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Sermon #3148

Sin and the Body

A Sermon on Romans 8:12-13


Romans 8:12-13 ESV KJV
So then, brothers, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh. For if you live according to the flesh you will die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. (ESV)

Sermon Description

The Christian is called to deal with sin in a radical way. The language the apostle Paul uses is “to mortify flesh.” But what exactly does this mean? How does the Christian kill sin? In this sermon on Romans 8:12–13 titled “Sin and the Body,” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones examines the passage and looks deeper into the doctrine of sanctification. Specifically, he gives attention to the practical expression of sanctification. He gives both negative ways to mortify sin and positive expressions. What must be remembered, he says, is that the Christian is not powerless against sin. Many false views of the doctrine of sanctification teach this. However, the biblical teaching is that the believer has the Holy Spirit indwelling them. They cannot rely on joyless legalism. Instead, they gaze their attention on the glorification that awaits them. While the Christians practically shun darkness, lust, and enticement, they also expose and denounce immediately any evil that comes out. More importantly, they remember that they are God’s chosen means of representing Him to the world. Listen as Dr. Lloyd-Jones gives a pastorally-sensitive message on sanctification and holiness.

Sermon Breakdown

  1. The Christian is called upon to mortify the deeds of his body.
  2. The word “body” means our physical body, not “flesh.” Our physical bodies are still subject to sin and corruption.
  3. Sin remains in our mortal, dying bodies, hence the struggle against sin. Our bodies have not yet been delivered from sin.
  4. The body prompts us to evil deeds by trying to turn natural instincts into sinful acts, like overeating or drinking too much.
  5. To “mortify” means to deaden, put to death, render inoperative. We must mortify the deeds of the body.
  6. We must do this through the Spirit, not by handing it over to God. We have the power through the Spirit to mortify sin.
  7. We must understand our position in Christ. We have been given all we need for life and godliness. We have the Spirit in us. We have no excuse to sin.
  8. When we sin, we grieve the Holy Spirit in us. We must stop complaining about our weakness and use the power we have.
  9. We must keep our ultimate goal, eternal life, in sight. We are pilgrims on earth.
  10. We must make our calling and election sure by doing what God commands. If we do, we will never fall.
  11. False ways of mortification: Roman Catholic monasticism (escaping the world), legalism (imposed rules without the Spirit)
  12. True mortification: Abstain from sin. Stop doing it. Have no fellowship with sin or those who do evil.
  13. Keep under your body with discipline. Control your appetites and desires.
  14. Make no provision for the flesh. Avoid temptation. Make a covenant with your eyes.
  15. Deal with sin at its first motion. Nip it in the bud. Don’t repress but expose and denounce it.
  16. If you sin, don’t heal too quickly or despair. Have godly sorrow and repent, then move on.
  17. Be positive. Watch, stand fast in faith, be strong men. Walk in the Spirit. Add to your faith.
  18. Remember you are chosen, a royal priesthood, to show God’s praises. Live for His glory.

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.