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Sermon #3307

All By Grace

A Sermon on Romans 12:3


Romans 12:3 ESV KJV
For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned. (ESV)

Sermon Description

In this sermon on Roman 12:3 titled “All By Grace,” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones teaches that grace is God’s undeserved favor. The distinctiveness of Christianity is that it is grace that begins the Christian life and it is grace that carries the Christian through life. This is true of general grace that makes one a Christian, but also grace that gives spiritual gifts. Dr. Lloyd-Jones says it is this view of God’s grace that helps balance the apostle Paul’s statement about his authority while maintaining a counter-cultural view of humility. Paul can easily appeal to himself as an example to follow because he acknowledges his apostolic office is entirely undeserved grace given by the Spirit. Dr. Lloyd-Jones connects Paul’s teaching in this passage to other key passages in the New Testament regarding spiritual gifts and authority in the church. The contrast between the world’s view of ethics, as well as the Roman Catholic view of papal authority, stand in strong contrast to the testimony of Scripture, says Dr. Lloyd-Jones. Listen as recommends the apostle Paul’s teaching on grace and reaffirms the Christian position that all is by grace.

Sermon Breakdown

  1. The apostle Paul starts by asserting his authority as an apostle through the grace given to him by God.
  2. He emphasizes that his authority and calling are by grace alone, not due to any merit or worthiness in himself.
  3. Paul lays down two principles to govern thinking on spiritual gifts:
    1. It is all of grace. Our whole position and activity as Christians is the result of grace.
    2. The church is the body of Christ. The parts have no meaning except in relationship to each other and the whole.
  4. Paul gives examples of how these principles apply in practice, such as prophecy, ministry, teaching, etc.
  5. The object of these principles is to destroy self-assertion and boasting. Humility is essential.
  6. Paul's assertion of authority is balanced by his humility in recognizing that he has nothing but what he received by grace.
  7. This combination of authority and humility is the biblical model, unlike the hierarchical model that developed in the church.
  8. Authority in the NT is spiritual, not official. It's the man, not the office, that matters.
  9. The church went wrong by departing from the NT model and adopting a worldly hierarchical model of authority.

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.