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Sermon #3042

Hypocrisy

A Sermon on Romans 2:17-24

Scripture

Romans 2:17-24 ESV NASB KJV
But if you call yourself a Jew and rely on the law and boast in God and know his will and approve what is excellent, because you are instructed from the law; and if you are sure that you yourself are a guide to the blind, a light to those …

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Sermon Description

There is no difference between the Jews and Gentiles. No one is saved based on heritage or works. But with this sermon on Romans 2:17-24 about wrath and condemnation, the Jews were hypocritically stirring up excuses of why they were not subject to the judgement Paul was preaching. Paul carefully eliminated any excuse and showed how no one is righteous and all will be subject to wrath. Preaching on hypocrisy, Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones exposes the conduct of a hypocrite: complacent, never examining themselves, preaching to others but not themselves, and criticizing others but not themselves. It is not enough to hear God’s word; one must also apply the truth and be humbled by it. This will produce an inward change. In the second half of the message, Dr. Lloyd-Jones discusses the Jews’ last resort excuse of circumcision. Paul carefully outlined that those who rely on this outward sign are missing the point that God only cares about the inward sign of true change and repentance. Circumcision is pointless unless it also comes with a changed heart. Let the Christian not rely on nationality, outward signs, or misguided truths but always be in humble adoration of a Lord that provided a way for salvation from wrath.

Sermon Breakdown

  1. The apostle Paul is arguing that Jews cannot rely on the law and circumcision alone to save them. They must have an inward change and relationship with God.

  2. Paul puts forth a series of arguments to show the Jews that they are hypocrites for teaching the law but not following it themselves.

  3. The first characteristic of a hypocrite is that they take only a theoretical interest in the truth. They are interested in arguing and discussing it but not applying it.

  4. The second characteristic is complacency and overconfidence. Hypocrites are never humble and think they have no need to examine themselves.

  5. The third characteristic is that hypocrites never apply the truth to themselves. They teach others but not themselves.

  6. The fourth characteristic is that hypocrites do the very things they condemn in others. They preach against stealing but steal themselves.

  7. The fifth characteristic is that hypocrites dishonor God by breaking the law they boast in. Their actions contradict their words.

  8. The sixth characteristic is that hypocrites cause others to blaspheme God by their poor example. Outsiders judge God by the lives of His supposed people.

  9. Paul argues that circumcision is useless without obedience to the law. If you break the law, you might as well be uncircumcised.

  10. Paul argues that if an uncircumcised man kept the law, he would condemn the circumcised lawbreaker. The outward sign means nothing without the inward reality.

  11. True circumcision is of the heart, not the flesh. True Jews are those who are Jews inwardly, not outwardly. They seek God's praise, not man's.

  12. We must examine ourselves to see if we are relying on outward things or if we have the inward reality of a new heart and life. Hypocrisy is subtle and we are all prone to it.

  13. The only thing that avails before God is holiness. Without it, no one will see the Lord.

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.