The Mystery Revealed
A Sermon on Romans 11:23-24
23And they also, if they do not continue in their unbelief, will be grafted in; for God is able to graft them in again. 24For if you were cut off from what is by nature a wild olive tree, and contrary to nature were grafted into a cultivated olive tree, how much more will these who are the natural branches be grafted into their own olive tree?
23And they also, if they abide not still in unbelief, shall be graffed in: for God is able to graff them in again. 24For if thou wert cut out of the olive tree which is wild by nature, and wert graffed contrary to nature into a good olive tree: how much more shall these, which be the natural branches, be graffed into their own olive tree?
God’s sovereignty and humanity’s responsibility can be difficult to reconcile, especially when reading different passages in the Bible that seem to be contradictory. In this sermon on Romans 11:23–24 titled “The Mystery Revealed,” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones leads through a phrase-by-phrase analysis of one such passage. The word blindness here, he says, is actually better translated as “hardened.” What does Paul mean by saying that Israel has been hardened? Dr. Lloyd-Jones provides reasons and evidence as to why this most likely refers to the majority of the Israelite nation as a whole, not every individual Israelite, since some of the Jews were indeed saved and thus were shown not to be hardened. As the rest of this passage states, this blindness was only temporary— God established it and God took it off at the fullness of the Gentiles. To better understand this oft-confused phrase, Dr. Lloyd-Jones presents the various views and why it makes sense that Paul is making another broad reference, this time indicating a majority of Gentiles. The passage ends by saying that “all Israel will be saved.” This meaning, too, has been hotly debated throughout church history. Dr. Lloyd-Jones demonstrates his reasoning as to why he believes it is not referencing all the elect Jews as a whole, nor the elect Jews and Gentiles combined, but a different group altogether. Listen as he methodically steps through this difficult passage to help the listener better understand its meaning and application for their lives.
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.