The Church and Her Message
A Sermon on Acts 6:1-7
Choosing of the Seven
1Now at this time, as the disciples were increasing in number, a complaint developed on the part of the Hellenistic Jews against the native Hebrews, because their widows were being overlooked in the daily serving of food. 2So the twelve summoned the congregation of …
1And in those days, when the number of the disciples was multiplied, there arose a murmuring of the Grecians against the Hebrews, because their widows were neglected in the daily ministration. 2Then the twelve called the multitude of the disciples unto them, and said, It is not …
The primary task of the church is to preach the message of the gospel. In this sermon from Acts 6:1–7 titled “The Church and Her Message,” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones explains how easily the true nature of the gospel is forgotten; it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes. People try to reduce the gospel to the level of modern humanity. Energy is expended on new methods, new messages, or new approaches that strip out the offensive supernatural aspects; new translations that try to make the message more attainable; and new entertainment to make the gospel more accessible and palatable. What is the method of the true gospel? Its whole emphasis is the proclamation of the word which is truth. The method of the gospel is reliance on the supernatural power of the Spirit of God. Anything else is of no value. Someone is made a Christian by nothing less than the Spirit of God himself. The moment a person becomes a new creature,” they desire a greater knowledge of the truth and become a student able to receive it. Disciples are learners, showing the lie that belief in methodologies is necessary for conversion to and comprehension of the gospel. The glory of the gospel is the sufficiency of the power of God for salvation.
- The church met a temptation that if succumbed to, would have made a great difference to the whole story of Christianity.
- The temptation came in looking after the widows. The numbers had increased and it was difficult.
- The apostles established that the primary task of the church is to preach the gospel, not to change social conditions or do acts of kindness.
- The message is the proclamation of a word, which is truth. The method is the supernatural power of the Spirit of God.
- Stephen was full of faith and power, did great wonders and miracles. The opposition could not resist the wisdom and Spirit with which he spoke.
- The gospel does not care about antecedents. It makes brethren of all types and conditions of men.
- The gospel gives a desire for truth and the ability to receive it. It gives the power of discrimination.
- The gospel reforms men and makes them men of character.
- The gospel can fill men with the Spirit, giving gifts like wisdom, faith, miracles, and healing.
- Stephen's face looked like an angel's face. God was shining through him.
- The gospel is invincible. The church has faced opposition from the beginning but continues to triumph.
- The gospel will triumph because it is the word and truth of God. God must prevail.
- The opposition is feeble. They could not resist the wisdom and Spirit with which Stephen spoke. There is no real answer to the gospel.
- The gospel triumphs through the power of God. The power that raised Jesus from the dead.
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.