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Title: Lesson Four

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Lesson Four
Acts 237-39
Acts 237-39 37 Now when they heard this, they
were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter
and to the rest of the apostles, Men and
brethren, what shall we do? 38 Then Peter said
unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of
you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission
of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the
Holy Ghost. 39 For the promise is unto you, and
to your children, and to all that are afar off,
even as many as the Lord our God shall call.
Acts 240-43
Acts 240-43 40 And with many other words did he
testify and exhort, saying, Save yourselves from
this untoward generation. 41 Then they that
gladly received his word were baptized and the
same day there were added unto them about three
thousand souls. 42 And they continued stedfastly
in the apostles doctrine and fellowship, and in
breaking of bread, and in prayers. 43 And fear
came upon every soul and many wonders and signs
were done by the apostles.
Acts 244-47
Acts 244-47 44 And all that believed were
together, and had all things common 45 And sold
their possessions and goods, and parted them to
all men, as every man had need. 46 And they,
continuing daily with one accord in the temple,
and breaking bread from house to house, did eat
their meat with gladness and singleness of
heart, 47 Praising God, and having favour with
all the people. And the Lord added to the church
daily such as should be saved.
Focus Verse
Acts 237 Now when they heard this, they were
pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and
to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren,
what shall we do?
Focus Thought
God chose preaching! When God-anointed preachers
proclaim the gospel, souls are saved.
Hungry for a word from God, people race to
seminars, gather in living rooms, listen intently
to radios, take mail-order courses, collect CDs,
fill their bookshelves with multiple volumes,
traipse across the country to preaching camps,
and rivet their eyes to blow-dried television
preachers. Even a near-sighted, insensitive
observer of American religious culture could
hardly miss the yearning of the heart of
searching people. Often, individuals only want
someone to relate the Word of God to their lives.
There must be preachers who will reach these
lost, hungry souls with the life-proclaiming
message of Jesus Christ!
Jesus was a preacher. So was Paul. The Bible
declares that Jesus preached in their synagogues
throughout all Galilee (Mark 139). Paul wrote
much about preaching in his epistles. Preaching
was no sideline hobby with him For though I
preach the gospel, I have nothing to glory of
for necessity is laid upon me yea, woe is unto
me, if I preach not the gospel! (I Corinthians
In this lesson, we shall observe the why, the
what, and the where of preaching. And we will
attempt to define preaching as it was practiced
in the early church, which will provide us with a
pattern for apostolic preaching today.  
I. PreachingWhy? A
  1. Preaching Pleases God

Preaching is important because God ordained it. A
preacher is more than just the one who delivers
sermons, marries the living, and buries the dead.
God has called him. The Lord of the harvest sends
forth laborers into the harvest, separating them
from the masses as He kindles on the altar of
their hearts an unquenchable desire to preach His
I. PreachingWhy? A
Furthermore, God considers the treatment that a
preacher receives as if it were rendered to Him.
An audience that is connected to a preacher is
connected to the Lord, and the preachers message
scorned is Gods message scorned. Indeed,
preaching is the way that God designed to get the
good news to everyone, which pleases Him
I Corinthians 121
For after that in the wisdom of God the world by
wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the
foolishness of preaching to save them that
believe (I Corinthians 121).
I. PreachingWhy? B
  1. Preaching Makesan Eternal Impact

Paul asked, How shall they hear without a
preacher? (Romans 1014). Paul understood that
preaching is the primary way people hear the
gospel and experience salvation.  
I. PreachingWhy? C
  1. Preaching Feedsthe Spiritually Hungry

Paul commanded Timothy to preach the Word because
the preached Word saves the lost, develops the
believer, and ultimately builds the church.
However, as important as preaching is, every
minister knows that it takes more than a strong
pulpit to build a strong church. Preaching is
certainly a key factor, but it is not the only
I. PreachingWhy? C
An incredible hunger for the things of God exists
within people of our day, and only a clear
proclamation of biblical truth can assuage that
need. Many preachers have discovered that when
they teach the Word with exegetical accuracy and
expository excellence, people applaud them for
their creativity and originality. The reason is
obviousmost people do not know the Scriptures.
Good preaching should not only be biblical but
also present tense. Every sermon worthy of the
name addresses us in the midst of the throbbing
needs of present-day life.  
I. PreachingWhy? D
  1. Preaching BringsGods Power

