Sermons on Romans 8
The Martyn Lloyd-Jones Trust offers a treasure trove of sermons on the book of Romans, including a series of sermons devoted to chapter 8. In these 75 powerful sermons on Romans 8, Dr. Lloyd-Jones unpacks …
Salvation - of God; through Christ
What is the purpose of God's law and why was it given? From the pulpit of Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones in this sermon on Romans 8:3–4 titled “Salvation of God through Christ,” listen as the words of Paul are explained showing what the law could not do, why the law could not do it, how the Lord has done what the law could not, and the result that is produced in Christians. Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones walks through these four points in his sermon. The law cannot enable the sinner to fill its own demands, which is righteousness. A believing Christian is no longer under the law or the under the reign of sin, but rather living a life under grace in a new life with Christ. The law fails because it depends on the person and their efforts and they are weak. However, it does show the great need to be delivered from sin. Finally, at the heart of the gospel, God has provided salvation through His own actions. God gave the law, but not in order to save. Christ alone produces the only way of salvation and justification. Dr. Lloyd-Jones continually emphasizes Paul’s point that the law cannot save and that it only allows the Christian to see the sin in their lives.
Jesus; Our Sinless Saviour
Why is it important that Christ was truly a man? In this sermon on Romans 8:3–4 titled “Jesus: Our Sinless Saviour,” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones answers this vital theological question and explains how it changes lives. If Christ was not truly a man, how could He die in the place of humans? If Christ was not a man tempted like all humans, how could He relate to their weaknesses? This is why Christ had to come as a true man, and yet He was totally without sin. He had to be born as a man, live as a man, and die as a man in order to be a perfect Savior. The glory of salvation is that God becomes human and dies in humanity’s place upon the cross. This message of good news commands all to believe in Christ alone for forgiveness of sin as there is no salvation apart from Jesus Christ. This leaves everyone to ask if they believe that Jesus died for them and are they trusting in the what God has done in His Son upon the cross. This question is not one of intellectual speculation, but has eternal significance for all of humanity. In this sermon the listener will hear the greatest truth that the world has ever seen in the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Christ's Sacrifice Condemns Sin
Just how does Christ’s death condemn sin? In this sermon from Romans 8:3–4 titled “Christ’s Sacrifice Condemns Sin,” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones says that the death of Christ is not only the foundation of justification before God, but it is the source of sanctification. Sin can only be fully and finally overcome by Jesus’s death on the cross in humanity’s place. While the Bible is clear that no one can ever be perfect in this life, this does not mean that Christians are not always being sanctified by the Holy Spirit. Those who say that they are Christians while living a life totally devoid of the fruits of the Spirit are living a lie. For all those that are justified by Christ are sanctified by his Holy Spirit. This sermon brings the timeless message of the need of salvation and Jesus Christ the Savior. It not only tells of sin, but also of God’s grace in giving His only Son that Christians might be justified. This sermon asks all the questions: “do I believe in Christ for my justification? Am I trusting in him alone?”
The Christian's Way of Life
According to Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones in this sermon on Romans 8:3–4, the Christian life is about trusting in God. Salvation comes not through works, but as a free gift in Christ Jesus. All attempts to seek God on one’s own are doomed to fail for it is God that reveals Himself and gives the gospel. What is the gospel? It is the message that Christ has died for sinners in order that they would not have to suffer for their own sin. For under the law, there is condemnation but Jesus died in order to fulfil the law. Christians are to live now in the power of Christ and seek holiness and righteousness. Yet, the Bible never says that humanity will be completely free from sin in this life. Nevertheless, Christians are still free from the power of the flesh and sin. By trusting in Jesus, they are made right with God and though they sin, their hope remains in Christ and not themselves. Dr. Lloyd-Jones preaches the most important message because it concerns the eternal destiny of everyone: “do you believe in Jesus?”
Carnal or Christian?
