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 …
In this sermon on Romans 6:1–2 titled “An Introduction,” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones explains why this passage is so important. Here is found the great truth of justification by faith alone through the work of Christ alone. He explains why justification by faith alone rightly understood does not lead to a life of sin and immorality. This is because the gospel not only makes the Christian righteous before God, but also gives them the Holy Spirit and the desire to live a life of purity. It is only by abusing the doctrine of justification by faith alone that people are encouraged to sin and to break the law of God. Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones shows how this is a deeply practical doctrine that has profound and lasting impact for how the Christian lives as a follower of Jesus Christ. All who come to Jesus as repentant sinners and believe upon His name will be saved, and justified by faith in Christ alone.
Transferred to The Reign of Grace
What does it mean to have died to sin in Christ? This is a debated phrase that has had a number of interpretations throughout church history. In this sermon on Romans 6:12 titled “Transferred to the Reign of Grace,” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones says that understanding this Scripture is vital. This is important not merely as an academic exercise, but for the Christian life. He says that to have died to sin means that God has declared the Christian justified in Christ and a new person. It is the divine pronouncement of God’s favor and total forgiveness for all who believe in Jesus Christ. The emphasis, says Dr. Martin Lloyd-Jones, is always on what God has done for His people. This is why Paul expects the charge that he is encouraging sin so that grace might abound; he anticipates that this view of grace could be misunderstood. This sermon asks all saved people: “why are you in Christ? Has God declared you holy and in His Son?” It challenges Christians to see if they have truly believed in the gospel and received salvation from God. For only by believing in the cross of Jesus Christ can anyone be saved and made a child of God.
Union with Christ
In this sermon on Romans 6:3 titled “Union with Christ,” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones breaks down several thoughts or viewpoints concerning baptism, including the Catholic and Protestant views. In addition, he also discusses several views within each belief. In Romans 6:3, it almost seems like Paul is stating that baptism into Christ is baptism in His death. Dr. Lloyd-Jones warns that if one is stumbling over specifics in the varying viewpoints, they could potentially miss the glories that baptism represents. The most glorious aspect of baptism is that Christians are in Christ and He is in them. The saved were once in Adam and dead because of sin, but their union with Christ in His death, burial, and resurrection is shown through baptism. This means that the final salvation is guaranteed. Whatever viewpoint is held, the Christian must always acknowledge that they are literally united with Christ and baptism shows a united nature with Him.
Does the battle against sin feel hopeless? Will the Christian ever conquer this war against their flesh? As Christians, all have died, been buried, and crucified with Christ. But yet they still sin. Paul explained that all Christians were previously under the wrath, rule, and reign of sin. However, just as they were related and joined with Adam, so now they are related and joined with Christ who died on the cross. In this sermon on Romans 6:3–4 titled “New Life,” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones emphasizes that this happened without question. It is the first step in justification. In addition to being joined in Christ’s death, the Christian has been buried with Christ as well. Burial is always the final proof of death. This means that the Christian is truly done with their past way of life and sin and will join Christ in His resurrection. Christ could not be held by the power of death; the glory and power of God raised Him from the dead. That same glory and power also raised the Christian. Because of this, Dr. Lloyd-Jones urges the listener to walk in this newness of life and to rejoice in the fact that they are joined with Christ and walk with Him in the new life.
The Old Man Was Crucified
What does it mean when Christians say to “put off the old man”? Sometimes, Christians can get carried away with the notion of the “old self,” saying they need the old self to die and be crucified. However, in this sermon from Romans 6:5–6 titled “The Old Man Was Crucified,” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones says that the old self is indeed gone and was crucified with Christ. Paul says that because the Christian is united with Christ in His death, burial, and resurrection, any old self that was under the reign of sin has also died. Although the Christian was not physically with Christ during those acts, they were spiritually with Him. Even now, they are spiritually with Christ and growing. Instead of saying that the old self needs to die, Dr. Lloyd-Jones explains that the Christian needs to shed old characteristics of sin. They should no longer live like the old self because He has already died. Paul guarantees that it has already been done and Christ’s people are no longer slaves to sin.
