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Unbelief and Division

Collection:
Unbelief

A Sermon on Acts 23:6-8

Now when Paul perceived that one part were Sadducees and the other Pharisees, he cried out in the council, “Brothers, I am a Pharisee, a son of Pharisees. It is with respect to the hope and the resurrection of the dead that I am on trial.” And when he had said this, a dissension arose between the Pharisees and the Sadducees, and the assembly was divided. For the Sadducees say that there is no resurrection, nor angel, nor spirit, but the Pharisees acknowledge them all. (ESV)

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Being religious does not guarantee salvation. Working from Acts 23:6-8, Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones shows how there are many in Scripture who pass themselves off as being deeply religious, but are not saved. This is the condition of the Jewish Pharisees and Sadducees that opposed the apostles, particularly Paul, representing the unbelieving man in many respects. They are well-educated intellectuals who are blinded by their sin from believing in the Gospel of Jesus Christ. This unbelief is prejudiced opposition. They oppose the message of Christ because it contradicts their traditions, for they had no place for a crucified Messiah who had no kingdom and who came from an uneducated family. He was not born into the top of the social pyramid and educated like themselves. Dr. Lloyd-Jones explains how modern man rejects the Gospel for many of the same reasons. They think it is backwards and old fashioned. They say it is intellectually ridiculous. But this is prejudice that is the result of sin. For man’s problems with Christianity are never simply intellectual or moral, but at the core of these beliefs lies his opposition to God and his Law. For as all men are dead in trespasses and sin, so they are unable to evaluate the truth claims of Christianity as merely rational thinkers, but they are prompted by their sinful nature to oppose this message. This why the Gospel must be a supernatural message, for without the regenerating power of the Holy Spirit no man would be able to believe and be saved.


Additional Scripture Translations

Acts 23:6-8, New American Standard Bible

6But Paul, perceiving that one group were Sadducees and the other Pharisees, began crying out in the Council, “Brothers, I am a Pharisee, a son of Pharisees; I am on trial for the hope and resurrection of the dead!” 7When he said this, a dissension occurred between the Pharisees and Sadducees, and the assembly was divided. 8For the Sadducees say that there is no resurrection, nor an angel, nor a spirit, but the Pharisees acknowledge them all.

Acts 23:6-8, King James Version

6But when Paul perceived that the one part were Sadducees, and the other Pharisees, he cried out in the council, Men and brethren, I am a Pharisee, the son of a Pharisee: of the hope and resurrection of the dead I am called in question. 7And when he had so said, there arose a dissension between the Pharisees and the Sadducees: and the multitude was divided. 8For the Sadducees say that there is no resurrection, neither angel, nor spirit: but the Pharisees confess both.


About 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.