The Bible Edge
Random Thoughts of a Spiritual Nature II
Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls.
Peter preached in the power of the Holy Ghost and according to the above verse …they that gladly received his word were baptized. These gladly received the word that Peter preached, and that word was the message of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Some, when they hear the word preached, receive it gladly. These are those who have no difficulty making it to church on Sunday, Wednesday, and any other day of the week that their church holds services. Neither do they have an issue about praying, witnessing, living holy lives, and developing Bible based standards, even unto having some convictions to live by. Why is this?
Because they …gladly received his word… They were sinners who found a way of escape from the penalty of sin. They were lost sheep who were rescued by the Good Shepherd. They were blind, but now they can see; They were thirsty, and their thirst is now quenched. They were hungry, but now are filled. They were condemned to an eternity in the place known as “the lake of fire,” but were given the gift of eternal life in Heaven. Yes, they were glad, and they received the word Peter preached.
This is a key to living a life in Christ, gladly received His word. Yes, the words that Peter spoke were his words, but they came from His Word. This is all that preaching is. It is using the language of this life to convey the truth of God’s Holy Word. Societal vernacular may change, our colloquialisms may change. Remember when everything was groovy, now everything is dope? Yes, words may change, the words a preacher uses, but God’s Word never changes.
The essence of preaching is “truth through personality.” Preachers take a verse, or a few verses, read them from the Holy Bible, then use words the congregation can understand. After all, Romans 10:14 makes it clear. How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? To believe is to receive. Receive the wonderful Word of God through the words of a preacher.
For example, Hebrews 7:7 says: And without all contradiction the less is blessed of the better. Last Wednesday I spoke on this verse in our church. I used our words to explain what it means. We looked at Abraham blessing Lot, Melchizedek blessing Abraham, and the Lord blessing the loaves and fishes which indeed were blessed in that they filled the 5,000 plus twelve baskets of leftovers. The less, in rank or position, is blessed of the better, or that is the way it should be. Human words, up to date words, even contemporary illustrations were used to prove this beyond any fear of contradiction.
The words of the message were mine but the Word on the matter was God’s. The next time the preacher is speaking, remember this. The Word of God is being made clear by the words of the preacher. If those words agree, receive them, receive them gladly.
William T. Howe, Ph.D.