Preaching In Acts 2
The sermon we read in Acts chapter two, delivered by the apostle
Peter on the Day of Pentecost, is about Jesus Christ and the action
sinners should take to be saved. It is also a valuable resource, instructing
preachers and listeners about the content of
good preaching. Consider just these three things.
Preaching must have aim. It should not be viewed as simply "filling the pulpit," or keeping people in their seats for 30 minutes. Peter spoke truth from God, aimed at the mind and conscience of the people in the audience. It was not an academic lecture; it was the truth about Christ, directed to people who need Him.
Preaching must call for action. As truth from God is presented, aimed at the minds of those listening - the preacher must lead people to see their duty to respond, to act upon the truth presented. This is what "the invitation" is all about; calling upon the people in the audience to act upon the truth God has given in His Word.
Preaching must abound in evidence. The preacher must use the Scriptures to prove what he says, thus letting the Word convince and convict. The fact that a man can speak in public or "hold" a preaching job is no reason to believe what he says. Audiences should demand proof from the source, God's Word. Though he was an apostle of Jesus Christ, filled with the Holy Spirit, the apostle Peter gave proof from the Scriptures. He quoted from Joel and David. Then, in affirming the resurrection, he cited the evidence of witnesses. Preaching that pleases God gives book, chapter and verse. Good preaching relies upon context and text, asking the people in the audience to search the Scriptures.
What results followed Peter's preaching?
"The hearts of stone turned to hearts of flesh, and pricked to the quick with the stinging sense of sin; the bloodstained crucifiers of the Lord hastening to wash away their sins in the waters of baptism; the bold deniers and blasphemers of the Lord confessing him to be both Lord and Christ; the scoffers who had said, 'These men are full of new wine,' now acknowledging them as brethren, and inquiring of them, 'What shall we do?' and in one hour three thousand souls were added to the company of the disciples. From that moment the Church stood out before the world as a house built upon an imperishable rock. It took its form and shape among men as a building of God, the habitation of his Spirit, never to be taken down. And it has stood ever since, defying the power of weather and of time; and it will stand through all the fluctuations of human opinion and the convulsions of human institutions, till he whom Peter proclaimed as Lord and Christ shall appear in his glory, and his Church shall be glorified with him."
(Quoted from Pulpit Commentary, slightly edited).
By Warren E. Berkley
From Expository Files 10.8; August 2003