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Sermon #3255

Why Preaching?

A Sermon on Romans 10:14-17


Romans 10:14-17 ESV KJV
How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, …

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Sermon Description

Why does the Christian church gather weekly to hear a message when each person could be at home reading from the Bible? In his sermon on Romans 10:14–17 titled “Why Preaching?” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones addresses this question as he delivers a message about the importance of preaching as it is God’s chief way for the gospel to be heard. Reading is right and good for the knowledgeable Christian, but for someone newly touched by the Holy Spirit, the words of a pastor are formative to their acceptance of the good news. Dr. Lloyd-Jones recalls the Ethiopian man who was reading the Old Testament but could not understand the writings. He needed Philip to come into his chariot and explain its meaning. This is the wonderful power of preaching. In addition to this truth, Dr. Lloyd-Jones explains how important it is for believers to gather in church to hear a message. Believers, he says, need to be present for those who need help. Perhaps it is a person has lost a family member, needs encouragement, or needs help understanding the sermon. Believers are there to also lean on each other. He concludes by saying that preaching can be the powerful spark of revival and that the gathering of Christians has the potential to glorify God in ways that didn’t seem possible.

Sermon Breakdown

  1. The apostle Paul is dealing with Romans 10:14-17 in this passage.
  2. Verse 13 states that "whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved."
  3. Paul then asks how people can call on the Lord if they have not believed, and how they can believe without hearing the message, and how they can hear without a preacher, and how they can preach unless they are sent.
  4. Paul is explaining the normal process by which the gospel spreads and people come to salvation. God can work outside of normal means, but preaching the gospel is the typical way people come to faith.
  5. Some people question why preaching is necessary if salvation is from God. But God ordains both the means and the end. While God can work miraculously, He typically works through the preaching of the gospel.
  6. Preaching is God's normal and customary method for spreading the gospel, though He is not confined to it. Other means, like reading Scripture, are supplementary but not substitutes for preaching.
  7. Preaching is necessary because: 1) Christians still need instruction and guidance in understanding Scripture. 2) The preacher's personality and gifts are used by God. 3) Preaching applies the message in a way that reading alone may not. 4) The church community reinforces the preaching. 5) Preaching explains the message in a way that simply reading the Bible may not.
  8. The word for "preach" in Romans 10:14-15 refers to a herald proclaiming a message, emphasizing the proclamation itself. This is different from simply "reporting the good news" (the meaning of the word in Acts 8:4). Not all Christians are called to be heralds, but all can report 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.