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The Book of Romans

Series Summary

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 …



Sermon Series

The Wretched Man Identity (1)

Volume 6 Romans 7:25

Is the apostle Paul’s exclamation of wretchedness in Romans 7:24-25 a description of the regenerate man at his very best in this life? Who exactly is speaking? Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones explores the exact meaning of this well-known and difficult passage in this sermon on Romans 7:25 titled “The Wretched Man Identity.” As the first sermon in a two-part sermon series, Dr. Lloyd-Jones walks us through seeming parallel passages of Scripture to shed light on the question of the identity of this man — is this a regenerate or unregenerate man? Or perhaps an immature Christian? At first glance, these passages seem to describe the same groaning and state of misery as the man in Romans 7:24-25. But after examining 1 Corinthians 9:27, Ephesians 6, and Galatians 5 closely, Dr. Lloyd-Jones shows that the these passages, while appearing similar on the surface, are different, indeed opposite, of the man we find in Romans 7. These texts are referring to a certainty of triumph and victory because of the role of the Holy Spirit. It is the success of a regenerate man who is sanctifying himself by the Spirit and is thereby able to crucify sin. By laying the hermeneutical foundation of examining other passages, Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones prepares his listeners for the second part to this series by teaching that Romans 7:24-25, in spite of every resolution of the man, is a declaration of captivity. The law of sin in his members is too strong and he is sold under sin. Listen as Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones carefully exegetes this passage, contrasts it with other New Testament passages, and lays the groundwork to discuss in-depth the identity of this man.

The Wretched Man Identity (2)

Volume 6 Romans 7:13-25

Having unpacked numerous New Testament passages in the first part of this series, Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones moves to an in-depth look at three possible identities of the wretched man: the regenerate, the unregenerate, or the immature Christian. In this sermon on Romans 7:13-25 titled “The Wretched Man Identity (2),” Dr. Lloyd-Jones shows that the identity of this wretched man in Romans 7 is not the regenerate man as this is incompatible with other scriptural teaching. But neither is it describing an unregenerate man, as the man is experiencing genuine conviction of sin. He shows an awareness of his own weakness and failure, but there is no mention of the Holy Spirit and indwelling Christ in the text, thus it cannot be an unregenerate man. Having shown he is neither a regenerate or unregenerate man, Dr. Lloyd-Jones turns to the question of whether this can be a description of an immature believer. He emphatically denies this possibility because no matter the situation, it is impossible for a Christian to utter the cry of verse 24. The Christian does not despair. No, he fights sin and uses restraint and care to mortify his flesh. So then how do we identify this man? How are we to understand the meaning of Paul’s words? Dr. Lloyd-Jones directs our attention to Paul’s intent in writing this passage. The intent is to show that the law is not salvific. This is the point Paul is trying to highlight in dramatic fashion. When man tries to keep the law, he falls under conviction, but has no hope. He doesn’t know or understand the truth of the gospel. This, says Dr. Lloyd-Jones is the central meaning of this difficult passage of Scripture. In Dr Lloyd-Jones’s own words, the man described in Romans 7 is “a man who is experiencing an intense conviction of sin, a man who has been given to see, by the Spirit, the holiness of the Law; and he feels utterly condemned. He is aware of his weakness for the first time, and his complete failure” ( D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones, Exposition of Chapter 7:1-8:4 The Law: Its Functions and Limits, Edinburgh, Banner of Truth, 1973, p.255). Paul is showing us that there is one great and glorious hope for us. What the law could not do, thanks be to God, the grace of God provides.

Science; Morality and God

Other Sermons Romans 7:22-25

In 1961 an incredible feat of man took place when man orbited earth for the first time. This momentous occasion held the world in awe. In this sermon on Romans 7:22-25 titled “Science; Morality and God,” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones urges the listener to pause and reflect on this historical moment. What does it mean and what is its real significance? How does this moment affect us? Many view this extraordinary achievement as proof of the human capability to liberate itself. If man can succeed in this staggering technological advancement, there must be no limit to his power and capacity to make the world perfect. It causes man to be optimistic of its progress. As Dr. Lloyd-Jones points out, however, an examination of the history of civilization shows marvelous discoveries by man while also confronting us with a staggering fact — whatever man may do in his brilliance to achieve physical greatness, his achievements give a false optimism for his capacity for moral accomplishment. Man cannot escape the worst compulsions of his own nature. He can defeat gravity but cannot defeat his own moral problems. This false optimism, teaches Dr. Lloyd-Jones, is based on a complete failure of man to understand the Biblical message; it is indicative of the failure to recognize our problem of sin. The Bible tells us physical problems like the problem of gravity is outside of man and can be solved. The moral problem, however, is inside man. This force of sin, the power of the devil is in the world and is beyond the power of man. There is also the inner condition of man, which is sinful and affects the whole of man. Man’s twisted and biased heart is bent against solving moral problems. What then can be done? Listen as Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones expounds on the power of God unto salvation as the only avenue of deliverance.