11not lagging behind in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord;
11Not slothful in business; fervent in spirit; serving the Lord;
What does slothfulness and self-importance share in common? The antidote to both is a heart that understands that Christians are not their own but belong to God. The antidote to both pride and laziness is the great hope the Christian have in the Lord Jesus Christ. In this sermon on Romans 12:11 titled “Stir Yourselves,” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones explores the question of slothfulness and he confronts the fundamental question on what it means to serve the Lord. Dr. Lloyd-Jones reminds the Christian of their fundamental identity. Christians are slaves of the Lord Jesus Christ and have been bought with a price. As slaves to the Lord, their service is not their personal cause but it is the Lord’s ministry. It is fundamentally not their honor involved as they serve, but the honor of the Lord Jesus Christ. This slavery to the Lord is a privilege and Dr. Lloyd-Jones reminds the Christian that they are co-workers with God. As those involved in God’s work, they cultivate a particular outlook of hope on this life. This is not a hopeful optimism in the present world, nor a general hopefulness. It is the doctrine of hope and the hope that Christ will return. Listen as Dr. Lloyd-Jones encourages keeping one’s eyes on Jesus Christ and mortify slothfulness and self-importance in service to Him.
- The apostle Paul is giving a series of injunctions to Christians in Romans 12.
- These injunctions apply to all Christians.
- Paul reminds Christians of the foundation principles in Romans 12:1-2 which govern Christian conduct.
- Romans 12:3-8 deals with exercising spiritual gifts. Romans 12:9-21 deals with Christian relationships and living the Christian life.
- Two principles govern Christian conduct: love and avoiding evil.
- Christians must not be slothful or lazy in zeal. They must be fervent in spirit.
- "Fervent in spirit" means allowing the Holy Spirit to manifest without hindrance.
- The ultimate antidote to slothfulness is "serving the Lord."
- Christians are slaves and bondservants to Christ. They do not serve themselves.
- The church and ministry do not belong to any individual. They belong to God.
- Serving the Lord is a privilege and a way to show gratitude to Christ.
- Christ's honor is involved in everything Christians do. Christians will have to give an account to Christ.
- Christ sees everything Christians do. His eye is always on them.
- Christians should not be slothful so they will not be ashamed at Christ's coming. They will have to stand before His judgment seat.
- "Rejoicing in hope" means having the right view of the present world as fallen and under judgment.
- God's purpose is to redeem individuals out of the world, not improve the world. Christ will return to judge the world and establish His eternal kingdom.
- Christians should rejoice in the hope of Christ's return and eternal glory, not in the present world.
- Present sufferings are light and momentary compared to the eternal glory that will be revealed. Christians look not at temporal things but eternal things.
- The blessed hope is Christ's glorious appearing and eternal kingdom. This is the Christian's joy and motivation.
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.