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Sermon #3116

The Nature of Sin

A Sermon on Romans 7:5-6


Romans 7:5-6 ESV KJV
For while we were living in the flesh, our sinful passions, aroused by the law, were at work in our members to bear fruit for death. But now we are released from the law, having died to that which held us captive, so that we serve in the new way …

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Sermon Description

What is the next greatest power after God himself? In the sermon from Romans 7:5–6 titled “The Nature of Sin,” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones argues that it is the power of sin. As he breaks down Paul’s message in Romans, Dr. Lloyd-Jones outlines several key terms and defines them in the context of the message. It is essential for the reader to understand the terms in order to understand the apostle’s argument and doctrines of the law, salvation, and sanctification. For instance, the term “flesh” can be defined many ways but Dr. Lloyd-Jones believes that Paul uses this term to refer to the opposite of what it means to have life in the Spirit. Those who are in the flesh are unregenerate and cannot please God. When Paul refers to the “motions of sin,” he is talking about passions, affections, and lusting. All natural appetites were created and given by God, but the law aggravates these appetites and sinners allow them control, which lead to sin and death. However, Christ is working for His people and they died with Christ and to the power of sin.

Sermon Breakdown

  1. The apostle Paul is explaining why it was necessary for Christians to die to the law in order to be joined to Christ.
  2. Verses 5 and 6 constitute one statement with verse 5 being the negative aspect and verse 6 being the positive aspect.
  3. The term "in the flesh" refers to being unregenerate and dominated by sin. It is the opposite of being "in the Spirit".
  4. There are only two possible spiritual conditions: in the flesh or in the Spirit. Everyone is in one or the other.
  5. The "motions of sins" refer to sinful passions, affections and lusts that arise from natural appetites that have become disordered and controlling due to the Fall.
  6. The law stirs up and inflames these sinful passions. The law was not meant to deliver us from sin but rather to define it and show our need for a Savior.
  7. These sinful passions work inwardly and powerfully, influencing our thoughts, imagination, and actions. They produce "fruit unto death".
  8. This verse shows the terrible nature of sin, the limited value of moral teaching, the true purpose of the law, and our absolute need for Christ.
  9. Only the power of the Spirit of Christ can overcome the power of sin. Christ alone can save us from sin and death.

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.