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Sermon #2017

The Christian Phenomenon

A Sermon on Acts 3:12-18


Acts 3:12-18 ESV KJV
And when Peter saw it he addressed the people: “Men of Israel, why do you wonder at this, or why do you stare at us, as though by our own power or piety we have made him walk? The God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of …

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Sermon Description

Christianity is more than an academic lecture and more than a systematic teaching. It is as Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones proclaims — a phenomenon. It is a soul dead in sin that miraculously comes alive. There is life and change in the message of the Christian church, not just moral coaching. From the very beginning God has been accomplishing His plan for His creation: to reconcile humanity to Himself. Delve into this dynamic message titled “The Christian Phenomenon” as Dr. Lloyd-Jones preaches through Peter’s sermon from Acts 3:12–18, which follows the miraculous healing of the beggar at Gate Beautiful from Acts 3:6. Peter here urges the awe-struck crowd to look not to himself and John, nor to the phenomenon of the healing of the beggar, but to the living and active God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob from whom this miracle has come. The listener is reminded that the God who spoke to Moses in the burning bush and healed the beggar at Gate Beautiful is the same God that still speaks and acts today. These miracles, these phenomena, and the many other acts of God show that God is a personal, covenanting and merciful God who takes interest and action in the condition of His creation.

Sermon Breakdown

  1. Christianity is primarily a phenomenon, not just a teaching. It is something that happens, that confronts us.
  2. We must not reduce Christianity to just a teaching or philosophy. It is more than that. It changes lives and produces saints.
  3. The early church was a phenomenon that baffled the world. Despite persecution, it continued to grow.
  4. We see the authentic Christian message in the book of Acts - in the preaching and actions of the apostles.
  5. Peter's sermon here explains the meaning and significance of the healing of the lame man.
  6. Peter says the people should not be surprised at the miracle or look to him and John as if by their own power they had healed the man.
  7. The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob - the God of our fathers - has glorified His Son Jesus.
  8. God had raised Jesus from the dead, and it is faith in His name that has healed this man.
  9. The miracle pointed to the power of the risen Christ, not the apostles' own power or holiness.
  10. God is the God of the covenant, who promised to Abraham that through his seed all nations would be blessed.
  11. God sent His Son Jesus to bless them by turning them from their wickedness.
  12. The miracle demonstrated the power and continuity of God, who is the same yesterday, today and forever.
  13. We must see beyond the miracle to the eternal, unchanging God who acts. Christianity is about what God has done and will do.
  14. God is not the God of the philosophers, the uncaused cause - He is the living, personal God who reveals Himself.
  15. God is concerned with the state of the world, and has come down to deliver people from bondage. He knows our sorrows.

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.