MLJ Trust Logo Image
Sermon #3017

Submitted to the Will of God

A Sermon on Romans 1:7-15


Romans 1:7-15 ESV KJV
To all those in Rome who are loved by God and called to be saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for all of you, because your faith is proclaimed in all the world. …

Read more

Sermon Description

Perhaps the pastoral question most often asked by the Christian church concerns the will of God. Christians want to know what decisions they ought to make. They want to make plans, but are often perplexed and overwhelmed by the prospect of making the wrong decision. Many faithful believers have desires, intentions, and longings for their lives, but hesitate and/or doubt because they wonder if these things are in accord with the will of God. In short, faithful Christians often ask: “How do I know the will of God? How can I be guided by God’s will?” As Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones says of the apostle Paul in this sermon titled “Submitted to the Word of God” on Romans 1:7–15, nothing is more characteristic of Paul than his submission to God. It would be appropriate then to learn from the great apostle on this topic. Dr. Lloyd-Jones outlines several principles from the apostle Paul’s life which teach about unfulfilled desires, longings, plans, hinderances, open doors, shut doors, and prayers. Dr. Lloyd-Jones notes the importance of Christians using minds, reason, common sense, godly counsel, and circumstances in order to determine and interpret God’s will in their lives. A fundamental characteristic for determining God’s will for the Christian is the Holy Spirit’s witness to their spirit. Listen as Dr. Lloyd-Jones explains what this means and how the Christian can fully submit to the will of God.

Sermon Breakdown

  1. The apostle Paul tells the Romans certain things about himself and his prayer life. Although he does not explicitly state doctrine, he introduces vital and precious doctrine.
  2. Paul refers to God as "my God." He has a personal relationship with God and accesses him through Jesus Christ.
  3. Paul has a ministry of intercession where he prays for others constantly, including the Romans.
  4. Paul submits himself completely to the will of God. He wants to visit the Romans but will only do so if it is God's will.
  5. Paul has an intense desire to see the Romans. He longs to see them and has planned to visit them for years.
  6. Paul will only act if it is the will of God. He prays to be "prospered" by God's will to visit them. He waits for God to make the way clear.
  7. Paul accepts hindrances as God's will. God uses hindrances to guide his servants. Hindrances have prevented Paul from visiting the Romans.
  8. Hindrances for Paul include: work to be done where he is, sickness, circumstances outside of his control, Satan, and the Holy Spirit's direct leading.
  9. The Holy Spirit directly leads Paul by forbidding him from going to Asia and not allowing him to go to Bithynia. Paul is sensitive to the Spirit's leading.
  10. Although hindered, Paul continues praying to visit the Romans. He does not give up or become discouraged.
  11. God led Paul to do great things through hindrances, like preaching in Europe after being forbidden from Asia and Bithynia.
  12. Paul eventually reached Rome in chains as a prisoner, not as he had planned. Man proposes but God disposes.
  13. Christians must submit themselves completely to God's will. They should make their requests known to God but say "if it be thy will."
  14. The Christian life is full of surprises, prohibitions, restraints, and hindrances as God's will unfolds. Peace comes from submitting to God's will.

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.