INTRO: If our preaching is to accomplish its purpose, there are some requirements of us. True, the power of God to save the lost is in the gospel. The message of salvation is from God. But if the message is to be heard, the messenger must not be a distraction. We know its the message that is important. Too often, however, people cannot see beyond the messenger (for whatever reason), and the saving message is not communicated. In the verses of our text we see both our responsibility to share the gospel and the responsibility of life which will make us effective communicators. We see the Human Side Of Our Preaching.
I. WE MUST PROCLAIM GODS WORD
A. The world is a very needy place
1. its a crooked and perverse generation ... still!
2. sin is everywhere evident as are the harmful, painful effects of sin
3. usual approach is the band-aide approach - but the only real hope for change and improvement rests with Gods word and changed hearts
B. We proclaim Gods word through shining as lights
1. this of course, is what people see in us
2. 1 Pet 2:12 which they shall behold (Mt 5:16)
3. 2 Cor 3:2,3 the epistle of Christ
4. throughout the New Testament disciples are reminded that their lives are on parade and will reflect either good or ill for the Lord ... depending upon how we live them
5. no doubt that some are initially influenced toward Christ and gospel by this shining
C. We proclaim Gods word through holding forth the word
1. here is actual offer of teaching, speaking the word
2. the Ethiopians words are so relevant - Acts 8:30,31
3. Acts 18:24-28 Apollos, the mighty preacher ... with whom a lovely couple shared the word of life
4. by every means at our disposal should we offer the word
5.1 Pet 3:15 first part of this verse is imperative to the second part
II. HOW WE RETARD OR ENHANCE THE COURSE OF THE MESSAGE?
A. Murmurings and disputings retard its course
1. murmuring a sort of under the breath muttering in displeasure - either toward God or others (1 Cor 10:10 - Acts 6:1) ... wherein is the love and submission in such?
2. disputings constant disagreement - open conflict ... can unity be claimed in such a spirit?
3. Jno 13:34,35
B. There are positive qualities which enhance its course
1. blameless having no just cause to be blamed
a. yes, people may speak evil of you - 1 Pet 2:12a; 4:4
b. the issue? 1 Pet 4:15
2. harmless actually means pure, unadulterated ... no mixing of sin into the life Rom 16:19 simple ... inexperience and innocent
a. there are many things we do not have to experience to know
they are bad, harmful Jas 1:27 unspotted
b. Mt 5:8 blessed are the pure in heart
3. without rebuke sons or children of God
a. perhaps the ongoing process of growing more like the Father -- 1 Jno 3:1,6,9,10
b. some suggest this is the possessing of those moral and spiritual qualities which secure the blameless earlier mentioned
C. We are in the world
1. and the world needs what we can share with it! 2 Cor 4:6,7
2.but the world will pay little attention to us if we are no different from the world around us!
CLOSE: Dont ever think for one minute that the messenger is not important in proclaiming Christ. What kind of messenger are you? Is your life consistent with the message?
Cecil A. Hutson
You Must Hear the Gospel
You must hear the gospel and then understand and recognize that you are lost without Jesus Christ no matter who you are and no matter what your background is. The Bible tells us that “all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23) Before you can be saved, you must understand that you are lost and that the only way to be saved is by obedience to the gospel of Jesus Christ. (2 Thessalonians 1:8) Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” (John 14:6) “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12) "So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God." (Romans 10:17)
You Must Believe
You must believe and have faith in God because “without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” (Hebrews 11:6) But neither belief alone nor faith alone is sufficient to save. (James 2:19; James 2:24; Matthew 7:21)
You Must Repent
You must repent of your sins. (Acts 3:19) But repentance alone is not enough. The so-called “Sinner’s Prayer” that you hear so much about today from denominational preachers does not appear anywhere in the Bible. Indeed, nowhere in the Bible was anyone ever told to pray the “Sinner’s Prayer” to be saved. By contrast, there are numerous examples showing that prayer alone does not save. Saul, for example, prayed following his meeting with Jesus on the road to Damascus (Acts 9:11), but Saul was still in his sins when Ananias met him three days later (Acts 22:16). Cornelius prayed to God always, and yet there was something else he needed to do to be saved (Acts 10:2, 6, 33, 48). If prayer alone did not save Saul or Cornelius, prayer alone will not save you. You must obey the gospel. (2 Thess. 1:8)
You Must Confess
You must confess that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. (Romans 10:9-10) Note that you do NOT need to make Jesus “Lord of your life.” Why? Because Jesus is already Lord of your life whether or not you have obeyed his gospel. Indeed, we obey him, not to make him Lord, but because he already is Lord. (Acts 2:36) Also, no one in the Bible was ever told to just “accept Jesus as your personal savior.” We must confess that Jesus is the Son of God, but, as with faith and repentance, confession alone does not save. (Matthew 7:21)
You Must Be Baptized
Having believed, repented, and confessed that Jesus is the Son of God, you must be baptized for the remission of your sins. (Acts 2:38) It is at this point (and not before) that your sins are forgiven. (Acts 22:16) It is impossible to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ without teaching the absolute necessity of baptism for salvation. (Acts 8:35-36; Romans 6:3-4; 1 Peter 3:21) Anyone who responds to the question in Acts 2:37 with an answer that contradicts Acts 2:38 is NOT proclaiming the gospel of Jesus Christ!
You Must Be Faithful Unto Death
Once you are saved, God adds you to his church and writes your name in the Book of Life. (Acts 2:47; Philippians 4:3) To continue in God’s grace, you must continue to serve God faithfully until death. Unless they remain faithful, those who are in God’s grace will fall from grace, and those whose names are in the Book of Life will have their names blotted out of that book. (Revelation 2:10; Revelation 3:5; Galatians 5:4)