The Authentic Marks of Christianity
A Sermon on Acts 4:13
Threat and Release
13Now as they observed the confidence of Peter and John and understood that they were uneducated and untrained men, they were amazed, and began to recognize them as having been with Jesus.
13¶ Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were unlearned and ignorant men, they marvelled; and they took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus.
Christianity is not based on human power or wisdom. It is not the result of clever and prudent people, but it is the result of the gospel of God. In this sermon on Acts 4:13, Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones shows that the gospel is the power of God unto salvation to all who believe. All are in need of Jesus Christ. There are no prerequisites to being saved but to believe in the name of Christ. In the gospel, God subverts the ways of the world as the world is about power and pomp, vain glory and empty praise. But the gospel is about Jesus Christ, truly God and truly man, hung on a tree so that all those who believe would become a part of the new creation. This message humbles everyone because it leaves no place for boasting, human pride, or hubris. It tells that all are sinful and under the judgment of God. It says that all are slaves to sin and their twisted desires. But through the gospel there is true renewal and life by the blood of Christ. The church should take great comfort knowing that it proclaims the truth and power of God in His gospel.
- Christianity is a phenomenon, not just a teaching. It is something that happens and is based on events, not just ideas.
- The world does not understand Christianity. The world is perplexed by the true Christian message and always reacts negatively to it.
- The world hates the true Christian message and always tries to stop it. The world persecutes those who spread the true message of Christianity.
- The true Christian message is supernatural. It does not depend on human ability, understanding, or effort.
- Becoming a Christian is not something we do or achieve through our own power or intellect. It is something done to us by God. It is the result of God's power acting on us.
- The Christian message gives people a new understanding, even to the unlearned and ignorant. This understanding comes from God, not human intellect or study.
- The Christian message gives people peace, joy, rest, and contentment that the world cannot give.
- The Christian message gives people power to live, conquer sin, and stand up for truth. This power comes from God, not human ability.
- The Christian message gives people boldness to spread the truth, even in the face of opposition. This boldness comes from God, not human courage.
- The only explanation for the Christian message and for Christians themselves is that they have been with Jesus.
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.