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Sermon #3299

A Living Sacrifice

A Sermon on Romans 12:1-2


Romans 12:1-2 ESV KJV
I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may …

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Sermon Description

In matters of Christian conduct, does one appeal to the mind or to the heart? These are often pitted against one another, but Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones does not believe the Christian should approach the Christian life by making an appeal to merely the intellect or simply the emotions. Instead, he says, one begins with doctrine –– who they are in Christ –– and then the proper conduct is deduced from the doctrinal truth. True doctrine always appeals to the emotions. In this sermon on presenting your bodies as a living sacrifice from Romans 12:1–2 titled “A Living Sacrifice,” Dr. Lloyd-Jones reminds that there is no such thing as dry-as-dust theology. Humanism and legalism stand in opposition to the true teaching of Scripture. Humanism can only appeal to the intellect, whereas legalism appeals directly to the will of the person. The great motive of the gospel, which is God’s great mercy in Christ Jesus, lifts the whole problem of conduct to a spiritual level. He then works out the implications of the apostle Paul’s appeal to the mind and the heart in Christian conduct. He labors to demonstrate that Paul is presenting the entire physical body as a sacrifice to God who by His great mercy makes Christians participants in this glorious and wonderful salvation.

Sermon Breakdown

  1. The sermon begins by introducing the topic of living a Christian life according to Romans 12:1-2. Dr. Lloyd-Jones emphasizes that this is an important topic, especially in light of the popularity of humanism.
  2. Dr. Lloyd-Jones says that humanism will ultimately fail because it lacks power and sympathy. Only the gospel provides the power and motives to truly live a good life.
  3. Dr. Lloyd-Jones introduces Romans 12:1-2, saying that these verses summarize the Christian teaching on conduct and behavior.
  4. Dr. Lloyd-Jones breaks down Romans 12:1, focusing first on how Paul beseeches the brethren. This shows that living a Christian life is not a command but an appeal.
  5. The first motive for living a Christian life is understanding the doctrines of Christianity, summarized in Romans 12:1 as "the mercies of God." Dr. Lloyd-Jones explains that mercy refers to God's pity for our condition. All the benefits of salvation come from God's mercy.
  6. The second motive is the heart, referring to emotions and feelings. The gospel appeals to both the intellect and the heart, unlike humanism which only appeals to the intellect.
  7. Dr. Lloyd-Jones introduces how to live the Christian life according to Romans 12:1-2. The principle is making a complete surrender of oneself - body, mind and spirit - to God.
  8. Dr. Lloyd-Jones focuses on presenting one's body as a living sacrifice. He argues that "body" refers to the literal, physical body, not the whole person. The analogy of Old Testament sacrifices and other verses from Paul support this interpretation.
  9. Dr. Lloyd-Jones says he will continue explaining this passage in the next sermon.

The Book of Romans

Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones

Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones (1899-1981) was a Welsh evangelical minister who preached and taught in the Reformed tradition. His principal ministry was at Westminster Chapel, in central London, from 1939-1968, where he delivered multi-year expositions on books of the bible such as Romans, Ephesians and the Gospel of John. In addition to the MLJ Trust’s collection of 1,600 of these sermons in audio format, most of these great sermon series are available in book form (including a 14 volume collection of the Romans sermons), as are other series such as "Spiritual Depression", "Studies in the Sermon on the Mount" and "Great Biblical Doctrines". He is considered by many evangelical leaders today to be an authority on biblical truth and the sufficiency of Scripture.