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Sermon #3185

Loving God: the Test

A Sermon on Romans 8:28-30

Scripture

Romans 8:28-30 ESV NASB 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

No matter how devastating the trial, there is good that God will bring forth from it. After just speaking about present trials and tribulations in Romans 8:28–30, Paul then assures that anything endured in this life, whether good or bad, will work out for the Christian’s own good. In this sermon on loving God titled “Loving God: the Test,” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones says that while this promise is not for everyone, there is a description of to whom this will apply. Paul explicitly states that this is only for those that truly love God and have been called by God. A Christian who loves God will love Him with all of their heart, mind, soul, and strength. They will believe in God, more than just an intellectual belief, but a true belief in the person and work of Christ. The description also includes those who have been called with an effectual call, because not all who hear the gospel have been called by God to be His child. Dr. Lloyd-Jones adds a third factor to the description: a person whose actual experience in the Christian life would agree and show proof that all things that afflict them are being worked out for their own good. Dr. Lloyd-Jones encourages the unsure to listen and ask themselves if they love God and have they been called. By taking these things into account, a true Christian can rest assured in this promise.

Sermon Breakdown

  1. The apostle Paul is continuing the theme of assurance of salvation in Romans 8.
  2. He is giving an absolute guarantee of the final completion in glory of our total redemption.
  3. Paul starts with the experimental and moves to the doctrinal.
  4. The sermon looks at how we can know the promise in verse 28 is true for us.
  5. The first description of believers is that they love God. Loving God is more than just believing in God or having an emotional experience. It includes obeying God's commands and desiring to please him.
  6. Trials and tribulations show whether we truly love God. We can react like Job or like Job's wife.
  7. There is no greater proof of God's love for us than our love for him. We love him because he first loved us.
  8. The second description of believers is that they are "the called." This refers to the effectual call, not the general call. The effectual call produces faith and repentance.
  9. We can know we are called if we are surprised at ourselves for loving God, realize God has entered our lives, have been convicted of sin, believe the Bible is God's Word, feel helpless without God, see our need for Christ, and desire to know God more.
  10. Our experience also confirms God's promise. We feel God is still dealing with us, we can't be happy in sin, chastisement has been good for us, and we can say "Let nothing please nor pain me apart, o Lord, from thee."
  11. Next, we will look at "according to his purpose."

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.