The Primacy of Preaching Christ, Part 1 (Acts 2:14-21) | Jared Betts

The Primacy of Preaching

We will begin our study with a question, how does one build a church? This is a critical question that every Christian must come to a clear and correct conviction on. To be wrong on this is not only detrimental to the spiritual vitality of the believer, but to the eternal salvation of the non-believer as well. To be wrong on this is to scoff at the sufficiency of Scripture either verbally, practically, or both. Meaning this, that some will either outright acknowledge that the Scripture is insufficient for the job of building the church, or others will offer lip service to the sufficiency of the Scripture only to have their practice betray their confession. Though they say they believe the Word is enough, they will not live consistently with what they profess to believe. We should understand that both, either knowingly or unknowingly, deny the sufficiency of the Scripture and show utter shame of the glorious gospel of Christ.

For many years now there has been much talk about church growth. There is a lot of advice out there that Pastors lean on to better understand how to build a church. For a brief moment in my week, I appealed to the sage advice of the supposed “experts” of today on what one must do to build a church. It all boils down to this:

  1. Brand yourself.
  2. Market yourself.
  3. Make yourself enticing to people.

To be honest, I already knew what I was going to encounter because the poison of pragmatism runs deep in the veins of contemporary Christianity, and it has for some time now.

The mantra of pragmatism is that “The end justifies the means.” If it works at achieving the intended goal, then it is good and true. When the goal, therefore, is primarily focused on merely getting people through the door, pragmatism says, “Do whatever it takes, and if what you are doing is not working, stop doing it because it is not good and do something else.” The pragmatist then looks at the unchurched, that is the unregenerate, the unsaved, and considers their likes and dislikes, wants and desires. In fact, some Pastors have even sent surveys out into their communities to discern what keeps the unbelievers among it from gathering with the church. They do this so they can then make themselves more attractive to the non-believing community around them by catering to their requests in hopes that their congregation will grow in number. The surveys will reveal one very clear thing among the non-believing community, and that is that they want nothing to do with the Living God as He has revealed Himself in His holy Word.

It is, therefore, no surprise that leading church growth gurus, men like Rick Warren and Andy Stanley whom many people go to for church growth advice, downplay the Scripture in their corporate gatherings. When discussing what preaching should look like in such an atmosphere that is catered toward being sensitive to the unbeliever, Warren said:

“You cannot start with a biblical text expecting the unchurched to be fascinated by it. You must first capture their attention.”

Andy Stanley revealed his view of the sufficiency of the Scripture in evangelism when said:

“For many adults “the Bible says” is not an adequate place to start your faith. The phrase “the Bible says” implies that our faith is grounded in the Scripture. The foundation of our faith is an event not a book. The problem with “the Bible says” is what else the Bible says. None of the other stuff in the Bible bothers you because you are a Christian, but for the rest of the culture it is incredibly problematic.”

What do these men understand? They know very well that the unsaved person wants nothing to do with God and His Word. The clear teaching of the Scripture, therefore, stands in the way of their intended goal of growing their church numerically. Contemporary Christianity then prioritize entertaining music, relevant programs, energetic personalities, and human experiences over the proclamation of the Word. They turn to sheer gimmickries in an attempt to please people. They make themselves the selling point. Mark that. It is all a solicitation of self.

This is not new to Christianity. In the latter part of the 20th century, James Montgomery Boice said this:

“The evangelical church is in bad trouble today, and part of the problem is that we do not even know it. We have abandoned our theology. We are substituting other things for the word of God, and we do not even know it is what we are doing. The evangelical church has lost its soul, and it has lost its soul because it has lost its theology.”[1]

A.W. Tozer made note of this in the mid 20th century when he said:

“For centuries the Church stood solidly against every form of worldly entertainment, recognizing it for what it was – a device for wasting time, a refuge from the disturbing voice of conscience, a scheme to divert attention from moral accountability. For this she got herself abused roundly by the sons of this world. But of late she has become tired of the abuse and has given over the struggle. She appears to have decided that if she cannot conquer the great god Entertainment she may as well join forces with him and make what use she can of his powers. So today we have the astonishing spectacle of millions of dollars being poured into the unholy job of providing earthly entertainment for the so-called sons of heaven. Religious entertainment is in many places rapidly crowding out the serious things of God. Many churches these days have become little more than poor theaters where fifth-rate “producers” peddle their shoddy wares with the full approval of evangelical leaders who can even quote a holy text in defense of their delinquency. And hardly a man dares raise his voice against it.”[2]

