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Sermon #2013

Christian Joy

A Sermon on Acts 2:46-47


Acts 2:46-47 ESV KJV
And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts, praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved. (ESV)

Sermon Description

In the midst of a world filled with unhappiness and calamity, how can one possibly find joy? In this sermon on Acts 2:46–47 titled “Christian Joy,” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones offers this type of lasting joy that the apostles experienced in the early church and cannot come from entertainment, momentary pleasure, or even the contemporary church, but instead from the truth found in God’s word. How wonderful it is to have the kind of freeing joy that is based not upon efforts, but on what Jesus has done. The type of joy expressed in this message is contingent upon the Christian’s recognition of who they are apart from Christ, an awe for the Lord in His might, and a thankfulness for what the Lord has laid up for all those who believe. This joy brings the believer to praise and glorify the Lord. Happiness is not the goal but a result of those that seek after righteousness. As the disciples seek after righteousness, Dr. Lloyd-Jones concludes, they are able to maintain joy in all circumstances because of the freedom they have received from the time they were delivered from sin. It is this kind of authentic joy that distinguishes true Christianity.

Sermon Breakdown

  1. The sermon begins by introducing the passage from Acts 2:46-47 which describes the early church.
  2. Dr. Lloyd-Jones argues that the church today has strayed far from how it is described in the New Testament. He aims to show what true Christianity and the true church should look like according to Scripture.
  3. Dr. Lloyd-Jones highlights that the early church was characterized by "gladness and singleness of heart" (v. 46) and they were "praising God" (v. 47). This is a key theme of the sermon.
  4. Dr. Lloyd-Jones acknowledges that the modern world talks a lot about joy and happiness but argues that it is superficial and contingent on circumstances. True Christian joy is deeper, holier and independent of circumstances.
  5. Dr. Lloyd-Jones outlines the nature of true Christian joy. It is a joy that comes from God, it has an element of "fear" or reverence for God, it is pure, deep and indestructible.
  6. Dr. Lloyd-Jones argues that the joy of the early Christians came from being delivered from ignorance of themselves, of God and of their perilous state. They found new life, forgiveness, and belonging in Christ.
  7. Dr. Lloyd-Jones says that Christians have a new understanding of life, see life whole, and have a view of the future that gives peace. They know God is in control and they have a glory awaiting them.
  8. Dr. Lloyd-Jones concludes by calling people to repent, believe the gospel, and find true joy in Christ.

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.