The Authority of the Church
A Sermon on Matthew 28:18-20
18And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to Me. 19Go, therefore, and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, 20teaching them to follow all that I commanded you; and behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
18And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.
19¶ Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: 20Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.
In this sermon on Matthew 28:18–20 titled “The Authority of the Church,” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones speaks of an urgent problem facing the church—it has lost its authority. When there seems to be a general revival of interest in matters of religion, people wonder why they should listen only to Christianity. Why not Buddhism or Judaism? Some try to approach God by their inner feelings and sensations and others by reason and philosophy, but all this ultimately leads to failure. Humanity can’t arrive at God; God must reveal Himself and he has in His Son Jesus Christ. The final sanction of the church’s authority depends entirely on the appearing of the Lord Jesus Christ. This is the message of the New Testament—what Jesus claimed, what the apostles proclaimed, and what was finally proven through the coming of the Holy Ghost on the Day of Pentecost—God has visited and redeemed His people in Jesus Christ. Without Him there is no message, no faith, and no authority. Christians are called not to settle for merely pursuing a blessing from God but to believe in the Christ of Christianity to have more than one could ever desire.
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.