Far too many Pastors neither understand the church, nor the Christ who builds it, and from their ignorance of the fundamental truths of the church and its sole Architect comes all manners and ways which aim to turn the body of Christ into a business that attempts to attract worldly men and women. They take the precious and beautiful bride of Christ and dress her up provocatively so that they might parade her before unregenerate people. They seek to conform her to the very thing Christ has called her out of, and they do so because they themselves find nothing beautiful about her in her sanctified state, for if they did, they would not dare tamper with and tread upon that which is holy to God. If such men and women lived among Israel in the wilderness wanderings there is no doubt that they would actually dare to step foot behind the veil and enter into the holy of holies, for they give no consideration to the holy temple God is making for Himself among His people.[3] We seem to have forgotten that “If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him,”[4] and that friendship with the world is hostility toward God, “Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.”[5]

We began with the question; how does one build a church? The reason men and woman stray so much in their answer to this question is because they do not first consider at least two preliminary questions; who builds the church and what is it? We cannot understand the how until we understand the who and the what. Matthew 16:13-18 kills two birds with one stone:

13 Now when Jesus came into the district of Caesarea Philippi, He was asking His disciples, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?” 14 And they said, “Some say John the Baptist; and others, Elijah; but still others, Jeremiah, or one of the prophets.” 15 He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” 16 Simon Peter answered, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” 17 And Jesus said to him, “Blessed are you, Simon Barjona, because flesh and blood did not reveal this to you, but My Father who is in heaven. 18 I also say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church; and the gates of Hades will not overpower it.”

There is a lot in this portion, but there a few things I want us to focus on:

  1.  First, who builds the church? Christ does. He says, “I will build My church.” He is the exclusive Architect. Apart from salvation by grace through faith in Christ alone, this is one of the most freeing truths our minds could ever entertain. We have not, in a sense, been given the ultimate responsibility of building the church. We are certainly players in the divine drama that is unfolding, but Christ has taken the responsibility upon Himself to do the actual adding to the church. He is the One who builds it.
  • This leads us to the second question, what is the church that Christ builds? The church of Christ is the ekklēsia, which is an assembly of those who have lost sight of themselves and put their confidence in Jesus as the Christ, the Son of the Living God. The very truth Peter just confessed is the rock on which Christ builds His church. The church of Christ is not a structure made with mans hands. It is a gathering of believers built by Christ.
  • The final point we should consider here is merely the logical flow of the two previous points. If the church is a body of believers built by Christ Himself, if it is a gathering of those who have placed their trust in the Person and work of Christ upon the cross in their stead, if faith is what is required for admittance into the church, then the preaching of the word is essential, for as the Scripture says:

“Faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ.”[6]

What I want us to see in all of this is the primacy of preaching in church growth. The primacy of preaching Who and what? Ourselves and our programs? That is the sage advice of the day. Brand yourself! Market yourself! Make yourself attractive so that you might entice worldly people to be among you! God forbid that such a thought would ever enter our minds. Hear the words of the Apostle Paul in 1 Corinthians 1:17-23 and see if he came to the same conclusion:

17 For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel, not in cleverness of speech, so that the cross of Christ would not be made void.18 For the word of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. 19 For it is written,

“I will destroy the wisdom of the wise,
And the cleverness of the clever I will set aside.”

20 Where is the wise man? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? 21 For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not come to know God, God was well-pleased through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe. 22 For indeed Jews ask for signs and Greeks search for wisdom; 23 but we preach Christ crucified, to Jews a stumbling block and to Gentiles foolishness, 24 but to those who are the called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.”

He goes on to say in 1 Corinthians 2:1-5:

1 And when I came to you, brethren, I did not come with superiority of speech or of wisdom, proclaiming to you the testimony of God. For I determined to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ, and Him crucified. I was with you in weakness and in fear and in much trembling, and my message and my preaching were not in persuasive words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, so that your faith would not rest on the wisdom of men, but on the power of God.”

