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Sermon #3139

Controlled by the Spirit

A Sermon on Romans 8:5-8


Romans 8:5-8 ESV KJV
For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit. For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on …

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Sermon Description

What are some characteristics of a true Christian? In this sermon on Romans 8:5–8 titled “Controlled by the Spirit,” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones is adamant that Paul is contrasting a Christian and a non-Christian and outlines several key points that should set a Christian apart. Paul’s primary object is to establish the final certainty for all who are in Christ. A Christian is one who is habitually dominated by the Holy Spirit and minds things of the Spirit, which is not something done out of duty. They also do not set their mind on religion, religious phenomena, or theology. Rather, they are fully committed and guided by the Spirit. A true Christian is concerned about themselves as a soul first and foremost. This means that their identity is in Christ and His work of salvation, not in a person’s human identity, career, family, or hobby. A Christian is also aware of their own sinfulness and concerned about the state of this world. These traits and more show someone who is guided by the Spirit as a true Christian.

Sermon Breakdown

  1. The apostle Paul is comparing and contrasting the non-Christian and the Christian in Romans 8:5-8.
  2. Paul is not comparing two types of Christians (carnal vs spiritual), but rather Christians and non-Christians.
  3. The characteristics of the non-Christian:
    1. He minds the things of the flesh. His life is governed and dominated by the flesh.
    2. He is in a state of spiritual death.
    3. He is at enmity against God.
    4. He is not subject to the law of God and cannot be.
    5. He cannot please God.
  4. The characteristics of the Christian:
    1. His life is dominated and governed by the Spirit.
    2. He minds the things of the Spirit. His interests, desires, and pursuits are directed by the Spirit.
    3. The "things of the Spirit" refer to the things of God, the hidden mysteries and wisdom revealed by the Spirit.
    4. The Christian's primary interest is his soul and relationship with God. Everything else is secondary.
    5. The Christian is concerned about his sinfulness and desires to be rightly related to God.
    6. The Christian glories in and rejoices over the work of Christ and the way of salvation (justification, sanctification, union with Christ).
    7. The Christian desires communion with God through prayer and fellowship with other believers.
    8. The Christian has an understanding of and concern for the state of the world and spiritual conflict that others lack.
    9. The Bible and understanding spiritual truths is the Christian's chief interest and pursuit. Though imperfect, he has a taste for these things.

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.