Explore Sermons By Dr. Lloyd-Jones

The Futility of Humanism

Book of Acts

A Sermon on Acts 7:17-20

“But as the time of the promise drew near, which God had granted to Abraham, the people increased and multiplied in Egypt until there arose over Egypt another king who did not know Joseph. He dealt shrewdly with our race and forced our fathers to expose their infants, so that they would not be kept alive. At this time Moses was born; and he was beautiful in God’s sight. And he was brought up for three months in his father’s house, (ESV)

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If the world’s problems could be fixed by legislation, moral reform, and education, there is no doubt humanity would have done it. However, as Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones preaches from Acts 7:17–20 in the sermon “The Futility of Humanism,” while humans claim to be progressing, there is no end to worldwide conflict, war, poverty, and strife. Instead of turning to God in repentance, the world wants only to find relief from the symptoms of sin and the common struggles of humankind. The world wants to believe that there is nothing beyond matter and motion. This is the failed humanistic thinking of the enlightenment idea of religion that holds God and sin as nothing more than intellectually dubious at best, and destructive to humanity at worst. But as Dr. Lloyd-Jones proclaims, there is nothing new about the humanist unbelief, or this so-called scientific worldview. For all unbelief is really nothing more than the outworking of a sinful heart. All rejection of the historical facts of Christianity are not the result of intellectual reflection, but of blind and prejudiced unbelief. As history has shown, human endeavors to bring about moral transformation and world peace always end in abysmal failure. This is no less true in modern times, for without the supernatural power of the Holy Spirit working in the hearts of fallen sinners, no lasting and true transformation can take place.

Additional Scripture Translations

Acts 7:17-20, New American Standard Bible (NASB)

17“But as the time of the promise which God had assured to Abraham was approaching, the people increased and multiplied in Egypt, 18until another king arose over Egypt who did not know Joseph. 19It was he who shrewdly took advantage of our nation and mistreated our fathers in order that they would abandon their infants in the Nile, so that they would not survive. 20At this time Moses was born; and he was beautiful to God. He was nurtured for three months in his father’s home.

Acts 7:17-20, King James Version (KJV)

17But when the time of the promise drew nigh, which God had sworn to Abraham, the people grew and multiplied in Egypt, 18Till another king arose, which knew not Joseph. 19The same dealt subtilly with our kindred, and evil entreated our fathers, so that they cast out their young children, to the end they might not live. 20In which time Moses was born, and was exceeding fair, and nourished up in his father’s house three months:

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.