Subscribe now

Sermons on the Acts of the Apostles

By Rob Roy Macgregor
August 2008 | Review by John Cook

Synopsis

Calvin pulls no punches. If belief does not end in an increasingly Christlike character, it is as good as no belief, no theology.

  • Publisher: Banner of Truth
  • ISBN: 978-0851519685
  • Pages: 688
  • Price: £57.20
Buy this book »

Book Review

These 44 sermons have been translated by Rob Roy Macgregor, a former professor of French and Latin at Clemson University. An excellent preface emphasises Calvin’s conviction that the purpose of scriptural revelation is to mould the life of believers into the image of God’s Son, Jesus Christ. William B. Evans adds a helpful introduction and the book concludes with an index of Scripture references.

As a preacher, Calvin used vivid language to gain attention – ‘Hey! Don’t take another step. You are nearing the pit of hell!’ He also thoroughly applied God’s Word to expose sins and encourage true repentance – ‘We must be refashioned through repentance if we wish to receive remission of our sins’. Calvin criticises all false teaching and warns particularly against Romanism – denouncing the Mass as the most damnable idol that exists. However, positive exposition predominates. For example, in Acts 2: 41-42 Calvin identifies the three marks of the Church as ‘the proclamation of the Word of God, the Lord’s Supper, and communion together in true love’ – adding, ‘The Church deprived of the Word is but a chaos’.

One of the most beneficial sermons is based on Acts 4:24-51, entitled ‘The prayer of faith’, which contains this counsel: ‘If we want our faith to be strong, we must consider God’s power when praying and mention the promises which we rely on’.

Each sermon concludes with a prayer in which we, along with the original hearers, are led to respond with humility before God to the truths preached and thus receive benefit.

The clear modern language of these sermons will enable every believer to profit from reading them and this volume is warmly commended to all.

Book Reviews

Read our latest book reviews

Star RatingStar RatingStar RatingStar RatingStar Rating
Never Enough: Confronting Lies about Appearance and Achievement with Gospel Hope
Sarah Ivill

Never Enough is a well-written, thoughtfully structured series of ‘teachable moments’ based on the author’s own testimony of suffering from eating disorders and a battle between fitness and obsession. Ivill talks of how her need to be romantically loved made…

See all book reviews
Star RatingStar RatingStar RatingStar RatingStar Rating
God’s design for women in an age of gender confusion
Sharon James

Is our belief in male headship culturally outdated, and should we see alternative ideas of marriage as ‘progress’? Is it possible to be born into the wrong body, and is sexual freedom good for women? Does Scripture show us a…

Sexuality and Identity (trilogy)
Star RatingStar RatingStar RatingStar RatingStar Rating
Sexuality and Identity (trilogy)
Owen Strachan and Gavin Peacock

These three punchy books address pressing issues: what the Bible teaches about lust (on desire), about homosexuality (on Biblical sexuality) and about transgenderism (on identity). The trilogy approach keeps each book short and focused while dovetailing effectively. Each book has…

Star RatingStar RatingStar RatingStar RatingStar Rating
A Beginner’s Guide To Church History
Philip Parsons

This book is a must-read for every Christian, which covers a wide period from the apostolic age to the church under Communism. There are numerous excellent works on church history, like Philip Schaff’s eight volumes, or Andrew Miller’s three volumes,…