Thursday, November 20, 2008

In my study for Acts 8 this Sunday morning, I came across this excellent insight by William Kistemaker:

"Philip puts a penetrating question to the Ethiopian Eunuch: "Do you understand what you are reading?" This question is basic to confirming the Christian faith, for the Christian knows Christ only through the Scriptures. By reading God's Word, he increases his knowledge of Jesus Christ, his Savior. Thus Philip begins with the Scriptures, explains their fulfillment in Christ, and leads the Ethiopian official to repentance, faith, and joy.

The task of the preacher is to show Christ to his audience. For precisely this reason, some churches have a plaque fastened to the pulpit just below the open Bible and visible only to the preacher. The plaque has the words, "Sir, we want to see Jesus" (John 12:21). The average member of a congregation listens to the preacher only on Sunday, during the worship service. He comes not to hear views on a number of topics that may or may not relate to his life; he has come to meet Jesus. And he meets Jesus through the faithful exposition of the Scriptures. The preacher must be a workman "who correctly handles the word of truth" (2 Tim 2:15, NIV) andopens the Word for his audience. The old adage is worth repeating:

Expound the Scriptures
Exhort the Sinner
Exalt the Savior


(Source: Kistemaker, Acts, NTC, 316-17).

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