Consider what he says in 2 Corinthians 2:15-17:

15 For we are a fragrance of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing; 16 to the one an aroma from death to death, to the other an aroma from life to life. And who is adequate for these things? 17 For we are not like many, peddling the word of God, but as from sincerity, but as from God, we speak in Christ in the sight of God.”

Listen to his words in 2 Corinthians 4:3-6:

And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing, in whose case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelieving so that they might not see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. For we do not preach ourselves but Christ Jesus as Lord, and ourselves as your bond-servants for Jesus’ sake. For God, who said, ‘Light shall shine out of darkness,’ is the One who has shone in our hearts to give the Light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ.”

How does Christ build His church? He builds His church exclusively through the clear preaching of the gospel message, for it alone is the power of God unto salvation for all who believe.[7] Not only is the preaching of Christ essential for the salvation of sinners, but it is essential for the sanctification of sinners who have been saved through the preaching of Christ crucified. Peter says this to His believing audience in 1 Peter 1:23-2:3:

23 For you have been born again not of seed which is perishable but imperishable, that is, through the living and enduring word of God. 24 For, ‘All flesh is like grass,
And all its glory like the flower of grass. The grass withers,
And the flower falls off, 25 But the word of the Lord endures forever.” And this is the word which was preached to you. Therefore, putting aside all malice and all deceit and hypocrisy and envy and all slander, like newborn babies, long for the pure milk of the word, so that by it you may grow in respect to salvation, if you have tasted the kindness of the Lord.”

Understand the serious implications of this truth. This means that when people put themselves in a pragmatic atmosphere where the preaching of the word is either downplayed or disregarded, and replaced with other seemingly attractive things, sinners will not be saved, and saints will not be sanctified. Evangelism is not happening, and edification has gone right out the window. Yes, there will be many programs, and events, and ministries, and entertainment creating an abundance of energy. There will be an outer appearance of life and vitality, but an inner reality of death and stagnation. Why? The means through which Christ both saves and sanctifies is squelched. The truth that saves is shrouded in ambiguity so as not to offend the supposed “seeker”, consequently suppressing the truth that sanctifies the believer. If this is the case, why would we ever dare do anything but preaching Christ crucified and risen again? Let us never forget the theology lesson God gave to Samuel in 1 Samuel 16:7 when picking a king for Israel:

But the Lord said to Samuel, ‘Do not look at his appearance or at the height of his stature, because I have rejected him; for God sees not as man sees, for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.’”

Rightly did Spurgeon say in his day:

“I do believe that we slander Christ when we think that we are to draw the people by something else but the preaching of Christ crucified. We know that the greatest crowd in London has been held together these thirty years by nothing but the preaching of Christ crucified. Where is our music? Where is our oratory? Where is anything of attractive architecture, or beauty of ritual? “A bare service,” they call it. Yes, but Christ makes up for all the deficiencies.”

The Pattern and Art of Biblical Preaching

Many today think that preaching is outdated. They think evangelism is a fluid thing that changes with the times. To them it was good for a season when people wanted it, but the times they are a changing and we need to keep up with it. They forget Paul’s instruction to Timothy when he said:

“I solemnly charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by His appearing and His kingdom: preach the word; be ready in season and out of season.”

To preach in season is to preach when preaching is popular. To preach out of season, is to preach even when preaching is unpopular. Why? Because it is the means through which Christ saves and sanctifies.

They forget what some have rightly pointed out that God has an only Son, and He is a Preacher. We should recall Mark’s gospel account when he records in the beginning that:

14 Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of God, 15 and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.”[8]

Preaching was His purpose. Mark 1:38:

38 He said to them, “Let us go somewhere else to the towns nearby, so that I may preach there also; for that is what I came for.”

Luke 4:43-44:

43 ‘But He said to them, “I must preach the kingdom of God to the other cities also, for I was sent for this purpose.’44 So He kept on preaching in the synagogues of Judea.”

