The Whole Counsel of God
A Sermon on Romans 1:14
14I am under obligation both to Greeks and to the uncultured, both to the wise and to the foolish.
14I am debtor both to the Greeks, and to the Barbarians; both to the wise, and to the unwise.
For whom is the gospel? Does the Christian gospel seem more palatable for a suburban context? It might seem that a learned man like the apostle Paul would feel more comfortable preaching to philosophers, stoics, and epicureans rather than the common men and women of the city. As Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones demonstrates in his message on Romans 1:14 titled “The Whole Counsel of God,” this could not be further from the truth. Show Paul a soul – whether that soul be wise or unwise, Greek or Barbarian, rich or poor, slave or free – and he would preach the gospel to them with great profundity and fullness. In this challenging message, Dr. Lloyd-Jones holds up Paul as an example of what it means to be a gospel Christian. The Christian cannot forget that, like Paul, they are under obligation to all humanity. There is a universal need of all nations and all people to hear the gospel. Dr. Lloyd-Jones provocatively says that if preachers today cannot preach to everybody, they should not preach to anybody. Gospel preachers must develop an ability to preach to a range of people otherwise they will give the impression that the gospel is only for a certain type of person. Humbly listen as Dr. Lloyd-Jones dispels false ministry methods and calls Christians to once again impart the whole counsel of God to the whole world.
- The apostle Paul describes himself as a "debtor" to all people in order to spread the gospel. This means he feels an obligation and necessity to share the good news of Jesus Christ.
- Paul can impart spiritual gifts and knowledge to others because he possesses knowledge and experience of the gospel himself. Christians should have knowledge of what they believe and why so they can share it with others.
- Paul feels obligated to share the gospel with all people, regardless of their nationality, education, or social status. The gospel is for everyone.
- Paul is able to effectively share the gospel with all people through the power of the Holy Spirit. Preachers do not need specialized knowledge of their audiences to share the gospel. They just need to know the gospel.
- The gospel should be preached to the whole person - the mind, heart, and will. Preaching should not focus on only one aspect. A "whole gospel" should be preached to the "whole man."
- Paul feels obligated to share the gospel because of his calling from God, his knowledge of people's need for salvation, the joy it has brought him, and the amazing nature of the gospel itself.
- Christians today should also feel an obligation to share the gospel with all people. They need to understand the gospel deeply, be able to share it with all types of people, and see people from all walks of life come to faith.
- Christians should pray for God to give them a zeal and sense of urgency to share the gospel with others. They need to understand the glory and grace of the gospel.
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.