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Sermon #2008

The Apostles Doctrine

A Sermon on Acts 2:40-42


Acts 2:40-42 ESV KJV
And with many other words he bore witness and continued to exhort them, saying, “Save yourselves from this crooked generation.” So those who received his word were baptized, and there were added that day about three thousand souls. And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to …

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Sermon Description

What is the church and who are Christians? According to Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones, to know what the church is and understand its mission, he recommends looking to the church in Acts 2:40–42. There the church is a community of born again, spirit-empowered believers who boldly proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ to a broken and sinful world. The church committed itself to the teaching and preaching of the apostles’ doctrine and the fellowship. The church of Acts was far more than a social gathering, but it was the power of God, manifested on earth through the work of His Spirit. The early church did not grow by attracting people by appealing to humanity’s carnal desire, but though the power of the gospel. It is this gospel that the church is tasked with guarding and proclaiming. It is this glorious gospel that can transform the lives of those around us. If the church today and beyond is to be a faithful servant of Jesus Christ, and if the church is to be a faithful steward of His gospel, it must commit itself to the teaching and works of the apostles as found in God’s word.

Sermon Breakdown

  1. The sermon begins by introducing Acts 2:40-42. Dr. Lloyd-Jones states that the passage shows what the early church was like and what Christians today should aim to be like.

  2. Dr. Lloyd-Jones says that the early church underwent a complete change after believing the gospel. They were "born again" and became "new creatures."

  3. Dr. Lloyd-Jones says that the early church left the world behind and joined themselves to the apostles and other Christians. Their new faith became the biggest thing in their lives.

  4. Dr. Lloyd-Jones asks what the purpose of the church is. He says it is not for social events, fundraisers, or entertainment. Its purpose is spiritual.

  5. Dr. Lloyd-Jones says the early church came together for the apostles' teaching, fellowship, communion, and prayer. These are the marks of a true church.

  6. Dr. Lloyd-Jones focuses on the apostles' teaching. He says there is confusion today about Christian doctrine, but the early church coveted the apostles' teaching.

  7. Dr. Lloyd-Jones gives several reasons why the early church desired the apostles' teaching:

  8. New Christians have an instinctual desire for spiritual truth, like a baby desires milk.

  9. The early Christians realized how ignorant they were of spiritual things and wanted to learn.

  10. They wanted to understand their new faith and experience more fully.

  11. They wanted to be able to help others come to faith.

  12. They didn't want to miss out on anything important that was taught.

  13. Dr. Lloyd-Jones says there is a definite body of apostolic doctrine in the New Testament. It is not vague or changing. The creeds of the early church aimed to articulate this doctrine.

  14. Dr. Lloyd-Jones outlines the core message of the apostles' teaching:

  15. There is one God who created all things.

  16. Humans were made in God's image but rebelled against him.

  17. Sin and judgment are realities.

  18. Jesus Christ is the Son of God who became man to save sinners.

  19. He died on the cross as a substitute for sinners and was raised from the dead.

  20. Those who believe in him receive forgiveness of sins and new spiritual life.

  21. The Holy Spirit empowers believers to live righteously.

  22. There is an eternal destiny of either heaven or hell.

  23. Dr. Lloyd-Jones challenges the listeners to examine if they have believed and embraced the apostolic message. He says true faith will produce certain desires and appetites, like a hunger for God's word.

  24. Dr. Lloyd-Jones calls unbelievers to repent and believe the gospel. He says Jesus will not turn away anyone who comes to him in faith.

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.