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.
Associated With The King
Why is it so important to look at the early church and its practices? In this sermon on Acts 6:1–4 titled “Associated With the King,” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones gives a very important reason. By looking at the early church, one can better understand what the message of the church is and is not. The apostles saw their task as preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ to a fallen world. This is not to deny that they believed in the importance of taking care of the poor and widows, but they saw their main task as preaching the message of Jesus. The modern church and world have failed to understand that the church’s essential mission is to preach the gospel as the only salvation for sinners. Many Christians are willing to talk about anything other than the message of Jesus Christ coming and dying so that sinners can be saved, but the message of the gospel is one that no one can afford to ignore. Christians must all believe that Jesus Christ is who God has proclaimed Him to be. This sermon calls all to examine themselves and see if they truly believe in this message of salvation through Christ and Christ alone as this is the only means of salvation.
A Question of Priority
What is the first task of the local church? While some may say that serving the world is the first task of the church, Dr. Martyn Lloyd Jones shows us something different from the Bible. In this sermon titled “A Question of Priority,” Dr. Lloyd-Jones argues in this sermon on Acts 6:1–2 that the priority of the church is not philanthropy but it instead must be preaching. It is clear that the early apostles chose to preach rather than to “do good in the world” because they saw the greatest and primary need in the world was not lack of help but lack of repentance. Acts 6:1–2 becomes a model for current Christians and churches to follow. The first and primary task of the church should reflect the fundamental need of humanity, which is hearing God’s Word. While the church should not neglect in doing good and serving others, it also should also not forget the role of preaching as only God’s word has the power to change people for their greatest benefit.
Authority of The Word
What gives the church any message to speak to the world? In this sermon on Acts 6:1–7 titled “Authority of the Word,” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones looks at the early church to examine how they saw their mission. At the center of the apostles’ ministry was the preaching of the word and the declaration that Jesus is the true Messiah. They said this based on the authority of God’s revelation in His word. The authority of Scripture comes from God Himself who reveals Himself in and through His word. The church does not speak with the authority of humans but of God. It is this divine message of salvation that is the only hope for humanity in all ages. This is why the church must always be faithful to preserve and uphold the gospel; it must be ever vigilant to preach the whole word of God to a rebellious world. This sermon tells of a God who has revealed Himself to sinful humanity that they might know Him and come into a saving relationship with Him. This gospel is the only message of hope and true peace for the world.
God's Way of Salvation
How does one respond to the gospel? What should the attitude be toward Jesus Christ? In this sermon on Acts 5:41-42 titled “God’s Way of Salvation,” Dr. Lloyd-Jones directs attention to hearts and attitudes toward Christ. Is the view of Jesus like that of the Sanhedrin or the apostles? While the Sanhedrin believed in the existence of God, they rejected Jesus the Son and His atoning work on the cross. The apostles, on the other hand, had a different response — they believed in Jesus the Messiah. Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones describes how Christians should live in light of the gospel. Christians should rejoice and glorify Christ, ready to suffer in His name. His name is worthy of suffering and sacrifice because, as Christians, Christ is all.
Why the Apostles Prayed
The priorities of the Christian life, according to Dr. Martyn Lloyd Jones, are the gospel and prayer. In this sermon on Acts 6:1–4 titled “Why the Apostles Prayed,” Dr. Lloyd-Jones continues his series on the book of Acts and specifically looks at the apostles’ emphasis on prayer. “Even Orthodoxy is not enough; it needs prayer,” says Dr. Lloyd-Jones. The early church knew that they ought to pray and preach the word of God because the primary task of the church is to preach the good news of Jesus Christ. But how? How should they faithfully fulfill this purpose? Dr. Lloyd-Jones compares this dilemma with the modern church and strictly warns against churches relying on human methods rather than on the method of God. While the method of humanity will try to improve their own abilities and comfort in communication and programs, the method of God ultimately seeks after God’s power, wisdom and Spirit to work in hearts. By praying, the apostles sought power and strength from God’s Spirit to change the people’s hearts. In this sermon, Dr. Martyn Lloyd Jones urges and pleads with Christians to show dependence on God through prayer.
Called to Obedience
What is the message of the church? In this sermon on obedience from Acts 6:7 titled “Called to Obedience,” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones boldly proclaims that it is the message of salvation in Christ to all who repent and believe in His name. It is a message of regeneration and new life as a new creature. This is not simply moral transformation, nor is it educational, but it is new life in the gospel of Jesus Christ. It is redemption by His blood and this new life generates obedience to God and His Word; it calls for holiness and purity. Genuine conversion will always manifest itself in one’s actions and attitudes. The idea of a Christian who is saved but never repents of his sin and seeks holiness is an oxymoron. On the other hand, just because someone has an ethical transformation or lives a life of charity and good works, these do not save a person. The Christian life is a life of both good deeds and saving faith. There is a Spirit-empowered desire for righteousness and good works that only comes with salvation. The Christian must avoid the error of seeing all good deeds as the result of regeneration and a new heart. They also should not fall into the trap of thinking that one can know God truly and yet never desire holiness.
The Church and Her Message
The primary task of the church is to preach the message of the gospel. In this sermon from Acts 6:1–7 titled “The Church and Her Message,” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones explains how easily the true nature of the gospel is forgotten; it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes. People try to reduce the gospel to the level of modern humanity. Energy is expended on new methods, new messages, or new approaches that strip out the offensive supernatural aspects; new translations that try to make the message more attainable; and new entertainment to make the gospel more accessible and palatable. What is the method of the true gospel? Its whole emphasis is the proclamation of the word which is truth. The method of the gospel is reliance on the supernatural power of the Spirit of God. Anything else is of no value. Someone is made a Christian by nothing less than the Spirit of God himself. The moment a person becomes a new creature,” they desire a greater knowledge of the truth and become a student able to receive it. Disciples are learners, showing the lie that belief in methodologies is necessary for conversion to and comprehension of the gospel. The glory of the gospel is the sufficiency of the power of God for salvation.