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Sermon #2033

Father; Son and Holy Spirit

A Sermon on Acts 4:31


Acts 4:31 ESV KJV
And when they had prayed, the place in which they were gathered together was shaken, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and continued to speak the word of God with boldness. (ESV)

Sermon Description

Christianity is a historical faith. While the world is full of other religions and “spiritual experiences,” Christianity is set apart by the objectivity of events brought about by the Triune God. These events—the history of Israel; the birth, death, and resurrection of Jesus; the day of Pentecost; the global spread of the gospel—are objective events that point creation back to God. In this sermon titled “Father, Son, and Holy Spirit,” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones takes the listener back to the early church in this sermon on Acts 4:31 and shows that Christianity is not taken up on one’s own accord or power; rather, it takes the Christian up. The apostles were not well-educated or eloquent men and yet God used these ordinary men to spread the good news and Christianity flourished. Acts emphasizes that this is the work of the Trinitarian God - the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. This is the basis of the apostles’ hope and confession and the foundation of great hope. Subjective experiences don’t rule one’s faith, says Dr. Lloyd-Jones. The objective reality of the Christian’s history, as well as the ongoing work of revival, reminds them that their living God actively cares for this world.

Sermon Breakdown

  1. The sermon begins by introducing the verse Acts 4:31 which describes the early church praying and being filled with the Holy Spirit.
  2. The sermon then provides context for the verse by describing the events leading up to it, including Peter and John being arrested and appearing before the Sanhedrin. They were released but told not to preach about Jesus anymore.
  3. Peter and John report back to the early church what happened. In response, the church prays to God, acknowledging Him as the creator, the one who controls history, and the one who fulfilled prophecy through Jesus.
  4. The sermon emphasizes that the Christian faith is based on objective facts and events, not just subjective experience. The facts of Jesus's life, death, and resurrection are emphasized.
  5. The sermon then focuses on the person and work of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit's work in the Old Testament and Jesus's promises about the Spirit are discussed. The day of Pentecost and the Spirit filling the early church is emphasized as an objective fact.
  6. The sermon argues that the explanation for the apostles' transformation and the growth of the early church is the power of the Holy Spirit, not human ability. The Spirit's work is emphasized as miraculous and supernatural.
  7. The sermon highlights how the Spirit has worked throughout church history in revivals and reformations, enabling individuals to accomplish what seemed impossible, proving that the Spirit is a living person, not just a force.
  8. The sermon concludes by emphasizing that Christianity is based on objective facts about what God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit have done in history. People will be judged based on how they respond to these facts. The call is to believe in Jesus Christ based on these facts.

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.