16However, they did not all heed the good news; for Isaiah says, “Lord, who has believed our report?” 17So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ.
16But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Esaias saith, Lord, who hath believed our report? 17So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
What is the Christian’s reaction to the gospel? In this sermon from Romans 10:16–17 titled “Faith and Joy,” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones declares the first action of a Christian is to obey. There is a difference between people who merely hear the gospel and those who take action from it. Some listen and forget and some listen and do. He declares that this is the primary reaction to the gospel. The secondary reaction is joy. Dr. Lloyd-Jones raises a powerful question: if Christians are supposed to be lights in this world, why are so many caught up in their own problems and gloom? He says that Christians should be the happiest people on earth. He gives examples of some of the most joyous people in the New Testament: the Philippian jailor, the shepherd who found his sheep, and the woman who washed Christ’s feet. These are all people who, in different ways, heard the good news and responded appropriately. Dr. Lloyd-Jones reminds that Christians have great cause to rejoice as they have been forgiven of much sin and are promised an eternal inheritance with God. Dr. Lloyd-Jones concludes that in light of those joyous New Testament believers, perhaps Christians today should reevaluate their reaction to the gospel and reconsider the life they’ve been given.
- We must examine whether there is joy and rejoicing in the Christian church today and in our own lives.
- The early church spread the gospel through the joy and quality of life of individual Christians, not mass meetings.
- People are outside the church today because Christians have failed to impact them like early Christians did. Christians today seem miserable.
- How can we tell if we have truly heard the gospel? There must be obedience and joy.
- The amount of love corresponds to the amount of sin forgiven. We must realize our sin to rejoice in forgiveness.
- We must have a deep conviction of sin to have great joy. Superficial preaching and lack of law work prevent joy.
- We must take time to be holy and have a deep conviction of sin. Quick, shallow decisions prevent joy.
- The depth of joy depends on realizing our sinfulness and hopelessness without Christ.
- We must realize our state by nature - fallen, sinful, under Satan's dominion, under God's wrath, hopeless, and helpless.
- We must realize the true nature of salvation - forgiveness, reconciliation, regeneration, sanctification, glorification, certainty in Christ.
- Christ himself should fill us with joy in who He is and what He has done.
- The devil tries to counterfeit joy. True joy is deep, serious, and comes from knowing we deserved hell but Christ saved us.
- True joy realizes we still groan in this life, awaiting full redemption, though we rejoice in Christ.
- We must ask if we have heard the gospel by whether we have obedience and joy. True faith produces joy.
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.