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Sermon #5503

Righteousness; Temperance; Judgement

A Sermon on Acts 24:24-27


Acts 24:24-27 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. And as he reasoned about righteousness and self-control and the coming judgment, Felix was alarmed and said, “Go away for the present. When I …

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Sermon Description

The gospel makes fallen sinners uneasy because it condemns all sin and unrighteousness that defiles God’s law. In this sermon on Acts 24:24–27 titled “Righteousness, Temperance, Judgement,” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones shares that the message is not one of comfort but one that rightly condemns all who will not repent and believe in it. This is the case of Felix and Drusilla when the apostle Paul preaches the gospel to them. They are living in an adulterous relationship and unjustly holding Paul in prison. Paul does not try to convince them of the reasonability of Christianity and its claims, but tells them the need for righteousness and the great wrath when all will be judged for the deeds done in the flesh. This is why the gospel is such an urgent message, for all are appointed to die and suffer judgement. It is only by believing in the gospel of Jesus Christ that any can escape the righteous wrath of God. However, as Dr. Lloyd-Jones explains, often times the church is more concerned with politics and moralism than they are with the preaching of the only true hope for humankind. This is the great message that God has entrusted to the church. It is the truth that Jesus Christ died for sinners so that all who believe will be saved.

Sermon Breakdown

  1. The passage under consideration is Acts 24:24-27 which describes Paul's encounter with Felix and Drusilla.
  2. Felix was the Roman governor of Judea. He was born a slave but gained his freedom and rose to power. However, he was a cruel, unjust and licentious man.
  3. Drusilla was a Jewess and the daughter of Herod Agrippa I. Though married, she was living in adultery with Felix.
  4. Paul was brought before them and preached the gospel. He was courageous in doing so.
  5. The encounter was not a discussion but an authoritative proclamation of the gospel. The gospel is not to be discussed but proclaimed.
  6. Paul preached on righteousness which is living a life pleasing to God as intended. It includes our conduct and relationship with God and others. Failure to live righteously is sin.
  7. Paul preached on temperance which is self-control and continence. He likely rebuked Felix and Drusilla's lack of self-control and licentiousness.
  8. Paul preached on the judgment to come. All will stand before God and be judged for how they lived their lives.
  9. Paul preached the faith in Christ - that Christ is the Son of God who died for our sins so that whoever believes in Him will have eternal life.
  10. Felix trembled at the preaching but did not repent. He dismissed Paul hoping for a bribe and to please the Jews.
  11. Felix went against reason and conscience in rejecting the gospel. The power of sin makes people act unreasonably and silence their conscience.
  12. Felix lived for money, pleasure and popularity rather than righteousness and eternal matters.
  13. Felix and Drusilla's lives ended in loss and tragedy showing the folly of living for temporal rather than eternal things.
  14. We are exhorted to not make the same mistake as Felix and Drusilla but to repent and believe the gospel.

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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.