Summary: Why do you suppose that so many sermons fail to produce lasting changes in the lives of some people? Among the many answers to that question could be the fact that our preaching fails to contain the essential ingredients of the messages preached by the f
Why do you suppose that so many sermons fail to produce lasting changes in the lives of some people?
Among the many answers to that question could be the fact that our preaching fails to contain the essential ingredients of the messages preached by the first century apostles.
Notice in this passage that Peter begins his preaching by clearly establishing man’s need of forgiveness. This is often a sensitive point that many preachers avoid. Most people like to be comfortable and would prefer to not have to own up to the fact that they are guilty, vile and need forgiveness.
When people assume that they can come to God without first reconciling themselves to Him they are deceiving themselves. Peter made it very clear that the crucifixion of Christ came as a response to man’s spiritual neediness.
Application: When we forget, neglect or ignore peoples’ sins of omission, commission, bad attitudes or faulty assumption we are failing preach the whole counsel of God. Trust the Lord to help you encourage people to seek reconciliation with the Lord before they seek to hear His message.
2. Peter offered solutions for spiritual problems that may not have been particularly popular at the time. Peter said, "Repent therefore and return, that your sins may be wiped away, in order that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord." (Acts 3:19)
Application: Great preachers call for essential actions steps. Do not be shy about challenging your listeners to do exactly what is necessary to receive the best of what God has planned for them. Good medicine may at first taste bitter, but afterwards it yields the peaceable fruit of heath. Ask the Lord to give you the tact, compassion and wisdom to present the gospel of truth in a way that solicits the greatest spiritual growth from your audience.
3. Peter gave an invitation in a way that all people could find eternal life, strength and truth only through Jesus Christ. Point people to the Lord Jesus in whom dwells all the wisdom of the ages. In Christ alone can people find the way through life’s wilderness.
Application: Ask the Lord to help you powerfully invite people to make decisions based on Christ’s way, truth and life.
4. Peter made it clear that miracles were not done by his power, but by the authority of Jesus Christ. Make it obvious that every good thing that comes out of your mouth, life and ministry is done as a result of Christ’s work in you. Do not pretend to be something more than you are not. In a celebrity age people love to have heroes that they can look up to and admire. Do not give in to the temptation to seek great things for yourself. Remember the Lord will bring evil upon all flesh. (Jer 45:5)
Application: Ask the Lord to help you preach with a powerful humility that acknowledges that God freely gives every good thing.
5. Peter took contemporary accomplishments and linked them back to the source of all blessings. The miraculous healing of the lame man could have been used to boost Peter and John’s reputation, but they used the miracle to give glory, honor and credit to the one who deserved it. The energy, grace and power to heal always originates from God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Peter would have been a fool to take credit for something that he did not do.