The reason ministers preach Gods Word is to win
souls, and preaching brings the power of God into
the present moment. Ministers need to sound like
Christ when they preach, allowing the Word to
take on His identity each time they stand in the
I. PreachingWhy? D
If all we want to accomplish in a message is the
heralding and explaining of the Word, why not
play recordings of sermons preached by gifted
preachers and save sermon preparation time for
other activities and interests? It is because
Gods people need to hear a personal witness to
the power of Gods Word, a witness that should
help them to apply Gods truth to their own lives
so they can be better disciples. In our pulpits,
we need witnesses who have both learned and lived
the Word, and shepherds who know their people and
how to help them learn and grow spiritually from
the Scriptures.
I. PreachingWhy? E
  1. Preaching BringsGods Wisdom

God injects His wisdom into a worship service
through preaching. In so doing, He accomplishes
several things. First, He is letting in the
light. (See Psalm 119130.) Gods command, Let
there be light was not only the beginning of the
old Creation (Genesis 11-3), but it is also the
beginning of a new creation when sinners hear the
Word and trust in Jesus Christ (II Corinthians
46). The face of Jesus Christ radiates the glory
of God and dispels the darkness of sin within the
person who responds to the preached Word. What a
thrill it is to hear the new believer exclaim, I
was blind but now I see! (See John 925.)
I. PreachingWhy? E
God is also planting the seed of truth. The seed
is the word of God and the soil represents the
human heart (Luke 811-15). When the disciples
saw the great crowd on the shore listening to
Jesus teaching from the boat (Matthew 132), they
probably concluded that their ministry was a
great success. However, Jesus pointed out that
three-fourths of the seed sown would produce no
lasting fruit. In spite of that, God is still
watching over His Word and accomplishing His
purposes, and at the proper time we will reap a
harvest if we do not give up (Galatians 69).
I. PreachingWhy? E
The preaching of the Word means dispensing Gods
medicine to the spiritually sick He sent his
word, and healed them (Psalm 10720). The
preacher always feels gratified and gives praise
to God when a worshiper says after a service,
Pastor, Im scheduled to come in to see you this
week, but I dont have to come. The sermon this
morning solved my problem and met the need. The
Word went out and the Lord brought healing. Apart
from the ministry of the Holy Spirit, the work of
ministers as spiritual physicians would be
impossible, for only the Spirit fully knows the
need of every heart and how to apply the medicine.
I. PreachingWhy? E
Through faithful preaching, the Lord cleanses
defiled lives. Jesus assured His disciples that
they were already clean because of the Word that
He had spoken to them (John 153). We live in a
dirty world where even the most cautious
Christians find themselves picking up and
harboring thoughts and feelings that are foreign
to the Christian life. However, the experience of
worshipwhich includes hearing the Scriptures
read, sung, and preachedis the Lords way of
cleansing His church with the washing of water
by the word (Ephesians 526).
I. PreachingWhy? E
There are times when preaching means wielding the
sword against the enemy. Gods Word is the sharp
sword of the Spirit that penetrates and
sometimes wounds in order to bring healing
ultimately. (See Ephesians 617 Hebrews 412.)
Each preacher longs for the experience that Peter
had on the Day of Pentecost when the people were
pricked in their heart and asked, Men and
brethren, what shall we do? (Acts 237). What
David said of Goliaths sword, we can say of the
sword of Gods Word There is none like that (I
Samuel 219).
I. PreachingWhy? E
Perhaps the image of preaching that we think of
most frequently is that of serving spiritual food
to Gods children, because Gods truth sustains
us (Matthew 44). We prepare a sermon as a cook
prepares a meal, and we seek to serve it in such
a way that the listeners will enjoy the
vegetables as well as the dessert. We long for
our people to have the ravenous appetite of the
newborn baby, while at the same time growing out
of the milk diet and into a menu of solid food.
(See I Corinthians 31-4 Hebrews 512-14 I
Peter 22)
I. PreachingWhy? E
Gods Word is like gold and silver (Psalm 11914,
72, 127, 162), and when we declare the Word by
preaching, we are investing spiritual wealth into
the lives of Gods people.  
II Timothy 22
And the things that thou hast heard of me among
many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful
men, who shall be able to teach others also (II
Timothy 22).
I. PreachingWhy? E
God had entrusted the truth to Paul, who then
deposited it with Timothy. (See I Timothy 111
620.) Timothy was obligated to guard the truth
and pass it along to others who would in turn
teach it to a new generation of believers. We can
reap spiritual dividends only if we invest the
Word into the lives of others.
II. PreachingWhat? A
  1. Preach Good Tidings

