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 heard and saw the signs which he was performing. 7For in the case of many …
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 did. 7For unclean spirits, crying with loud voice, came out of many …
Why does the church seem to be so ineffective? In the sermon “The Wrath of God,” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones says that the church is ineffective because it has departed from the apostolic example seen in Acts 8:5–12. He says that the apostles boldly proclaimed the gospel of Christ to all. They spoke of Christ’s death and resurrection and of His spirit-empowered ministry. They never shied away from the hard truth of God’s wrath and humanity’s sin but preached the gospel as the only way to escape the wrath of God and be redeemed. It is this message on which the early church was founded. They did not shrink from declaring the gospel to all, both Jew and Gentile. If the church is to be a light in a dark world, it must look to the gospel of Jesus Christ as the basis for the transformation and redemption of the whole world. The church has been given no other message; it has no other power than the Spirit of God working through the proclamation of the gospel in the hearts of fallen men and women. The modern church must look like the apostles and the early church in order to imitate them. The church does not need anything new to engage the world; all that it needs has been given in God’s word.
- The passage being discussed is Acts 8:4-12 which describes the spread of Christianity from Jerusalem to Samaria.
- Christianity spread from a small beginning to become a global religion. There is confusion today about what Christianity really is.
- The Bible, especially Acts, shows what authentic Christianity is. Christianity is not about opinions but what is recorded in Scripture.
- The world is the scene of a spiritual conflict between God and the devil. The state of the world can only be explained by this conflict.
- Philip preached the gospel in Samaria. The gospel is the message about the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ.
- The message Philip preached was about Jesus - his virgin birth, perfect life, miracles, death, and resurrection. This proves Jesus is the Son of God.
- Jesus came to seek and save the lost. To save means to deliver from sin, God's wrath, hell, and the devil. All are under God's wrath due to sin and need salvation.
- Jesus is the Christ, the promised Messiah and Savior. He alone can save from sin and reconcile to God. Salvation is by faith alone in Christ alone.
- Jesus had to become man to save man. He identified with man in his baptism and life. He lived a perfect life and defeated sin, the devil, and death.
- Jesus had to die to satisfy God's justice and holiness. Sin must be punished, and the wages of sin is death. Jesus bore the punishment for sin in our place.
- By believing in Jesus, one's sins are forgiven and one is clothed in Christ's righteousness. There is joy and peace in believing.
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.