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Sermon #3283

Final Perseverance

A Sermon on Romans 11:16-22


Romans 11:16-22 ESV KJV
If the dough offered as firstfruits is holy, so is the whole lump, and if the root is holy, so are the branches. But if some of the branches were broken off, and you, although a wild olive shoot, were grafted in among the others and now share in the …

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Sermon Description

Can Christians lose their salvation? There are few more contested and more important theological questions in Christianity. Many believers are plagued by doubts because they fear that they may fail to work out their own salvation and be eternally lost in hell. In this sermon on Romans 11:16–22 titled “Final Perseverance,” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones offers solace to any fearful Christians. He says that the Bible never teaches that true believers can lose salvation. This is for the simple reason that it is God through His Son Jesus Christ who saves. Christians are not even saved by faith, first and foremost, but ultimately by Christ who grants them their faith. Jesus loves His people and He is both able and willing to guard them from ever falling away. What about those passages that speak of the need to persevere? The Holy Spirit uses many means to build up Christians in faith and joy and these passages that warn Christians not to fall away are one of these means that God uses to preserve those He loves. What about people who say they are Christians and stop believing? There are many who are self-deceived and think that they are saved, but their life shows that this is not a true work of God. The glorious truth of the gospel is that Jesus saves all those that He loves and He will lose no one.

Sermon Breakdown

  1. The sermon begins by introducing Romans 11:16-22 as the passage to be examined. Dr. Lloyd-Jones states that the best way to understand this passage is through exposition, extracting the doctrine and teaching, considering the problems it raises, and applying it to the current situation.

  2. Dr. Lloyd-Jones identifies the problem raised in this passage as whether faith and belief save and keep us, contradicting justification by faith alone and assurance of salvation. Dr. Lloyd-Jones aims to resolve this problem.

  3. Dr. Lloyd-Jones says we should never base doctrine on one isolated passage but compare Scripture with Scripture. Scripture does not contradict itself as the Word of God. We should move from clear teachings to unclear passages.

  4. Clear teachings show election, assurance, and perseverance of the saints. God foreknew and predestined the elect. Nothing can separate us from God's love. We have eternal life and will never perish.

  5. If ultimate salvation depended on us, we would get the credit and glory. None would be saved as all fail and sin. It would be precarious and allow Satan to triumph. Salvation depends on God alone to succeed.

  6. The warnings in Scripture are addressed to the visible church and professing believers, not the elect. Israel in Romans 11 refers to ethnic Israel, not the remnant of believing Jews. Warnings in other passages also refer to professing believers, not the elect.

  7. The purpose of these warnings is to warn the elect against presumption, carelessness, and pride. They are God's means of securing the perseverance of the saints.

  8. Only the elect are troubled by these warnings. The unregenerate are self-satisfied. Fear of falling away shows one is in the olive tree. God uses warnings to ensure the elect persevere to glory.

  9. We should praise God for His grace in election and calling us. We do not deserve or fully understand it but rejoice in it as our only hope. We must never boast in ourselves but work out our salvation in fear of God.

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.