The Unbreakable Chain
A Sermon on Romans 8:28-30
28And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. 29For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would …
28And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. 29For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the …
By denying the doctrine of the final perseverance of the saints, there will be inevitable negative implications for everything else that is true about Christian salvation. Perhaps even more problematic, says Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones in his sermon on Romans 8:28–30 titled “The Unbreakable Chain,” is the confusion and chaos that is introduced about God by those affirming the apostasy of genuine believers. He examines the harmony of each link in the apostle Paul’s unbreakable chain, noting how each inevitably hangs together. By considering the negative implications for the doctrine of predestination and foreknowledge, Dr. Lloyd-Jones demonstrates the absurd conclusions that must be affirmed about God when one holds to the possibility of a true believer falling from grace. Continuing through the chain of redemption, he argues that those who affirm the apostasy position make God’s “call” pointless and the doctrine of justification an error-filled action on God’s part. However, the doctrine of rebirth and union with Christ should settle the matter altogether, says Dr. Lloyd-Jones. It is scandalous to suggest that God’s creative work in giving new life and His seating of His people in the heavenly places with Christ can be suddenly undone. Listen to Dr. Lloyd-Jones’s argument for an unbreakable chain in salvation and find encouragement in the blessed doctrine of assurance from beginning to end.
- The doctrine taught in Romans 8:28-30 is the final perseverance of the saints. This is the main point and comfort for Christians.
- God's purpose alone is enough to guarantee the final perseverance of the saints. God always accomplishes what He purposes.
- The terms used by Paul in Romans 8:28-30 prove the final perseverance of the saints:
- Foreknowledge: Even if this only means God's prescience, He still predestined those He foreknew to glory. If they fail to reach glory, God's predestination was mistaken.
- Predestined: God predestined those He foreknew to conformity to Christ's image. If they fail, God's purpose in predestination fails.
- Called: God effectually called those He predestined. If they fail, God's call was ineffective and useless.
- Justified: God declared believers just. If they fail, God's declaration was mistaken or useless.
- Glorified: God has already glorified believers. The aorist tense shows this is already done. If they fail, God's work fails and was useless.
- What Scripture says about believers confirms their final perseverance:
- Believers have died to sin (Rom. 6:2-6). The old man was crucified with Christ. Sin cannot condemn them.
- Believers have died to the law (Rom. 7:1-6). The law cannot condemn them.
- Believers have been born again (Rom. 8:2; Eph. 2:1-10). God's work in regeneration cannot fail or be undone.
- Believers are in union with Christ (Rom. 6:5; 1 Cor. 6:17; Eph. 2:6). They share in all Christ has done. They cannot be condemned or fall from this.
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.