Uncircumcised in Heart
A Sermon on Acts 7:54-60
The Stoning of Stephen
Now when they heard these things they were enraged, and they ground their teeth at him. But he, full of the Holy Spirit, gazed into heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God. And he said, “Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God.” But they cried out with a loud voice and stopped their ears and rushed together at him. Then they cast him out of the city and stoned him. And the witnesses laid down their garments at the feet of a young man named Saul. And as they were stoning Stephen, he called out, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.” And falling to his knees he cried out with a loud voice, “Lord, do not hold this sin against them.” And when he had said this, he fell asleep. (ESV)
Sin contaminates everything. Although God created the first two humans to be sinless, pure, and upright, they quickly fell into sin. What started with their act of sin, continues in each of us today. Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones preaches from Acts 7:54-60 and proclaims that our sin blinds us and makes us unable to hear the things of God. Even when the Gospel first enters our ears, it sounds foolish and we do not comprehend it. This is the case of many who saw Jesus perform great miracles yet did not understand what they saw because of their unbelief. Just as a blind man cannot heal himself, neither can a sinner save himself. This why God in his grace provided a way of salvation. This is the Gospel of grace. It is the Holy Spirit that convicts men and enables them to believe. While sinful men can and do resist the Holy Spirit as the Pharisees did, the Holy Spirit can ultimately overcome the most deep-seated unbelief. He is able to overcome the most irrational aspects of unbelief. For when God’s Holy Spirit works to make men born again, and when he works to give men circumcised hearts, they receive the new life in Christ and the Spirit indwells them, making them new creatures.