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Sermon #3342

Church and The State (6)

A Sermon on Romans 13:1-7


Romans 13:1-7 ESV KJV
Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment. For rulers are not a terror to …

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Sermon Description

No matter how the topic is framed – church and state, or Christ and culture – it deserves a lot of careful thought. This is one topic in the history of Christianity that intersects with doctrine, theology, church history, and culture. In this sermon on Romans 13:1–7 titled “Church and the State (6),” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones completes his six-part series on church and the state by looking at Christ’s lordship, common grace, the mission of the church, and the Christian individual in society. While some advocate transforming all the culture — including the arts, science, and government — in order to “Christianize” it, Dr. Lloyd-Jones cautions listeners to never talk this way. The Christian is unable to “Christianize” anything that is not Christian. Christ’s kingdom does not come gradually, except in the sense that it is in the church. Dr. Lloyd-Jones reminds there will always be a tension between the kingdom of God and the kingdom of humanity. This doesn’t mean, however, that God does not give His common grace to human society. Christians are engaged in their society and the individual Christian must work out the application of doctrine in business, government, science, and art. Nevertheless, the church must maintain its distinct calling to preach the gospel. Listen as Dr. Lloyd-Jones works from Romans 13:1–7 and engages in what is still today a most relevant topic for evangelical Christians.

Sermon Breakdown

  1. The church's prime task is to preach the gospel of salvation and produce Christians.
  2. The church is also responsible for building up and edifying Christians in their faith.
  3. The church must expound the whole counsel of God as revealed in Scripture.
  4. The church must deal with the whole of life by laying down biblical principles.
  5. The church must define the function of the state as ordained by God to punish evil and reward good.
  6. The church must emphasize principles of freedom, liberty and justice.
  7. The church must speak to cultural issues like education, art and science by articulating general principles.
  8. The church must address moral issues by teaching biblical morality, not majority opinion.
  9. The church must preserve balance in applying Scripture to all of life.
  10. Individual Christians must work out biblical principles in all areas of life and society.
  11. Christians can influence society through associations, politics, schools, media, etc.
  12. Christians should seek to persuade society of biblical principles, not force Christianity on people.
  13. A truly "Christian society" will only come through widespread Christian conversion, not legislation.
  14. The function of the state is primarily negative, to restrain evil, though it can promote good.
  15. Ultimately, Christ's kingdom will only come in its fullness at His second coming.

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.