In preaching good tidings, the preacher should
preach to the needs of people in the world today.
Only a miracle book like the Bible could meet the
varied needs of the people who make up the
average congregation, and may God help the church
whose shepherd feeds the sheep on substitutes.
II. PreachingWhat? A
We live in a deceptive world where people need to
hear the Word of truth. People need to clear
their minds of lies and focus their eyes on the
real worldthe world that the Scriptures
describe. Furthermore, our people need to hear
the word of his grace (Acts 2032). People
confront the brutal realities of life day after
day. The old adage is still true Be kind, for
everyone you meet is fighting a battle. As
ministers preach, they should remind the hurting
people that the God they worship is the God of
all grace (I Peter 510) and that from the
fullness of His grace we have all received one
blessing after another (John 116).
II. PreachingWhat? A
Gods people are finding it increasingly more
difficult to remain morally pure while living in
such a defiled world. For that reason, we all
need the word of righteousness (Hebrews 513),
which not only reveals Gods righteousness to us
but also enables us to experience instruction in
righteousness (II Timothy 316) to make us more
like Jesus (Romans 829). Like a mirror, the Word
of God shows us where we are impure (James
122-25). Like water, Gods Word cleanses us
within (Ephesians 525-27), and Gods truth
sanctifies us (John 1717).
II. PreachingWhat? A
Furthermore, believers today live in a divisive
and competitive world, and they need to hear the
word of reconciliation (II Corinthians 519). At
home, on the campus, in the marketplace, and even
at church, relationships often become tense and
shattered, and the result is emotional pain that
brings more pressure into life. Only Jesus can
reconcile people to God, to themselves, and to
others. Gods purpose in this world is to gather
together in one all things in Christ, both which
are in heaven, and which are on earth even in
him (Ephesians 110), and that is why ministers
today preach the word of reconciliation.
II. PreachingWhat? A
The Word of God will do all these things and more
if people will hear it, believe it, and obey it.
Gods Word is the word of faith (Romans 108)
that releases its power only when believed and
obeyed. Gods commandments are still Gods
enablement, because His Word is the word of his
power (Hebrews 13).
Luke 137
For no word from God shall be void of power
(Luke 137, American Standard Version).
II. PreachingWhat? B
  1. Preach That theKingdom Is Near

The Gentiles did not receive the gospel until the
Jews refused it. This restraint on the apostles
was only in their first mission. Wherever they
went they proclaimed, The kingdom of heaven is
at hand. They preached to establish the faith,
to animate the hope of the kingdom, to inspire
the love of heavenly things, and to motivate
people to prepare for eternity without delay.  
II. PreachingWhat? C
  1. Preach the Gospel

Jesus taught as one having authority, not as the
scribes taught. Today, much of the teaching that
we hear sounds like that of the scribes. It seems
at times akin to the time when there was no king
in Israel, and everyone did what was right in
his own eyes. Authority had walked out and
anarchy arrived. But God had a divine plan for
their day, and He has a plan for our day. His
plan for both times involves His divine authority
as delivered by His holy Word.
II. PreachingWhat? C
Jesus met the devil with the power of the
Scriptures it is written, it is written, it is
written! (See Matthew 43-11.) If He could defeat
the devil with three verses from the Book of
Deuteronomy, we should be able to defeat the
devil with the whole Biblethe Word of God!
II. PreachingWhat? C
We should not be ashamed of old-time religion,
for nothing newer exists. The New Testament
declares a new and living way, and we enter into
that new way through the new birth. This is the
essence of the gospel messagethe good news of
Jesus Christ! We are new creations with a new
name and a new song, walking in the newness of
life, living by a new commandment, heading for a
new heaven and a new earth and a New Jerusalem.
It is no wonder the gospel is the good news at
any time! We need to preach the good news, which
is the gospel of Jesus Christ.  
II. PreachingWhat? D
  1. Preach Faith

