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Sermon #3207


A Sermon on Romans 9:1-33


Romans 9:1-33 ESV KJV
I am speaking the truth in Christ—I am not lying; my conscience bears me witness in the Holy Spirit—that I have great sorrow and unceasing anguish in my heart. For I could wish that I myself were accursed and cut off from Christ for the sake of my brothers, my …

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Sermon Description

The expression “missing the wood through the trees” is particularly appropriate when approaching a new section of sacred Scripture. While it is tempting to focus on individual subsections in Romans 9–11, Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones encourages keeping an overall big picture in mind. In this sermon Romans 9:1–33 titled “Introduction,” he provides a helpful overview of these key chapters. Dr. Lloyd-Jones demurs from well-loved interpreters who elevate the doctrine of predestination and election as central to chapters 9–11. He also objects to placing the question of salvation for Jews and conflict with Gentiles at the center of this section. Instead, he argues for a much bigger central theme of this section. Dr. Lloyd-Jones says Paul is harmonizing the ways of God. What is found in this section, in other words, is Paul’s way of harmonizing the Old Testament with the New Testament. There is no contradiction in God’s purposes as Paul talks about the old covenant in relation to the new. Dr. Lloyd-Jones shares his justification for this conclusion by drawing attention to Romans 11:33–36 and the apostle’s doxology. Listen as he traces the central theme of Romans 9–11 as well as subsidiary themes of this important section of Scripture.

Sermon Breakdown

  1. The sermon begins by introducing Romans 9-11 as a new section in Paul's epistle to the Romans. This section includes important doctrine and deals with God's purpose in salvation from a world standpoint, specifically regarding Jews and Gentiles.

  2. There are differing views on the purpose and themes of Romans 9-11. The view presented in this sermon is that this section is a theodicy - a justification of God's ways, demonstrating the consistency of God's purpose.

  3. The central theme of Romans 9-11 is God's eternal purpose in Christ and salvation with respect to the cosmos. Subsidiary themes include: the tragic case of the Jews, God's freedom in election, vindication of Paul's teaching from the Old Testament, the danger of misusing doctrine, the case of the Jews in God's purpose, and God's inscrutable purpose.

  4. There are similarities in structure between Romans 9, 10 and 11. In each chapter, Paul identifies with the Jews, elaborates on doctrine, and confirms his teaching with Scripture.

  5. Romans 9:1-3 introduces the subject in personal terms. Verses 4-5 describe the position of the Jews. Verse 6 is the key verse. Verses 7-13 explain the meaning of "Israel". Verses 14-24 answer objections and show God's right to call Gentiles. Verses 25-29 show this was prophesied. Verses 30-33 sum up the position of Gentiles in and Jews out.

  6. Romans 10:1-3 introduces the subject and the Jews' blindness. Verses 4-11 outline the way of salvation. Verses 12-17 show salvation is for all by faith. Verses 18-21 show this was prophesied.

  7. Romans 11:1-6 gives the key to understanding - the remnant. Verse 7 is another key verse, showing the elect obtained salvation but the rest were blinded. Verses 8-24 show the difference between the elect and the rest, and that this was prophesied. Verses 25-32 sum up the position and God's ultimate purpose. Verses 33-36 offer praise to God.

  8. The sermon concludes by emphasizing seeing the overall picture of God's purpose and ways in Romans 9-11, rather than getting lost in particular details or doctrines. The section shows God's eternal purpose and the working of all things for good.

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.