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Sermon #5744

The Church; Fighting for Her Life

A Sermon on Acts 5:32


Acts 5:32 ESV KJV
And we are witnesses to these things, and so is the Holy Spirit, whom God has given to those who obey him.” (ESV)

Sermon Description

Today’s cultural environment is difficult for the church. How are Christians supposed to act in the midst of increasing hostility towards the faith? In this sermon on Acts 5:32, Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones draws from Scripture and church history to encourage believers in how to walk with the Lord in difficult times. The church has had to fight for her life many times over the centuries, and the essence of wisdom is to look at the past and see how she has survived. How did the church flourish in the midst of trials and persecution? The church flourished through the emphasis on personal witness and the witness of the Holy Spirit. So often believers focus solely on their abilities and witness when instead they are also called to recognize the need for the Holy Spirit. Though the Spirit is often thought of in terms of the spiritual gifts He bestows, perhaps more important is the role He plays in everyday lives and how He lives out His testimony in and through His people. This correct view shows that people are desperately dependent on the Holy Spirit for their lives to be lived out in a godly manner. Listen as Dr. Lloyd-Jones encourages Christians about how they can keep the faith in the midst of a hostile environment by relying on the Holy Spirit.

Sermon Breakdown

  1. The church is fighting for her life in the present day, just as in the early church. We must look to scripture to see how the early church succeeded.
  2. There are two essential elements to the church's success: the apostolic witness (orthodox truth) and the witness of the Holy Spirit. We must have both.
  3. The witness of the Holy Spirit is not to himself or to us, but to Jesus Christ. The Spirit glorifies Christ.
  4. Even Jesus needed the Holy Spirit to empower his ministry. The disciples could not be witnesses until they received the Spirit at Pentecost.
  5. The apostles preached Christ, not the Spirit, after Pentecost. Their witness and the Spirit's witness was to the person and work of Christ.
  6. The Holy Spirit bears witness through external, phenomenal means, not just through our experiences. Examples: the events of Pentecost, the shaking of the building where the disciples prayed, the deaths of Ananias and Sapphira.
  7. Revival is when the Spirit falls in power, as in Pentecost. It is not organized or manufactured but a sovereign work of God. Examples: the Welsh revival, the Great Awakening.
  8. We must continue to bear witness to Christ, pray for revival, and proclaim the gospel when the Spirit moves. The Spirit's witness will draw people to hear the message of Christ.

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.