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Sermon #3214

The True Israel

A Sermon on the True Israel from Romans 9:6-7


Romans 9:6-7 ESV KJV
But it is not as though the word of God has failed. For not all who are descended from Israel belong to Israel, and not all are children of Abraham because they are his offspring, but “Through Isaac shall your offspring be named.” (ESV)

Sermon Description

Is salvation applied to everyone born of Christian parents? Does church membership automatically provide salvation? In this sermon on Romans 9:6-7 titled “The True Israel,” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones draws attention to the danger of a person relying on parenting, church membership, or country of origin as their means of salvation. In the time of the Lord Jesus the Jews made a fatal assumption that because they were descendants of Abraham, they had no need of the new covenant. They based their salvation on their physical lineage. Dr. Lloyd-Jones teaches that the apostle Paul is clarifying God’s purposes and promises to the true Israel, that is those who belong to God through Jesus Christ. While all Israelites belonged to the physical and general Israel, not all those of Israel are true Israel. A distinction was made by God. In much the same way, we who are in the new covenant age must take heed that we are not making the same error, specifically as it applies to church membership. We must not presume that our membership or participation in church activities make us Christian. Not all who belong to the visible church belong to the spiritual, invisible Church and so we must examine ourselves and draw close to the living Lord Jesus Christ in faith and belief.

Sermon Breakdown

  1. The apostle Paul is dealing with an objection brought against his teaching and the preaching of the gospel. The objection is that the case of the Jews seems to contradict Paul's teaching about the certainty and security of God's purpose.
  2. Paul begins by stating that the word of God has not failed in its purpose. The word of God here refers to God's declared purpose, promises, and covenants.
  3. Paul's key statement is "they are not all Israel who are of Israel." This means not all who are descended from Israel (Jacob) are the true spiritual Israel.
  4. Paul argues there are two meanings of the term "Israel": a general, external meaning and a particular, internal, spiritual meaning. All belong to the former, but only some to the latter.
  5. God's purpose and promises have reference only to the spiritual Israel, not to the external Israel. The promises have never failed regarding the true Israel.
  6. We must understand the distinction between the visible and invisible church. Not all who belong to the visible church belong to the invisible church.
  7. There are many relying on birth, baptism, parenting, or church membership who have never truly believed. We must realize "they are not all Israel who are of Israel."
  8. We can only have safety and security in God's purpose, not in our frail hold of Him. We must give God all praise, honor and glory.

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.