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Sermon #3348

A World in Darkness

A Sermon on Romans 13:11-14


Romans 13:11-14 ESV KJV
Besides this you know the time, that the hour has come for you to wake from sleep. For salvation is nearer to us now than when we first believed. The night is far gone; the day is at hand. So then let us cast off the works of darkness and …

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Sermon Description

Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones makes a striking statement about the Christian view of the world in saying that at its best, the world is still in darkness. In a modern day and age when such statements may seem polarizing and perhaps even offensive, why does Dr. Lloyd-Jones make such a provocative claim? Does this mean that the Christian simply dismisses everything in the world? Does the Christian despise the culture as a result of acknowledging the darkness that pervades every aspect of this world? In this sermon on Romans 13:11–14 titled “A World in Darkness,” Dr. Lloyd-Jones challenges the post-enlightenment, progressive view that the world is generally good and getting better. He does so by looking closely at how the apostle Paul characterizes the world as ignorant of the most vital knowledge. The world is morally dark and in utter despair because of sin. This, Dr. Lloyd-Jones says, makes the Christian a pilgrim in this world. They are restless strangers in a world of darkness. As children of the light, they cannot find their ultimate trust or excitement in what politicians and others offer as a fix to this dark world. Listen as Dr. Lloyd-Jones challenges this understanding of the world and encourages Christians to look forward to the day when their salvation will be complete.

Sermon Breakdown

  1. The apostle assumes we know certain things: the time we are living in, our view of life in this world, and our outlook on the future.
  2. The time we are living in is the time between Christ's first and second coming.
  3. Our view of life in this world is that it is like the night and darkness. This refers to mankind's ignorance, especially regarding God, ourselves, life's purpose, death, judgment, and eternity. The world sees life as wonderful, but Christians see it as grim.
  4. Our outlook on the future is our salvation and the day. Our salvation refers to the ultimate, final salvation we are moving toward, not our current experience of salvation. The day refers to Christ's second coming.
  5. The world sees itself as enlightened but is still in darkness regarding what really matters. Christians see the world as doomed and passing away.
  6. Christians are strangers and pilgrims in the world, realizing life will have troubles, the world is evil, and all human efforts are superficial. But Christians look forward to eternity.
  7. Regarding salvation, Christians have been saved from sin's guilt, are being saved from its power, and will be saved completely in the future. The apostle focuses on the future, ultimate salvation here.
  8. The apostle has described this future, ultimate salvation in Romans 8, referring to the redemption of our bodies. Hebrews and 1 Peter also refer to this future salvation.

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.