What is the Christian Message?
A Sermon on Acts 24:1-27
Paul before Felix
1Now after five days the high priest Ananias came down with some elders and an attorney named Tertullus, and they brought charges against Paul to the governor. 2After Paul had been summoned, Tertullus began accusing him, saying to the governor,
“Since we have …
1And after five days Ananias the high priest descended with the elders, and with a certain orator named Tertullus, who informed the governor against Paul. 2And when he was called forth, Tertullus began to accuse him, saying, Seeing that by thee we enjoy great quietness, and that …
Christians are heralds of good news and have been sent with a message. In this sermon on Acts 24:1–27, Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones addresses what this message is not. It is not entertainment or personal stories or testimony. The Christian life is not a mere social message against war, injustice, or poverty. It’s a message of righteousness and the reality that all will stand before God. As the book of Acts comes to a close, the Apostle Paul stands before the Roman governor, Felix, to explain the Christian message. He doesn’t address the ills of Rome or his wrongful imprisonment. On the contrary, Paul proclaims the reality of judgement and righteousness, boldly declaring the Christian message––the hope of Jesus Christ. Felix trembles, yet being disturbed is not enough. The hearer must respond to Christ in repentance. Listen as Dr. Lloyd-Jones applies this narrative to the modern church and exhorts the church to faithfully proclaim the message delivered to the saints. Sinners must be ready to meet God face-to-face. The preacher must, therefore, prefer the opinions of God before the opinions of humanity, and the hearer must believe the gospel.
- The sermon is based on Acts 24:24-27 which describes Paul reasoning with Felix and Drusilla about faith in Christ.
- Felix was the Roman governor of Judea and Drusilla was his wife. They were living in adultery.
- Paul took charge of the situation and reasoned with them even though he was a prisoner. He did not entertain or tell stories. He reasoned with them about important matters.
- The message of the church is not about politics or social issues. It is about righteousness, temperance and judgment to come.
- Righteousness means living rightly according to God's standards. It is about worshipping God alone and following the Ten Commandments.
- Temperance means self-control and discipline. It is about applying righteousness in practice. Many agree with righteousness in principle but fail in practice.
- Judgment to come means that God will judge all people for how they lived. There is an afterlife and eternal consequences for our actions.
- Paul pleaded with them to believe in Jesus Christ. He told them they were living in sin but could be saved through faith in Christ.
- Felix trembled but did not repent. He was more concerned with pleasing the Jews than obeying God. He hoped to get money from Paul.
- Sin debases people and drags them down. Felix's desire to please people showed how contemptible he had become.
- People reject the gospel because they do not think or reason properly. They go against reason and conscience. They prefer pleasing people to pleasing God.
- Felix lost his position within two years. Drusilla and her son died in Pompeii when Mount Vesuvius erupted. They had rejected the gospel and lost eternal life.
- We must consider our eternal destiny and judgment to come. We should repent, confess our sins and believe in Christ to be saved.
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.