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Sermon #3297


A Sermon on Romans 12:1-21


Romans 12:1-21 ESV KJV
I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may …

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Sermon Description

The apostle Paul is a master at connecting doctrine and practical matters. He seamlessly weaves both together in his apostolic writings. While there is a change in emphasis in Romans 12 – from doctrine to practice – Paul never leaves doctrine behind. As a pastor he is concerned with helping this congregation in Rome and this always includes doctrinal appeals and arguments. In this transitional sermon on Romans 12:1–21 titled “Introduction,” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones challenges those in the church who view practical matters as anticlimactic. There is something wrong in the church’s thinking if it only focuses purely on doctrine. Dr. Lloyd-Jones counters this error by expounding five biblical and theological reasons why the church should focus on more than just doctrine. Moreover, he gives a general analysis of the rest of Romans and prepares his listeners with a particular outline of Romans 12. Listen to this unique and compelling message by Dr. Lloyd-Jones as he calls the church to holistic ministry and a Christian faith that is lived out.

Sermon Breakdown

  1. The sermon begins by noting that this is the 297th time the epistle to the Romans has been considered. Dr. Lloyd-Jones notes that this shows how rich the epistle is.
  2. Dr. Lloyd-Jones reminds the listeners that an epistle is a synopsis. Dr. Lloyd-Jones's job is not to give a synopsis of a synopsis but to draw out what the apostle Paul has condensed.
  3. Dr. Lloyd-Jones notes that the first 11 chapters of Romans were doctrinal while chapters 12-16 are practical. However, doctrine and application cannot be strictly separated.
  4. Dr. Lloyd-Jones asks how the listeners feel about moving from doctrine to application. Do they feel it is an anticlimax or do they wish Paul kept expounding doctrine? If so, something is wrong.
  5. We must move on to application because the Scriptures do. The Bible must be read in its entirety.
  6. We must move on to application because Christianity is a life to be lived, not just a doctrine to be believed. The purpose of doctrine is to enable us to live the Christian life.
  7. We must move on to application because difficulties inevitably arise in the Christian life. Christians have a new outlook but live in the same world. They need guidance on how to apply their faith.
  8. We must move on to application because doctrine and practice cannot be separated. They influence each other.
  9. We must move on to application because we face an adversary who will try to get us to ignore application or become legalistic about it.
  10. Dr. Lloyd-Jones gives an overview of the rest of the epistle: Ch. 12:1-2 is an introduction; Ch. 12:3-8 is about the Christian's service in the church; Ch. 12:9-21 is about the Christian's relationships in the church; Ch. 13 is about the Christian's relationship to the state; Ch. 14 is about unity in the church; Ch. 15:1-13 continues discussing unity; Ch. 15:14-33 is personal; Ch. 16:1-16 contains greetings; Ch. 16:17-20 warns against false teachers; Ch. 16:21-24 contains more greetings.

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.