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Sermon #3367

Once Saved; Always Saved?

A Sermon on "Once Saved, Always Saved' from Romans 14:14-16

Scripture

Romans 14:14-16 ESV NASB KJV
I know and am persuaded in the Lord Jesus that nothing is unclean in itself, but it is unclean for anyone who thinks it unclean. For if your brother is grieved by what you eat, you are no longer walking in love. By what you eat, do not destroy the …

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Sermon Description

A chief doctrinal debate within church history is the nature and character of eternal security. Does Scripture indeed teach the doctrine of the perseverance of the saints? Or to ask the question another way: is it possible for one for whom Christ died to be lost? Despite the clarity of Scripture on this topic (in places like Romans 8 and John 10), there are a few ambiguous texts which seem to suggest the possibility of a regenerate person falling away from grace. One such difficult text is Romans 14:14–16 where Paul seems to suggests one can destroy – eternally perish – the soul of another brother if they neglect considering their conscience. In this sermon on “Once Saved, Always Saved” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones examines this passage and others like it, using it as an opportunity to teach Christians how to responsibly handle apparent contradictions in Scripture. With theological acumen, Dr. Lloyd-Jones helps the listener to consider why it is impossible for anyone to be responsible for the everlasting destruction of another person. Not only listen and be encouraged by the assurance believers have, but hear Dr. Lloyd-Jones handle difficult texts with care.

Sermon Breakdown

  1. The apostle Paul is dealing with the question of eating foods offered to idols and the observance of certain days in Romans 14.
  2. Some early Christians had forgotten the importance of conscience in connection with faith and had "made shipwreck" of their faith. This is the first lesson.
  3. Romans 14 also raises the question of the perseverance of the saints and whether it is possible to fall from grace.
  4. Galatians 5:4 is often incorrectly used to argue that it is possible to fall from grace. In context, Paul is saying that if you argue circumcision is necessary for salvation, you have fallen from grace.
  5. Hebrews 6:4-6 and Hebrews 10 seem to indicate it is possible to fall from grace. However, the people described may have only tasted the heavenly gift without being regenerate. Nowhere does it say they were born again.
  6. We must reconcile passages that seem contradictory by looking at the overall teaching of Scripture and explicit statements. Scripture never contradicts itself as it has the same author: the Spirit.
  7. Romans 8 and John 10:28-29 clearly teach the perseverance of the saints. Nothing can separate us from the love of God.
  8. If falling from grace were possible, the devil would defeat God, salvation would be uncertain, and no one would be saved.
  9. Regeneration is the act of God, not man. One cannot go in and out of being born again. Backsliding refers to a disobedient Christian, not one who loses salvation.
  10. The ultimate destiny of souls cannot depend on man. That would make man's power greater than God's.
  11. God sent His Son to do what man could not: secure salvation. The promise is sure in Christ.
  12. Warnings in Scripture are the means by which God preserves His people, not proves they can lose salvation.
  13. The weaker brother is not meant to be a tyrant controlling the church. This teaching was temporary, for indifferent matters, and the weaker brother should grow in knowledge.
  14. We should: not misunderstand being "all things to all men"; not adopt unbiblical practices to help the weak; only allow indifferent practices, not vital ones; never accommodate the truth.
  15. The glory of God, not offending others, and the salvation of souls should be our goals.

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.