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Sermon #3329

Be Different

A Sermon on Romans 12:17-18


Romans 12:17-18 ESV KJV
Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. (ESV)

Sermon Description

Biblical ethics are supernatural ethics. The call of the Lord Jesus Christ upon His followers is different from humanity’s own fallen instinct. Christ’s call is a fundamentally other worldly way of life – it is what James calls wisdom from above. When Christians encounter evil against them, the natural instinct is retaliation. A person cannot carry out the injunctions given by the apostle Paul in this passage. In this sermon on Romans 12:17–18 titled “Be Different,” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones says the story of humanity is one of hitting back and retaliation. People scoff at turning the other cheek as it is viewed as a weakness. While Dr. Lloyd-Jones encourages Christians not to retaliate, the Scriptures raise one’s thoughts beyond just the negative. When the Christian encounters evil against them, their response is to put the evil action against them in the larger context of their entire Christian outlook. Dr. Lloyd-Jones reminds that Christians do not act on instinct but instead should consider the gospel, Christ, and their witness to the Christian faith. Christians should fight for peace but not peace at any cost, warns Dr. Lloyd-Jones. Listen as he explains the important nuance of contending for the truth while at the same time being peacemakers.

Sermon Breakdown

  1. The sermon examines Romans 12:17-18 which instructs Christians to not retaliate when others do evil to them.
  2. Verse 17 tells Christians to not repay evil for evil. This goes against our natural instincts and desires.
  3. Verse 17 also tells Christians to provide good things in the sight of all people. This means Christians should visibly do good things that are evident to everyone.
  4. Christians should think ahead and consider the impact of their actions on others and the faith. They should not act instinctively.
  5. Christians should make it evident to others through their actions that they are different and belong to God.
  6. Verse 18 says to live at peace with all people if possible. This does not mean peace at any cost but peace when others do not make it impossible.
  7. Christians should do whatever they can to be at peace with others. They should not be the cause of trouble.
  8. The sermon gives the example of Paul confronting Peter to show that truth should not be compromised for peace.
  9. Christians should stand up for truth but be patient and helpful in other matters. They should be willing to make small concessions when needed.
  10. Christians should speak truth in love. They should make sure people are offended by the truth itself and not the way it is presented.
  11. Disagreements should not become personal matters. Christians should contend for truth, not themselves.
  12. Christians should let the peace of Christ rule in their hearts. They should not disturb the peace, even when facing difficulties.
  13. The peace of Christ should act as an umpire, helping Christians determine how to respond to situations.

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.