Faith and Obedience
A Sermon on Romans 10:16-17
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.
In Romans 10:16–17, Paul explains that for a person to come to faith, they must hear the good news. But what comes after receiving faith? In this sermon on Romans 10:16–17 titled “Faith and Obedience,” Dr. Lloyd-Jones answers this question affirmatively by pointing to the early church in Paul’s time. After faith, a change was expected in the believers. They could no longer participate in idol worship or immoral rituals. Dr. Lloyd-Jones says that they must submit themselves to the gospel with obedience. A good test to see whether or not a person really has faith is to look at their actions. Are they changed after believing or do they give, as Dr. Lloyd-Jones calls it, “intellectual assent”? These are people who merely acknowledge the gospel as the truth but do nothing to back it up. They never left behind worldly habits and practices. But Dr. Lloyd-Jones points out that as James said, faith without works is dead. Obedience shows faith and faith encourages obedience. In closing this sermon on obedience, he extends the message of salvation, reminding believers and unbelievers alike of the joy found within.
- The apostle Paul is addressing the issue of some believing the gospel message and some not believing in Romans 10:16-17. Not all have obeyed the gospel.
- Mere hearing of the gospel message is not enough. There is a difference between just hearing the words and truly hearing with faith. True hearing leads to obedience.
- The word "obeyed" in Romans 10:16 means to hear under authority and with submission. It leads to yielding to what you hear.
There are two tests to determine if you have heard with true faith:
Obedience: Faith always leads to action and change. Obedience includes:
Repentance: Conviction of sin, admitting you are a sinner.
- Renouncing sin and turning to God.
- Accepting you cannot save yourself by good works. Relying on Christ alone.
- Confessing Christ as Lord and Savior.
Becoming part of the church and continuing in the faith.
Joy: Do you have joy and delight in the message of the gospel? Is it good news to you?
This teaching does not contradict justification by faith alone. True faith always produces works. Faith without works is dead.
- The gospel calls us to obedience, but we are incapable of saving ourselves. We are responsible for our unbelief but not our salvation. Salvation is by grace alone.
- We must hold the doctrines of God's election and man's responsibility together, even if we cannot fully understand them.
- The obedience of faith is internal and inevitable, not just external rule following. It comes from comprehending the truth, not just practicing a system.
- We must examine ourselves to see if we have this obedience of faith and joy in the Holy Spirit.
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.