37This is the Moses who said to the sons of Israel, ‘God will raise up for you a prophet like me from your countrymen.’ 38This is the one who was in the assembly in the wilderness together with the angel who spoke to him at length …
37¶ This is that Moses, which said unto the children of Israel, A prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you of your brethren, like unto me; him shall ye hear. 38This is he, that was in the church in the wilderness with the angel which …
How does God speak today? The only way to hear the voice of God is by reading his word. As Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones proclaims from Acts 7:37–38 in the sermon “God Speaks,” the Scriptures were recorded by mere humans, inspired by God, and grouped into what is known today as the Bible. Yet in Old Testament times, God spoke to His people. This is seen all throughout Israel’s history, beginning with God’s call to Abraham to come out of the pagan land of his fathers and to travel to the land that God promised would belong to his descendants. In the life of Moses, God spoke through him to lead His people out of bondage in Egypt. These men received oracles from God to deliver to His people. This is how God is known. It is through His revelation that He tells His plan of salvation and of the coming of Christ. This word is powerful and is the means by which one comes to know the gospel. It is not like the words of people that fail and falter, but it is the word of the living God. This is the foundation on which the church stands, and it is this word that the church is to proclaim. It is not to come up with clever ideas and stories, but it is to tell the world what God has said in his holy word.
- Stephen is addressing the Sanhedrin, the Jewish religious court. He is on trial for blasphemy against the temple and the law.
- Stephen gives a history of the Jewish people, focusing on Abraham, Joseph, and Moses. He is showing how the Sanhedrin is rejecting Jesus, just as their ancestors rejected the prophets.
- Stephen focuses particularly on Moses. He says Moses received the living oracles, the law, from God and passed them onto the people. The law and the prophets both came through Moses.
- The Jews are unique because God spoke to them. They received God's word. This is what made them God's people. All other nations failed to know God through their own wisdom and efforts.
- God revealed Himself and His truth to Moses and the prophets. They did not discover it through their own ability and wisdom. God imparted knowledge to them, and they passed it on.
- God spoke in many ways, including through angels, theophanies, and by His Spirit coming upon the prophets. The Bible is God's infallible word, not man's ideas.
- The knowledge in the Bible, like creation and the moral law, shows it is from God, not man. Prophecy proves God spoke through the prophets.
- All we have to do is receive God's word, like Moses and the prophets did. We must become like little children, admitting we know nothing and are ready to listen to God. We must give up trusting in human wisdom and efforts.
- The story of Paul shows how we must go from thinking we know to realizing we know nothing and asking God what He would have us do. We must listen to God's word with humility.
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.