Summary: Responding to False Truths with the Truth of God
Ballard Assembly Pastor Bob Briggs Lesson 6
I. Christians Need to Respond to False Statements with Biblical Truth.
Then Peter stood up with the Eleven, raised his voice and addressed the crowd: “Fellow Jews and all of you who are in Jerusalem, let me explain this to you; listen carefully to what I say. These men are not drunk, as you suppose. It is only nine o’clock in the morning.
On one extreme, the church has, over the centuries, closed itself off from the world, sequestered behind its doors and not speaking forth the truth it contains for fear of not being seen as politically correct. At the opposite spectrum, in an attempt to appease the crowds, they have bowed down to outside pressure, watering down the Gospel in an attempt to be seen as more culturally relevant. I believe the church needs to be a righteous influence in the world, and should not silence itself from the growing animosity but instead should respond in the manner Peter did here on the day of Pentecost, speaking the truth in love. Peter did not shy away from the statements being made by some, that the language being spoken was that of a drunken slur but instead dived in to offer an explanation.
A. Understand Your Audience.
Have you ever heard a sermon preached, and hopefully not here, walked away and wondered why that message since it had no relevance to the people who had gathered to hear it? When you are going to speak to a group of people, you need to know who they are.
Paul said in 1 Corinthians 9:19-21 Though I am free and belong to no man, I make myself a slave to everyone, to win as many as possible. To the Jews I became like a Jew, to win the Jews. To those under the law I became like one under the law (though I myself am not under the law), so as to win those under the law. To those not having the law I became like one not having the law (though I am not free from God’s law but am under Christ’s law), so as to win those not having the law.
This is what Peter is doing here, he is targeting a group of people who had gathered at the Upper Room, those who had experienced the overflow of the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, and he began to speak to them concerning what they had just witnessed, what they had just experienced. Some in the crowd has become bewildered with the multiple languages that had just been spoken, some were in awe at seeing and hearing these Galileans speaking in the native tongues of other nations. Peter knew his audience, and he had a message that could change their lives if they would listen, so he told them as he gathered their attention, to listen carefully to what he was about to say.
B. Draw on their Questions
Some in the crowd has said they were drunk, full of wine, and that was the explanation for their behavior. Peter began to offer an explanation for their question, a launching pad for the Gospel he was preparing to share.
When people ask questions concerning your faith, or you ready to respond to the question which can lead to the next step of a Gospel presentation. The Apostle Peter said in 1 Peter 3:15 Through thick and thin, keep your hearts at attention, in adoration before Christ, your Master. Be ready to speak up and tell anyone who asks why you’re living the way you are, and always with the utmost courtesy.
As Christians, we need to look for opportunities to share our faith with people who do not know Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. Paul said I come to understand them so I can share with them, Peter said we are to be ready to speak to anyone concerning why we live a Christian life. If we listen, people will always open a door, even ever so slight, to allow us to slip in with the truth of Jesus.
The design of our services here at Ballard follows this Biblical format, knowing our audience and drawing from their questions. We explain this in Ballard 101, the different distinctive of our Sunday morning, Sunday evening and Wednesday night services. Dealing with the contemporary issues today with the relevant truths of the Scriptures.
Offering an explanation to those who questioned the sobriety of the disciples, Peter said they were not drunk, it was only nine in the morning, or the third hour depending on which version of Scripture you are reading from. We would probably have a problem with that explanation in America since it seems people who desire to drink do so at all hours of the day and night, but in Jerusalem, at the time of Jesus, this would have been found to be outside the cultural norm. Then, even the drunkards were not inebriated that early in the day. This was enough for Peter to refute the claim of drunkenness in that day.