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Sermon #2057

A Question of Priority

A Sermon on Acts 6:1-2


Acts 6:1-2 ESV KJV
Now in these days when the disciples were increasing in number, a complaint by the Hellenists arose against the Hebrews because their widows were being neglected in the daily distribution. And the twelve summoned the full number of the disciples and said, “It is not right that we should give …

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Sermon Description

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.

Sermon Breakdown

  1. The sermon begins by introducing the scripture passage from Acts 6:1-2 which deals with the dispute between the Grecians and the Hebrews over the daily distribution to widows.
  2. Dr. Lloyd-Jones then provides context on why they are studying the book of Acts - to understand what Christianity really is and what the Christian church is meant to be. There is confusion in the world and even in the church about these matters.
  3. Dr. Lloyd-Jones notes that the early church went from strength to strength despite difficulties. This passage also provides insight into the early organization of the church.
  4. Dr. Lloyd-Jones introduces the three propositions to consider: 1) What is the primary task of the Christian church? 2) Why is preaching the word the primary task? 3) Why is it wrong to put other things before preaching the word?
  5. Dr. Lloyd-Jones argues that the primary task of the church is to preach the word of God. This is evident from the Lord's commission to the apostles and the fact that only the word of God addresses mankind's fundamental need by showing the source of our troubles.
  6. Dr. Lloyd-Jones argues that it is wrong to put men before God. The problems of the world exist because men have forgotten God. God must come before men.
  7. Dr. Lloyd-Jones argues that it is wrong to put the body before the soul. The world only considers man to be a physical body but man is a living soul. The soul is bigger than the whole world.
  8. Dr. Lloyd-Jones argues that it is wrong to put time before eternity. Though we must attend to physical needs, there is an eternity that lies ahead of us after death. The world lives for the temporal but forgets the eternal.
  9. Dr. Lloyd-Jones concludes by asking if we have our priorities right - do we put God before men, the soul before the body, and eternity before time? The word of God alone can put us right on these things.

The Book of Acts

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.