Summary: Exposition of Acts 13:13-41 about Paul’s longest recorded sermon and its example toward evaluating preaching in our day
Text: Acts 13:13-41, Title: What is Good Preaching? Date/Place: NRBC, 5/4/08
A. Opening illustration: Bible Stories with Graham: The Four Tests – Youtube.com
B. Background to passage: The missionary duo took their instructions from Sergius Paulus to head for the mainland, and so they did. Scripture never says whether or not they ministered in Perga or Pamphylia. But when they came to Antioch Pisidia, they did their normal thing—go to the synagogue and witness. They gave the visiting rabbi of Gamaliel his chance to speak and a sermon came forth. This is the first recorded and the longest of the sermons preached by Paul. Since we have already looked at long sermons by Peter and Stephen, which bear out similar content, we are going to look at preaching in general.
C. Main thought: Looking at this sermon, and others, to determine what good, biblical preaching is. As we all need to be coinsures of preaching
A. Full of biblical content (v. 17-22)
1. Notice in the first six verses of this sermon we get an overview of biblical history beginning in the Exodus and going through David. Paul uses the storyline of the OT to begin to frame up his case for Jesus Christ. He understands that we are begotten by the Word, and that it must be included in preaching for preaching to be preaching. And the word that is used must be spoken/interpreted in context. For we know that it is not permissible to use scripture to make it say what we want it to say. It is the job of the preaching to take what God said, and say it to you again.
2. Acts 2:16-17, 7:2, 20:27, Heb 1:1, 1 Pet 1:23, Eph 1:13, “word of God” was received and spread
3. Illustration: I never cease to be amazed at the preaching that Baptists will up to me and tell me that they have been listening to, tell the MacArthur story about him preaching before in chapel and getting the evaluation back from his mentor that read, “you missed the entire point of the passage.” “The reason I preach the Bible is: first, I’m not smart enough to preach anything else. The Bible is a bottomless well. So I’m not smart enough to preach anything else. The other reason is I am smart enough not to preach anything else, because I know that that has the staying power. My people love me today; I don’t want to say boastfully, but I know this is true: they love me, they come. This place is packed; we have run out of room. It is not a testimony to the man but to the Bible. If I stop preaching the Bible, these folks will saturate this place with absence. They come for the Word of God. They want it to be warm; they want it to be understandable and applicable. But I have learned that there is power in the preaching of the Word of God.” –Adrian Rogers, Rev. Phil Chambers, senior pastor at the church, would not grant TBNN an interview, but did send us a letter. In it Chambers said, "Jeremy Willis is a fine teacher of the bible. However, our youth and parents have a vision of a youth group that centers on the needs of the kids. Youth these days need a place where they can have good, clean fun in a safe environment. Mr. Willis’ dismissal has nothing to do with him personally, but rather speaks to the difference in vision about what a youth group should be. Teaching the bible is fine, but just not too much bible."