Summary: Ready to preach!
March 20, 2011
Soon we’ll be handing out Easter invitations and gospel tracts. Sometimes we get scared even thinking about witnessing for Christ, so I want to preach a sermon to help you get ready.
Jesus commanded His disciples to be His witnesses all over the earth (Acts 1:8), and one day Peter and John were walking to the temple. They happened upon a lame beggar who asked them for money, but Peter said, Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have give I thee: in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk (Acts 3:6).
The man immediately leapt to his feet and began rejoicing and praising God. Now this attracted a good crowd and it gave Peter the opportunity to preach a sermon to them. He told the people of their guilt and of repentance, and many of them believed and were saved.
But not all the attention was good: the priests and Sadducees arrested them for preaching in Jesus’ name, and they brought them before the Council for questioning:
And it came to pass on the morrow, that their rulers, and elders, and scribes, 6And Annas the high priest, and Caiaphas, and John, and Alexander, and as many as were of the kindred of the high priest, were gathered together at Jerusalem. 7And when they had set them in the midst, they asked, By what power, or by what name, have ye done this? 8Then Peter, filled with the Holy Ghost, said unto them, Ye rulers of the people, and elders of Israel, 9If we this day be examined of the good deed done to the impotent man, by what means he is made whole; 10Be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead, even by him doth this man stand here before you whole. 11This is the stone which was set at nought of you builders, which is become the head of the corner. 12Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved (Acts 4:5-12).
Wow! How bold and inspiring. Peter stood before the leaders and preached the gospel to them after they had arrested him and after they had crucified his Lord.
13Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were unlearned and ignorant men, they marvelled; and they took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus. 14And beholding the man which was healed standing with them, they could say nothing against it.
Now these are the verses I want to focus on right here.
These show what made the disciples ready to preach, and I think they show what makes us ready too. First of all:
The command to go makes us ready (:13)
Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John…
The leaders had asked by what power Peter and John healed the man, and Peter immediately began preaching Christ saying, by him doth this man stand here before you whole and neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.
Peter knew the power of Christ, and he knew His commission:
Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: 20Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world (Mt. 28:19-20).
So Peter’s walking through town one day, sees an opportunity to preach the word, and he does it. When he’s arrested he sees another opportunity and he does it again. He was bold because he knew the command to preach. Paul says:
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! 17For if I do this thing willingly, I have a reward: but if against my will, a dispensation of the gospel is committed unto me (I Cor. 9:16-17).
If you’re worried about preaching the gospel and witnessing, remember that you’re commanded by Christ to give witness.
But that’s all you’re expected to do. You don’t need to memorize an outline or study creationism and evolution or world religions first. You don’t need to be a theologian.
The power of Christ makes us ready (:13)
The leaders looked at the disciples,
…and perceived that they were unlearned and ignorant men, they marvelled; and they took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus.