The Individual Writ Large
A Sermon on Acts 8:4-12
Philip in Samaria
4Therefore, those who had been scattered went through places preaching the word. 5Philip went down to the city of Samaria and began proclaiming the Christ to them. 6The crowds were paying attention with one mind to what was being said by Philip, as they …
4Therefore they that were scattered abroad went every where preaching the word. 5Then Philip went down to the city of Samaria, and preached Christ unto them. 6And the people with one accord gave heed unto those things which Philip spake, hearing and seeing the miracles which he …
The gospel is given for individual salvation, but it has implications for the whole world. In the sermon “The Individual Whit Large” on Acts 8:4–12, Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones explains how nations and societies will never be good and upright until the individuals who make up these societies and nations are transformed. This is why people who say things like “Christianity is about world peace” and “we should not be concerned with individuals, but with societies” misunderstand the message of the church as seen in the Bible and particularly in the Acts of the Apostles. The apostles did not tell the Roman emperor what to do nor did they start a protest. They proclaimed the kingship of the crucified and risen Messiah, Jesus Christ. It is this Jesus who died so that all would be saved from the wrath of God and made right with God. As Dr. Lloyd-Jones proclaims, there is no other message that can save. It is not the message of the humanist who sees people as good by nature, and not the message of the philosopher who thinks that by using right reason, people will be able to stop all war and evil. No, it is only the message of Jesus that offers any hope for this sin-filled world.
- The passage shows what exactly the Christian message is. The church spread the message of the Gospel.
- The Christian message is the word, a given message, a distinct message, a discrete message. It's not vague or uncertain.
- The message Philip preached was that Jesus is the Son of God, come to save the world by dying on the cross.
- The message also includes the new birth - God gives people new hearts, new natures, and new desires.
- The message is primarily personal, but not only personal. It also speaks to the state of the world.
- The world, apart from the Gospel, is without hope. Humanism, philosophy, politics, and pacifism offer no hope.
- The Christian message alone gives hope for life and the world. It explains the state of the world and man's condition.
- The world is as it is because evil powers are in control. The devil has affected the whole world and universe.
- Man cannot solve the world's problems because he is governed by sin, not intellect. Appealing to man is useless.
- Jesus gives hope not just by teaching, but by what He has done and will do. He conquered evil, the devil, and death.
- Jesus is now seated in glory, waiting for His enemies to be defeated. He is calling people out of the world into His kingdom.
- Jesus will return, judge His enemies, destroy evil, and purge the universe of sin's effects. There will be a new heaven and earth.
- The message is realistic, telling the truth about us, the world, God, and His purpose. The future is certain based on prophecy and Jesus' victory.
- The question is: do you believe this message? Believe in Jesus now and have hope for now and eternity. Without belief there is no hope.
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.