Stephen’s great sermon as recorded in Acts 7 provides the opportunity for this excellent expositor, Martyn Lloyd-Jones, to mine spiritual riches from the initial 29 verses. Lloyd-Jones provides the reader with a better understanding of Stephen’s words and draws from the Old Testament to discuss characters and events that point to the coming of the incarnate Christ.
Stephen was addressing the Sanhedrin. He challenged them to consider their heritage in the Old Testament that they professed to hold dearly. In reality, the Old Testament pointed to the Christ whom they had recently crucified.
In the 20 sermons that compose this volume, we find the former minister of Westminster Chapel applying scriptural truths to hearts and lives. These sermons were preached in l966. The memory of World War II and the reality of the Vietnam War provided ample examples of man’s depravity and God’s grace. We are a generation removed from that era. However, examples of man’s depravity and man’s need of God’s grace surround us. These sermons are relevant for our time.
In the opening sermon, “Listen,” Lloyd-Jones examines why the Sanhedrin and many others fail to understand scriptural truth. Further, he shows the imperative for believers to listen to the Word of God.
Subsequent sermons examine such topics as faith, God’s work in the life of a sinner, the relevance of properly understanding history, and why humanism has failed. Sermons take the reader into the lives of Abraham, Joseph, and Moses. Each was a type of Christ.
Lloyd-Jones preaches to the heart. He magnifies salvation as totally a gift from God. He completely strips away the veneer of man’s works, status, or theological knowledge as having any bearing whatsoever on one’s salvation. His focus is on God’s answer for man, the atoning work of Christ, and His all-sufficient resurrection. Thus, as the book’s title reminds us, Christianity is glorious.
The pastor does not show how Christianity can be applied to every area of life to produce a changed culture. His focus is on the need for a God-changed heart. This is the beginning point for universal change.
This pastor spoke with compassion, conviction, and clarity. God was pleased to bless his ministry. This is a good volume to read and feed one’s soul. It is a good example of expository preaching. It could be effective in witnessing to those of the Jewish faith because of its concentration on the Old Testament. It also shows how liberalism can be answered and how we are to understand the present in light of the past.
This is the fourth volume in the series Studies in the Book of Acts.
- Byron Snapp
Byron Snapp is a graduate of King College (B.A.) and Reformed Theological Seminary (M.Div.). He was Associate Pastor at Calvary Reformed Presbyterian Church, Hampton, Virginia, from 1994 until his retirement in December 2014. He is a native of Marion, Virginia. He has had pastorates in Leakesville, Mississippi, and Gaffney, South Carolina. He served as Assistant Pastor in Cedar Bluff, Virginia prior to his ministry at Calvary Reformed. He has served as editor of the Presbyterian Witness and was a contributor to A Comprehensive Faith and Election Day Sermons. He is currently a member of Westminster Presbytery in the PCA. He and his wife Janey have 3 children and several grandchildren.