11And great fear came over the whole church, and over all who heard about these things.
12At the hands of the apostles many signs and wonders were taking place among the people; and they were all together in Solomon’s portico. 13But none of the rest dared to …
11And great fear came upon all the church, and upon as many as heard these things.
12¶ And by the hands of the apostles were many signs and wonders wrought among the people; (and they were all with one accord in Solomon’s porch. 13And of the rest …
Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones preaches about the miraculous nature and origin of the church. He argues that the existence of the church is proof of the existence of God as the church was established by God through unlearned and ignorant men. These men were instruments chosen by God for the establishment of the church. Many have tried to deny the supernatural events of the Bible. They do so, Dr. Lloyd-Jones says, because they start with the presupposition that miracles can’t happen, therefore the Bible must not be true. One who starts with the idea that miracles cannot happen is sure to deny the Bible, but one who believes in the Lord Jesus understands that He is Lord of all, and that He can perform miracles with His wondrous power. The listener is also warned against the popular tendency to suppose it would have been easier to believe in Jesus if they had been there to see the miracles. Dr. Lloyd-Jones argues that this is not true, and the miraculous nature of one’s salvation should be proof of His existence.
- The passage being discussed is Acts 5:11-14. These verses describe the aftermath of Ananias and Sapphira's deaths.
- Luke, the author of Acts, is recording historical facts. His goal is not to frighten readers but to report what happened.
- Fear is a natural reaction to hearing about Ananias and Sapphira's deaths. However, fear alone accomplishes nothing. It must lead to belief.
- The early church grew because people heard the apostles' message, believed in Jesus, and were added to the Lord. Signs and wonders drew people's attention so they would listen to the gospel.
- The "rest" in verse 13 refers to curious but insincere followers who left after witnessing Ananias and Sapphira's deaths. True believers remained because they understood God's power and grace.
- Only God can add people to the church by opening their minds, convicting them of sin, and giving them new life through faith in Jesus.
- The apostles' miracles and the events of Acts 5 were meant to make people think about God, themselves, life, death, and eternity. They point to the message of salvation in Jesus.
- Fear of God's power and judgment leads to reverence, godly fear, and belief in the gospel. It is not a paralyzing terror but a motivation to flee to Christ the Savior.
- Complacency and bravado often come from ignorance. Wisdom recognizes human frailty and dependence on God.
- The events of Acts 5 sifted true believers from false believers. True Christians understood and embraced the gospel message.
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.