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Sermon #5734

Righteousness; Temperance and Judgement to Come

A Sermon on Acts 24:24


Acts 24:24 ESV KJV
After some days Felix came with his wife Drusilla, who was Jewish, and he sent for Paul and heard him speak about faith in Christ Jesus. (ESV)

Sermon Description

In this sermon on Acts 24:24 titled “Righteousness: Temperance and Judgment to Come, “ Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones focuses on two questions: how is the gospel to be presented and how are people to listen to the gospel? The gospel is reason, and people must think and be confronted with the truth. This gospel is not merely entertainment. Learn about the character of God and how He created people to be His righteous companions. What happened? Made in the image and likeness of God, people are to have self-control and temperance. The meaning of temperance is addressed alongside righteousness—one being the general principle, while the other is concerned with application in daily living. What distinguishes humans from animals? Animals are controlled by instinct, but people have souls with reasoning and understanding. Judgment will come and people will be held responsible before God, but they can look at the perfect provision He provided. Only a person’s fear can drive them to salvation. Why do people reject the gospel? The opinion of others must never be put over the opinion of God. Learn from the tragedy of Felix and Priscilla.

Sermon Breakdown

  1. The passage under consideration is Acts 24:24-27 which describes Paul reasoning with Felix and Drusilla about faith in Christ.
  2. In order to understand the passage, we must know the characters involved: Felix, the Roman governor; Drusilla, Felix's Jewish wife; and Paul, the apostle and prisoner.
  3. Felix was a freed slave who rose to power through the influence of his brother Pallas. Though holding a high position, Felix had a mean character.
  4. Drusilla belonged to the Herod family. She married Felix, a pagan, against Jewish law in order to gain power and status.
  5. Paul was a prisoner of Felix. Though physically unimpressive, Paul was one of the greatest men who ever lived.
  6. Paul reasoned with Felix and Drusilla about righteousness, self-control and the coming judgment. Righteousness refers to God's holy character and the uprightness He demands of men. Self-control refers to mastering sinful desires and disciplining oneself to obey God. The coming judgment refers to God's judgment of all men after death.
  7. Paul also preached the faith in Christ - that though all have sinned, God sent His Son to die for sinners so that those who believe in Him will have eternal life.
  8. Felix trembled upon hearing Paul's message but rejected the gospel, hoping for bribes and unwilling to offend the Jews. He went against reason, conscience and the Holy Spirit.
  9. Unbelief is irrational and debasing. Felix hoped for bribes from a poor prisoner and was anxious to please the Jews though their governor. Sin makes one foolish and a slave to the opinions of men.
  10. Felix's downfall - soon after this, Felix and Drusilla lost their positions of power. Drusilla and her son eventually died in the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius that destroyed Pompeii. Though she had heard the gospel, Drusilla clung to worldly pleasures and died unprepared to face God.
  11. We must learn from Felix and Drusilla's example, recognize our need for the gospel, and believe in Christ as Savior before it is too late.

Itinerant Preaching

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.