Thursday, July 13, 2006

Knowing God: the essence of being a Christian

Over the last few years, Crossway have published the sermons of Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones on the Acts of the Apostles. So far, five volumes have appeared, each containing some twenty or more sermons and reaching only Chapter 7 of Acts! Here is an extract from a sermon on Acts 4:23-24 called "Knowing God."

"What was the explanation for the confidence of these early believers as they came to God in prayer? Their secret was that they knew God. The primary purpose of the Christian message is to bring us to a knowledge of God, and for some extraordinary reason this truth has been forgotten. Some people think that the Christian faith should give some wonderful thrill and experience. It may or may not do that. Others say that the aim of Christianity is to give me assurance that my sins are forgiven. I quite agree, but that is only a step. The ultimate object of the Christian faith is to bring us all to a knowledge of God. If we have not come to this knowledge, then, to say the very least, our Christianity is defective. These early Christians had a living, vital assurance. There was no panic, nothing frantic, nothing excitable about them; they were as cool as could be, and in this quiet confidence they spoke to God and knew him."

[Martyn Lloyd-Jones, Studies in The Book of Acts, Volume Two: Courageous Christianity, Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2001, 126-127]

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