Principalities and Powers
A Sermon on Acts 8:5-12
Philip went down to the city of Samaria and proclaimed to them the Christ. And the crowds with one accord paid attention to what was being said by Philip, when they heard him and saw the signs that he did. For unclean spirits, crying out with a loud voice, came out of many who had them, and many who were paralyzed or lame were healed. So there was much joy in that city.
Simon the Magician Believes
But there was a man named Simon, who had previously practiced magic in the city and amazed the people of Samaria, saying that he himself was somebody great. They all paid attention to him, from the least to the greatest, saying, “This man is the power of God that is called Great.” And they paid attention to him because for a long time he had amazed them with his magic. But when they believed Philip as he preached good news about the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women. (ESV)
Rebellion against God takes many forms. While some reject all notions of religion, more often rebellion shows up in substituting almost any belief system in place of the Gospel of Christ. Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones exposes false faith as he shows how modern day man turns to the failed faiths of new age mysticism, eastern religions like Buddhism, and many more in rejection of the only true God. Man's instinct for faith refuses to be satisfied with the God of the Bible. We learn from Dr. Lloyd-Jones in Acts 8:5-12 how the Gospel goes to Samaria as the apostles encounter Simon the magician. He used his so called magic to make a great name for himself and to win the adoration of the people. But he is shown to be an evil man who uses false religion to deceive people and to lead astray. This deceptive and demonic kind of false spirituality that Simon the magician used is no different from the many spiritualistic religions of the modern man. Both reject true Christianity, both use spiritualistic practices, whether it be magic or drugs, and both are ultimately false religions. This is why the church of today must be clear and bold in its witness to the truth of the Gospel of Jesus Christ as the only means of salvation from sin and death.
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.