Freed from Sin
If the old self has died to sin, then why does the Christian still struggle with sin? In the previous passage, Paul confirmed that the old self in Adam was crucified with Christ. In this passage, Paul specifically uses the term “the body of sin,” which means the body lived in today. In the sermon on Romans 6:6–7 titled “Freed from Sin,” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones speaks at length to distinguish between the “old man” and the “body of sin” to which Paul refers. As a Christian, the old self is dead but the mortal body has not yet been delivered from the effects of sin and the fall. Sin still has a rule on the body and so one should long for the redemption of the body that will come. Paul warns that it is because of this exact purpose that the Christian should no longer live in sin and let the members of the body be instruments of sin. Why would the Christian act like the person who has already died? A day is soon coming when the body will be glorified, just as Christ’s body was glorified when He ascended into Heaven. Let the Christian continue to fight the sin that tempts the carnal body and long for the day when they will be free from the effects of sin.
Freed from the Tyranny of Sin
The phrase “don't be a baby” is used in everyday language, but what does that imply? It does not mean that people should put aside their childish ways, but that they are no longer a child so they should act like an adult. In the sermon on Romans 6:7 titled “Freed from the Tyranny of Sin,” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones expands on his previous sermon by highlighting the same emphasis that Paul writes about in this passage. Once again, Paul is confirming that the old self has died with Christ and so the Christian has been set free from sin. They are no longer under the reign of sin and should live in accordance to this truth. Those who are in Christ are justified from the guilt of sin. Paul once again proves the assurance of salvation. While mortal bodies may still be tempted with sin, Christ’s Holy Spirit dwells within and are no longer under the rule of sin. In the final day when Christ calls the believers home to Heaven, mortal bodies will then be free of all temptation. Dr. Lloyd-Jones encourages God’s people to lift their eyes to anticipate that glorious day.
Christ's Death Unto Sin
In the sermon on Romans 6:8–10 titled “Christ’s Death Unto Sin,” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones encourages the listener to not think of themselves so much. Christians often feel they must continually die to their old selves. This means they have not fully grasped the immense truth that the old self was crucified with Christ and is gone. They no longer need to think of their struggles, downfalls, and constant failures. Paul emphasizes once more that what happened to Christ has also happened to His people. Thus, they are to live after God, not in a future sense but in a present sense. Sin once had dominion over Christ because death is caused by sin. Christ died unto sin but He also rose from the grave, which means He conquered the dominion of sin. This act happened one time, once and forever. Dr. Lloyd-Jones shows that this means the Christian has full assurance in their salvation and the truth that the old self is gone. The resurrection proves that the law was satisfied and they are no longer under any reign of sin.
No More in Realm of Sin and Death
When Christ prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane and felt anguish, it was because He knew that the crucifixion would cut Him off from the realm of God and He wanted to be spared of it. However, Christ came as a volunteer and prayed that the Lord’s will would be done and that He would be restored back to the realm of God. Christ died once unto sin and He is finished with sin once and for all. Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones outlines this in his sermon on Romans 6:10–11 titled “No More in Realm of Sin and Death.” Christ came out of glory only once, but He did so for humanity’s sake. Now that Paul has finished emphasizing this point, he moves on to how this truth can be applied. Dr. Lloyd-Jones notes that the truth about humanity has been shared repeatedly up until this point, but now Paul wants the listener to reckon this truth unto themselves. Dr. Lloyd-Jones explains three principles that the Christian must bear in mind about these truths. He also explains the meaning and application of the word “reckon.” Therefore, may all reckon these truths day by day and live in thankfulness to the God who conquered sin and death.
