Thursday, October 8, 2009

Focus of Paul's Preaching

Act 20:21-25 Testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ. And now, behold, I go bound in the spirit unto Jerusalem, not knowing the things that shall befall me there: Save that the Holy Ghost witnesseth in every city, saying that bonds and afflictions abide me. But none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry, which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God. And now, behold, I know that ye all, among whom I have gone preaching the kingdom of God, shall see my face no more.

Paul declared to these Ephesian elders His manner of preaching.
His preaching involved three things:

1st thing Paul's preaching involved is Jesus – Vs. 21: All true preaching is Christ-centred preaching!

* There is no other message, but Christ and Him crucified. Paul said in 1 Cor. 2:1-2 “And I, brethren, when I came to you, came not with excellency of speech or of wisdom, declaring unto you the testimony of God. For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified.”
* Why is Christ-centred preaching so important? Acts 4:12 – “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” John 14:6 – “Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.”
* A real man will have a Christ-cantered witness. He will witness to others about the life-changing power of Christ. 1 Peter 3:15 – “But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear.” We are definitely a witness with our lives, but even as good as that is, it still takes the communication of God’s Word to save men’s souls!

2nd thing involved in Paul’s preaching was Joy – Vs. 24: Paul proclaimed a message of Joy.

* This joy was not just in the wonderful message of Salvation, but also with and in service to the LORD!
* This Joy is not dependent on circumstances, because it is not founded on circumstances, but is in the LORD! Paul found it a joy to live and serve God as he proclaims His Word!
* Christian, the message God has given us to proclaim is one of Joy!
It brings hope to the troubled heart! But how sweet it is when delivered by one who delights in the God of the message.

3rd thing involved in Paul’s preaching was a Journey – Vs. 25: Paul was preaching his farewell message to them.

* Paul in many of his writings compares this life to a journey each man must take. The destination depends on US!
Paul would soon finish his journey and when he did he desired to have God’s smile on his life. 2 Timothy 4:6-8 – “For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.”
The message we proclaim should also speak of life’s journey and the possible destinations this journey can take. “Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.” (Mat 7:13-14).