According to the apostle Paul, there is a sharp distinction between a Christian and non-Christian. As Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones elaborates in this message on Romans 8:5–8 titled “Carnal or Christian?”, the non-Christian is “under the flesh.” Some popular interpretations of this passage miss this distinction and instead posit a distinction between Christians. They will say there are two kinds of Christians: the “spiritual” Christian and the “carnal” Christian. In this sermon, Dr. Lloyd-Jones argues against the “carnal” Christian view. What emerges from the biblical text is a devastating picture of the “natural man.” The natural man, according to Dr. Lloyd-Jones, is a person of the “flesh.” Their mind is opposed to the things of God. They are an enemy of God and refuse to submit to the law of God. Dr. Lloyd-Jones reminds the listener that ‘good’, cultured, and well-spoken people are just as much under God’s wrath as regular sinners. Listen to this sobering message on the spiritually dead and be encouraged that God has put life into His people through Christ.
Controlled by the Spirit
What are some characteristics of a true Christian? In this sermon on Romans 8:5–8 titled “Controlled by the Spirit,” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones is adamant that Paul is contrasting a Christian and a non-Christian and outlines several key points that should set a Christian apart. Paul’s primary object is to establish the final certainty for all who are in Christ. A Christian is one who is habitually dominated by the Holy Spirit and minds things of the Spirit, which is not something done out of duty. They also do not set their mind on religion, religious phenomena, or theology. Rather, they are fully committed and guided by the Spirit. A true Christian is concerned about themselves as a soul first and foremost. This means that their identity is in Christ and His work of salvation, not in a person’s human identity, career, family, or hobby. A Christian is also aware of their own sinfulness and concerned about the state of this world. These traits and more show someone who is guided by the Spirit as a true Christian.
Real Christianity? - the Test
The metaphors for life and living abound in this sermon on Romans 8:5–8 titled “ Real Christianity – the Test.” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones piles together vivid illustrations of nourishment, abundance, movement, genuineness, warmth, and vigor. This is because the true “test” of Christianity is whether a person is genuinely “alive to God.” There is no such thing as a Christian who has not been “made alive” by God or has been born again by the Spirit. If there is only death, warns Dr. Lloyd-Jones, there is not true Christianity, no matter how moral a person may be. While on the outside someone may superimpose Christian morality onto their life, it is ultimately inauthentic and artificial. It is a lifeless duty and lacks the warmth and spontaneity of genuine Spirit-wrought change that always accompanies regeneration. This has practical implications, argues Dr. Lloyd-Jones. It will change one’s understanding of evangelism. It will also impact how they understand “backsliding” in the Christian life. Moreover, it changes how they evaluate the fruit of a Christian life. Listen as he combats a lifeless, mechanical Christianity with an authentic biblical Christianity that is full of life, joy, and authentic Christian service to the Lord Jesus Christ.
At peace with God
There is a restlessness which surrounds the non-Christian. Listen to this sermon from Romans 8:5–8 titled “At Peace with God” where Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones, alluding to holy Scripture, says the person whose sins have not been forgiven is like the troubled sea. Picking up on what perhaps might be an unusual placement of “peace” in this passage, he defends the apostle Paul’s emphasis on peace here and throughout the letter. Dr. Lloyd-Jones is able to connect the theme of peace to justification by faith and the righteousness of God in Romans. Furthermore, he elaborates that before God, a natural person’s position is enmity and not peace. The natural person, who is controlled by a life of sin, is living in dissatisfaction. While they are always trying to find peace and joy, they cannot. However, the result of being governed by the Spirit is life and peace. This person, argues Dr. Lloyd-Jones, understands the meaning of life in this world. They also have an inner harmony, as well as an external harmony with others. Listen as Dr. Lloyd-Jones encourages the listener to find true peace by being governed by the Spirit and able to stand blameless and faultless before a holy and righteous God.
