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Sermon #2098

Principalities and Powers

A Sermon on Acts 8:5-12


Acts 8:5-12 ESV KJV
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 …

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Sermon Description

Rebellion against God takes many forms. While some reject all notions of religion, more often rebellion shows up in substituting a belief system in place of the gospel of Christ. In the sermon “Principalities and Powers,” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones exposes false faith as he shows how modern day humanity turns to the failed faiths such as new age mysticism, eastern religions like Buddhism, in rejection of the only true God. Humanity’s instinct for faith refuses to be satisfied with the God of the Bible. Dr. Lloyd-Jones shares from 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 lead them 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 humanity. Both reject true Christianity and 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.

Sermon Breakdown

  1. The passage describes Philip preaching the gospel in Samaria and the response of the people.
  2. The people of Samaria were in a desperate condition, under the influence of evil spirits and false teachers like Simon the sorcerer.
  3. The world today is in a similar desperate condition, under the influence of false philosophies and teachings that cannot provide real answers.
  4. False teachers like Simon proclaim themselves as great thinkers but only offer false hope and temporary solutions. They prey on people's uncertainty, unhappiness, and desire for purpose.
  5. The world recognizes its need for spiritual authority and purpose but looks to false sources like the occult, drugs, and false religions.
  6. Only the gospel of Jesus Christ provides the real solution to the human condition. Jesus conquered the powers of evil and provides true salvation and joy.
  7. We must recognize the depth of the world's need in order to understand why the gospel is the only answer. The worse the world's condition becomes, the more it will recognize its need for the gospel.
  8. The gospel is not a theory but proclaims the historical facts of Jesus's life, death, and resurrection. He is the only one who can solve mankind's deepest problems.
  9. We must believe in Jesus and receive the salvation and joy He offers.

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.