Book of Acts
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In the judgement of Ananias and Sapphira we see that God is active and rules in this world of time. As Creator, He has the right and the power to do as He wills with His creation. Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones expounds on Acts 5 and shows while many modern men hate the idea of a supernatural spiritual realm, the Bible sees many events in the world as the result of immaterial things. This includes the existence of angels, demons, and the devil. This is a part of the world that we live in. The Bible teaches this clearly from the beginning to the end. But God is sovereign over the spiritual aspects of creation as He is sovereign over the material aspects of reality. We must not shy away for what Scripture teaches regarding the existence of the spiritual realm. The church must be active in its opposition to evil in all its forms and ways. There is a war between God and Satan, between good and evil, and between light and darkness. This is a cosmic war that takes place amongst us. But we have hope in the power of God and his Gospel. In the Gospel, Jesus triumphs over all sin and evil, and through his Spirit we have the power to fight against all evil and darkens in this world.
Why is there so much evil in the world? Why is it that none of man’s efforts to end war, death, and poverty succeed? Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones says the problem is found in the fact that the world is overrun by the devil, and he has blinded men so that they cannot see the light of God’s grace and love. This evil is not simply the absence of good character and good deeds, but it is militant opposition to God and His rule. This is why all attempts to make the world a better place by education, human works, and moralism are ultimately futile and ineffective. Because until sin and the devil are recognized as the root and source of suffering and evil, men will continue in the godless ways, seeking to bring peace to the world by their own wisdom and power. In order for true transformation to take place in the world and in the hearts and minds sinners, there must be the acknowledgement of God and his Son, Jesus Christ. For without Christ there is no hope in this life or in the next. For all men stand condemned before God, and it is only by believing in the death and resurrection of Christ that sinners can be saved and brought into the kingdom of God.
Modern men reject the truth of the Christian faith often on the basis of the supposed superiority of science over faith. The claim that no rational man can believe the Gospel and the Christian faith in light of what we know about the world. In this sermon from Acts 5:1-11, Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones explains that while men may affirm the need for moral improvement, and for this reason they like the moral teachings of Jesus, they reject the two natures in Christ, and they reject the need for salvation from sin and the wrath to come. They reject the super natural religion of Christianity for the moralistic teachings of godless humanism. But the moralistic religion cannot save men from the inevitable death of all men. Mankind needs a new nature that will grant him a true desire for righteousness. They must be delivered from the wrath of God. They must be delivered from the power of Satan. Only through the supernatural work of Christianity can men be transferred from the kingdom of Satan into the kingdom of God. As Lloyd-Jones powerfully says, those who reject the Gospel of Christ have no hope. The moralistic teaching of men cannot save them from death, Satan, and the wrath of God against all unrighteousness. Salvation is only through the supernatural work of the Gospel of Jesus Chris.
Miracles; and their purpose in the early Church; miracles and belief; Ananias and Sapphira : a warning; Christianity and the element of fear.
Unbelief and rejection of the Gospel flows from a heart that is fallen and corrupted. This central problem of all humanity is explained by Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones. For when men say that the Gospel is foolish, or that it is for primitive men, they are not doing so as free thinkers, but as sinners who reject God and His way of life. This is seen when the apostles John and Peter are put in prison by the Jewish leaders. These unbelieving Jews reject the message of the crucified and resurrected Messiah, so they persecute those that do. This is unbelief manifest in irrationality. They do not put forth arguments, but they simply reject the message and the messengers. So, when those who hear the Gospel of Christ reject it with anger and hatred, we should not be surprised, for the Bible predicts and explains this rejection. For God’s word says that all men are sinners by nature and are wholly opposed to God. As it was in the days of the apostles, so it is also true in modern times. All around us men scoff and ridicule the message of a crucified savior, but this nor reason, but unbelief. And this unbelief can only be remedied by the grace of God.
Unchanging man; unchanging Gospel; the Gospel not a quest for truth; the completeness of the Gospel; dangers of addition or subtraction; the command to preach the Gospel.
What was the message of the early Church? What was it that they were willing to be beaten for, imprisoned for, and even killed? The answer is found in the person of Jesus Christ. In this sermon on Acts 5:29-32, Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones preaches on the message of Christianity as proclaimed by the apostles in the early chapters of the book of Acts. This is not a message of general cultural transformation, but it is a message of divine salvation. It is not simply an answer to all of man’s social ills and physical troubles, but it is the message of a God who is working to make all things new through His Son. The world has always rejected this message because it is in contrast to everything that they believe. The Gospel says that we cannot save ourselves but must trust wholly on God’s free mercy. Jesus Christ is God’s only appointed Savior. This sermon asks us all the question, what do I believe? Where is my hope in this world? The Gospel of Jesus Christ tells us that we can only be saved through the grace of God, and not of ourselves. This is a timeless message that the whole world needs to hear!
What is wrong with humanity and the world? Men give many answers to this question. Some say it is man’s low self-esteem or ignorance. But in this sermon on Acts 5:29-32, Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones gives a very different answer. He says that in Scripture man’s greatest need is to be forgiven and reconciled to God. Because man has sinned and rebelled against God, he is now an enemy and alienated from God. Man was once perfect and upright, but now he is evil and wicked. The only answer to this dire situation is not in anything that man can do, but in what God has done! God has sent His only Son into the world to die for sinners. Jesus Christ is both God and man. For this reason he is the perfect mediator between God and man. Forgiveness comes only through Jesus Christ; there is no other Savior. God is wholly just in forgiving sinners because Jesus has died and paid the ultimate price for the sins of all who believe. What is the implication of this message? The Gospel must be believed by all men for salvation. The Gospel message of salvation from sin and adoption into the family of God is the most important message we will ever hear! Do you believe in the Gospel? Are you trusting in Jesus Christ and his work on the cross for salvation? This is the most important question any of us can ask.
What does it mean to follow Jesus? There are some Christians who say that following Jesus is merely an act of profession or bare intellectual assent. But the New Testament tells us something different about the Christian life. In this sermon on Acts 5:29-32, Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones preaches the biblical message that following Jesus means that we believe him and repent of our sins. This is because to believe in Jesus is to believe in his message and to obey it. Those who live in unrepentant sin and immorality, but claim to be Christian, are living a lie according to the Bible. For there is no forgiveness without repentance. But Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones is clear that repentance is not a work, it is simply what it means to be a follower of Jesus and a Christian. It also does not mean that Christians never sin, but only that they continually turn away from their sins and look to Christ. What does this mean to you? This is the most important message any of us can hear because it alone contains salvation! There is no salvation apart from repentance of sin and trusting in Jesus. This sermon asks us all the crucial question, do you believe in Jesus for the forgiveness of sins?
What is man’s greatest need? The answer is simple, reconciliation with God! In this sermon on Acts 5:29-32, Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones preaches on the glorious truth that Jesus Christ has come into the world and died for sinners to make them children of God. Man is naturally born sinful and opposed to God, because of this he is alienated from God and righteousness. But the Gospel that the apostles were willing to suffer and die for is the message that Jesus died in our place if we turn from our sin and trust in Him. Though we have sinned against God, God has sent His own Son to bear our sins. There is no greater truth! What does this mean for each and every one of us? The Gospel means that we do not have to be judged on the basis of our sinful deeds, but by believing in Jesus we can have his righteousness. We can trade our sin for His perfection. This Gospel is a call for all of us to believe. It is a command from God Himself to repent and trust in Jesus for our justification. The only question left to ask is do I believe in this great message that Jesus has died for me?
About 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.