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Sermon #3057

The Law Established

A Sermon on Romans 3:31


Romans 3:31 ESV KJV
Do we then overthrow the law by this faith? By no means! On the contrary, we uphold the law. (ESV)

Sermon Description

The law of God condemns but the grace of God saves. So what room is there to boast? There are three deductions that Paul is drawing with his description of salvation: there can no longer be any boasting, the gospel is for all people without distinction, and the gospel establishes the law. Some Jews may feel that with this new message about receiving salvation through faith means that their law is void, but Paul says that is unthinkable. This salvation is a justification whereby God has declared His people as righteous in His sight. In this sermon titled “The Law Established” from Romans 3:31, Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones says that Paul is repeating what the Lord said in the Sermon on the Mount. The Lord honored the law in His active obedience and nothing that He would do would prove the law void. Dr. Lloyd-Jones provides seven points of how the cross and salvation honors the law and discusses reasons why people would reject this teaching.

Sermon Breakdown

  1. The apostle Paul asks a rhetorical question: Do we then make void the law through faith?
  2. He answers: God forbid. Yea, we establish the law.
  3. There are two interpretations of what "the law" refers to here:
  4. The Old Testament scriptures
  5. The Mosaic law (moral and ceremonial law)
  6. The second interpretation is more likely based on the context and flow of Paul's argument.
  7. The gospel establishes the law in several ways:
  8. Jesus perfectly obeyed the law in his life (active obedience)
  9. Jesus bore the punishment for our sins demanded by the law (passive obedience)
  10. The gospel confirms what the law says about God's holiness and righteousness
  11. The gospel confirms what the law says about God's wrath against sin
  12. The gospel confirms what the law says about our sin and sinfulness
  13. The gospel fulfills the Old Testament types and shadows (sacrifices, priesthood, etc.)
  14. The gospel confirms that without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins
  15. The gospel gives us a spiritual understanding of the law
  16. Wrong views of how the gospel establishes the law:
  17. That the gospel enables us to live the law (sanctification, not justification)
  18. That Paul was wrong in his view of the atonement
  19. That the early church corrupted Paul's teaching, which we now have rediscovered
  20. That we must adapt our teaching to suit the modern mindset
  21. We must reject these wrong views and hold fast to the truth of propitiation through faith in Christ's blood.

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.