Will a Christian’s mortal body be raised from the dead when Christ returns? Based on Paul’s teaching in this passage, Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones says it will. In this sermon on Romans 8:8–11 titled “Complete Salvation,” Dr. Lloyd-Jones says that Paul is painting a picture of the Christian in today’s world by showing what the future will look like. While a Christian is still in this world, their body remains dead because of sin, but it will be raised from the dead when Christ returns. The two phases of the Spirit dwelling within the Christian points to the physical body as a temple of the Holy Ghost. Just as Christ was filled with the Spirit, so is a Christian and He serves as the seal and assurance that Christians’ bodies will be resurrected. They can be certain of this because Christ will always finish His work in their lives. Christ will redeem them and their mortal bodies from the fall and anyone who says otherwise is denying Scripture. Christians can look with great anticipation to the day when their salvation will be complete and that their mortal bodies will be free from disease and decay, worthy of the Holy Spirit that dwells within.
A Call for Action
What is sanctification? How is the Christian moved toward greater holiness and away from sin? In this sermon on Romans 8:12–13 titled “A Call for Action,” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones explains that Paul has been referencing the process of sanctification throughout the book of Romans but specifically addresses the theology of it in this passage. While Romans 7 is a battlefield for a Christian’s flesh and spirit, Romans 8 shows the victory that they have in Christ. While there is a war that wages in mortal bodies, God always provides a way for a Christian not to sin. A Christian is immediately released from the reign of sin by giving it over to Christ. Dr. Lloyd-Jones explains that it is a matter of their own actions and Christ does the rest. If they live by the flesh, they will die by the flesh. However, if they live by the Spirit, they are able to continually mortify their flesh and give it over to Christ. Paul is phrasing this using the present tense, meaning that this is a process where one must continually be active. Christians can rejoice that they are no longer under the obligation of the flesh and that Christ has given the Holy Spirit as their helper.
The Way of Sanctification
The apostle Paul often reasons with the Christians to whom he is writing. He does not merely state facts, but engages them with truths based upon the gospel so that they might understand how to live the Christian life. While Paul reminds the Romans of their condition apart from Christ, he also presents them with the truth that if they have faith in Christ, they have the Spirit to indwell them. Based upon the work of Christ, they are indeed justified before God. From here, he forces them to consider how foolish it is for them to continue to live according to the flesh. Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones argues in this sermon on Romans 8:12–13 titled “The Way of Sanctification” that Paul’s admonition to mortify the flesh is based upon the logic of the gospel. In other words, as one realizes the truth about their standing with God in the gospel, they put the truth into practice and mortify the evil deeds of the flesh. In short, says Dr. Lloyd-Jones, this is the way of sanctification. Listen and grow in understanding of Scripture as he works meticulously through this passage and traces the doctrine of sanctification throughout the New Testament.
Sin and the Christian
There are many aberrant teachings on the doctrine of sanctification. Some like to say the believer is completely hopeless with regards to sin but is this true? Must the Christian only focus on “abiding” in Christ? Does the regenerate person have no power to act against sin? Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones vehemently denies such claims. In his sermon on Romans 8:12–13 titled “Sin and the Christian,” he says the Christian is indeed not hopeless. Instead, the believer is called to realize the truth about their union with Christ. Furthermore, they must not deny the doctrine of regeneration through an insufficient doctrine of sanctification. The Holy Spirit has made them alive and the Spirit of God dwells in them. This gives the Christian power in this life for godly growth. As they walk through this life they should expect maturity. The Christian is far from hopeless in their fight against sin. They have all that they need in Christ and by the Spirit. Dr. Lloyd-Jones admonishes Christians to wake up from their lethargy and realize what God has done to them in Christ. Let them march to Zion, shining forth in good works and glorifying their Father who is in heaven.
