They Glorified God
A Sermon on Galatians 1:21-24
21Then I went into the regions of Syria and Cilicia. 22I was still unknown by sight to the churches of Judea which are in Christ; 23but they only kept hearing, “The man who once persecuted us is now preaching the faith which he once tried to destroy.” …
21Afterwards I came into the regions of Syria and Cilicia; 22And was unknown by face unto the churches of Judaea which were in Christ: 23But they had heard only, That he which persecuted us in times past now preacheth the faith which once he destroyed. 24And …
Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones opens his sermon by reading from Galatians 1:21-24. Within, Paul addresses the early church, giving a brief overstory of his life, explaining how he used to persecute the church. But after his conversion, when Christians saw him preaching the faith he sought to destroy, they glorified God. This personal history Paul gives, Dr. Lloyd-Jones explains, is important for many reasons. Firstly, it gives an account of a great historical mover. Even secular thought cannot deny the influence of Paul. But secondly, Paul’s account reveals the power of Christ in a person’s life. Dr. Lloyd-Jones points back to perilous moments in Paul’s life, the times he was incarcerated or beaten. But he did not turn from the faith. He praised God, from whom he drew his strength. This is how the Gospel can change a person’s life, Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones says. Christianity is more than a religion of morals. True Christianity changes a person. He or she becomes a new creation. The early church saw this within Paul, and they praised God for it. Dr. Lloyd-Jones closes his sermon by offering this life changing Gospel. For it is through the Good News that men and women understand Christ’s love and lasting peace.
- The conversion of Paul was one of the most important events in human history.
- Paul was one of the greatest men who ever lived, as evidenced by his influence and impact.
- Paul's life demonstrates what is possible for all Christians. His joy, peace, and mastery over life and death can be experienced by all believers.
- Paul's transformation was the result of God dealing with him and intervening in his life. God deals with all who become Christians.
- Paul's conversion resulted in a complete change in his life. He went from persecuting Christians to preaching the faith he once destroyed. There is no "in between" - you are either a Christian or not.
- Paul's new life was dominated and controlled by his faith. Christianity is not something you pick up and put down. It controls your thinking, behavior, and all of life.
- Paul's change was evident to others. When God gives someone new life, it is obvious and evident to all.
- Paul's transformation was the result of a new attitude toward the Christian faith. He went from hating and persecuting the faith to preaching it.
- The Christian faith proclaims that Jesus died for our sins and rose again so that we can have eternal life through faith in him.
- We must have the same response to the faith as Paul - belief and obedience. Otherwise we remain in our sins, outside of God's blessing.
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.