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The Priority of Preaching Christ (Acts 17:1-9)

February 19, 2015

Reflecting on the Passage:

Here at East Point Church, we have begun a new sermon series entitled “Acts: The Spirit and the Church in the World“. This week’s sermon unveils the mystery of the Gospel. Pastor Carter makes the clear the priority of preaching Christ. The focus of this sermon is on Paul’s preaching Christ in the synagogue to the result of some being persuaded while others were perturbed.

Pauls Preaching: The Necessity & Sufficiency of Christ

Now when they had passed through Amphipolis and Apollonia, they came to Thessalonica, where there was a synagogue of the Jews. And Paul went in, as was his custom, and on three Sabbath days he reasoned with them from the Scriptures, explaining and proving that it was necessary for the Christ to suffer and to rise from the dead, and saying, This Jesus, whom I proclaim to you, is the Christ. (Acts 17:1-3;ESV).

Pastor Carter explains the two main reasons for preaching Christ. The first reason is the necessity of Christ to suffer on the behalf of sinners and rise from the dead for their reconciliation (Isaiah 53:6; Romans 5). If Jesus did not rise from the dead, then preaching His death is meaningless (1 Corinthians 15). The second reason for preaching Christ is the sufficiency of Jesus to satisfy. Since Jesus is the promised suffering and risen King, believers can suffer well for Christ, knowing that He is able to restore whatever they lose for His sake (Mark 10:17-31; John 6:60-71).

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The Result: Some Persuaded, Others Perturbed

And some of them were persuaded and joined Paul and Silas, as did a great many of the devout Greeks and not a few of the leading women. But the Jews were jealous, and taking some wicked men of the rabble, they formed a mob, set the city in an uproar, and attacked the house of Jason, seeking to bring them out to the crowd. And when they could not find them, they dragged Jason and some of the brothers before the city authorities, shouting, These men who have turned the world upside down have come here also, and Jason has received them, and they are all acting against the decrees of Caesar, saying that there is another king, Jesus. And the people and the city authorities were disturbed when they heard these things. And when they had taken money as security from Jason and the rest, they let them go (Acts 17:4-9; ESV).”

The goal of preaching Christ from all of Scripture is persuade men and women that Jesus is the Messiah (2 Corinthians 5:11). Paul and Silas were willing to speak up for Jesus. In doing so, while some were persuaded, others were perturbed seeking to silence Paul and Silas. Jesus turned the world upside through His life, teaching, death and resurrection (Matthew 5-7; Luke 6:20-49; Colossians 2:15). Similarly, those who follow Jesus will also upset the world by following His life, teaching, death and resurrection (John 15).

Do you see your need of Jesus?

Every human heart is looking for Jesus, whether we know it or not. People offer many alternatives to the Gospel, but these alternatives do not satisfy. We must settle in our hearts the necessity and sufficiency of Jesus, there is no substitute (John 6:39-47).

Listen to this week’s full sermon for free.

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