Sin and the Body
The Christian is called to deal with sin in a radical way. The language the apostle Paul uses is “to mortify flesh.” But what exactly does this mean? How does the Christian kill sin? In this sermon on Romans 8:12–13 titled “Sin and the Body,” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones examines the passage and looks deeper into the doctrine of sanctification. Specifically, he gives attention to the practical expression of sanctification. He gives both negative ways to mortify sin and positive expressions. What must be remembered, he says, is that the Christian is not powerless against sin. Many false views of the doctrine of sanctification teach this. However, the biblical teaching is that the believer has the Holy Spirit indwelling them. They cannot rely on joyless legalism. Instead, they gaze their attention on the glorification that awaits them. While the Christians practically shun darkness, lust, and enticement, they also expose and denounce immediately any evil that comes out. More importantly, they remember that they are God’s chosen means of representing Him to the world. Listen as Dr. Lloyd-Jones gives a pastorally-sensitive message on sanctification and holiness.
Sons of The Living God
Does the Christian ever long for Heaven? How often do they think of glorification? Christians often discuss sanctification and do not realize that it is only a part of the process for the end goal of glorification. Glorification can be understood because of the assurance in Christ Jesus. In this sermon on Romans 8:14 titled “Sons of the Living God,” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones says the theme of Romans 8 is not sanctification, but rather the assurance of a Christian’s salvation. It is the absolute security of the final perseverance of all who have been justified by Jesus Christ. As Paul works through this chapter to Romans, he has been outlining several reasons for this assurance. In Romans 8:14, he come to the assurance in terms of sonship with God, which Dr. Lloyd-Jones argues is also the theme of the whole of Scripture. Because glorification is the final goal for all Christians, God would never allow something to prohibit His people from getting there. Dr. Lloyd-Jones discusses four points: not all are children of God, Christians are children of God, what this sonship means, and the consequences of this sonship. He leaves the listener with an encouraging message: because Christians are sons and daughters of God, they can look out into this world and never experience despair or panic because they belong to the family of God.
The Fathers Children
What is the doctrine of sonship? How might Christians practically deny this important doctrine? How may they be sure they are children of God? In this sermon on Romans 8:14 titled “The Father’s Children,” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones examines the teaching of sonship in various ways. The New Testament takes keen interest in sonship, as Dr. Lloyd-Jones says, because it is the great motive for sanctified living. Christians glory in the truth that the Father has taken special care in them as His children. However, they may practically deny their sonship in their prayer life if they are convinced it is more spiritual to offer distant or cold prayers because of God’s holiness and majesty. Dr. Lloyd-Jones cautions against this extreme by appealing to the adoption as His children. With full assurance, he says, Christians can offer prayer to God because His presence is always with His children. Since they are led by the Holy Spirit into this relationship with the Father, they can be sure of their adoption. No matter faults or failures, they are sons and daughters of God. Listen as Dr. Lloyd-Jones expounds the apostle Paul’s beautiful message on Christian salvation – the adoption as His children.
Leading and Guidance
Critics sometimes claim that the Holy Spirit does violence against human will when He leads people to salvation. Since the apostle Paul teaches that the assurance of adoption is based upon this sovereign work of the Spirit, is it then true that the Spirit is culpable of such violence? In this sermon from Romans 8:14 titled “Leading and Guidance,” the answer given by Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones is a resounding no. By parsing out the language of the Scriptures, he demonstrates that the Spirit’s leading is not a violent power, but a persuasive power. Moreover, the guidance of the Spirit cannot be segregated from the testimony of truth found in the Scriptures. The Spirit’s work of leading and guiding in sanctification is then directly tied to both the Bible and the saving work of Jesus Christ. Regardless of what any person may say about a vision or an experience, if the teaching cannot be found or reconciled with the Scriptures, Dr. Lloyd-Jones says that it is a false teaching. Romans 8:14 is a brilliant passage on the assurance of standing as children of God and the sovereign leading of the Spirit. Listen as Dr. Lloyd-Jones expounds the implications of the Spirit’s work for the Christian life.
