The False Believer
A Sermon on Acts 8:13
Even Simon himself believed, and after being baptized he continued with Philip. And seeing signs and great miracles performed, he was amazed. (ESV)
Can a person perform the actions of a believer, yet not be saved? There are many people in the church who mistakenly believe they are saved because they were born into a certain family, uttered some phrases, or were even baptized. But, despite all these things, they have never truly been redeemed. These people are deceived into thinking that they are true Christians by merely their external actions. This is one of the greatest threats to Christianity in all ages and periods of history. This is no less true in the early church as seen in the book of Acts. It is there that we meet Simon who is a magician. He hears the Gospel, confesses faith, and is baptized. However, later it is revealed that he is a false convert, exposed by his desire to buy power from the Holy Spirit. This is why Christians must test themselves, examine their fruit, in order to see if their faith is true and not a sham like that of Simon. Faith can be tested by examining not only one’s confession of faith, but the fruit of one’s life. For all true believers will walk in the light, submit to Scripture, and love their brothers.
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.