The Edification of the Church
A Sermon on Acts 9:31
31So the church throughout Judea, Galilee, and Samaria enjoyed peace, as it was being built up; and as it continued in the fear of the Lord and in the comfort of the Holy Spirit, it kept increasing.
31Then had the churches rest throughout all Judæa and Galilee and Samaria, and were edified; and walking in the fear of the Lord, and in the comfort of the Holy Ghost, were multiplied.
How is the church built up? In this sermon on Acts 9:31 titled “The Edification of the Church,” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones explains that the church of Jesus Christ can only grow into godliness if the church looks to His word. By studying Scripture as individuals and as a corporate body, Christians are convicted of their sins and built up in the love of God. Part of being a Christian is becoming like Jesus through study and meditation of the Bible. Whether in times of peace or in times of intense persecution, Christians are given the responsibility of using their time to grow and mature. Dr. Lloyd-Jones exhorts Christians not to be lax in times of peace and prosperity, but to always seek to make use of what God has given them. He points to the early church as an example of what this looks like and as an example that the church of today can emulate. In all times and in all places, the church is called to faithfully obey God and seek to become more like Him. This is true in times of peace, as well as in times of hardship.
- The church was experiencing a time of peace and rest after a period of persecution.
- The church made good use of this time of rest to become edified and built up.
- Edification leads to becoming strong, stable and reliable in faith. It comes through:
- Laying a solid foundation in the faith
- Gaining knowledge and understanding of the gospel
- Growing in the knowledge of God's grace and love
- Understanding God's ways and purposes
- The church grew in number as a result of being edified. This demonstrates the order of edification leading to evangelism.
- We must make use of the peace and rest we have to become edified, as persecution may come at any time.
- We must walk in the fear of the Lord, with reverence and awe of God, realizing we will have to give an account to Him. This leads to having no fear of anything else.
- We must walk in the comfort of the Holy Spirit, enjoying His presence, listening to His promptings and never grieving Him.
- As we become edified and walk with God, He will use us to draw others to Himself and multiply His church.
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.