What Is a Christian?
A Sermon on Acts 24:14-16
14But I confess this to you, that in accordance with the Way, which they call a sect, I do serve the God of our fathers, believing everything that is in accordance with the Law and is written in the Prophets; 15having a hope in God, which these men …
14But this I confess unto thee, that after the way which they call heresy, so worship I the God of my fathers, believing all things which are written in the law and in the prophets: 15And have hope toward God, which they themselves also allow, that there shall …
Many in modern times say that Christianity is the kind of belief that is undefinable and unexplainable: it is not about propositions, but feelings. In this sermon on Acts 24:14–16 titled “What Is a Christian?” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones explains why this is the wrong conception of Christianity. The apostle Paul says that at the center of Christianity is the resurrection of Christ. Because Christianity is a religion based in God’s revelation, it is God who defines what it means to be a Christian. God has told that to be a Christian is not merely a subjective feeling, but it is a belief in the truth of the gospel. It is a belief that Jesus has died upon the cross for sinners, and rose from the dead so that all who repent of their sins and believe in Christ are forgiven of all their sins. This sermon contains the message that everyone needs to hear; it is the message that all can have peace with God through the death and resurrection of Jesus. It is the message that Christianity is about both subjective feelings and the objective news of what God has done. This gospel is truly good news for all sinners.
- The sermon focuses on Acts 24:14-16 where Paul defends himself before Felix.
- Paul acknowledges that he belongs to the sect of the Nazarenes that worship God in a different way. He believes in the Law, Prophets and resurrection.
- Paul says Christianity is something that can be defined unlike what some claim today. It is not just a spirit or attitude.
- Paul believes in God, the God of the Old Testament who revealed himself to the patriarchs and gave the Law. God is to be worshipped and obeyed.
- The Law shows God's holy character and that He is judge. Sacrifices were required to atone for sin.
- The prophets taught the true meaning of the Law and spoke of the coming Messiah. Paul believes in this hope.
- Paul believes in the resurrection of the just and unjust. All will stand before God in judgment.
- Belief in God, the Law and Prophets is not enough to make one a Christian. One must believe in Jesus Christ.
- Jesus is the fulfillment of prophecy and hope in the Messiah. He is proven to be the Son of God by His resurrection.
- Jesus fulfilled the Law, dying as the sacrifice for sin. His resurrection proves sins are forgiven and one is justified.
- Paul preaches Jesus as the only Savior. Only through faith in Him can one be saved and reconciled to God.
- To be a Christian one must realize they are a sinner, unable to save themselves but that Christ died and rose again to save them. They must believe in Him.
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.