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Sermon #5634

The Ignorance of Man

A Sermon on 1 Timothy 1:13


1 Timothy 1:13 ESV KJV
though formerly I was a blasphemer, persecutor, and insolent opponent. But I received mercy because I had acted ignorantly in unbelief, (ESV)

Sermon Description

In this sermon on the ignorance of man, Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones reads the powerful words of Paul in 1 Timothy 1:13 where Paul confesses that he used to be the vilest of men. He was a blasphemer, a persecutor, and an incredibly violent man. Dr. Lloyd-Jones draws attention to something else the apostle mentions: his ignorance. Paul did all that evil because he acted in ignorance, and yet Paul was a learned man, Dr. Lloyd-Jones says. He was among the best educated, but with all his knowledge, Paul was bankrupt without Christ. Paul had placed his own life in the power of his intellect and the Jewish laws. However, when confronted on the road to Damascus, the apostle saw his wrong. Dr. Lloyd-Jones says that Paul represents many people today. They place their trust in mortal knowledge, and they call Christians ignorant for believing in something so old. But Dr. Lloyd-Jones reminds us that no human knowledge since Christ has solved spiritual problems. What happens after death? How should a person live? These are questions worldly understanding cannot answer. In closing, he invites those who have yet to believe to come into the knowledge of God, and to trust in His everlasting love and grace.

Sermon Breakdown

  1. The sermon examines the conversion of the apostle Paul from Saul of Tarsus.
  2. Paul's conversion is remarkable given his background and shows how God can change anyone.
  3. Before his conversion, Paul was ignorant in many ways despite being intelligent and well-educated.
  4. Paul was ignorant of himself and his own ignorance. He thought he was righteous but did not truly know himself.
  5. Paul was ignorant of God's law. He knew the details but missed the overall spirit and purpose of the law.
  6. Paul was ignorant of the true nature of sin. He thought sin was just outward actions but did not realize it was a powerful inner principle.
  7. Paul was ignorant of God's mercy and love. He did not see his need for it because he thought he was righteous.
  8. Many today are like Paul was - ignorant of themselves, God's law, sin, and God's mercy. They see no need for Christ.
  9. Only those who see themselves as sinners can understand Christ's sacrifice and mercy.
  10. We have no excuse for ignorance. We must accept God's offer of mercy in Christ like Paul did.

Face to Face with Christ

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.