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Sermon #3151

Leading and Guidance

A Sermon on Romans 8:14


Romans 8:14 ESV KJV
For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. (ESV)

Sermon Description

Critics sometimes claim that the Holy Spirit does violence against human will when He leads people to salvation. Since the apostle Paul teaches that the assurance of adoption is based upon this sovereign work of the Spirit, is it then true that the Spirit is culpable of such violence? In this sermon from Romans 8:14 titled “Leading and Guidance,” the answer given by Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones is a resounding no. By parsing out the language of the Scriptures, he demonstrates that the Spirit’s leading is not a violent power, but a persuasive power. Moreover, the guidance of the Spirit cannot be segregated from the testimony of truth found in the Scriptures. The Spirit’s work of leading and guiding in sanctification is then directly tied to both the Bible and the saving work of Jesus Christ. Regardless of what any person may say about a vision or an experience, if the teaching cannot be found or reconciled with the Scriptures, Dr. Lloyd-Jones says that it is a false teaching. Romans 8:14 is a brilliant passage on the assurance of standing as children of God and the sovereign leading of the Spirit. Listen as Dr. Lloyd-Jones expounds the implications of the Spirit’s work for the Christian life.

Sermon Breakdown

  1. The sermon is focused on Romans 8:14 which states "For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God."
  2. The sermon examines what it means to be led by the Spirit. It emphasizes that it does not mean being driven or compelled by force. Rather, it refers to being persuaded and guided.
  3. The sermon looks at the original Greek words used in Romans 8:14 and Mark 1:12. It shows how the same words can have different meanings and nuances depending on the context. The translations are not always consistent or accurate.
  4. Theological understanding should guide our interpretation of Scripture, not just knowledge of the original languages. It is inconceivable that Jesus was driven by the Spirit against His will.
  5. There are two main views on what "led by the Spirit" means: 1) Guidance in decision making or 2) How we live our lives. The sermon argues the primary meaning in this verse is the latter.
  6. The Spirit leads us by enlightening our minds to understand the truth of Scripture. He illuminates the truth about God, sin, Jesus, salvation, and God's purposes.
  7. The Spirit leads us by working on our hearts and desires. He produces a hunger for righteousness and sheds the love of God abroad in our hearts.
  8. The Spirit leads us by acting on our will. He strengthens our will to live according to God's ways, though the flesh is weak.
  9. There are false spirits that try to lead us astray. We can test the spirits by whether they align with the truth of Scripture.
  10. The Roman Catholic church and some evangelicals claim extra-biblical revelation from the Spirit. But the Spirit will not lead us in ways that contradict Scripture.
  11. Our view of world events and hope in the return of Christ show whether we are being led by the Spirit. The natural man is surprised by world chaos, but the spiritual man anticipates it and hopes in Christ.
  12. Assurance of salvation comes from knowing we are sons of God, which comes from being led by the Spirit. The sermon will continue to explore marks of the Spirit's leading.

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.