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Sermon #3043

Stewards of the Mysteries

A Sermon on Romans 3:1-2


Romans 3:1-2 ESV KJV
Then what advantage has the Jew? Or what is the value of circumcision? Much in every way. To begin with, the Jews were entrusted with the oracles of God. (ESV)

Sermon Description

Is there any advantage to being a Jew? The apostle Paul understands this questioning might come up after all he has said about their guilt. However, his point was to prove that the whole world was condemned by sin before God. In this sermon from Romans 3:1–2 titled “Stewards of the Mysteries,” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones explains Paul’s words that showed that Jews do have one advantage: they were given the divine oracles of God. They were entrusted with the living revelation of God’s word and were tasked with keeping it safe and spreading the truth to others. Dr. Lloyd-Jones argues that there is no higher privilege for any human than to be spoken to directly by God. God spoke to Moses by giving him the Ten Commandments and Moses brought them to God’s chosen people, the Jews. To have this kind of knowledge should lead to repentance and to seek salvation from God. In the same manner, does the Christian understand what kind of advantage it is for them to have an open Bible? They have the living Word of God in front of them and are entrusted to keep the truth and share it with others.

Sermon Breakdown

  1. The sermon begins by establishing the context of Romans chapter 3 within the broader epistle. Dr. Lloyd-Jones notes that Paul is explaining why he is not ashamed of the gospel and that chapter 3 addresses a potential objection to Paul's argument in chapter 2 regarding Jews and Gentiles being under the wrath of God.

  2. Dr. Lloyd-Jones outlines the three main sections of Romans chapter 3: verses 1-8 which address the objection; verses 9-20 which provide scriptural support for Paul's argument; and verses 21-31 which restate the theme of righteousness through faith.

  3. Dr. Lloyd-Jones notes that Paul asks a rhetorical question in verse 1 about whether Jews have any advantage or circumcision any profit to address the potential objection that Paul's argument makes being Jewish meaningless. Paul responds that Jews have many advantages, especially being entrusted with the oracles of God.

4.Dr. Lloyd-Jones examines the meaning and usage of the phrase "oracles of God" in the New Testament, noting that it refers to the divine utterances and revelations of God, specifically the Old Testament scriptures. Dr. Lloyd-Jones notes the privilege and responsibility of the Jews as the custodians of the oracles of God.

  1. Dr. Lloyd-Jones applies this passage to modern Christians, noting that we have the privilege of both the Old and New Testament scriptures. Dr. Lloyd-Jones challenges listeners to consider whether they realize the privilege of having the Bible, read and study it diligently, defend its truth, and teach it to others.

  2. Dr. Lloyd-Jones notes that like Jewish children, the children of Christian parents have the advantage of access to the oracles of God which should lead them to repentance and faith. Christian parents have the responsibility to teach the scriptures to their children.

  3. Dr. Lloyd-Jones concludes with a prayer thanking God for the scriptures, asking for help to realize their importance, and seeking God's blessing.

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.