The Spirit Empowered Him to fulfill His purpose and preach Luke 4:14-21:

14 And Jesus returned to Galilee in the power of the Spirit, and news about Him spread through all the surrounding district. 15 And He began teaching in their synagogues and was praised by all. 16 And He came to Nazareth, where He had been brought up; and as was His custom, He entered the synagogue on the Sabbath, and stood up to read. 17 And the book of the prophet Isaiah was handed to Him. And He opened the book and found the place where it was written,

18 “The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me,
Because He anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor. He has sent Me to proclaim release to the captives, And recovery of sight to the blind,
To set free those who are oppressed,
19 To proclaim the favorable year of the Lord.”

20 And He closed the book, gave it back to the attendant and sat down; and the eyes of all in the synagogue were fixed on Him. 21 And He began to say to them, ‘Today this Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.’”

Whoever has an issue with sound biblical preaching has an issue with Jesus of Nazareth.

Let us not forget that Jesus commanded His Apostles to preach. Mark 3:14:

14 And He appointed twelve, so that they would be with Him and that He could send them out to preach.”

Peter says this in Acts 10:42:

“He ordered us to preach to the people, and solemnly to testify that this is the One who has been appointed by God as Judge of the living and the dead.”

To preach is to proclaim after the manner of a herald with “formality, gravity and an authority which must be listened to and obeyed.”[9] It is to press truth upon the hearts and minds of the listener in such a way that they are left with a decision to make. It is to be persuasive which requires it to be logical. Acts 17:4 speaks of how some of from Thessalonica “were persuaded and joined Paul and Silas” after they preached in the synagogue. In Acts 18:4, Paul was in Corinth, “reasoning in the synagogue every Sabbath and trying to persuade Jews and Greeks.” In Acts 19:8, Paul entered the synagogue in Ephesus and “continued speaking out boldly for three months, reasoning and persuading them about the kingdom of God.” Acts ends with Paul imprisoned in his home, and Luke records:

23 When they had set a day for Paul, they came to him at his lodging in large numbers; and he was explaining to them by solemnly testifying about the kingdom of God and trying to persuade them concerning Jesus, from both the Law of Moses and from the Prophets, from morning until evening. 24 Some were being persuaded by the things spoken, but others would not believe.”

True biblical preaching is therefore:

  1. Text driven. This is to say that the text of Scripture determines the path of the sermon.
  2. God exulting. It ensures the character, nature, and will of God are rightly understood so that He, and He alone is known and  glorified.
  3. Christ centered. Spurgeon said:

“A sermon without Christ as its beginning, middle and end is a mistake in conception and a crime in execution.”

  • Exegetically grounded. What this means is that a Pastor or teacher draws the intended truth from the text and explains it to the people, rather then handling the text eisegetically, which is to draw your thoughts and opinions into the text.
  • Theologically Precise. It takes into consideration all systems of theology and makes certain that what is taught is consistent with what the Scripture teaches about God, man, sin, salvation, the church, the end times, etc.
  • Spirit Empowered. It is not delivered with human wisdom or strength, but God’s.
  • Logically Ordered. There is a sensible flow to it.
  • Passionately Delivered. It was Martin Lloyd-Jones that said:

“What is preaching? Logic on fire! Preaching is theology coming through a man who is on fire. A true understanding and experience of the Truth must lead to this. I say again that a man who can speak about these things dispassionately has no right whatsoever to be in a pulpit; and should never be allowed to enter one.”

  • Boldly Declared.
  • Evangelistically Aimed

The Preaching of Simon Peter

These marks of biblical preaching perfectly describe what we see in Acts 2 with Peter. The Spirit has just been poured out on the disciples at Pentecost in a truly phenomenal way that manifested itself in the gift of tongues where they were given the ability to speak actual human languages unknown to them. The devout Jews living in Jerusalem from every nation under heaven are bewildered when they hear the Galilean disciples speaking in their own language. Acts 2:8,11-13 says:

How is it that we each hear them in our own language to which we were born?  11 …we hear them in our own tongues speaking of the mighty deeds of God.” 12 And they all continued in amazement and great perplexity, saying to one another, “What does this mean?13 But others were mocking and saying, ‘They are full of sweet wine.’”

