The Church and Doctrine
A Sermon on Acts 2:41-42
41So then, those who had received his word were baptized; and that day there were added about three thousand souls. 42They were continually devoting themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.
41¶ Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls. 42And they continued stedfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.
Many people go to church but have no idea what church actually is. In this sermon from Acts 2:41–42, Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones brings forward “the great, most important question we must face at this time — What is the church?” To answer this, he explores what it means to be a Christian, fellowship with believers, and delves into refuting theological liberalism which seeks to redefine the Christian faith and the Christian church. His chief concern is that the church itself is undermining Christian doctrine, yet rails against increasing societal immorality. In his estimation, within the church there are those who decry moral decay but do not recognize that their rejection of apostolic doctrine is the key contributing factor to the mounting immorality of society. He shares that the Christian church has been the institution which has most contributed to declining moral standards in recent generations through theological and academic exploits in so-called “higher criticism.” He draws examples from the Old Testament and secular history to underscore his point that Biblical, apostolic doctrine is necessary for practical morality. He affirms that the church must reject the modern suggestion that it doesn’t need the apostles’ doctrine, but instead only needs ethical teaching. Such a premise, in his understanding, is built on a false and unrealistic concept of human nature.
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.