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What is the most wonderful thing about our salvation? Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones emphatically responds: “That we are the children of God!” Too often we focus on the things that we avoid when we are saved; avoiding God’s righteous judgment, or being saved from eternity in hell. While those things are true and weighty, the Doctor would have us also remember the things that we gain: we gain the privilege to become the children of God, and we gain entrance into the Kingdom of Heaven. There are several questions that, depending on our answers, prove that we are indeed God’s children: Are we concerned about the name of God? Do we grieve at sin and blasphemy? Do we enjoy creation in a way that reflects our understanding that the world is God’s? Do we look forward to Christ’s return? Lloyd-Jones examines these questions and more with scrutiny and with the aid of the Scriptures.
The greatest need of the world is to know the message Christians are called to proclaim. But what is that message? Here, in Acts 3:6, Dr. Lloyd-Jones answers this crucial question by walking step by step through the miraculous healing of the paralyzed beggar at Gate Beautiful. This historic miracle paints a beautiful illustration of the human condition. Like the beggar born into this world with crippling paralysis so is everyone born into the world crippled by sin. Just as this man is helpless to find lasting relief and healing from his condition so is the world unable, in all its vast resources, to find healing on its own. And just as this man first looks to Peter and John for the fleeting relief of silver and gold, so does the world eagerly seek a solution in the temporal things of this world, or the handouts from the church. But money and temporary comforts are not the message of salvation from Peter and John here in Acts 3, nor is it the message of the Christian church. Rise and walk in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth is the message to the beggar at the gate and to the world today! Dr. Lloyd-Jones urges the world to hear the gospel, to repent and believe in Jesus Christ and be saved.
The early church was led by the apostles of Christ. They were normal men, as Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones describes, yet they became students of Jesus Christ and God’s Word. We see in this that Christianity was a religion of teaching from the earliest days. It was not, as many erroneously claim, an anti-intellectual and anti-doctrinal movement. But the early church committed itself to the study of the apostles teaching and of Scripture. This concern with doctrine and teaching was not simply academic, but it was done out of hearts and minds that had been transformed by the Gospel and the power of God. And they were beholden with the glory of God as their Savior and Redeemer. This serves as a reminder to many who see doctrine as cold and abstract, and utterly disconnected from the real world. But as Lloyd-Jones demonstrates, we see the apostles committed to the teaching of God, but also boldly proclaiming the Gospel, and caring for the poor and sick. How they thought about God and his power influenced them to act in the world. The church of modern times should take this example to heart. And they should be encouraged to learn what the Bible teaches, and to follow that teaching.
Can natural abilities and good deeds save us? Throughout history, mankind has searched for salvation in any way other than Jesus. No matter what talent or treasure a person may have, sin continues to contaminate all our good efforts. As Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones explains in this sermon, the only way of salvation is through Jesus Christ. The Apostle Paul knew this great salvation and gave his life to proclaim the good news of Jesus Christ. Church history shows how God prepared his mind and logic to use his natural gifts in a powerful way to tell gentiles about Jesus. If you're curious how God will use your life to advance His kingdom, listen in as the Doctor walks us through this message from Paul.
Do you struggle with waiting on God’s timing? Why does God seem to take so long to fulfill His promises? Considering all of the suffering in the world, why doesn’t God bring ultimate fulfillment now? Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones presses us toward the Old Testament where we have to wait on our Lord. Many years had passed from the time that God promised a Messiah to the fulfillment of that promise. Listen as the Doctor examines Romans 1:2 and asks the question: why does Paul reference the Old Testament at all? Is the Old Testament disconnected from the New Testament? No! The Old Testament is part of the authoritative Word of God which shapes our very understanding of the Gospel. The writer of Romans wants us to understand the promise given so long ago is fulfilled in Jesus Christ. While God seems to have been silent for so many years, His purposes were being achieved. Humanity has proven that they cannot save themselves and desperately need a Savior. The sacrifice for sin has come in Christ and the Messiah must die and rise again. While God’s timing may be a mystery, we can trust him. His promises are fulfilled in Christ.
All blessings are through Christ Jesus; can God suffer; and does He suffer? God became man; yet retained the fulness of the Godhead; made sin upon the Cross; yet still the Son of God.
The greatness of salvation is understood only when we understand the depth of sin; man makes himself the centre; the blessings of peace come only when our life is in Christ; the middle walls of partition; Jew and Gentile; the distinction abolished.
Here is a 5-minute introduction to the GEMS from the Legacy Collection; by Tony Ruston; the former director of the Martyn Lloyd-Jones Recordings Trust. It includes some fascinating background to the formation of the Trust.