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Sermon #3075

The Mechanics of Interpretation

A Sermon on Romans 5:12


Romans 5:12 ESV KJV
Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned— (ESV)

Sermon Description

How can one be sure of the meaning of Scripture? In this sermon from Romans 5:12 “The Mechanics of Interpretation”, Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones begins this message by giving a few tips on how to read and study the Bible. Since Paul began this verse with the word “therefore,” Dr. Lloyd-Jones draws attention back to the previous messages and shows how Paul is going to tie things together. In the chapters leading up to this passage, Paul emphasized that all fall under the wrath of God because all have sinned. Why is this? It is because all are united as one in Adam. Because of what happened in the Garden of Eden, all are guilty of sin and born into sin. In the same exact manner, because of Christ’s sacrifice on the cross, Christians are not only saved by Christ but also saved in Christ. There have been two great heads to the human race: Adam and Jesus Christ. In Adam, all sinned, and in Christ, all can be saved. Christians should be so thankful that they have not only been saved from the impending wrath but are also engrafted into Christ’s body. While they were once enemies, they are now safe and secure in Christ.

Sermon Breakdown

  1. The sermon begins by introducing Romans 5:12 and the word “wherefore” as a transition to a new section. Dr. Lloyd-Jones states that this section from verses 12 to 21 is the heart of the epistle to the Romans.

  2. Dr. Lloyd-Jones argues that “wherefore” in verse 12 connects this new section to what came before in verses 1 through 11. Specifically, verse 10 introduced the idea of being “in Christ’s life.” This new section explores what that means.

  3. Dr. Lloyd-Jones outlines four subjects covered in verses 12 to 21: the doctrine of original sin, the historicity of Genesis 1-3, covenant theology, and the doctrine of redemption.

  4. Dr. Lloyd-Jones argues that this section summarizes all that came before starting in Romans 1:16-18. It explains why all humanity is under God’s wrath: because of Adam. And it shows how some are redeemed: through Christ.

  5. Dr. Lloyd-Jones says this section also introduces the idea of union with Christ which will be explored more later. Christians are not just forgiven but placed into Christ and His new humanity.

  6. Dr. Lloyd-Jones emphasizes the security and certainty that comes from being “in Christ.” Nothing can separate us from God’s love in Christ.

  7. Dr. Lloyd-Jones challenges the audience to understand what it really means to be “in Christ” and to see the fullness of God’s redemptive work.

  8. Dr. Lloyd-Jones prays for illumination from the Holy Spirit to understand these deep truths and to live transformed lives that draw others 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.