The Biblical Way of Exposition
A Sermon on Romans 8:28-30
28And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. 29For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would …
28And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. 29For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the …
The doctrine of the perseverance of the saints is a contested doctrine. Those who hold to the cherished doctrine of assurance must acknowledge the difficult objections posed and not ignore them. Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones recognizes this and serves as a positive example of an exegete who does not shy away from engaging the most often-cited Scriptures that seem to contradict his personal beliefs. In a manner that not only demonstrates a responsible handling of Scripture, he also demonstrates humility in his exegetical task. In this message on Romans 8:28–30 titled “The Biblical Way,” Dr. Lloyd-Jones outlines his principles of interpretation. He encourages interpreters of the Bible to operate on the principle of Scripture alone. Rather than allowing philosophy to govern one’s interpretation, he argues that the Christian should allow Scripture to interpret Scripture. Furthermore, one should start with the unambiguous “proof texts” and then deal with the difficult texts in light of the clear statements. He applies these interpretive principles as he works through famous passages like the Parable of the Sower, Hebrews 6, and 2 Peter 2. Listen as Dr. Lloyd-Jones lays out interpretive principles that all Christians should implement in their personal study of sacred Scripture.
- The sermon is focused on Romans 8:28-30 which talks about God's eternal purpose and predestination.
- The objective is not just to have a theological discussion but to know God better and understand our eternal destiny.
- Doctrine should lead to practice. We study predestination to gain assurance of salvation.
- There are difficulties and objections that arise from this doctrine that the sermon aims to address.
- We must deal with Scripture alone without bringing in philosophy.
- Compare Scripture with Scripture. There are no contradictions.
- Start with clear positive statements of Scripture called "proof texts". Examples are John 10:27-29, John 17:11-12, Romans 8:7, Romans 9, 1 Corinthians 2:14, Ephesians 2:1-3, 1 Peter 1:3-5, 1 John 5:18-19.
- Deal with difficult passages in light of the clear positive statements.
- Be careful to observe the details and context of each passage. Do not base doctrine on isolated texts.
- The parable of the sower (Matthew 13:18-23) does not teach falling away. Only the last group represents true Christians who have understanding. The others have no root and are not saved.
- John 2:23-25 and John 6:60-66. Not all who seem to believe are truly saved. Jesus knew their hearts.
- 1 Timothy 1:19-20. Their faith was in a state of "shipwreck" or chaos, not that they lost their salvation. They were handed over for correction showing they were still saved.
- 1 Timothy 4:1-2 and 2 Timothy 2:15-18. False teachers were in the church but there is no evidence they were ever truly saved. They upset the faith of some but did not cause them to fall from grace.
- Hebrews 6 and 10 refer to those who reject the gospel, not to loss of salvation. The book addresses belief in Christ, not just failure in practice.
- 2 Peter 2:1 and 2 Peter 2:20-22. "Pollutions" refers to surface defilement, not deep "corruption" like in 1 Peter 1:4. The false teachers were like washed pigs and dogs that return to their old ways. They were never changed in nature. "Lord" refers to God the Father, not Christ. "Bought" refers to deliverance from Egypt, not redemption by Christ's blood.
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.