We are repeatedly calling for faithfaith in the
future of our country, faith in our fellow man,
faith in our world neighbors, and faith in God.
However, faith does not come just by our calling
for it rather, we develop faith through living
by it. Moreover, we build our faith in others by
keeping faith with others.
II. PreachingWhat? D
In the realm of friendship, when one invites his
friend for a ride in his vehicle, he does not ask
him to sign a waiver in order to avoid a lawsuit.
When someone invites a friend to his home, he
does not place him under a bond not to steal his
valuables. He trusts his friend. Without such
preliminary trust, they would never forge the
bonds of friendship. So it is in our relationship
with God.
II. PreachingWhat? D
The Old Testament heroes did not wait for God to
prove His promises. By faith, Abraham went out
into a new country trusting Gods guidance. By
faith, Moses left Egypt to lead Gods people
toward the Promised Land of liberty. The people
entrusted themselves to Gods leadership through
Moses, and they came through the wilderness by
Gods guidance. Thus, biblical preaching should
engender faith in God.  
II. PreachingWhat? E
  1. Preach Christ Crucified

Many people died upon Roman crosses in the days
of the Roman Empire. However, one death at
Golgotha, just outside Jerusalem, was different
from all the others. What made the death of Jesus
Christ so different?
II. PreachingWhat? E
When we survey Jesus death on the cross, we find
that He endured much unwarranted suffering, a
sacrifice that became a substitute for us. When
we survey the Cross, we see the depths of the
doctrines of sin, salvation, atonement,
reconciliation, redemption, judgment, and
propitiation. While some modern-minded
individuals state that they never mention
doctrine in their preaching, it is impossible to
preach Jesus Christ without preaching doctrine.
Paul wrote to the Corinthians, But we preach
Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumblingblock,
and unto the Greeks foolishness (I Corinthians
II. PreachingWhat? F
  1. Preach the Word

The preacher should devote himself to the Word of
God, meditating on it daily, studying it
systematically, reading it continually, and
always feeding his own soul while preparing to
feed the congregation. He should remember that
the authority of the message comes from the Word
and not from the approval of people. When the
Word of God no longer controls ministers, they
preach opinions instead of convictions, seeking
only to please themselves and their listeners
instead of pleasing the Lord. (See I
Thessalonians 24.)
II. PreachingWhat? F
The Word of God gives the message both authority
and power. (See Jeremiah 2329.) The same living,
powerful Word that brought creation into being
also works in the new creation, bringing light
into darkness and order out of the chaos-filled
lives of the lost (II Corinthians 43-6). (See I
Thessalonians 15.) Speaking words is not the
same as preaching the Word any more than reciting
a recipe is the same as serving a meal.
II. PreachingWhat? F
Faithfully preaching the Word delivers us from
the kind of homiletic calisthenics that turn
preaching into performing and magnify the
minister more than the message. Paul was not only
a servant of Christ and the church, but he was
also a servant of the gospel (Colossians 125).
When the message masters us, we are not
interested in clever outlines and amusing
anecdotes. Our only concern is that we hear the
Word of the Lord. This encourages us to live the
Word of God so that our message is an honest
witness of our own experience of Gods truth.  
III. PreachingWhere?
Jesus commanded His followers to preach the
gospel to the whole worldeverywhere and at every
opportunity. The primary vehicle for spreading
the gospel was to be preaching.
III. PreachingWhere?
Preaching preceded the outpouring of the Holy
Ghost on the Day of Pentecost. Perhaps we could
say that preaching was the key that unlocked the
door of the church, and today preaching continues
to unlock the prison chains holding individuals
in the extreme bondage of sin. Moreover, it opens
the door to the miraculous in the lives of those
who receive it and believe it.
III. PreachingWhere?
Preaching not only opens the door to miracles,
but miracles also open the door to more
preaching. One of the more notable miracles in
the Book of Acts is the healing of the lame man
by the Gate Beautiful. It would have been easy
for Peter and John to become the center of
attention and build a ministry on their
miracle-working power. However, when Peter saw
the crowd, he used it as an occasion to preach
Jesus Christ. We should remember that God is the
miracle worker, and He has simply commanded us to
preach the Word.
III. PreachingWhere?
In fact, we are to preach the Word even in places
that are uncommon or unfamiliar to usplaces that
may even cause us to experience discomfort.
Samaria was a place where no self-respecting Jew
ever would have gone. The Samaritans were a mixed
race of Jews and Gentiles, but Jesus preached to
them and He expected His followers to do
likewise. Preaching reaches the ungodly no matter
what their ethnicity or background.
III. PreachingWhere?
Through a vision, the Lord summoned Peter to the
household of Cornelius. Peter never would have
gone to this Gentiles home except for the fact
that the Lord commanded him to he believed that
the Gentiles were unclean. However, God planned
for even the Gentiles to receive the message of
truth by way of preaching. Through these and
other examples in the Book of Acts, it is clear
that God is interested in people of every culture
having the gospel preached to them.
III. PreachingWhere?
Paul and Silas even preached the gospel while
imprisoned in a Philippian jail. While these
preaching prisoners sang and prayed at midnight,
a great earthquake shook all the prison doors
open. It would have been easy for them to escape,
but instead, they preached to the jailer and all
his household, which brought repentance and
baptism to them all. Persecution had led to an
open door for preaching, and Paul quickly took
advantage of the opportunity, obeying the Lords
call to preach the gospel everywhere he had an
III. Preaching in the Pentecostal Pulpit? A
Preaching in the Pentecostal Pulpit
  1. Pentecostal PreachingConfronted People with
    Their Guilt

