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Sermon #5804

What is a Christian?

A Sermon on Romans 1:11-17


Romans 1:11-17 ESV KJV
For I long to see you, that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to strengthen you—that is, that we may be mutually encouraged by each other’s faith, both yours and mine. I do not want you to be unaware, brothers, that I have often intended to come to …

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Sermon Description

How do you know that you are a Christian? What is a Christian and what does it mean to be a Christian? In this sermon on Romans 1:11-17, Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones answers these questions which are perhaps the most important questions ever. He begins by confronting the fact that we are living in an age of utter confusion, especially in the Church. People claim to be Christians while completely contradicting Scripture in everything they do. That is why it is so important to be certain what a Christian really is. Dr. Lloyd-Jones explains that Christianity can be defined in verse 14 of Romans 1; A Christian is a debtor to both the Greeks and the Barbarians, the wise and the unwise. A Christian is someone who has something that others do not have, and feels the need to give it to everyone. They are not someone who hopes and is looking to find the meaning of life and the purpose of life, they are someone who has already found truth, has joy in it, and feels the need to share it with others. Dr. Lloyd-Jones then goes on to tell an analogy about a man who has the cure for a deadly disease in their pocket, and sees a man who has this disease. This man feels the need and urge to give this cure to the other man in need. A Christian is the same because they have the answers in their pocket and feel the need to share it with everyone around them. A Christian does not just feel this need to share it with the intellectual, but also the uneducated, because they all are in desperate situations without Christ. They do not only share it with people who are interested in having this truth, but also with people who have no interest in it at all. Dr. Lloyd-Jones concludes by explaining that the Christian not only has hope, but can give a reason for the hope within him.

Sermon Breakdown

  1. Dr. Lloyd-Jones expresses gratitude for the warm welcome and considers it a privilege to be there. He recalls fondly meeting soldiers during World War 2 who came to see him after services.
  2. Dr. Lloyd-Jones says these are grievous times and a battle is being fought for the faith and the church. Some in Britain feel discouraged as evangelicals are a small minority. But this church and pastor encourage him.
  3. Dr. Lloyd-Jones will focus on Romans 1:11-16. Paul longs to see the Romans to impart a spiritual gift and be mutually encouraged by each other's faith.
  4. Dr. Lloyd-Jones says we live in a time of terrible confusion, in politics, philosophy, morals and the church. There is confusion over what it means to be a Christian.
  5. Dr. Lloyd-Jones says we must determine what makes one a Christian, as it determines one's life and eternal destiny. The question is more important than any current event.
  6. Romans 1:14 says "I am debtor both to the Greeks, and to the Barbarians; both to the wise, and to the unwise." This shows what it means to be a Christian.
  7. A Christian has something to give to others, they are not just seeking truth themselves. They possess truth, they do not just hope for salvation. They know they have it and can give it.
  8. A test to see if you are a Christian: If someone was dying tonight and sent for you, do you have something to give them that would make a difference? Mere morality or seeking truth yourself would not help them.
  9. Paul was not just a moral man. He had something to impart, to give to others. Christians have received and can give the truth of Christ.
  10. Paul was a debtor to all types of people, Greeks and Barbarians, wise and unwise. He could preach to anyone. Some can only address intellectuals or the uneducated, but not both. True Christians can address all.
  11. Christians feel compelled to share the gospel. They want others to share their joy. The love of Christ compels them.
  12. Romans 1:16 - The gospel is the power of God for salvation. The word for "power" was also used for "prescription." The gospel is God's prescription for salvation.
  13. An illustration: A man is cured of a painful disease by a prescription from a great physician. He sees another suffering from the same disease and feels compelled to share the prescription that cured him. Christians have been cured of sin and want to share the cure.
  14. Jesus has forgiven Christians, reconciled them to God, made them sons of God, given eternal life, victory over sin, and opened heaven. This is why they must share the gospel.

Itinerant Preaching

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.