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Sermon #2117

Do You Understand?

A Sermon on Acts 8:29-30


Acts 8:29-30 ESV KJV
And the Spirit said to Philip, “Go over and join this chariot.” So Philip ran to him and heard him reading Isaiah the prophet and asked, “Do you understand what you are reading?” (ESV)

Sermon Description

Why can't the world figure out its own need for salvation? In the sermon “Do You Understand?” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones shows from Acts 8:29­–30 how the natural human is blinded to the truth of God. That is, they are unable to understand the spiritual things because they are fleshly and carnal. This is why those in the church who want to change the Christian message to be more accommodating to modern people are so mistaken. Modern humanity’s problem with the Christian message is really nothing unique. It is the product of an unbelieving and sinful nature. They do not need a more up-to-date message; their problem is much deeper. It is one of spiritual blindness and deadness. This is why only those who the Holy Spirit of God enlightens can see and believe in the gospel of Jesus Christ. Only God can give sinful people a new heart and mind that seeks after what is good and holy, and only He can work the miracle of regeneration so that those who were once dead can come to life in Christ. This is the Christian message that is so necessary in this time and in all times. This is the only message that the church has been given to proclaim to this broken and sin-filled world.

Sermon Breakdown

  1. The passage for the sermon is Acts 8:30-31. Philip asks the Ethiopian eunuch if he understands what he is reading from Isaiah. The eunuch replies that he cannot understand without guidance.

  2. The story of Philip and the Ethiopian eunuch shows how one becomes a Christian and the nature of the Christian church.

  3. The eunuch was religious but still troubled. Many today are in a similar position, resting in religion but not truly Christian.

  4. The eunuch needed the message of salvation through Jesus Christ. Though he was reading it in Isaiah, he did not understand it.

  5. Many today look at the Christian message but do not understand it. Like the eunuch, they need guidance and instruction.

  6. The natural man cannot understand the Christian message. It is foolishness to him. Only through the Holy Spirit can one understand.

  7. The Christian message deals with the supernatural, the eternal, the divine. It cannot be understood through human reason alone.

  8. The message centers on the triune God - Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. This is a mystery beyond human comprehension.

  9. The message tells of God's plan of salvation through Jesus Christ. This is also beyond human understanding.

  10. Jesus Christ is both God and man. This hypostatic union is a mystery.

  11. The atonement - that Christ died for our sins - is foolishness to human wisdom. It is a mystery of godliness.

  12. The new birth is a mystery. We can only observe its effects, not understand how it happens.

  13. The natural man is limited and finite. He cannot search out God. God's ways are unsearchable.

  14. The natural man is spiritually dead. He lacks the spiritual faculty to understand spiritual truth.

  15. The natural man is at enmity with God. His mind is opposed to God and cannot understand His truth.

  16. God has made the gospel message incomprehensible to humble the pride of man. His wisdom is beyond man's wisdom.

  17. If the gospel could be understood only by the wise and learned, it would not be good news for all. God's love offers it to all.

  18. To understand the gospel, one needs guidance and instruction from God. One must become like a child - humble, teachable, and dependent.

The Book of Acts

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.