The people who heard Peters message on the Day
of Pentecost felt a sharp pang of guilt in their
hearts. They had indeed gone along with the mob
that had intently sought the death of Jesus
III. Preaching in the Pentecostal Pulpit? A
Now they realized they were wrong because of the
anointed preaching of Peter. Because of their
sincerity, they honestly inquired of Peter and
the other apostles what they should do. Peter
commanded them to repent and demonstrate their
faith through baptism in Jesus name for the
remission of sins. He further assured them that
they would receive the Holy Ghost. (See Acts
III. Preaching in the Pentecostal Pulpit? A
When we look at the parables and sayings of
Jesus, we see that nearly all of them deal with a
persons sincerity or lack thereof. Nothing
aroused Jesus anger more than the preening and
pretense of the Pharisees and scribes. Nothing
warmed Him more than the simple sincerity of
Lazarus or a humble woman who sincerely
identified herself with Him and His mission by
anointing His feet.
III. Preaching in the Pentecostal Pulpit? A
Paul, in turn, recognized sincerity as basic to
Christs gospel and devoted his energies to
keeping the early church steadfast, unmovable,
and always abounding. His literary gem, I
Corinthians 13, is not so much about love as it
is about sinceritysincere love that manifests
itself in genuineness. If love lacks sincerity,
it is phony and as false as a clanging gong.
Sincerity, on the other hand, causes one to
respond favorably to the preaching of Jesus
Christ and Him crucified.
III. Preaching in the Pentecostal Pulpit? B
  1. Pentecostal PreachingProduced Conviction

It was not pleasant for an ox to feel the goad of
a sharp stick or one with a sharp piece of metal
on the end. Neither is it pleasing for the Word
of God to sharply hit our hearts with truth.
However, preaching that pricks our conscience
saves us.
III. Preaching in the Pentecostal Pulpit? B
Perhaps preachers should not think that they have
done well in preaching when people are pleased
with their message. When a person grows
outrageously angry with a sermon, he sometimes
receives more than when he leaves saying, What
an eloquent discourse! When the Word of God
becomes as an arrow in a persons heart, he
begins to writhe with the pain. He would like to
tear it out, but it is a barbed shaft. He may
gnash his teeth and grow indignant, but the
painful arrow has wounded him.
III. Preaching in the Pentecostal Pulpit? B
Preaching that pleases us may not be truth at
all, but the doctrine that grieves our heart and
troubles our conscience may be the very thing we
need to hear. The Lord uses ministries of a
cutting kind to make people uneasy in their sins,
which causes them to repent and come to the Lord
for peace.
III. Preaching in the Pentecostal Pulpit? C
  1. Pentecostal PreachingDemanded a Response

On the Day of Pentecost, three thousand people
heard the truth and responded by believing and
allowing the apostles to baptize them. Truth is
what we need, and sincere people will respond
positively to it. Indeed, the power of Gods
Spiritthe fire from heavenwill make the
difference in a persons life. The message of
Pentecostrepentance, baptism in Jesus name for
the remission of sins, and receiving the Holy
Ghostdemands a response. Those who respond
positively will receive salvation through the
wonderful new-birth experience.  
We have seen why we preach and what preaching is.
We have examined where preaching was to occur,
and we have learned that preaching was the
primary vehicle for the spread of the gospel and
for giving full truth.
Pentecostal preaching confronts people in their
sins and brings conviction of sin, which elicits
a response. This is the power of Pentecostal
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