Righteousness; Temperance; Judgement
A Sermon on Acts 24:24-27
24Now some days later Felix arrived with Drusilla his wife, who was Jewish, and he sent for Paul and heard him speak about faith in Christ Jesus. 25But as he was discussing righteousness, self-control, and the judgment to come, Felix became frightened and responded, “Go away for now, and when I have an opportunity, I will summon you.” 26At the same time he was also hoping that money would be given to him by Paul; therefore he also used to send for him quite often and talk with him. 27But after two years had passed, Felix was succeeded by Porcius Festus; and Felix, wanting to do the Jews a favor, left Paul imprisoned.
24And after certain days, when Felix came with his wife Drusilla, which was a Jewess, he sent for Paul, and heard him concerning the faith in Christ. 25And as he reasoned of righteousness, temperance, and judgment to come, Felix trembled, and answered, Go thy way for this time; when I have a convenient season, I will call for thee. 26He hoped also that money should have been given him of Paul, that he might loose him: wherefore he sent for him the oftener, and communed with him. 27But after two years Porcius Festus came into Felix’ room: and Felix, willing to shew the Jews a pleasure, left Paul bound.
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.
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.