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Sermon #5486

... the Place was Shaken

A Sermon on Acts 4:31


Acts 4:31 ESV KJV
And when they had prayed, the place in which they were gathered together was shaken, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and continued to speak the word of God with boldness. (ESV)

Sermon Description

What happened on that day when the Holy Spirit came at Pentecost? Listen as Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones unfolds the teaching of Christ in this sermon from Acts 4:31 and the power of the Spirit that came upon the early church. This event, says Dr. Lloyd-Jones, began the supernatural and Spirit-filled ministry of the early church led by the Apostles. This was the source of their success, not programs that catered to what fallen sinners wanted. This is a message that the church in modern times needs to hear, as it is not the entertainment value of the gospel that brings people to faith and repentance in the name of Jesus Christ. When the Holy Spirit works in the lives of fallen men and women, they become new creatures with new desires and inclinations. This is the source of the Christian’s strength in life, and it is the Holy Spirit that prompts them to pray and seek God. This is not the mere effort of people, but it is part of being a new person in Christ Jesus. Once the church understands this, they will see the futility of appealing to the appetites of fallen people. They will cease to accommodate the gospel to the standards of minds that do not know the light and have suppressed the knowledge of God. The church must imitate the examples of the Apostles who relied on the power of God and not on humanity.

Sermon Breakdown

  1. The church today faces a similar situation as the early church - it is a minority facing a hostile world.
  2. Peter and John were arrested for healing a paralyzed man and preaching about Jesus. They were ordered not to preach in Jesus' name.
  3. Peter and John did not decide to go slow, modify their message or try to entice the world. They did the opposite.
  4. Peter and John reported the situation to the whole church. The early church felt a burden for the situation.
  5. The church prayed to God with one accord, acknowledging their weakness and inability. They knew only God could deal with the situation.
  6. Their prayer started with worship of God, not focusing on the problem. They acknowledged God as the all-powerful creator.
  7. They saw the situation as part of the great fight between God and the devil, not their personal problem.
  8. Their only request in prayer was for boldness to speak God's word and for signs and wonders to be done.
  9. God answered their prayer - the place was shaken, they were filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke boldly.
  10. The filling of the Holy Spirit gives a sense of God's presence and assurance of belonging to Him.
  11. When filled with the Spirit, they spoke boldly and had unity of heart.
  12. Great power and grace was upon them all.

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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.