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Sermon #3195

Warning Passages

A Sermon on Romans 8:28-30


Romans 8:28-30 ESV KJV
And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among …

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Sermon Description

The Lord Jesus Christ said there will be those who will say they are His followers but the end will prove otherwise. The Bible warns about false professions, or as the Puritans called it, “temporary faith.” How does one understand the warning passages in light of Romans 8:28–30 where God is said to be in complete control over the Christian’s salvation from beginning to end? More importantly, perhaps, is how does one respond to the truth of false profession of faith? In this sermon on Roman 8:28–30 titled “Warning Passages,” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones takes up these questions and others as he continues in his examination of the doctrine of final perseverance of the saints. He first outlines his interpretive principles, noting the important distinction between the visible and invisible church. The writings of the Bible are written to the visible church, says Dr. Lloyd-Jones, and one must remember that the visible church will be a mixed community of true and false professions. Second, he says, the primary purpose of the warning passages is to test one’s profession of faith in order that they may know whether it is true or false. Listen as Dr. Lloyd-Jones not only identifies the true nature of the warning passages, but offers the church comfort, encouragement, and the God-ordained means to test oneself.

Sermon Breakdown

  1. The passage under consideration is Romans 8:28-30 which deals with the doctrine of the final perseverance of the saints.
  2. The doctrine of election and predestination are part of something greater - the final certainty of our ultimate glorification.
  3. There are many passages that cause people to stumble in understanding this doctrine. They can be classified into three groups: those that seem to say one can fall away, those that seem to say our salvation is doubtful and depends on us, and the warning passages.
  4. We must consider the state and condition of the visible church which is a mixed multitude. Not all members of the visible church are necessarily Christians. There are those with temporary faith or false professions.
  5. The primary purpose of the warning passages is to test our profession of faith to see if it is genuine or spurious. Our profession needs to be tested and proven by what it produces in us.
  6. The parable of the ten virgins is a test of profession. The five foolish virgins represent those in the church with a false profession who are selfish and self-centered, only wanting benefits. The five wise virgins represent those with genuine faith who are concerned and make sure they have oil.
  7. The parable of the talents also represents a test of profession. The man with one talent displays an antagonistic attitude, burying the talent out of fear. He is like those in the church who call the Christian life narrow and hard.
  8. The parable of the sheep and the goats also represents a test of profession. The sheep, representing the righteous, do good works unselfconsciously and are unaware of them. The goats, representing the unrighteous, demand salvation as a right and boast of their works.
  9. Revelation 3:5 which speaks of not blotting names from the book of life is a negative statement for emphasis (litotes). It does not mean that some names will be blotted out. Names are written in the book of life before the foundation of the world according to God's foreknowledge. It is impossible for names to be blotted out.

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.