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Sermon #2060

Why the Apostles Prayed

A Sermon on Acts 6:1-4

Scripture

Acts 6:1-4 ESV NASB KJV
Now in these days when the disciples were increasing in number, a complaint by the Hellenists arose against the Hebrews because their widows were being neglected in the daily distribution. And the twelve summoned the full number of the disciples and said, “It is not right that we should give …

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Sermon Description

The priorities of the Christian life, according to Dr. Martyn Lloyd Jones, are the gospel and prayer. In this sermon on Acts 6:1–4 titled “Why the Apostles Prayed,” Dr. Lloyd-Jones continues his series on the book of Acts and specifically looks at the apostles’ emphasis on prayer. “Even Orthodoxy is not enough; it needs prayer,” says Dr. Lloyd-Jones. The early church knew that they ought to pray and preach the word of God because the primary task of the church is to preach the good news of Jesus Christ. But how? How should they faithfully fulfill this purpose? Dr. Lloyd-Jones compares this dilemma with the modern church and strictly warns against churches relying on human methods rather than on the method of God. While the method of humanity will try to improve their own abilities and comfort in communication and programs, the method of God ultimately seeks after God’s power, wisdom and Spirit to work in hearts. By praying, the apostles sought power and strength from God’s Spirit to change the people’s hearts. In this sermon, Dr. Martyn Lloyd Jones urges and pleads with Christians to show dependence on God through prayer.

Sermon Breakdown

  1. The apostles faced a crucial decision in the early church due to a dispute between Greek and Hebrew speaking Jews.
  2. The apostles decided that it was not right for them to leave the ministry of the word of God to serve tables. Their primary task was to preach the gospel.
  3. The apostles gave themselves continually to prayer and the ministry of the word. Prayer was essential to the ministry of the word.
  4. The apostles realized their own inadequacy and need for God's power. They needed God's power, authority, understanding and unction to preach the gospel.
  5. The apostles knew the desperate state and condition of mankind by nature due to the fall. Men's minds were darkened and alienated from God. The world was enslaved to sin.
  6. The apostles realized the nature of the great salvation - regeneration and new birth. Christianity is not about help or assistance but being born again by the Spirit.
  7. Reason and the mind have a limited value. They can show men they are without excuse but cannot save or persuade men. Only the Spirit can convict men of sin and give them faith.
  8. The apostles knew that only the power of the Spirit could save souls and bring people to new birth. Nothing else could do this mighty work.
  9. The apostles gave themselves to prayer to be filled with the Spirit and become channels of God's power to save and regenerate souls.
  10. The need today is the same - the power of God in revival and in individuals. The message and methods of men are useless without the Spirit.
  11. Have you known the power of God recreating you and making you a new creation in Christ? If not, plead with God for this.

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.