Free in Christ Jesus
Should a Christian fear death? In this sermon from Romans 6:11 titled “Free in Christ,” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones reminds the listener that those who are in Christ will never taste spiritual death and that is one of the most comforting truths for a Christian. Paul explains in Romans 6:11 that Christians can count themselves dead to sin but alive in Christ. Dr. Lloyd-Jones points to several key truths in this verse: the whole relationship to sin has changed; sin no longer has dominion over the Christian, even though they have contact with sin in their bodies; they are no longer under the law and its condemnation; and the dominion of death no longer remains. A Christian no longer sins as a slave, but sins voluntarily as a free person. Not even the devil himself can make a Christian a slave to sin and its consequences. Christians are indeed dead to sin’s realm, rule, and reign.
Dead to Sin; Alive to God
Christians are alive unto God in the reign and realm of God. They were dead in sin, but now have been raised together with Christ into an entirely new sphere. But what does it mean to be alive to God? In this sermon on Romans 6:11 titled “Dead to Sin, Alive to God,” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones teaches about the new relationship the Christian has with God. “The most terrible thing about a life of sin is that you are not open to the blessings of God,” he states. Common graces are not the real blessings of God; they pale in comparison to these spiritual promises. To be alive unto God means to be part of His purpose. Christians are united to Christ because they are now in Him and members of His body. Be encouraged and learn the result of being in God and the importance of the word “never.” The same Spirit that comes upon the Christian was in Christ. God has begun this work in the Christian and He will complete this work. Be dead to sin and alive to Christ. This helps the Christian fight sin through the great assurance and confidence this gospel provides. The joy of the Lord is the Christian’s strength. Rest on the sure and perfect word of God.
Let Not Sin Reign
Let not sin therefore reign in the mortal body. Doctrine is always something to be applied, not just considered. In this sermon on Romans 6:12–14 titled “Let Not Sin Reign,” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones divides Christians into two groups based on interest in doctrine verses practical matters. Is Christian doctrine simply an intellectual hobby? What is the distinction between a person and their “mortal body”? Look at the connection between mortality and corruption. Sin remains in the body and if it is not kept in check, then it will reign in the body. Sin is not dead, but the Christian must remain dead to sin. The Christian is encouraged to yield the body as a slave to righteousness and holiness and not allow sin to reign, for God provides a way out. Listen as Dr. Lloyd-Jones give the exhortation that the Christian is called not to a sudden deliverance but to a life of sanctification. For the Christian who longs to be holy, they must understand this doctrine and continually remind themselves of it. It is the truth that sanctifies and makes one free. “It is God’s purpose to make us holy and He is working in us,” Dr. Lloyd-Jones reminds the listener. Resist the devil and he will indeed flee.
Servants of Righteousness
What does it mean to be a “slave to righteousness”? Paul explains in Romans 6:18 that Christians are no longer slaves to sin and sin has power no longer. Instead, Christians are now slaves to righteousness. In this sermon on Romans 6:18 titled “Servants of Righteousness,” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones details several truths that can be drawn from this one verse. He is clear to point out that he is not saying that there is no sin left in the Christian or that they are free from sinful nature or temptations. There is no choice in this matter of sanctification because it starts the moment that the Christian believes. Once they believe, the soul yearns with jealous envy for righteousness because they are drawn to the realm of God instead of the realm of sin. Dr. Lloyd-Jones also warns that many people can have qualities of a Christian but not hold the same doctrines. He mentions that the Pharisees were people like this, creating their own righteousness instead of submitting to God’s righteousness. This practice is ignorant. One does not understand what morality is and needs to lean on the Lord for wisdom. Christians can rejoice that the Lord who began a good work in them will be faithful to complete this work.
