Characteristics of Preaching from Peter – Part 2

Continuing from Part 1.

II. Preaching is an Act of Making Knowledge Known (v. 14b)

“Let this be known to you.” In Greek that is in imperative.

There is a vast difference between having to say something versus having something to say. Preaching is not an act of having to say something. It is having something to say because that something has the preacher. That something has possessed the preacher. And that something is the revelation of God’s knowledge.

III. Preaching is Pleading to Pay Close Attention to the Word (v. 14c)

“Give heed to my words.” In Greek this too is in imperative.

When a preacher is preaching, he is actually proclaiming what God says in His Word and what God means by what is stated. In all reality, preacher proclaims in behalf of God. And such task is daunting (cf. Jeremiah 23:9-40).

In his book The Integrity Crisis, Warren Wiersbe writes, “The wrong kinds of preachers have created the wrong kinds of Christians by declaring the wrong kinds of message, compelled by the wrong motives” [Warren W. Wiersbe, The Integrity Crisis (Nashville: Oliver Nelson, 1991), 61].<!–[if !supportFootnotes]–>[1]<!–[endif]–>

When Peter pleaded the people to give heed to his words, he is not asking the people to listen to his opinions or what he thinks God is saying or what he feels God is saying, or other subjective statements. Rather, he is urging to listen to him because he is about to speak in behalf of God (i.e., God’s Word) and that his proclamation is in essence God’s proclamation.

IV. Preaching is Apologetic (v. 15)

Here the word apologetic does not mean “expressing an apology or excuse.” Peter is not saying he’s sorry or apologizing for their drunken-like behavior (v. 13). Rather, here the word apologetic means “a formal defense.” In his sermon Peter is making a formal defense against such accusation of verse 13. As a matter of fact, his sermon begins with such an emphatic statement in verse 15 “For these men are not drunk, as you suppose…”

As many of you know, preaching is stating what it is. But when you add an apologetic component to it, you also need to state what it is not. For Peter, his sermon begins with a negative statement – “these men are not drunk.” That is stating what it is not.

In my preaching, I often like to define or describe what it is not before stating what it is. For example, few weeks ago when I was preaching about what church is, I gave a list of what church is not. And when preaching the first beatitude (i.e., Matt. 5:3), before explaining what “poor in spirit” means, I gave a list of what it does not mean. Hence that is one component of apologetic preaching.

Another component of apologetic preaching is identifying and confronting false presupposition. Peter says, “For these men are not drunk, as you suppose.” Hence Peter is identifying and confronting their false supposition.

A nature of preaching is to identify and to confront false thinking and/or sinful thinking or unhealthy imagination.

  • NAU 2 Corinthians 10:4 for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses. 5 We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ,

But preaching is not just that. A nature of preaching is also to correct and educate. However, before correction and edification can take place, there has to be identification and confronting false or unhealthy presupposition and ideologies. And how does the preacher do that? Again, with Scripture. “All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness” (2 Tim. 3:16).

Another component of apologetic preaching is utilizing good, reasonable, and logical arguments. Here Peter’s argument is that these men are not drunk as they suppose because “it is only the third hour of the day (9 a.m.).”

V. Preaching is Proclamation of the Explanation of the Bible (v. 16)

“This is what was spoken of through the prophet Joel.”

Simply, preaching that does not explain the Bible is not preaching (cf. Nehemiah 8:1-4a, 5, 6, 7b-8, 9b, 12, 13b).

Stay tune for Part 3.

Warren W. Wiersbe, The Integrity Crisis (Nashville: Oliver Nelson, 1991), 61.


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