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Sermon #3192

Helping the Perplexed

A Sermon on Romans 8:28-30


Romans 8:28-30 ESV KJV
And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among …

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Sermon Description

What does it mean that God works all things for the good of Christians? In this sermon on Romans 8:28–30 titled “Helping the Perplexed,” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones expounds on one implication of this truth: the great doctrine of perseverance. This is the teaching that all who believe in Christ will persevere to the end. Christ will not lose one of God’s children for He is able to bring their salvation to completion. Many reject this doctrine for one reason or another. Some argue that many passages in the Bible teach that Christians who are truly saved can in fact finally fall away from salvation. Others who reject that the Bible is God’s word reject it on philosophical grounds. Dr. Lloyd-Jones says that while some passages do seem to teach that Christians can lose their salvation, he argues that this is wrong as the Bible does not contradict itself. He examines many of these passages that supposedly teach that the doctrine of perseverance is false and shows that this is a misreading of these texts. Listen closely to Dr. Lloyd-Jones on how to handle this challenge to eternal security in Christ. He concludes by saying that God’s Word teaches that God is able to save all those whom He has elected to save. There is no doubt that this is a great mystery, but it is one that God has revealed in His Word.

Sermon Breakdown

  1. The sermon passage is Romans 8:28-30 which speaks of God's eternal purpose and predestination.
  2. The sermon aims to provide comfort for Christians in their suffering by showing God's sovereignty and control over all things for the good of His people.
  3. The sermon passage shows that God foreknew, predestined, called, justified, and will glorify His people according to His purpose.
  4. God's purpose is effectual and He will surely bring it to pass. This guarantees the final perseverance of the saints.
  5. The sermon will address objections and difficulties with this doctrine to provide clarity. Dr. Lloyd-Jones does not aim to argue but to enlighten and help those genuinely perplexed.
  6. Dr. Lloyd-Jones will not address those with a violent prejudice against this doctrine or those who reject it due to philosophy or universalism. He addresses those who accept the Bible but struggle with this doctrine.
  7. Objection: Does this doctrine necessitate that God predestined some to damnation (double predestination)? Answer: No, this passage only speaks of God's positive purpose to save some, not His predestining others to damnation. They are already damned due to sin.
  8. Objection: How can God's love be reconciled with choosing some and not others? Answer: We cannot fully understand God's infinite mind and purposes. We only know what He has revealed. No one deserves salvation so God would be just to condemn all. The fact that any are saved shows His love and grace.
  9. Objection: Does this doctrine promote antinomianism (lawlessness)? Answer: While the doctrine can be abused, the doctrine itself does not promote lawlessness. Many who reject this doctrine are also lawless. Those most concerned over their salvation tend to believe this doctrine. The doctrine promotes humility and dependence on God.
  10. Difficulty: Some passages seem to teach falling away from grace (lists several passages). Dr. Lloyd-Jones cannot address them all but commends them for study.
  11. Difficulty: Some passages seem to teach that salvation is uncertain and depends on us (lists several passages).
  12. Difficulty: There are many warning passages in Scripture that seem to contradict the doctrine (lists several passages).
  13. Dr. Lloyd-Jones acknowledges these are difficult passages but must be addressed by those who believe the doctrine of perseverance. He aims to address some in the following sermon.
  14. Dr. Lloyd-Jones calls the congregation to read, study, meditate and pray over these matters in humility and dependence on the 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.