18do not be arrogant toward the branches; but if you are arrogant, remember that it is not you who supports the root, but the root supports you. 19You will say then, “Branches were broken off so that I might be grafted in.” 20Quite right, they were broken off for their unbelief, but you stand by your faith. Do not be conceited, but fear; 21for if God did not spare the natural branches, He will not spare you, either. 22See then the kindness and severity of God: to those who fell, severity, but to you, God’s kindness, if you continue in His kindness; for otherwise you too will be cut off.
18Boast not against the branches. But if thou boast, thou bearest not the root, but the root thee. 19Thou wilt say then, The branches were broken off, that I might be graffed in. 20Well; because of unbelief they were broken off, and thou standest by faith. Be not highminded, but fear: 21For if God spared not the natural branches, take heed lest he also spare not thee. 22Behold therefore the goodness and severity of God: on them which fell, severity; but toward thee, goodness, if thou continue in his goodness: otherwise thou also shalt be cut off.
Why is pride so dangerous? What about pride undermines the gospel and leads people into self-deception and deceit? In this sermon on Romans 11:18–22 titled “Pride,” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones preaches on the need to learn God’s word so as to fight against pride. Pride undermines the gospel because it makes people focus on themselves and their own works, justifying themselves. According to Dr. Lloyd-Jones, the great sin of many of the Jewish people who wanted to return to the law was the sin of pride. They sought to find salvation in their own identity and works but this is wholly opposed to the message of Jesus. Jesus Christ tells that one must forsake any chance of saving themselves. He tells that no works can makes one right before God. Pride makes the person look at what they do for their worth; Jesus makes them look to Him to find worth. Paul warns the church of his day about the danger of falling away from the gospel and looking to works to justify oneself. This is still a temptation for many Christians and for this reason, believers must always flee from self-righteousness and look to Jesus Christ and what He has done as Jesus alone saves.
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.