The mockers are obviously those who have always resided in Jerusalem and do not understand the foreign languages. They cannot understand the disciples, so they surmise that they are drunk. Acts 2:14-21 says this:

14 But Peter, taking his stand with the eleven, raised his voice and declared to them: ‘Men of Judea and all you who live in Jerusalem, let this be known to you and give heed to my words. 15 For these men are not drunk, as you suppose, for it is only the third hour of the day; 16 but this is what was spoken of through the prophet Joel:

17 ‘And it shall be in the last days,’ God says,
‘That I will pour forth of My Spirit on all mankind;
And your sons and your daughters shall prophesy,
And your young men shall see visions,
And your old men shall dream dreams;
18 Even on My bondslaves, both men and women,
I will in those days pour forth of My Spirit
And they shall prophesy.
19 ‘And I will grant wonders in the sky above
And signs on the earth below,
Blood, and fire, and vapor of smoke.
20 ‘The sun will be turned into darkness
And the moon into blood,
Before the great and glorious day of the Lord shall come.
21 ‘And it shall be that everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.’

Luke says that Peter took his stand with the eleven, raised His voice and “declared”. That is apophthengomai (ap-of-theng’-om-ahee). It is a word that is not commonly used, and it means to speak out or pronounce in a dignified and elevated discourse.[10] We should understand this to be a Spirit-inspired discourse, because this is the very same word used when the disciples were filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke in tongues as the Spirit was giving them “utterance.” Now, Peter is not speaking in tongues when he delivers this sermon. He is speaking in a language that everyone knows, which was most likely Aramaic. This Spirit-inspired discourse is the promise of the Spirit coming to fruition in Peter. Jesus said in John 14:26:

“The Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you.”

Jesus encouraged them not to be afraid, because the Holy Spirit would teach them what to say.[11]

Peter points out to his audience that the disciples are not drunk, because it is only 9:00 am, and drunkards are not even drunk at that hour. What they are witnessing rather is an outpouring of the Spirit that Joel spoke of signifying that the last days are now commencing:

17 ‘And it shall be in the last days,’ God says,
‘That I will pour forth of My Spirit on all mankind;
And your sons and your daughters shall prophesy,
And your young men shall see visions,
And your old men shall dream dreams;
18 Even on My bondslaves, both men and women,
I will in those days pour forth of My Spirit
And they shall prophesy.”

There is, however, some urgency here, because though the last days began with the Spirit being poured out upon God’s people, it will end with judgment being poured out upon the earth on the Day of the Lord:

“19 And I will grant wonders in the sky above
And signs on the earth below,
Blood, and fire, and vapor of smoke.
20 ‘The sun will be turned into darkness
And the moon into blood,
Before the great and glorious day of the Lord shall come.
21 ‘And it shall be that everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”

In other words, Peter is drawing to their attention that they are now in the last days, meaning that Lord’s wrath is on the horizon, and they desperately need saving from it by turning to Him.

What is all this? This is the taking of the pragmatic advice of the day and throwing it right in the garbage where it belongs. This is the beginning of a text driven, God exulting, Christ centered, exegetically grounded, theologically precise, Spirit empowered, logically ordered, passionately delivered, boldly declared and evangelistically aimed sermon. Peter’s sermon will seek to answer one question; Who is the Lord that they are to call upon to be saved? He is the One who was attested to them by many signs and wonders.[12] He is the One that was delivered up by the predetermined plan and foreknowledge of God, that they nailed to a cross at the hands of Godless men and put to death.[13] He is the One that God raised up again, putting an end to the agony of death.[14] He is the One that David spoke of whom God said He would not allow to undergo decay in the grave, but be resurrected.[15] He is the One who ascended into have exalted to the right hand of God until His enemies become a footstool for His feet.[16] Who is the Lord that they are to call upon to be saved? Peter says to them, “Jesus whom you crucified.”[17]

Understand that through this Christ will call 3,000 souls to Himself and add them to His body. Why? Because Jesus builds His church, not by pragmatic means, but by the clear proclamation that He is the Christ, the Son of the Living God, and He says that those who believe in Him may have life in His name.

Beautiful Feet in Season and Out of Season

All Christians are ambassadors of Christ that have been entrusted with the message of reconciliation. The message “that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them.”[18] We are to be pleading people, as if God were entreating through us, to be reconciled to God.[19]We are to be Logically reasoning with them about the holiness and righteousness of God, and our sinfulness before Him and inability to ever achieve a righteousness that will permit us to forever live with Him. Our sin demands death. It demands the wrath all mighty God being eternally poured out upon us for we have sinned against One of eternal worth. He will not allow the guilty to go unpunished for He is good and just. As A.W. Pink said:

“It is useless to preach Christ unto souls until they see and feel their desperate need of him.”

