Not in Word Only
A Sermon on 1 Thessalonians 1:5
5for our gospel did not come to you in word only, but also in power and in the Holy Spirit and with full conviction; just as you know what kind of men we proved to be among you for your sakes.
5For our gospel came not unto you in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Ghost, and in much assurance; as ye know what manner of men we were among you for your sake.
There is a great problem of communication and this sermon focuses on how the state of both the church and the world demands that all pay attention to the presentation of the gospel. This gospel is the only hope for the world and the answer for every need. In this sermon on 1 Thessalonians 1:5 titled “Not in Word Only,” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones addresses this same problem that people have faced for centuries. He preaches of the proposals for new translations, how the gospel spread, and what the true Christian message is. There is no need for something new. People need the same old gospel and old apostolic way of preaching that is found in the New Testament. What is Christianity? Can it be defined? The gospel is the proclamation of the greatest good news humanity has ever heard. Is Christianity something that is caught or taught? Apostolic preaching never started with people, but with God. There is great need for people to see their need for Jesus in order to come to Him. Jesus did not merely come to tell how people could be delivered, but He came to be the one to deliver them. Christians cannot entertain people in flippancy. God will judge both message and method. Preach and receive this gospel with assurance.
- The apostle Paul is writing to the Thessalonians and reminding them of how the gospel first came to them.
- There are two main factors in the spread of the gospel: apostolic preaching and the testimony of believers.
- The message being preached is the gospel, the good news of Jesus Christ. This good news is proclaimed in words and propositions.
- The content of the apostolic message was:
- God: The one true and living God, not idols.
- Man's need for God and his responsibility to God. Man will face judgment.
- The incarnation: Jesus is the Son of God, fully God and fully man.
- The atonement: Jesus died to deliver us from the wrath of God. He took our place and bore our punishment.
- The resurrection: Jesus was physically raised from the dead. Without this, there is no gospel.
- The ascension and second coming: Jesus is seated at the right hand of God and will return to judge the world.
- The message came not in word only, but also in power, the Holy Spirit, and much assurance. The apostles preached in the power of the Spirit, not to please men.
- The Thessalonians received the message not as the word of men, but as the word of God. The Holy Spirit worked powerfully in them, enabling them to believe and receive the gospel.
- Though they faced much affliction, they were filled with joy from the Holy Spirit. They turned from idols to serve the living God.
- Their faith and change spread throughout the region, demonstrating the power of the gospel.
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.