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Sermon #3083

The Law Came In

A Sermon on Romans 5:20-21


Romans 5:20-21 ESV KJV
Now the law came in to increase the trespass, but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more, so that, as sin reigned in death, grace also might reign through righteousness leading to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. (ESV)

Sermon Description

What is the purpose of the law and why did God give it to Moses? Listen to this sermon on Romans 5:20–21 titled “The Law Came In” as Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones uses Scripture to explain the main function of the law. He begins by explaining that the law was not made to justify or condemn, as some might believe. Before moving to the real purpose of the law, Dr. Lloyd-Jones points out three ways that the law impacts. First, it increases knowledge of sin by defining it. Second, it increases conviction of sin by opening eyes to it. And lastly, the law actually increases sin. The law shed light on sin and made it evident in the lives of people. Based on these three truths, Dr. Lloyd-Jones then reveals the purpose of the law: to bring people to Christ and help them see their utter need of Him and His salvation. The law is what opens eyes to who they are as sinners and shows the inability to save themselves from it. This is where one experiences the fullness of the grace Christ has to offer. Christians can find hope in knowing that where sin abounds, His grace abounds more.

Sermon Breakdown

  1. The law was never meant as a way of salvation. It cannot justify or save anyone.
  2. The law increases our knowledge of sin. It defines sin, shows us the depth and nature of sin, reveals the grip of sin on our hearts, and exposes the deceitfulness of sin.
  3. The law increases our conviction of sin. It makes our sin greater by showing we are defying God. It shows us the extent of our sinfulness and inability to save ourselves.
  4. The law actually incites us to sin because of the grip of sin on our corrupt nature. Though the law is good, sin uses it to stir up sinful desires.
  5. The ultimate purpose of the law is to lead us to Christ. It shows us our need for salvation through faith in Christ.
  6. We must understand the first half of Romans 5:20 to understand the second half. We must see the depth of our sin to see the abundance of God's grace.
  7. We must preach God and His law to convict people of sin, not just their felt needs and weaknesses. We must show people their sinfulness before a holy God.
  8. The law is a "schoolmaster" to lead us to Christ.

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.