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Summary: evangelistic sermons

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WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO PREACH THE GOOD NEWS?

Acts 8:35

If I told you, “Now, I want you to build a house for me!” what would you think? How can my words make sense to you? Of course, for this to happen there needs to be some conditions met. There is an assumption that we have talked about. There is also an assumption that you know how to do it, or you are told how to do it.

In Acts 8:35 we read, "Then Philip began with that very passage of Scripture and told him the good news about Jesus." After Philip has preached him about Christ, this Ethiopian officer immediately responded to the message. Luke leaves us with a tension at this verse. He does not record for us Philip’s sermon to the official, but from other Scriptures in Acts we can build a case and answer the question, “What does it mean to preach the good news?” The book of Acts is the book of the progress of the church in fulfilling Jesus’ Great Commission, “Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned." (Mark 16:15-16).

We answer this question, by answering three other questions. These three questions will spell out for us the meaning of our question.

I. What is the good news?

II. How to prove the validity of the good news?

III. How to effectuate the good news?

{The first question for us to answer is “What is the good news?”}

I. WHAT IS THE GOOD NEWS?

A. Lost in its sins, the world needs Christ. Sin causes the death and separation of man from his/her Creator (Rom. 3:23; 6:23). Because of sin, man’s relationship with God is broken. And the Good News is that God has offered a remedy in Christ so that people can be restored back to God.

B. What stays in the essence of the Good News?

1. Paul defines for us the gospel, the good news in 1 Corinthians 15:1-4 when he writes, " Now, brothers, I want to remind you of the gospel I preached to you, which you received and on which you have taken your stand. By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain. For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures," (1 Corinthians 15:1-4).

2. All the sermons, which are recorded in the book of Acts contain:

a. The death of Christ for our sins.

b. The resurrection of Christ for our justification.

3. This is the good news! This is “the good news about Jesus” that Philip preached to the Ethiopian officer!

{There are some natural questions that come from answering this first one. Can I trust the good news? Are the proofs to validate its authenticity? How can one prove the validity of the good news?}

II. HOW TO PROVE THE VALIDITY OF THE GOOD NEWS?

A. It is possible to prove the validity of the Good News! Though these elements are present throughout Acts, Peter has condensed them in one sermon in the first sermon preached at Pentecost. These evidences prove that Christianity is not some occult practice that was shaped in hidden, “…because it was not done in a corner.” (26:26).

B. These evidences are:

1. Prophecy. According to Peter, the events in the Day of Pentecost had their origin in Old Testament prophecies. What they experienced that day was long spoken by the prophets. The Old Testament contains over 300 prophecies in regard to Christ. These prophecies give us an address in time to identify Messiah / Christ. They also help us understand the love of God and His long-lasting plans to restore humanity back to Himself.

2. Miracles. Peter said in his sermon "…Jesus of Nazareth was a man accredited by God to you by miracles, wonders and signs, which God did among you through him, as you yourselves know." (Acts 2:22). He called them to verify the evidence that they had experienced just recently. None of them could deny the facts! Why? Because, they were facts!

3. Resurrection. Christianity stands or falls with the truth of the resurrection. Can the resurrection be verified? These men were changed from a bunch of running cowards to powerful preachers of Christ. What caused the change? They said that it was the resurrected Lord. When faced with threats they answered “We must obey God rather than men!” (5:29). Most of them died for having preached the resurrected Christ who had appeared to them. I am not quite willing to die of something I have not seen or am not sure of. Are you?

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