MLJ Trust Logo Image
Sermon #3020

The Fellowship of Believers

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

Despite Paul’s great power given by the Holy Spirit, the authority given by Christ to preach the gospel to the Gentiles, and his extraordinary experiences, the apostle Paul never put himself up on a pedestal. He expected to pour into the church at Rome, but he also wanted to be encouraged by them as well. As Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones explains in the sermon “The Fellowship of Believers,” this is a glimpse of the doctrine and nature of the Christian church in Romans 1:7–15. Paul’s depiction of the communion of the saints is one which consists of fellowship in the Holy Spirit. Neither color of skin, nor social status, nor education matter. What matters to Paul and constituted his desire to fellowship with them was that they were fellow members of the body of Christ. Dr. Lloyd-Jones challenges the human desire to limit fellowship to certain types of Christians – perhaps those Christians found to be most interesting or stimulating. The encouragement from Dr. Lloyd-Jones is to enjoy the fellowship of all Christians. This, he says, is the New Testament understanding of fellowship. Listen as Dr. Lloyd-Jones explains what the apostle Paul found so encouraging about these simple Christians in Rome, and the dangers of contemporary “movements” as they often replace the role of the church in the Christian life.

Sermon Breakdown

  1. The apostle Paul tells the Romans about his work and attitude towards it. He describes it as a service of God, rendered in his spirit, in the gospel of His Son.
  2. Paul expresses his desire to impart a spiritual gift to the Romans so they can be established. He wants mutual encouragement through faith.
  3. Paul clarifies that he wants to be comforted together with the Romans through mutual faith. He does not want them to misunderstand his desire to impart a spiritual gift as patronizing them.
  4. Paul genuinely means that he will benefit from and be encouraged by the Romans. Despite his power and authority as an apostle, he is still the same as other Christians.
  5. Paul looks for the Spirit in others and enjoys fellowship with all Christians, regardless of their status. He values time with humble Christians over non-Christians of high status.
  6. Paul's view of the church contrasts with the pope and Catholic church. He does not claim power over others or the ability to bless them. He sees himself as equal with other Christians.
  7. The church should not have a monarchical system of government. Authority comes from the Spirit, not an office. Spiritual authority is given to individuals, not roles.
  8. Paul's authority came from the Spirit, not external trappings. The church should follow the New Testament model, not recreate priestly authority. Revival comes from the Spirit, not organizational power.
  9. The church is meant to be a fellowship where all participate, not a place where one person does everything. Faith is shown through lives, knowledge, experience, growth, concern for others, and prayer.
  10. Paul needed the prayers of ordinary Christians. The church should be about churches, not movements where people are passive. Fellowship, mutual participation, and revival go together.

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.