Message 7 – Steve Lawson – “Gospel-Centered Preaching”
This sermon is a continuation of the message which Dr. Lawson began last night, looking at the five common denominators of the 19 sermons in the book of Acts. This has been expanded to six common denominators over the course of the evening. This represents 25% of the book of Acts. The first common denominator covered last night is that Jesus Christ is the fulfillment of Old Testament Scriptures. The text of the sermon is Acts 3:11-26. Here is the remainder of the common denominators.
2. The sermons emphasize the sinless life of Christ (see verse 14). Jesus Christ is the Holy and Righteous One. Sinless perfection. Perfectly moral character. Perfect compliance to the will of God. No deviation from the glory of God the Father. Why is this important? Why did Jesus not come from heaven immediately to the cross? Jesus lived under the law, in subjection to the moral law of God. The very law we fail to keep, He kept. It is this righteousness that is imputed to us in justification. Righteousness imputed to sinners was not created out of nothing. We need more than our sins forgiven, we need a holiness that does not belong to us, a righteousness that is not our own.
3. The sermons emphasize the substitutionary death of Jesus Christ (see verse 15). The charge is killing the author, or prince, of live. The originator of life was put to death. Jesus did not die as a victim, He died as a victor (see Acts 4:10ff). The rejected stone has become the chief cornerstone.
4. The sermons emphasize the bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ. Of all who were crucified, there was only one who was raised from the dead. See verse 15. And a subset of this is frequently the eyewitness account of the resurrection. A living savior must be dominant in our preaching. A dead savior is no savior at all.
5. The sermons emphasize the necessity of repentance and faith (see verses 6, 16, 19). These two are inseparable. Without faith, repentance is nothing more than a moral resolution. Without repentance, faith is just head knowledge.
6. The sermons emphasize the inescapability of the final judgment. There will be a final judgment at the end of the age. A final day of accountability. Otherwise, our preaching is nothing but suggestions and options to the people. There are consequences for not heeding the preaching. See verse 23. A closely related topic to this which is emphasized in these sermons in the book of Acts is the session of Jesus Christ at the right hand of God the Father in heaven. He is the judge who presides. See Acts 17:31 – this day has been fixed.
Now is the time for the strongest men to preach the strongest message in the context of the strongest ministry. – Dr. John MacArthur.