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Sermon #3294

The Great Doxology

A Sermon on Romans 11:33-36


Romans 11:33-36 ESV KJV
Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways! “For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who has been his counselor?” “Or who has given a gift to him that he might be repaid?” …

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Sermon Description

In this sermon on Romans 11:33–36 titled “The Great Doxology,” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones shares his belief that this passage is the best doxology in Scripture. He warns not to take this passage out of context since Paul is praising God after expounding wondrous truths for much of the letter. One cannot fully appreciate Paul’s doxology without understanding the parts that make up the whole. Paul spoke about justification by faith, God’s mercy on the Jews as well as the Gentiles, and other magnificent truths. Dr. Lloyd-Jones explains that many have sought to explain this passage by claiming that Paul has stopped seeking to understand God’s truths and instead broken out into praise. While this is well-meaning, it does not capture the truth of the passage. Paul is worshipping God indeed, Dr. Lloyd-Jones says, but only during His learning of God’s wondrous doctrines. This is not a mindless doxology, but rather is a very mindful one. Along the same lines, it is not just the depth of the riches that Paul is referring to – it is the depth of the riches of God. How wonderfully kind of God to give eternal life to all those who would call upon His name.

Sermon Breakdown

  1. The apostle expresses his amazement at the depth of God's riches, wisdom and knowledge that have led to this glorious salvation.
  2. The riches of God refer to His grace and mercy. Without this, there would be no salvation or gospel.
  3. The wisdom of God refers to His ability to devise a plan to save men and restore them to righteousness. Mere knowledge is not enough without wisdom to apply it.
  4. The knowledge of God refers to His omniscience. He knows everything, including all the devil's tricks and schemes. His plan is complete and caters for every eventuality. Nothing can go wrong with it.
  5. What has produced this great salvation is God's grace, wisdom in devising the plan, and knowledge in preparing for all circumstances.
  6. The apostle is amazed at the immensity and profundity of God's plan of redemption as he reviews what he has explained in the epistle.
  7. This doxology is a test of whether we have understood the apostle's teaching in the epistle. If we see it leads inevitably to praise, we have grasped his message.
  8. We must not see a contrast between mind and heart here. The apostle's heart is kindled by his mind grasping the truth. We need both mind and heart.
  9. The apostle is not struggling with a problem here but revealing God's inspired secret plan. He is not giving up trying to understand but praising because he does understand.
  10. The apostle sees this plan as a great mountain range with peaks representing its high points: righteousness from God; justification; union with Christ; sanctification; glorification.
  11. The plan is certain to all the elect, both Jews and Gentiles. Chapters 9-11 assure us of this. The blindness of Israel is partial and temporary.
  12. We should feel privileged to enter into these deep things of God and study this never-ebbing sea of truth. The world's wisdom is foolishness compared to this.

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.