The Spiritual Outlook
What comfort is there for the believer in knowing the Holy Spirit yearns for their sanctification? What privilege do believers have knowing that the Holy Spirit is so concerned for them? This is one reminder by Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones in his sermon on Romans 8:14 titled “The Spiritual Outlook.” In this message, he explores further what the apostle Paul means by being “led by the Spirit of God.” As the Spirit operates on the mind, heart, and will of the Christian, He gives full and final emancipation from sin. But how may a person know whether the Spirit is leading them? Dr. Lloyd-Jones supplies guidance on this vital question. In short, the Spirit leads Christians to a total new outlook on life; a spiritual outlook. Does the Christian desire God’s glory? What about love for the people of God? How do they respond sin? Do they actively engage in the mortification of the deeds of the body? The Spirit always leads in the direction of the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Listen as Dr. Lloyd-Jones both challenges and encourages the church in this teaching on the work of the Holy Spirit.
The Spirit and The Law
As the apostle Paul recounts his autobiography, conviction from the law of God seems absent from his former life in Judaism. What is to be made of this? How is it that the apostle knew God’s law so well as a Pharisee and yet never felt condemned by the law? In this sermon on Romans 8:14–15 titled “The Spirit and the Law,” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones expounds the nuances of various viewpoints as he defends his interpretation. In the end, Dr. Lloyd-Jones highlights the peculiar work of the Holy Spirit. Before the Spirit brings liberty, He brings a spirit of bondage and of fear, as the apostle Paul wrote. In other words, the Holy Spirit brings the Christian down and shows them their need. It is not until the Holy Spirit brings fear, condemnation, and conviction through the law of God that anyone will find the joy of repentance. This spirit of bondage always precedes the Spirit of adoption. Moreover, the spirit of bondage, says Dr. Lloyd-Jones, is great evidence of assurance of salvation. Listen as Dr. Lloyd-Jones moves through his detailed exegesis in order to demonstrate how it is good news when the Holy Spirit brings a bondage of fear.
The Spirit of Bondage
It is safe to say all battle with seasons of fear and worry. Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones shows two things that Paul is confirming in Romans 8:15: all who are led to Christ are children of God and those who are children of God no longer have a spirit of bondage or fear. In this sermon on Romans 8:15 titled “The Spirit of Bondage,” Dr. Lloyd-Jones points out that this means the spirit of bondage and fear always precedes the spirit of adoption. How would a Christian be truly convicted of their sin and desperation if they first did not have a spirit which convicted them of their guilt? This guilt shows just how much all are in need of a Savior. Dr. Lloyd-Jones explains that Christians may experience this spirit of bondage to different degrees, but it does not mean that one person has sinned more than the other. The amount of sin does not matter, but it is the realization of that sin that is necessary to bring about true salvation. The Holy Spirit, which dwells in all Christians, is a spirit of truth and always produces a sense of sin and sense of conviction. The Holy Spirit cannot truly lead to God without showing how holy and just Christ is. All Christians have experienced this and can praise God who sends the Holy Spirit.
Freedom from Fear
While the spirit of bondage and fear is a work of the Holy Spirit, it has a specific and limited role in the life of the Christian. It is to awaken the person to their desperate condition. However, as Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones argues in this sermon on Romans 8:15 titled “Freedom from Fear,” the spirit of bondage and fear cannot coexist with the spirit of adoption. The former is always replaced by the latter. But how can Dr. Lloyd-Jones claim this when the New Testament has much to say about fear in the Christian life? Are there not numerous examples where Christians experience what could be called a spirit of bondage and fear? Are these examples that prove the spirit of adoption does not replace the spirit of fear? Dr. Lloyd-Jones walks through objections to his understanding of the apostle Paul, detailing how his understanding of Romans 8:15 is compatible with the rest of Scripture. In so doing, he engages a number of pastorally pressing concerns such as depression in the Christian life, demonic aggression against believers, and the Scriptures in counseling. Listen as Dr. Lloyd-Jones hits on a wide-range of topics in this fascinating teaching on Romans 8:15.