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Sermon #2104

Great Joy in that City

A Sermon on Acts 8:8


Acts 8:8 ESV KJV
So there was much joy in that city. (ESV)

Sermon Description

Is it wrong to seek after joy and pleasure? Those pursuits are nothing new to humanity as it chases after lasting happiness in art, music, and drama. This pursuit of pleasure and joy has become even more prominent in modern times. But as Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones explains in the sermon “Great Joy in that City” on Acts 8:8, humanity’s pursuit of pleasure is often driven by sinful desires and passions. This is seen in rampant drug usage where people seek to escape the ills of the world by numbing their minds. This is in complete antithesis to Christian joy that is brought by the Holy Spirit and the redemptive work of God in their lives. This is the only true joy and it comes from the gospel of Jesus Christ that alone can transform this world, not as an escape from the world’s problems. It comes from believing the truth about the world, oneself, and God. It is real joy that comes from being at peace with God and having eternal life in Christ Jesus. This is the joyful message that the church is to bring to the whole world: though all are sinners in rebellion to their God, God has sent his only begotten Son into the world to pay the wages of sin and provide the only way of salvation.

Sermon Breakdown

  1. The sermon text is Acts 8:8 which states "And there was great joy in that city". This verse describes the result of the people of Samaria believing the gospel preached by Philip.

  2. The sermon reminds us of the true nature and character of the Christian faith, message and church which is one of joy.

  3. The spread of Christianity from Jerusalem as prophesied by Jesus is shown through Philip preaching in Samaria. Christianity has now spread to every country.

  4. The gospel is essential for joy and happiness. Most people reject it because they do not truly understand it.

  5. The world cannot give us lasting joy. Its pleasures do not last and cannot address life's sorrows like illness, loss and death.

  6. Philosophy also cannot give us joy. The great philosophers were often unhappy and had a "tragic sense of life". They could only teach endurance.

  7. Other religions like Hinduism and Buddhism are profoundly pessimistic. They do not offer joy.

  8. Psychology and cults claim to offer joy but only through self-deception and temporary means. They do not address the root causes of unhappiness.

  9. Christianity alone offers true joy through changing us internally, not just our circumstances. It gives joy as a byproduct of believing the truth.

  10. The gospel addresses the past through forgiveness of sins, the present through new life and power, and the future through God's sovereignty and heaven.

  11. The Christian can rejoice always because he knows God is in control of all things for his good. He can face any circumstance with joy in the Lord.

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.