The God Who Reveals Himself
A Sermon on Acts 7:2
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,
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,
How is God at work today? In this sermon on Acts 7:2 titled “The God Who Reveals Himself,” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones begins by showing how throughout the Bible God revealed Himself through His actions and words. This begins in the Old Testament with the law and the prophets where God revealed His nature and will to the Jews. Now He has revealed Himself in Jesus Christ, His only begotten Son. The Messiah was sent into the world to accomplish the Father’s will and all that was foretold in the prophets and the book of the law. Jesus Christ came to pay the ransom for sin and provide the only way to be reconciled to God. As Dr. Lloyd-Jones describes, this is the outworking of God’s great plan of redemption proclaimed in the Old Testament. Not only does Jesus come to save the lost, but in His work God is seen more fully. This is how God is known, not through philosophical reflection but through his Son, God incarnate. Without God’s revelation, humanity would never be able to know Him as He is. God has come into His creation and He took a human nature upon Himself. He was born of a virgin and lived a sinless life and died a horrific death, but then rose from the grave and is alive today. This is God in human flesh. He is the one who came into the world to save sinners and to reveal Himself to those who are blind.
- Stephen gives a review of Jewish history to show the Sanhedrin their error and misinterpretation.
- Stephen starts with Abraham to show God has always worked outside of Jerusalem and the temple.
- Stephen emphasizes God appeared to Abraham before he lived in Haran to show God is not confined to any place.
- Stephen shows the Sanhedrin have misunderstood the nature, intent and purpose of the law and temple worship.
- The gospel is not just Jesus’ teaching but God’s actions and work in history.
- The Bible is primarily a history book, recording events that literally happened.
- The early church incorporated the Old Testament to show the same God works in both.
- People reject the gospel today for the same reasons as in the Bible: prejudice, false ideas of religion and misunderstanding Christianity.
- People think they are alright without the gospel or already have it but are still unclear on vital matters.
- People trust in their own religion, practices and good works instead of realizing their need for Christ.
- We must start with a general view of the whole gospel before particulars to gain clarity.
- The gospel is not just for today but interested in all of history and life. We must consider the whole.
- The gospel addresses all of life: where we came from, the world, universe, time, history and final questions.
- The modern man thinks the world began with him but must realize he is part of history and all others.
- Western civilization comes from the Bible; we cannot understand it or the modern world without the gospel.
- The gospel starts with God, not man. Anthropology should not replace theology.
- God is personal, living, and unlike pagan gods. He is not an idea or creation of philosophy.
- God is incomprehensible, immortal, invisible, and unapproachable in his glory. No one has seen or can see him.
- Reason and understanding have limits. The world cannot know God through wisdom. His thoughts and ways are higher than ours.
- Our only hope is for God to reveal himself. He has through creation, nature, history, acts, words, prophecy, chosen men, Jesus.
- God revealed himself to Abraham, Jacob, Moses, Isaiah, and others giving glimpses of his glory.
- God revealed himself as personal, the great “I Am,” righteous, just, the judge, and through providence and miracles.
- Have you met this God? There is an invariable reaction: fear, reverence, awe, repentance, realizing our unworthiness.
- Finally, God revealed himself in Jesus, the only begotten Son, the glory of God in the face of Christ. He is our only hope.
- We can hide in the Rock of Ages, Jesus Christ, who was cleft for us. We must cry out to him in our despair.
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.