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Sermon #3303

The World (2)

A Sermon on Romans 12:1-2


Romans 12:1-2 ESV KJV
I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may …

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Sermon Description

Avoiding the world is not an option for Christians. Some still try it anyway by setting up rules and regulations because fear of conforming to the world drives their choices. A great distance is then placed between the Christian and the world. History has shown the various extremes which men and women will go and all of it is contrary to the gospel. In this sermon on Romans 12:1–2 titled “The World (2),” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones is concerned that Christians who seek to live a life of holiness may fall into this sort of trap of legalism or Pharisaism. All of it is governed by fear and this is not what the apostle Paul had in mind. Listen in as Dr. Lloyd-Jones addresses this grave misstep. The Christian is not to be so focused on the world that their pursuit of holiness becomes driven by it. What God has given the Christian is His word and they must not be concerned about the additional regulations that some say the Christian should follow. On the contrary, what one must be concerned about is simply the expression of their new character in Christ. This is what drives the believer: the person of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Sermon Breakdown

  1. The apostle Paul is making an appeal to Christians to put into practice what he has outlined.
  2. There are two great motives for Christian living: working out doctrine and gratitude.
  3. Paul exhorts Christians to present their bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God.
  4. Paul progresses from appealing to the body to appealing to the soul.
  5. "Be not conformed to this world" means not adopting the world's outlook apart from God. It means not living for one's own glory instead of God's.
  6. Unfortunately, the church's thinking today is often governed by the world's outlook, not the Bible's. Modern theology asks what people can believe, not what the Bible says.
  7. The church's evangelism and moral teaching are also too influenced by the world.
  8. We must define "world" as man's outlook apart from God.
  9. The church opposed Galileo wrongly because it relied on Aristotle's philosophy, not just the Bible. We must rely on the Bible alone.
  10. We must avoid obscurantism, an extreme rejection of new ideas. We must avoid traditionalism, rejecting new ideas just because they're new.
  11. We must test new ideas against the Bible, not just reject them. We must avoid extremes and hold tensions.
  12. We must avoid worldliness in evangelism but also avoid rejecting new methods just because they're new. We must examine our motives and put saving souls first.
  13. We must minimize methods and rely on the Word and Spirit. We must adapt to our audience as Paul did, without changing the message.
  14. We must avoid relying on methods or fearing new methods. We must make sure methods don't contradict the message.
  15. In practice, we must avoid worldliness but also legalism, phariseeism, and antinomianism.

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.