A great part of the Protestant worship tradition has been the preaching of the Word. A sacred responsibility falls upon the one given the task to feed the sheep, to teach and to preach and to exhort and to encourage. Music, liturgy, prayer, the Lord’s Supper, and foot washing all have their place, but, perhaps, nothing’s more important than what is preached from the pulpit during the worship hour.
Read Peter’s sermon on the Day of Pentecost (Acts 2:14–41). How are the important topics of Scripture, doctrine, prophecy, Christ, gospel, and salvation expressed by Peter, and why are these so essential in preaching?
What an experience it must have been, hearing the fisherman Peter preach with such power and authority. His words did not show any kind of waffling, any kind of doubt, but rather revealed the Spirit working through Him. All through his homily, Peter never wavers, but using the Scriptures (then, only the Old Testament) he preaches with power the gospel of Jesus Christ, the crucified and risen Messiah, who is now “ ‘exalted to the right hand of God’ ” (Acts 2:33). It is amazing how in such a small number of sentences he covers such an incredible amount of information, everything from the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, to repentance, to the Second Coming.
What were the results of the preaching at this worship service? See Acts 2:41. What can we take away from this for ourselves and our Sabbath services?
No doubt, this must have been a very special worship service. Yet, at the same time, we have the same promises that they had. We have the same Bible (and now the New Testament, as well) that they had, and we have the same Lord who offers us the same Spirit. Why, then, shouldn’t we have worship services with the kind of power we see here? What is holding us back?