belief in some divine power? Is it merely confidence in belief itself? In this sermon on Romans 4:22–25 titled “Raised for Our Justification,” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones seeks to answer the question of what true faith is. Biblical faith is not a generic faith in an idea of God or even salvation, but it an absolute trust in the person and work of Jesus Christ. It is a faith in the message that Jesus has died and risen from the dead. It is a faith that revolves around what Jesus has done for sinners by dying on the cross. It is the death and resurrection of Jesus that saves and makes the Christian right before God. It is Jesus’s work on the cross that brings the believer to a true knowledge of God the Father. The only thing left to do is to believe in Jesus, to come before God in need of His grace and mercy. Just as Abraham believed in the promises of God and it was accounted to him as righteousness, so too all that believe in the promise of God in Jesus Christ will justified before God. This sermon is a message of hope and peace in the salvation that Jesus’s brings.
Delivered for Our Offences
In this sermon on Romans 4:23–25 titled “Delivered for Our Offences,” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones examines why one cannot take the teachings of Jesus as moral philosophy to improve the world, but instead examine who the person of Jesus is. Jesus did not come into this world to be a moral teacher, but instead came so that the wrath of God could be satisfied in His death so that all could be forgiven. Humanity’s biggest problem is not the fears of this world, but the fact that all will soon die and face God. On that day when one dies, how will they stand before God? Dr. Lloyd-Jones reminds that all are guilty of not loving God as they should, and that they can do nothing in themselves to get rid of sin. It is in this truth that one can rightly examine why Jesus came, and that the greatest problem is not the chaos of the world, but the sin inside hearts.
What does it mean to believe in God? This question is at the heart of the Bible’s teaching on salvation and redemption; it is vital that everyone come to a clear understanding if what it means. In this sermon on Romans 4:18–25 titled “Believe God,” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones looks at the apostle Paul’s example of Abraham. Abraham trusted in the promise of God that He would bring a savior from his seed who would redeem the whole world and break the power of sin and the devil. Though Abraham and Sarah were old and had no child, this did not stop them from trusting in God that He was able to bring about what was promised. This salvation comes when Jesus Christ is born of a virgin under the law and dies a death of propitiation for all who believe. Now all who are saved are those that believe in the promises of God made complete in Christ Jesus, and these are the same promises that Abraham believed in those thousands of years ago that have now been fulfilled in Christ. Trusting in God is the opposite of relying on one’s own works and good deeds. Only by looking to the finished work of Christ can anyone be freed from sin and made a child of God.