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Sermon #3060

Faith Only

A Sermon on Romans 4:9-16

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Romans 4:9-16 ESV NASB KJV
Is this blessing then only for the circumcised, or also for the uncircumcised? For we say that faith was counted to Abraham as righteousness. How then was it counted to him? Was it before or after he had been circumcised? It was not after, but before he was circumcised. He received the sign of circumcision as a seal of the righteousness that he had by faith while he was still uncircumcised. The purpose was to make him the father of all who believe without being circumcised, so that righteousness would be counted to them as well, and to make him the father of the circumcised who are not merely circumcised but who also walk in the footsteps of the faith that our father Abraham had before he was circumcised. For the promise to Abraham and his offspring that he would be heir of the world did not come through the law but through the righteousness of faith. For if it is the adherents of the law who are to be the heirs, faith is null and the promise is void. For the law brings wrath, but where there is no law there is no transgression. That is why it depends on faith, in order that the promise may rest on grace and be guaranteed to all his offspring—not only to the adherent of the law but also to the one who shares the faith of Abraham, who is the father of us all, (ESV)


Was Abraham, a prominent figure in the Old Testament, justified by works? Paul says no; he was justified by faith alone. Just as a teacher lectures and then makes time for possible questions, Paul presents his case on the true gospel and a message on salvation and then answers potential questions that might arise. The Jews may have suggested that since Abraham was not justified by works, it was because he was circumcised. Paul again says no. Abraham was the father to all, both circumcised and uncircumcised, because Scripture shows that he was justified before he was circumcised. In the sermon “Faith Alone” on Romans 4:9–16, Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones shows that Paul warns against those who merely held to their own circumcision as a means of salvation. Dr. Lloyd-Jones explains how the Jews had not properly understood why the Lord gave them the sign of circumcision and how Paul refutes their wrong beliefs. When Abraham was credited as righteous, it is the first time in Scripture that salvation by faith alone was defined. The Lord promised that because of Abraham’s faithfulness, his seed would produce the Son of God.


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.