1Now the high priest said, “Are these things so?”
2And Stephen said, “Listen to me, brothers and fathers! The God of glory appeared to our father Abraham when he was in Mesopotamia, before he lived in Haran, 3and He said to him, ‘Go from …
1Then said the high priest, Are these things so? 2And he said, Men, brethren, and fathers, hearken; The God of glory appeared unto our father Abraham, when he was in Mesopotamia, before he dwelt in Charran, 3And said unto him, Get thee out of thy country, and …
God will always keep His promises. His great plan of redemption of the whole world through the work of Christ Jesus is enacted through covenants. Listen in this sermon from Acts 7:1–8 titled “The God of Covenants” as Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones shows how these great redemptive events form the background of the work of Christ. This redemptive work is for the salvation of individuals and was planned before the foundations of the earth to glorify His name. This great and sovereign plan is important because it exalts God and humbles humanity. It was this sovereign call that brought the pagan Abram to come and worship the true God and declared him righteous. God has planned both the beginning and the end of all things, and He works in history to bring about His plan. Christians should rest in this great truth; God’s plan will be brought to pass. In this outworking of God’s great plan of salvation, He chooses to make covenants with humanity. He made a covenant with Noah after the flood and promised He would not flood the world again. He made a covenant with Abraham and gave Him the sign of circumcision. It is Jesus who came and brought a new covenant, the fulfillment of all God’s promises. It is this great truth that the early church proclaimed. It is salvation in Christ as the fulfillment of God’s great plan.
- God has a plan of redemption that he conceived before the foundation of the world.
- God's plan is to redeem the whole cosmos and universe, not just individuals.
- God's plan is detailed and precise. He knows exactly what will happen and when. Nothing happens by accident.
- God's plan centers around covenants or promises that he makes. The covenants are not bargains but free acts of God's grace.
- God's plan is miraculous and supernatural. It cannot be understood by human wisdom or ability.
- God's plan involves preparing a people for himself. He started with Abraham and formed the nation of Israel to teach the world about himself.
- The ultimate purpose of God's plan was to send his Son Jesus Christ into the world. Jesus is the fulfillment of God's promises and the means by which the world is blessed.
- We cannot understand God's plan and salvation by our own understanding. We must accept it by faith as a mystery ordained by God for his glory.
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.