The Infirmity of the Flesh
A Sermon on Romans 6:19
19I am speaking in human terms because of the weakness of your flesh. For just as you presented the parts of your body as slaves to impurity and to lawlessness, resulting in further lawlessness, so now present your body’s parts as slaves to righteousness, resulting in sanctification.
19I speak after the manner of men because of the infirmity of your flesh: for as ye have yielded your members servants to uncleanness and to iniquity unto iniquity; even so now yield your members servants to righteousness unto holiness.
Just as children grow up to become adults, so too new believers will grow up in Christ. As Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones describes in the sermon from Romans 6:19 titled “The Infirmity of the Flesh,” Paul uses an illustration. It is rare for Paul to tell a story or use an analogy, but he chose to do so by relating that Christians are now slaves to righteousness instead of slaves to sin. In Romans 6:19, he clarifies by saying, “I speak after the manner of men.” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones points out that this specific verse is Paul explaining why he uses an illustration to make his subject matter simple and clear. Dr. Lloyd-Jones remarks that this should be the only use of illustrations for any teacher or preacher of the Bible. Paul also notes that he only used the illustration so that others would not misunderstand what he was saying. He wants to emphasize that righteousness combines both slavery and freedom: slavery to righteousness but a freedom from the reign of sin. Paul chose to use an illustration because some of his listeners are still children in a sense of Christianity. Dr. Lloyd-Jones goes on to warn that believers should never stay children of the word of God only drinking milk, but instead should constantly be growing and maturing to take in the meat of the gospel.
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.