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Sermon #5492

When First You Believe

A Sermon on Acts 9:6


Acts 9:6 ESV KJV
But rise and enter the city, and you will be told what you are to do.” (ESV)

Sermon Description

The world wants salvation in addition to the current way of life. It wants to remain in sin while enjoying the hope of heaven. In this sermon on Acts 9:6 titled “When First You Believe,” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones dispels this myth by confronting the cold heart that hears of Christ’s work on the cross yet remains emotionally unmoved and entrenched in sin. Salvation involves a grief over sin that demands immediate, eternal separation from God in hell. True conversion requires the conviction of the heart and mind over the grief of sin and the guilt that one cannot escape, and results in a triumphant faith that fears sin because of the price paid by the Savior. The saving truth of the gospel changes everything and leaves joyful praise from a new heart overflowing with the love of God. The proof of salvation flows in obedience to His Word and affection from the King.

Sermon Breakdown

  1. Dr. Lloyd-Jones is emphasizing that true belief in Christ involves more than just an intellectual ascent to the truth. It involves the whole person - the emotions, will, and mind.
  2. Temporary believers think they believe but have never truly been saved. They have only given intellectual assent to the truth.
  3. The Bible describes true believers as those who not only believe in Christ but love Him and rejoice in Him. Christianity takes up the whole person.
  4. During revivals, people have always manifested strange feelings like awe, alarm, joy, and ecstasy. Revivals are times of intense activity of the Holy Spirit, just as in normal times. The Holy Spirit's work is the same, so the consequences are the same.
  5. The preacher is not trying to frighten anyone into salvation. Only the Holy Spirit can bring someone to salvation. The preacher's role is to present the truth.
  6. When people see and know the truth, it will lead to trembling. Saul trembled when he saw the truth about himself and Christ. We must tremble at the truth too, or we have not truly seen it.
  7. The Old Testament says the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. The New Testament says it is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God. Jesus Himself warned of weeping and gnashing of teeth. Many examples show people trembling before God.
  8. People tremble before God because of His majesty, glory, power, holiness, and the realization of what would have happened to them without Christ.
  9. A Christian is one who sees clearly that without Christ, he would have gone to hell. He has looked into hell and knows only Christ's love saved him from it.

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.