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This Untoward Generation

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A Sermon on Acts 2:40-41

And with many other words he bore witness and continued to exhort them, saying, “Save yourselves from this crooked generation.” So those who received his word were baptized, and there were added that day about three thousand souls. (ESV)

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Sinful people cannot save themselves but they will try. In this sermon on Acts 2:40–41 titled “This Untoward Generation,” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones explains how the world seeks to solve its problems by worldly means, turning to politicians and statesmen in times of need. But the Christian faith is a very different message than the world. It does not seek to reform the world by enacting legislation and electing politicians, but it brings a message of deliverance from sin and the promise of the new life in Christ. It says that the world’s problems are all symptomatic of its sin and alienation from God. The gospel says that no one can save themselves. It says that all are born in sin and have a corrupted nature. Because of the world’s sin, God has appointed a time in which He will judge the earth and all the inhabitants for the sin and rebellion against their Creator. This, says Dr. Lloyd-Jones, is the greatest problem facing humankind. Although war and poverty are terrible things, they are only products of the greatest problem. This is why the message of the gospel of Jesus Christ is so different from the world’s ways. It alone has the power to save people from their sins and unrighteousness; it alone can make them right with a God. It alone brings eternal life for all who believe.

Additional Scripture Translations

Acts 2:40-41, New American Standard Bible (NASB)

40And with many other words he solemnly testified and kept on urging them, saying, “Be saved from this perverse generation!” 41So then, those who had received his word were baptized; and that day there were added about three thousand souls.

Acts 2:40-41, King James Version (KJV)

40And with many other words did he testify and exhort, saying, Save yourselves from this untoward generation.

41¶ Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls.

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.