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Sermon #3044

The Faith of God Without Effect?

A Sermon on Romans 3:3


Romans 3:3 ESV KJV
What if some were unfaithful? Does their faithlessness nullify the faithfulness of God? (ESV)

Sermon Description

If God forgives sin, then why stop? That is the question asked of the preacher since Paul wrote the book of Romans. In the sermon from Romans 3:3 titled “The Faith of God Without Effect?”, Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones outlines three arguments that explain how critical repentance is to true saving faith and how that faith leads believers away from a life of entrenched sin. Dr. Lloyd-Jones, preaching about the faithfulness of God, asks: “Did Israel’s unfaithfulness do away with all of the value they had because they had the oracles of God? If the failure of the Jews makes God look more glorious, then why does God punish them? If our sin makes God’s grace and mercy that much greater, then would it not make sense to sin even more?” As Dr. Lloyd-Jones answers these critical arguments, he also reminds the listener that when they test a view of the Lord and His word, they should ask if that view glorifies God. If the answer causes one to question or doubt God in all His faithfulness, righteousness and power, then the view is wrong.

Sermon Breakdown

  1. The apostle Paul had to deal with difficult questions and arguments from unbelievers, just like Christians today.
  2. Paul was diplomatic in how he addressed these arguments. He said "what if some did not believe" rather than directly saying most Jews did not believe.
  3. The first argument: Does the unbelief of the Jews nullify the promises of God? Paul says "God forbid" - this is an impossible suggestion. God's promises do not depend on human faithfulness.
  4. Paul quotes Psalm 51:4, saying that God will be justified and overcome when judged. God is always right, even if all humans are wrong.
  5. The second argument: If Jewish unrighteousness highlights God's righteousness, is God unjust to punish them? Paul again says "God forbid." If this were true, God could not judge anyone.
  6. Paul says some slanderously say he teaches "let us do evil that good may come." But those who say this are justly condemned.
  7. We must be careful speaking about things we do not fully understand, especially about God. We should be "swift to hear, slow to speak."
  8. To deal with difficult arguments, go back to fundamental principles you are certain of. For Paul, these included: 1) God's faithfulness cannot be nullified. 2) God's righteousness cannot be questioned. 3) "Let us do evil that good may come" is morally impossible.
  9. A good test for any view is whether it humbles humans and glorifies God. If so, it is probably right.
  10. Preaching the true gospel will expose it to charges of "antinomianism" - the idea that if salvation is by grace, it does not matter how you live. But Paul says "God forbid" - this does not follow.

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.