Just Announced: Philippians Sermon Series

Summary: Paul had four qualities that enabled him to effectively communicate Christ which we also need.


Acts 17:16-34

INTRO.- ILL.- A stranger entered the church in the middle of the sermon and seated himself in the back pew. After a while he began to fidget. Leaning over to a white-haired man at his side, evidently an old member of the congregation, he whispered:

"How long has he been preaching?"

"Thirty or forty years, I think," the old man answered.

"I’ll stay then," decided the stranger, "He must be nearly done."

ILL.- After a preacher died and went to heaven, he noticed that a New York cabdriver had been given a higher place than he had. "I don’t understand," he complained to St. Peter. "I devoted my entire life to my congregation."

"Our policy is to reward results," explained St. Peter. "Now what happened , Reverend, whenever you gave a sermon?" The minister admitted that some in the congregation fell asleep. "Exactly, " said St. Peter. "And when people rode in this man’s taxi, they not only stayed awake, they prayed."

ILL.- One man said, "My young son asked what was the highest number I had ever counted to. I didn’t know but asked about his highest number. It was ‘5372.’ ‘Oh,’ I said. ‘Why did you stop there?’ ‘Church was over.’"

Brothers and sisters, there is no doubt that some preachers have it and some don’t, but all of us who speak for the Lord need to do the best that we can to communicate Christ effectively.

ILL.- An ad agent in New York city performed an interesting experiment one time. He dressed in ragged clothes, put on sunglasses, carried a tin cup, and wore a sign around his neck that read, "Blind." He spent the entire day in Central Park and collected $44.10. The next day he did the same thing under identical circumstances, only this time the sign around his neck read, "IT’S SPRING, AND I AM BLIND." That day he collected $161.65!

There’s a big difference between communication and effective communication.

ILL.- The famous preacher Dwight L. Moody held a revival meeting in Philadelphia starting on November 21, 1875, with nightly crowds of 12,000. His ushers were very well trained, capable of seating 1,000 people per minute. The doors were opened one and a half hours early and in 10 minutes the 12,000 seats were taken. On January 19, 1876 President Grant and some of his cabinet attended. Total attendance was 1,050,000 with 4,000 decisions for Christ.

Dwight L. Moody was, no doubt, an effective communicator! In our day and time, we have trouble getting people to come to church, let alone convincing them to decide for Christ.

The apostle Paul was also an effective communicator of the gospel of Christ.

Acts 17:16 "While Paul was waiting...in Athens, he was greatly distressed to see that the city was full of idols."

Athens was an intellectual center of its day. Here the philosophers, intellectuals, and students would gather to discuss the latest intellectual fads. Athens was also a pagan city. As many as 30,000 statues had been erected as idols to various gods in the city. It was here that Paul effectively communicated Christ to the people. He didn’t win everyone to Christ, but he certainly made an impact for Christ. AND THIS IS WHAT WE MUST DO! We must witness! We must make Christ’s presence known in this world! We must make an impact for Christ!

PROP.- From Acts 17 we want to consider four qualities that made Paul an effective communicator of the gospel. Qualities that we can learn from and use in our own lives to share Christ with others.

1- A genuine conviction

2- A broad knowledge

3- A profound simplicity

4- A realistic expectation


Acts 17:6 says that Paul "was greatly distressed to see that city was full of idols."

ILL.- One Sunday Mrs. Calvin Coolidge was sick and couldn’t attend church. When the president returned home from church, she asked, "What did the minister preach about it?" The president replied, "Sin." She asked, "What did he say about it?" The president said, "HE WAS AGAINST IT."

The apostle Paul had a genuine conviction. He was against sin! He was greatly distressed that Athens was full of idols. Paul was convinced that idol worship was wrong. He wanted people to learn to worship the Creator rather than creation.

If anyone is going to be a good communicator he must have some genuine conviction about his faith or what he believes in.

ILL.- The purchasing department in a Kroger’s warehouse has sign that reads: "Salesman, before you try to sell your product to us, be so convinced of its superiority that when you’re finished, we will be more anxious to buy than you are to sell."

If you don’t believe in what you are selling, you won’t sell anything to anybody!

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