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Sermon #3211

God's Covenants

A Sermon on Romans 9:4-5


Romans 9:4-5 ESV KJV
They are Israelites, and to them belong the adoption, the glory, the covenants, the giving of the law, the worship, and the promises. To them belong the patriarchs, and from their race, according to the flesh, is the Christ, who is God over all, blessed forever. Amen. (ESV)

Sermon Description

What is a covenant? In this sermon on Romans 9:4-5 titled “God’s Covenants,” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones says that it is vital to come to a right understanding of the nature of biblical covenants in order to understand the gospel. He says that a covenant in the Bible is not an ordinary agreement between two people, but it is first and foremost something God does. It is not a bargain between humanity and God, but it is something instituted by God. This is seen in the case of Abraham when it is God who makes the terms of the covenant and it is God who upholds the covenant. What does this mean for one’s understanding of Jesus? Jesus Christ is the fulfillment of all of God’s covenantal promises and He is the one who established the new covenant on His last night with His disciples. It is this new covenant that brings salvation because it is established by Christ Jesus shedding His blood upon the cross for all who are His. Those who believe in the message of Jesus are made members of the new covenant and inheritors of eternal life and the kingdom of God, as all blessings come through Jesus Christ.

Sermon Breakdown

  1. The apostle Paul expresses deep sorrow over the state of his fellow Jews who rejected Jesus as the Messiah.
  2. Romans 9:4-5 highlights the privileges the Israelites had, which makes their failure even more tragic.
  3. "Who are Israelites" - Paul refers to them as Israelites rather than Jews or Hebrews. Israelites are the covenant people of God.
  4. "To whom pertaineth the adoption" - God chose Israel as His own people. He adopted them.
  5. "And the glory" - The glory refers to God's presence. His glory filled the tabernacle and temple.
  6. "And the covenants" - The covenants refer to God's unconditional promises to Israel. It is not a bilateral agreement.
  7. The covenant with Noah - God promised to never again destroy the earth with a flood. The rainbow is the sign of this covenant.
  8. The covenant with Abraham - God promised to make Abraham into a great nation, bless all peoples through him, and give his descendants the land of Canaan.
  9. The covenant with Moses - God delivered Israel from Egypt and gave them the law at Sinai. He promised to make them His treasured possession.
  10. The covenant with David - God promised to establish the throne of David's kingdom forever. The Messiah would come from David's line.
  11. "And the giving of the law" - The law was given to Israel at Sinai. God spoke directly to them, which was unique.
  12. The privileges Israel had were meant to lead them to faith in the Messiah. Tragically, they rejected Him.

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.