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Sermon #3038

... To ... Man that Worketh Good

A Sermon on Romans 2:6-10


Romans 2:6-10 ESV KJV
He will render to each one according to his works: to those who by patience in well-doing seek for glory and honor and immortality, he will give eternal life; but for those who are self-seeking and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, there will be wrath and fury. …

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Sermon Description

Can good works save? Will one receive salvation just for being a ‘good’ person? In the sermon titled “…To…Man that Worketh Good,” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones walks through these questions in Romans 2:6–10, a passage often taken out of context. While works are the proof of salvation, they are not the source of it. Paul proves that people cannot be justified by works alone and no matter the efforts of all of humanity, no one is righteous or exempt from judgement. In this message, Dr. Lloyd-Jones states that the day of condemnation will bring judgement upon those who relied on their efforts to impress God; those that say they know the Lord but do not keep His commands are liars. If one is truly a believer, they have the Holy Spirit who will act in them and change them, and that change will be manifested with outward expression. Christians should always aim to bring glory to God, seek His honor, and yearn for eternal life with Him. This should cause Christians to be mindful that what comes out of their mouths also is represented in the works that they do.

Sermon Breakdown

  1. The passage under consideration is Romans 2:6-10. These verses have often been misunderstood as teaching justification by works.
  2. However, justification by works contradicts the overall theme of Romans 1:18-3:20 which is that no one can be justified by works.
  3. Romans 3:9-10 clearly state that no one is righteous and no one seeks God. Romans 3:20 also states that no one can be justified by works of the law.
  4. Therefore, Romans 2:6-10 cannot be teaching justification by works. The context shows this interpretation is impossible.
  5. Every verse must be interpreted in its proper context. Isolating verses leads to misinterpretation and false doctrine.
  6. The theme of Romans 1:18-3:20 is the wrath of God against sin. Paul is proving that all are under sin and condemnation.
  7. Romans 2:6-10 show the grounds of judgment and condemnation, not the way of salvation. They show that works can condemn, even if they cannot save.
  8. Although works cannot save, they do show if someone is saved. Salvation will always lead to good works.
  9. There is a danger in thinking that mere belief or profession saves apart from regeneration and good works. Mere belief is not enough.
  10. Jesus, Paul, James, and John all teach that faith without works is dead and cannot save. Works show if faith is genuine.
  11. The works that lead to eternal life are patiently continuing in doing good and seeking glory, honor, and immortality.
  12. We should examine our lives to see if we are truly seeking God or living worldly lives with only occasional interest in spiritual things. The direction of our lives shows our true state.
  13. Romans 2:11-16 raise the question of the fate of those who have never heard the gospel. This passage will be examined in the next sermon.

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.