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Sermon #3055

Boasting Excluded

A Sermon on Romans 3:27-31


Romans 3:27-31 ESV KJV
Then what becomes of our boasting? It is excluded. By what kind of law? By a law of works? No, but by the law of faith. For we hold that one is justified by faith apart from works of the law. Or is God the God of Jews only? Is …

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Sermon Description

Merely knowing the truth will not save anyone. The Jews are a vivid example of this desperate condition as they often they prided themselves as God’s chosen people and thus did not need Paul’s teachings. However, Paul shows that boasting in works or heritage will do nothing in terms of one’s salvation. Salvation is open to all people, yet there is nothing that one actually does that merits salvation; it is truly only by the work of the Lord. It may seem that Paul has been repeating the same statements several times in the previous chapters of this epistle, and Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones adds that this is because the message is crucial and because of sin, the truth does not always appear right away to those who are listening. In this sermon on Romans 3:27–31 titled “Boasting Excluded,” Dr. Lloyd-Jones also shows that all are guilty of boasting. Sometimes a Christian may say that their faith or works are the reason they receive salvation, but that is wrong. One’s faith is merely the instrument by which they receive salvation, and their works are merely the outward expression of the work of the Lord. The Christian should be very mindful that their faith is not only intellectual or a belief; it must be a true element of trust and commitment in their lives.

Sermon Breakdown

  1. The apostle Paul goes on to make three further points after expounding on the doctrine of atonement.
  2. The first point is that God's way of salvation through Christ's blood leaves no room for boasting. Boasting is excluded.
  3. The word "boasting" is one of Paul's favorite words. Boasting was the central trouble of the Jews and unregenerate men.
  4. Paul asks if there is any vestige of boasting left after understanding the doctrine of atonement. Boasting is turned out of court once and for all.
  5. Paul clarifies that boasting is excluded not by the law of works but by the law of faith. "Law" here means principle. Boasting is excluded by the principle of faith, not works.
  6. Some wrongly teach that God first gave the law of works, then replaced it with an easier law of faith. But this does not exclude boasting and does not establish the law.
  7. Paul reinforces that a man is justified by faith apart from the deeds of the law. Our works in response to the law do not come in at all.
  8. Faith is the instrument of salvation, not the cause. We are not justified because of faith but by faith. Faith links us to Christ's righteousness.
  9. We must not boast of faith. Faith is not righteousness but links us to Christ's righteousness. Christ's righteousness, not our faith, saves us.
  10. James 2:24 says "a man is justified by works and not by faith only." But James and Paul do not contradict. They had different objectives.
  11. James was dealing with those who said faith but meant mere belief. He shows belief is useless without works, like saying "be warm and filled" without giving what is needed.
  12. James argues against separating belief and committal. Mere belief does not save. Faith means belief, trust, and committal.
  13. Paul asserts faith has nothing to do with works of law. James asserts faith means more than mere belief. They agree but have different emphases.
  14. Rushing people into decisions based on mere belief is misguided. Mere belief does not prove one is in the kingdom or has living faith. Signs of living faith and fruit of the Spirit must be seen.
  15. In summary, boasting is excluded in every way. We are justified by faith apart from works of law. Faith links us to Christ's righteousness which alone saves us.

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.