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Sermon #3196

The Warning Passages in Hebrews

A Sermon on Romans 8:28-30


Romans 8:28-30 ESV KJV
And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among …

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Sermon Description

Can Christians lose their salvation? This is a much-debated question in Christianity that has immense significance for all believers. Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones says that while some passages seem to teach that Christians can lose their salvation, this is a misunderstanding. In this sermon on Romans 8:28–30 titled “The Threefold Purpose,” he looks at the warning passages in Hebrews 6 and 10. He argues that these passages do not speak of true Christians falling away but it speaks of those unbelievers who hear the gospel and are in the church, yet reject it. Just as many people in the Bible, such as Judas, are part of the visible church (and even in places of authority), they are shown to not be truly saved. So it is true in all the church. The Bible never speaks of true believers falling away. These are lost men and women who show temporary signs of profession yet fall away. These passages ought to encourage true believers to seek to live a life that testifies to Christ’s power of salvation. Can true Christians fall away from Christ? The Bible’s answer is no since Christ is the perfect Savior who is able to redeem sinners and bring their salvation to completion. As the Savior promised, no one can snatch a child of His from His hand.

Sermon Breakdown

  1. The sermon begins by introducing the topic of perseverance of the saints based on Romans 8:28-30. Dr. Lloyd-Jones states that the sermon will focus on addressing difficulties people have with this doctrine.

  2. Dr. Lloyd-Jones outlines two main reasons for addressing these difficulties: 1) So people can enjoy the benefits of this doctrine like assurance of salvation. 2) To address passages of Scripture that often trouble Christians.

  3. Dr. Lloyd-Jones introduces Hebrews 6:4-8 and Hebrews 10:26-29 as two passages that often trouble Christians. He outlines three wrong interpretations of these passages: 1) That they teach true believers can lose their salvation. 2) That they refer to unbelieving Jews, not Christians. 3) That the word "if" in Hebrews 6:6 means these are hypothetical situations.

  4. Dr. Lloyd-Jones examines the terms used to describe the people in Hebrews 6:4-6 like "enlightened," "tasted the heavenly gift," "partakers of the Holy Spirit," "tasted the good word of God," and "the powers of the age to come." He argues these terms have limits and do not necessarily refer to regeneration or justification. They can refer to a partnership or association with the Holy Spirit that does not indicate saving faith.

  5. Dr. Lloyd-Jones argues the phrase "who has tasted the heavenly gift" in Hebrews 6:4 does not mean merely tasting in the mouth, but experiencing to some degree. However, this does not necessarily indicate saving faith. He cites examples like King Saul, Balaam, and Judas experiencing the power of the Holy Spirit but not being saved.

  6. Dr. Lloyd-Jones examines the phrase "it is impossible to renew them again to repentance" in Hebrews 6:6. He argues this does not mean it is impossible for God to save them, but that Dr. Lloyd-Jones has nothing more to say to them if they reject the gospel. He says the passage refers to those who reject Christ, not those who commit certain sins.

  7. Dr. Lloyd-Jones argues the purpose of these warning passages is: 1) To warn against presumption and antinomianism. 2) To ensure perseverance of the saints by warning and chastening them. 3) The only people troubled by these passages are true Christians, not false professors. So being troubled by them is evidence of salvation.

  8. Dr. Lloyd-Jones concludes by praying that God would make these truths clear to listeners and free them from Satan's accusations so they can rejoice in God's love.

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.