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Sermon #2058

Authority of The Word

A Sermon on Acts 6:1-7


Acts 6:1-7 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 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.

Sermon Breakdown

  1. The sermon was preached by Dr. Martin Lloyd Jones on June 12, 1966.
  2. The sermon is based on Acts 6:1-7, with emphasis on verses 2, 4 and 7.
  3. The passage describes the first organization in the early church - the formation of the diaconate.
  4. The primary task of the church is to preach the gospel, not serve tables. This was the decision of the apostles.
  5. The sermon addresses what the message of the church is and how she is to perform this task. There is confusion today about this.
  6. The only answer to the world's problems is the gospel. The church must be clear on what this is.
  7. The early church faced a crisis in how to distribute food to Greek and Hebrew widows. The apostles had to decide whether to focus on this or preaching the word.
  8. They decided their primary task was to preach the word, not serve tables. This was a crucial decision.
  9. The sermon outlines three propositions about the message and authority of the church:

  10. The message is the word of God, not man's word. It is revelation from God, not human reasoning or philosophy.

  11. The message can be defined in propositions. It is not just a vague spirit. It makes definitive statements about God, man, sin, salvation, etc.
  12. The message is the whole counsel of God. Nothing should be added or subtracted from it.

  13. The message starts with the eternal God, not man's needs. It declares who God is, his judgment of sin, man's fallen state, and the solution in Christ.

  14. There are proofs for the message, e.g. creation, scripture, prophecy, history, the Jew. But only the Spirit can truly prove it to men.
  15. The message includes the doctrines of God, creation, man, the fall, sin, judgment, Christ, salvation, end times, etc.
  16. The message is that God was in Christ reconciling the world to himself. Man must believe in Christ to be saved from God's judgment.

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.