The goodness of God will throw every reasoning person into a pit of despair, for any honest person will first realize that they do not measure up to His goodness, and they will then grasp that His goodness will ensure that justice is properly meted out upon them, thus guarantying their death forever under His holy hatred for sin. When they reach rock bottom without a single shred of confidence in themselves. When the law of God leaves them fallen far from His glory as dead and helpless sinners, give them the love of God in Christ. Give them the One who emptied Himself by becoming a Man so that He might first live the life we are incapable of living, a life of perfect love for God and man. After that explain to them how the sinless and innocent Son of God went to the cross to bear sin on His body upon it so that He might suffer in our stead. Help them to see that:

“He who knew no sin, became sin on our behalf that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.”[20]

As 1 Peter 3:18 says:

“For Christ also died for sins once for all, the just for the unjust, so that He might bring us to God.”

Help them to understand that though He did indeed die, He was raised back to life on the third day never to die again, and since He always lives, He is able to save forever those who draw near to God through Him.

It was the father of modern missions, William Carey, that said this:

“I’m not afraid of failure. I’m afraid of succeeding at things that do not matter.”

If you want to succeed at what does matter, devote your time to understanding the gospel so that you may clearly, and accurately, and passionately proclaim it to people. Jesus provides us with incentive and encouragement to preach Him alone in John 10:14-16:

14 I am the good shepherd, and I know My own and My own know Me, 15 even as the Father knows Me and I know the Father; and I lay down My life for the sheep. 16 I have other sheep, which are not of this fold; I must bring them also, and they will hear My voice; and they will become one flock with one shepherd.

There is a glorious truth here that we must all come to terms with. The truth is this, there are sheep scattered throughout this world and through out time that Christ has called out to, is calling out to, and will call out to solely through the means of preaching the message of life in His name. They will believe the message preached because they are His sheep. John 10:27-38:

27 My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me; 28 and I give eternal life to them, and they will never perish; and no one will snatch them out of My hand.”

His Word is His voice, and His people are the vessel by which He calls His own to Himself.

Romans 10:11-15:

11 For the Scripture says, “Whoever believes in Him will not be disappointed.” 12 For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, abounding in riches for all who call on Him; 13 for “Whoever will call on the name of the Lord will be saved.”

14 How then will they call on Him in whom they have not believed? How will they believe in Him whom they have not heard? And how will they hear without a preacher? 15 How will they preach unless they are sent? Just as it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news of good things!… Faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ.”[21]

God does not need our cleverness, nor does He want it. God does not need our gimmickry, He abhors it. Both show utter shame of the glorious gospel that God has shone in our hearts to give the Light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ. God desires our faithful obedience to the proclamation of His Word even in the off season. We have been commanded to preach. Not in cleverness of speech. Not as peddlers of the word. We are not to preach ourselves, but Christ in all sincerity. Make yourself a fool according to the world’s standard, and preach Him crucified and risen again for the forgiveness of sins and the hope of life everlasting. Knowing that through your foolishness, Christ will fill His fold up with His sheep. Jonathan Edwards said:

“I go out to preach with two propositions in mind. First, everyone ought to give his life to Christ. Second, whether or not anyone gives Him his life, I will give Him mine.”

[1] James Montgomery Boice in his sermon entitled Justification by Faith Alone

[2] The Root of Righteousness, A.W. Tozer; Page 32-33

[3] Ephesians 2:19-22

[4] 1 John 2:15

[5] James 4:4

[6] Romans 10:17

[7] Romans 1:16

[8] Mark 1:14-15

[9] Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance; G2784: kēryssō

[10] Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance; G669

[11] Luke 12:11-12

[12] Acts 2:22

[13] Acts 2:23

[14] Acts 2:24

[15] Acts 2:25-32

[16] Acts 2:33-35

[17] Acts 2:36

[18] 2 Corinthians 5:19

[19] 2 Corinthians 5:20

[20] 2 Corinthians 5:21

[21] Romans 10:17

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