6But Paul, perceiving that one group were Sadducees and the other Pharisees, began crying out in the Council, “Brothers, I am a Pharisee, a son of Pharisees; I am on trial for the hope and resurrection of the dead!” 7When he said this, a dissension occurred between the Pharisees and Sadducees, and the assembly was divided. 8For the Sadducees say that there is no resurrection, nor an angel, nor a spirit, but the Pharisees acknowledge them all.
6But when Paul perceived that the one part were Sadducees, and the other Pharisees, he cried out in the council, Men and brethren, I am a Pharisee, the son of a Pharisee: of the hope and resurrection of the dead I am called in question. 7And when he had so said, there arose a dissension between the Pharisees and the Sadducees: and the multitude was divided. 8For the Sadducees say that there is no resurrection, neither angel, nor spirit: but the Pharisees confess both.
Being religious does not guarantee salvation. In this sermon on Acts 23:6–8 titled “Unbelief and Division,” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones shows how there are many in Scripture who pass themselves off as being deeply religious, but are not saved. This is the condition of the Jewish Pharisees and Sadducees that opposed the apostles, particularly Paul, and they represented the unbelieving in many respects. They are well-educated intellectuals who are blinded by their sin from believing in the gospel of Jesus Christ. This unbelief is prejudiced opposition. They oppose the message of Christ because it contradicts their traditions, for they had no place for a crucified Messiah who had no kingdom and who came from an uneducated family. Unlike the Jewish leaders, he was not born into the top of the social pyramid and educated. Dr. Lloyd-Jones explains how modern humanity rejects the gospel for many of the same reasons. They think it is backwards and old fashioned. They say it is intellectually ridiculous, but this prejudice is the result of sin. Humanity’s problems with Christianity are never simply intellectual or moral, but at the core of these beliefs lies opposition to God and His law. All are dead in trespasses and sin and unable to evaluate the truth claims of Christianity as merely rational thinkers. They are prompted by their sinful nature to oppose this message. This why the gospel must be a supernatural message, for without the regenerating power of the Holy Spirit, no one would be able to believe and be saved.
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.