The Book of Acts
The main series of 119 sermons, plus 24 other sermons preached at Westminster Chapel on the book of Acts. The main series was preached on Sunday evenings between 1965 and 1968.
Healing of the man at Gate Beautiful
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 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 today. 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 to believe in Jesus Christ and be saved.
The Christian Phenomenon
Christianity is more than an academic lecture and more than a systematic teaching. It is as Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones proclaims — a phenomenon. It is a soul dead in sin that miraculously comes alive. There is life and change in the message of the Christian church, not just moral coaching. From the very beginning God has been accomplishing His plan for His creation: to reconcile humanity to Himself. Delve into this dynamic message titled “The Christian Phenomenon” as Dr. Lloyd-Jones preaches through Peter’s sermon from Acts 3:12–18, which follows the miraculous healing of the beggar at Gate Beautiful from Acts 3:6. Peter here urges the awe-struck crowd to look not to himself and John, nor to the phenomenon of the healing of the beggar, but to the living and active God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob from whom this miracle has come. The listener is reminded that the God who spoke to Moses in the burning bush and healed the beggar at Gate Beautiful is the same God that still speaks and acts today. These miracles, these phenomena, and the many other acts of God show that God is a personal, covenanting and merciful God who takes interest and action in the condition of His creation.
What Think Ye of Christ?
Why did Jesus die on the cross? Who is He? The answer to these questions is of the utmost importance. Here in Acts 3:12–18 Dr. Lloyd-Jones looks at the two ways people view Christ. One can view Him as man views Him, believing that Christ was only a man and a moral teacher. Or one can view Him as God views Him: as God’s lamb, the Son of God, fully God and fully man, the fulfillment of the words of the prophets, the resurrected Lord. Dr. Lloyd-Jones points out the importance of understanding Christ in the context of the whole Bible. Christ is the fulfillment of the words of the prophets. Dr. Lloyd-Jones also stresses the importance of the resurrection of Christ. The cross was not the end of Christ. He came back to life and appeared to many and after His ascension, He left His people with the power of the Holy Spirit. It was that power that enabled Peter and John to heal the man at Beautiful Gate. It was power that is meant to point back to God, the one who gave the power and who truly heals and works miracles. Dr. Lloyd-Jones encourages Christians to look to the resurrected Christ in whose name there is power and salvation.
Why is it that so many are not interested in Christ? Ignorance. Here in Acts 3:17, Peter confronts the crowd with the truth of their dire condition. They are ignorant of Christ and of His resurrection. In this sermon titled “Ignorance,” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones calls the world to see its ignorance today. He identifies that the world is ignorant of their need for Christ, who Christ is, and the coming judgment. Humanity is ignorant because of the blindness of their hearts and minds. The crowd in Peter’s day rejected and hated Christ and refused to believe that He was the Messiah. The world today continues to reject Christ in this same way and are ignorant of who He is and what He has done. Peter called the crowd in Acts 3:17 to repent and be converted so that their sins may be blotted out. Dr. Lloyd-Jones does the same by calling all to repent. He calls all to see that they don’t have to live in ignorance.
Return of Christ
When Christ healed the lame man, it was an example of the power God has over all of creation. Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones offers this powerful sermon on Acts 3:19–21 titled “Return of Christ,” showing God's ability to completely make all things new. The message of Christianity is not that it is a reform movement to fix all things gone wrong now, but that all are headed toward a final event to reconstitute the whole universe. Modern humanity views this as “pie in the sky” and want something to correct the world now. Accordingly, a popular view has arisen that Christianity is just a view of life, a book of principles — if people are persuaded to practice them, everything will be better. But this is not what Jesus taught. He never claimed to come into the world to reform it for progressive improvement. In fact, he said the opposite. The social gospel is a complete denial of biblical teaching and the witness of history. The world is a place of disorder because it is cursed and partly governed by the devil. This explains the world: not a lack of education, but a lack of knowledge of God. The real message of Christianity is that there is only one hope: the return of Christ to reconstitute all things.
The Breath of Life
In his sermon to the Jewish leaders, the Apostle Peter, under the guidance and power of the Holy Spirit, proclaims Jesus as the risen Messiah and Savior of the world. Listen as Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones expounds in this sermon on Acts 3:19, showing that Jesus Christ has come, died, and was buried according to the words of the prophets. It is Jesus who is the breath of life and He gives His Spirit to those who repent and believe in His name as the only Son of God. This saving power that Jesus Christ brings is the only true hope for a world filled with sinners who are destined to die and suffer the righteous judgement of God Almighty. But Jesus brings redemption and restoration to all who will repent and believe in His name. This is the message of hope that the Apostles proclaimed, and it is this message that must be proclaimed today for there is no true life outside of the kingdom of God as is brought in Christ. The church today must be faithful in its proclamation to this fallen and sinful world. It has been entrusted with the great and magnificent message of salvation and should be bold in its proclamation, knowing that it is the power of God.
Peter addresses the Jerusalem crowds in Acts 3 with the very same call that all sermons should have: repent. In this sermon on Acts 3:19 titled “Repentance,” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones addresses Peter’s words in this passage not from a theoretical standpoint, but as a practical step that should occur at the end of every message that is shared about the gospel. Dr. Lloyd-Jones describes repentance as a “thinking again” on what one may think they know to be true. At the heart of humanity is wickedness and prejudiced thinking, yet the inerrant word of God calls each and every listener to think again about who God is and who they are in relation to God. One’s own intellect drives one’s emotions and by extension, their actions. Because of the worldly intellect, repentance requires all to think again about what they are convinced in their intellect that they already know. In order for one to truly change their ways and turn away from sin, they must allow for the possibility that their intellect may be wrong and look to the Bible for knowledge to change from pride to humble submission to God, and to turn away from flesh and the world. This is true repentance.
... Rise Up and Walk
Are humans really born sinful? Is it truly something that contaminates everyone? Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones explains in this sermon from Acts 3:6 entitled “Rise Up and Walk”, how all are sinners from birth and completely unable to do good in accordance with God’s Law. Their natures are fundamentally corrupt and disordered, and out of this nature comes their propensity to do evil and sin. The reason all humanity is like this can be explained in Genesis and the fall. When Adam fell into sin, he caused all of his descendants to do so as well. This explains humanity’s current plight and need for salvation. No one is able to save themselves from sin because their nature has been wholly disposed to sin and unrighteousness. Only the gospel can break the chains of sin and give freedom. This Gospel is by God’s grace alone, for sinners are spiritually dead and unable to do any good act pleasing to God. It is in humanity’s hopeless state that the gospel of Jesus Christ brings hope. It is this same gospel that was preached by the Apostles two thousand years ago, and it is the message that transformed the world – rise up and walk! This is the only hope for the world, for it alone can triumph over sin and evil to bring salvation to all who believe.