Professing Themselves Wise
A Sermon on Acts 7:20-29
20At this time Moses was born; and he was beautiful to God. He was nurtured for three months in his father’s home. 21And after he had been put outside, Pharaoh’s daughter took him away and nurtured him as her own son. 22Moses was educated in all the wisdom of the Egyptians, and he was proficient in speaking and action. 23But when he was approaching the age of forty, it entered his mind to visit his countrymen, the sons of Israel. 24And when he saw one of them being treated unjustly, he defended and took vengeance for the oppressed man by fatally striking the Egyptian. 25And he thought that his brothers understood that God was granting them deliverance through him; but they did not understand. 26And on the following day he appeared to them as they were fighting each other, and he tried to reconcile them to peace, by saying, ‘Men, you are brothers, why are you injuring each other?’ 27But the one who was injuring his neighbor pushed him away, saying, ‘Who made you a ruler and judge over us? 28You do not intend to kill me as you killed the Egyptian yesterday, do you?’ 29At this remark, Moses fled and became a stranger in the land of Midian, where he fathered two sons.
20In which time Moses was born, and was exceeding fair, and nourished up in his father’s house three months: 21And when he was cast out, Pharaoh’s daughter took him up, and nourished him for her own son. 22And Moses was learned in all the wisdom of the Egyptians, and was mighty in words and in deeds. 23And when he was full forty years old, it came into his heart to visit his brethren the children of Israel. 24And seeing one of them suffer wrong, he defended him, and avenged him that was oppressed, and smote the Egyptian: 25For he supposed his brethren would have understood how that God by his hand would deliver them: but they understood not. 26And the next day he shewed himself unto them as they strove, and would have set them at one again, saying, Sirs, ye are brethren; why do ye wrong one to another? 27But he that did his neighbour wrong thrust him away, saying, Who made thee a ruler and a judge over us? 28Wilt thou kill me, as thou diddest the Egyptian yesterday? 29Then fled Moses at this saying, and was a stranger in the land of Madian, where he begat two sons.
Sin impacts everyone. No one can escape the devastating reality of the fallen world. What began in the garden with Adam and Eve, continues to corrupt everyone today. This corruption and depravity applies to all of human faculties, especially the mind. As Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones describes in this sermon titled “Professing Themselves Wise,” this accounts for the fundamentally wrong perceptions of God that fallen humans have. They are unable to understand God and His attributes. They are unable to receive His revelation that is clearly seen in nature and uniquely revealed in Scripture. But there is a unique danger when the church loses sight of the gospel it is to proclaim. Even the church can be drawn aside all too quickly from proclaiming the pure milk of the word and begin delivering only a message of moral conformity or comfort and ease. When the church does not understand the root of all unbelief in the corrupted mind and nature, it will fail to see the great the need for the gospel. The antidote, as Dr. Lloyd-Jones proclaims, is to diligently study the word and boldly preach the gospel. For this alone is the power that can restore and renew hearts and minds. This is the message that must be proclaimed.
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.