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Sermon #5517

The Principles of The Faith

A Sermon on Romans 14:17


Romans 14:17 ESV KJV
For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking but of righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. (ESV)

Sermon Description

What does one consider central to their Christian life? In this sermon on Romans 14:17 titled “The Principles of the Faith,” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones suggests this could be an indication of what they think Christianity is all about. The church at Rome had much to say about observance of days and whether a Christian can or should eat this food or drink this drink. Paul abhors such pettiness in the church at Rome, and through God’s inspired word, the reader can see He is not pleased with such smallness in the church today. Dr. Lloyd-Jones brings the gospel back to center of a church that is often divided over pettiness. He cautions on the subtle loss of proportion or a sense of balance on secondary matters. Dr. Lloyd-Jones explains in this message how zealous and well-intended Christians can over-concentrate on matters like eating and drinking and miss what the kingdom of God is all about. This does not mean those secondary issues are unimportant or should not be discussed with full conviction. Instead they ought to be discussed in accordance to the principle of Christian liberty. Listen as Dr. Lloyd-Jones shows how righteousness in Christ, peace with God, and joy in the Holy Spirit contribute to genuine Christian unity.

Sermon Breakdown

  1. The sermon opens by introducing the verse the sermon will focus on - Romans 14:17. Dr. Lloyd-Jones notes this verse is characteristic of Paul's writing style with its sudden, illuminating assertions.

  2. Dr. Lloyd-Jones highlights Paul's essential greatness and balanced, sane thinking as evidenced in this verse. Paul brings the Roman Christians back to foundational principles.

  3. The context for this verse is conditions in the Roman church where people were arguing over observance of days, eating and drinking. This was causing division and turmoil.

  4. Paul asserts the kingdom of God is not about these secondary matters. We must not make them central or the acid test of faith. We have liberty in these matters but not in foundational principles.

  5. Negatively, the kingdom of God is not about eating and drinking. Positively, it is about righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. These are essential and central.

  6. Righteousness refers to the righteousness of God through faith in Christ which is the only way into the kingdom. Our own righteousness is as filthy rags.

  7. Peace refers to peace of conscience and peace with God which comes through justification by faith in Christ. This contrasts with the turmoil from focusing on secondary matters.

  8. Joy refers to joy produced by the Holy Spirit through fellowship with God and the hope of future glory. It is not based on being right about opinions.

  9. We are to talk about and radiate righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. These are to be central, not secondary matters. They testify to knowing and rejoicing in God.

  10. We must deal with secondary matters but never elevate them to obscure righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit which are foundational to the kingdom.

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.