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Sermon #3298

The Christian Life

A Sermon on Romans 12:1-2


Romans 12:1-2 ESV KJV
I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may …

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Sermon Description

What do doctrine and practice have to do with each other? Some Christians doubt the relevance of doctrine to the Christian life at all. For them it’s simply a matter of being ethical and moral and there is no need to understand biblical doctrine for good works. Antinomians, on the other hand, hold to doctrine but live however they please. In this sermon on Romans 12:1–2 titled “The Christian Life,” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones says “no” to both. One may claim doctrine however they wish but if it does not change their life, they have not understood the doctrine. Likewise, Dr. Lloyd-Jones says, doctrine is key to Christian morals because it provides the right motivation and power to live the sanctified life in Christ Jesus. He contends in this sermon that Paul shows that motives are important and the Christian lives in view of God’s mercy. The strength to perform good works is not simply in one’s own effort but the power that comes from the Holy Spirit. If the doctrine proclaimed in evangelism does not match Christian practice, says Dr. Lloyd-Jones, the doctrine has been understood. If good works are not informed by doctrine, a person is not truly living the Christian life. Listen as he unpacks the key distinctive of a Christian life.

Sermon Breakdown

  1. The apostle Paul addresses the members of the church at Rome as "brethren" showing his humility. He puts himself on the same level as ordinary Christians.
  2. Paul pleads and beseeches rather than commands the Romans. This shows the apostolic manner and how the church should not imitate the state.
  3. Paul lays down the principles which govern Christian conduct and behavior in Romans 12:1-2.
  4. Our conduct and behavior matter greatly in evangelism and showing the world what Christianity is.
  5. What really matters is not what we do but why we do it. The motives and reasons behind our actions are most important.
  6. There is a difference between Christian conduct and moral/ethical systems. Christian conduct has reference to God while moral systems do not.
  7. Some live good lives out of fear of punishment or to earn merit with God. But Christians live for God out of love and grace.
  8. Paul was once like those trying to earn salvation but came to see it was all "dumb and refuse". Salvation is by faith alone.
  9. Experiences can promote sanctification but are not sanctification itself. Sanctification is not a passive "abiding in Christ".
  10. Christian conduct should be the inevitable outworking and result of doctrine. It is not a mechanical obedience to rules.
  11. The Christian life is not an experience to be received but should be based on understanding. We should not act unintelligently.
  12. The Christian lives the good life not just to conform to a pattern or because others do so. We need to understand why we live as we do.
  13. The Christian life is the result of the doctrines of the fall, sin, justification, union with Christ, sonship, perseverance, etc.
  14. The Christian knows why he lives as he does and the only way to live is through the Spirit, not the law.
  15. Doctrine shows us why we should live the Christian life and how to live it. We need doctrine and the Spirit.

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.