The Infirmity of the Flesh
Just as children grow up to become adults, so too new believers will grow up in Christ. As Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones describes in the sermon from Romans 6:19 titled “The Infirmity of the Flesh,” Paul uses an illustration. It is rare for Paul to tell a story or use an analogy, but he chose to do so by relating that Christians are now slaves to righteousness instead of slaves to sin. In Romans 6:19, he clarifies by saying, “I speak after the manner of men.” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones points out that this specific verse is Paul explaining why he uses an illustration to make his subject matter simple and clear. Dr. Lloyd-Jones remarks that this should be the only use of illustrations for any teacher or preacher of the Bible. Paul also notes that he only used the illustration so that others would not misunderstand what he was saying. He wants to emphasize that righteousness combines both slavery and freedom: slavery to righteousness but a freedom from the reign of sin. Paul chose to use an illustration because some of his listeners are still children in a sense of Christianity. Dr. Lloyd-Jones goes on to warn that believers should never stay children of the word of God only drinking milk, but instead should constantly be growing and maturing to take in the meat of the gospel.
Servants of Sin
Why should the Christian live a holy and righteous life? Paul gives an argument and Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones encourages the listener to reason through it. Paul reminds the reader of the state and condition of their old life when they used to be slaves to sin and since one cannot serve two masters, they were not yet slaves to righteousness. In this sermon from Romans 6:20–21 titled “Changed from Glory into Glory,” Dr. Lloyd-Jones points out there are some people in this world that act moral but are not true Christians. The unsaved are governed by self and a Christian is governed by righteousness. Those who are slaves of sin and not of righteousness lead a fruitless and shameful life. Dr. Lloyd-Jones encourages the listener to ask themselves three questions to test if something is from the old life or the new life in Christ: Does it give satisfaction to the mind and heart? Does it help growth in fruit and knowledge? Does it help one lay in store for the future? If no is answered to any of these questions, that lifestyle may be leading down a path to eternal separation from God.
Changed from Glory into Glory
It should be unthinkable to the Christian to return to their old life. In Romans 6:22, Paul emphasizes a depiction of what it is like to be in Christ Jesus and it is a simple argument to those who consider themselves a Christian. In the sermon from Romans 6:22 titled “Servants of Sin,” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones underlines that a Christian is one who has undergone a profound change, because only a Christian can truly discuss a true difference between their past and present. That is because a Christian has been set free from sin. God regenerates and creates the Christian anew. A Christian has the power to resist the devil while a non-Christian does not. Sin becomes just a nuisance in the daily life, not a master. Once a Christian grasps that they are now enslaved to God and righteousness, they realize that they truly have no right to continue on sinning. The result of this great change is a fruitful life in Christ. If there is no fruit, one is not truly a Christian. Dr. Lloyd-Jones encourages the listener to analyze their life and actions to determine if they are living in a fruitful life as slaves to righteousness.
The Gift of God
In this sermon on Romans 6:23 titled “The Gift of God,” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones says this verse in Romans concisely explains the gospel of Romans. The verse is a summary of the entire chapter and book, as well as the end of the argument to those who believed that they should continue in sin so that grace could be greater. Ultimately, there are only two possibilities facing each person in the world: the wages of sin is death or the gift of God is eternal life. Each of these two paths lead to an inevitable fate. Dr. Lloyd-Jones says there are a few contrasts to observe. These two paths differ in the master they serve, the conditions in which they serve, and the end to which the path leads. A Christian is in Christ and knows that they will have eternal life and imperishable glory with God forevermore. God’s purpose is to bring His people into this spotless holiness. One should never argue anything other than this and know God’s plan is the complete opposite of sin and death.
The Bible gives a framework for determining whether or not one currently lives a successful or a foolish life. In this sermon on Romans 6:21 titled “Biblical Accountancy,” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones helps the listener figure out for what or who they are living. There are only two choices that the Bible gives when one answers this question: they are either living for the world—in sin and death—or they are living for God and eternal life. If one is living in sin, Dr. Lloyd-Jones pleads with them to consider the end of their work. This is the unavoidable question that all must face, and yet are tempted to put off answering until it is too late. Anyone who is tired of shame, from being a slave to the world, and the overall burden of sin are encouraged to know there is hope in the life of God. Come, listen to what the truly good life is.