Note: Devotion taken from last Sunday's sermon on Acts 17:17-31.
And when they had appointed him a day, there came
many to him into his lodging; to whom he expounded and testified the kingdom of
God, persuading them concerning Jesus, both out of the law of Moses, and out of
the prophets, from morning till evening (Acts 28:23).
As Paul was under house arrest in Rome, a day was
appointed for the Jews of that city to come and hear him speak to them concerning
Christianity, which they knew only as a “sect” which everywhere was “spoken
against” (v. 22).
In v. 23b we have a summary of Paul’s preaching
on this occasion. It is both descriptive, telling us what Paul said that
day, and prescriptive, telling us what should always be the content of Christian
preaching. Luke tells us here that Paul addressed two related subjects from one
First, he “expounded and testified the kingdom of
God.” Matthew summarized the preaching of the Lord Jesus himself in Matthew
4:17b as, “Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” The kingdom of God is
the rule and reign of God. With the coming of Christ in the flesh, God’s rule broke
into this world. When he comes again with power and glory that kingdom will
triumph over all.
Second, he was “persuading them concerning Jesus,
both out of the law of Moses, and out of the prophets.”
What did he have to say about the Lord Jesus? No
doubt, he proclaimed the gospel (Good News) about Christ. What is the core of
gospel proclamation? Christ’s death, burial, resurrection, and resurrection
appearances (1 Corinthians 15:3-5).
This is consistent with what Paul preached at
Pisidian Antioch (Acts 13:27-30), and it is consistent with what Paul preached
before Agrippa in Acts 26, “that Christ should suffer, and that he should be
the first that should rise from the dead” (26:23).
The standard for faithful Christian preaching has not changed in
2,000 years: Proclaim from the Scriptures the death of Christ on the cross for
sinners and his glorious resurrection so that all who trust in him might walk in
newness of life.
Grace and peace, Pastor Jeff Riddle