39Our fathers were unwilling to be obedient to him; on the contrary they rejected him and turned back to Egypt in their hearts, 40saying to Aaron, ‘Make us a god who will go before us; for this Moses who led us out of the land …
39To whom our fathers would not obey, but thrust him from them, and in their hearts turned back again into Egypt, 40Saying unto Aaron, Make us gods to go before us: for as for this Moses, which brought us out of the land of Egypt, we wot not …
All Christians must consider their idols and what they worship. Preaching “The Golden Calf” from Acts 7:39–43, Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones starts with the ancient Israelites, who after being delivered from their bondage in Egypt, fashioned an idol of gold made in the image of a calf. They then proceed to bow down and worship it, even claiming that it was this was the god that brought them out of Egypt. Dr. Lloyd-Jones points out that modern humanity is no different. While it is true that most do not make graven images to bow down to, nevertheless they fashion idols out of money, cars, houses, and pleasure. They worship their own humanity and greatness. The consequences for rejecting the true and living God and worshipping idols in His place are most severe. Scripture tells of the great day of wrath that will pour out on all who reject the true God and do not believe in the gospel of Jesus Christ. There is no escaping this judgment, for God has commanded that He alone be worshipped and praised. But God has provided a means of salvation and freedom from sin and idolatry. He has sent his only Son into the world to save all who believe and repent. Jesus Christ died upon the cross and rose from the grave so that all may know and worship God as He is.
- Stephen was on trial for preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ. The Sanhedrin rejected this message and charged Stephen with blasphemy against Moses and God.
- Stephen's defense was that the Sanhedrin had misunderstood their own history and the role of Moses. Moses himself had prophesied the coming of Jesus.
- The root issue is man's rejection of the word of God which has been the continual downfall of mankind. This is still the issue today.
- The world misunderstands the gospel message. The gospel does not promise to reform the world or solve mankind's problems. It promises salvation from the world for those who believe.
- Man believes the gospel is about following moral teachings but man is incapable of following these teachings. The gospel says man is opposed to God and unable to please Him.
- The ultimate cause of man's troubles is his foolishness and self-deception. Man thinks he is wise but he is a fool.
- Man is foolish in thinking he can make God and determine truth for himself based on his own reason and intellect. Man sits in judgment on God's word and determines what is right or wrong.
- Man is foolish in thinking he understands himself and how life should be lived apart from God's word. Man rejects God's assessment of his condition.
- Man shows he is a fool by what he chooses to worship. He worships the works of his own hands, animals, nature, money, pleasure, and himself. He turns from the Creator to the creation.
- Man turns from God's law and truth to lawlessness and license. He rejects God's moral law and pursues sin and unrighteousness.
- Man turns from the freedom and joy found in God to slavery and fear. He is enslaved to the rule of sin and lives in fear due to being separated from God.
- Man rejoices and finds pleasure in his sin and rejection of God. He congratulates himself for his foolishness rather than mourning over it.
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.