Acts 5:42

And they departed, etc.

I. THE NAME OF CHRIST the source of it. No such spirit in the world. Heroism may sustain strength, but does not give joy, unless it is like the apostles'. Had not the Name been Divine, how could it have produced such fruits in such men?

II. THE TEACHING AND PREACHING, both in the temple and at home, must be in the martyr spirit. We must expect to suffer some dishonor. But such a spirit invincible and victorious.

III. THE HONOUR OF THE CHURCH over against the honor of the world. "Counted worthy." God's reckoning. Spiritual worthies. The joy was not only a secret joy, it was the foretaste of heaven. Enforce the example. - R.

And daily in the temple, and in every house, they ceased not to teach and preach Jesus Christ.
This is a suggestive picture of the life and work of the early Church. We like to trace enterprises to their beginnings, rivers to their springs. These were times of holy zeal and fervour which may be accounted for by four considerations.

1. The apostles felt the impulse of a new undertaking.

2. They held fresh in memory their intercourse with their Lord.

3. They had the inward energy of the Holy Spirit.

4. They were inspired by the truths they preached. The text is one of the best exhibitions of this energy, and suggests to us —

I. OUR WORK. "Teaching and preaching Jesus Christ." That may seem to be the specific work of apostles and ministers, but in truth it is the work of every Christian. Moses wished that "all the Lord's people were prophets"; Jesus said, "Go home to thy friends and tell them how great things the Lord hath done for thee."

1. The subject.(1) Jesus, regarded as the object of love — in the infinite grace of His character, and in the persuasions of His self-sacrificing love.(2) Christ, as the object of faith — in His mission, death, resurrection.(3) Jesus Christ — sent of God to save from sin.

2. The mode.(1) Preaching, announcing, heralding, witnessing, proclaiming the Saviour present and almighty to save.(2) Teaching — careful and minute instruction in Christian facts, truths, duties.

II. OUR SPHERES. "In the temple and in every house." Not only in appointed sanctuaries, but also in —

1. Society, which we are to leaven and purify for Christ with wise teachings and preachings.

2. Our houses — homes where family bonds and sympathies make for it a preparatory atmosphere. Our first circle to win for Christ is the home circle. But these two circles cannot be properly occupied in any one way or by any one agency. We want —

(1)A life voice, the testimony of a daily pure and helpful conduct.

(2)A lip voice, the witness of wise, earnest, and loving words.

(3)A works voice, the hallowing influence of good and gracious deeds.

III. OUR TIMES. "Daily," i.e., always. Not a day should pass without some witness for Christ. Christ wants service from us on week-days as well as Sundays. We may preach —

1. Christ's spirit, which is charity.

2. Christ's will, which is holiness.

3. Christ's salvation.

(R. Tuck, B. A.)

In this brief but emphatic record of the labours of the first apostles we may find a pattern after which to model ours, in the prosecution of that great work to which we have been set apart.

I. Examine THE COMPREHENSIVE CHARACTER OF THE MINISTERIAL OFFICE DELINEATED — marking its adaptation to the end for which it was originally instituted. The recovery of the sinner — his restoration to the Divine image and favour, is the revealed purpose of God. We must not shun to declare the whole counsel of God. Herein we perceive what should constitute the staple of our preaching. It is Christ, in the glory of His person, in the all-sufficiency of His offices, in the riches of His grace.

1. To preach Jesus is to announce Him as a Peacemaker, who brought in, by His one oblation of Himself once offered, an atonement. It is to herald Him as the Saviour, to the exclusion of all other humanly-devised methods, wherein salvation is sought; a Saviour, suitable and sufficient — suitable as man, sufficient as God — His deity being the altar upon which His humanity was immolated; "the altar sanctifying the gift."

2. To preach Jesus is "to declare His righteousness for the remission of sins"; a righteousness resulting from His obedience, at once active and passive, exacted and rendered as the sinner's substitute, and imparted unto all who exercise faith in Him.

3. Further, the title of Christ is applied to the Saviour. Christ, the anointed Prophet, Priest, Advocate, and King.

4. It is further recorded of the apostles that they did not restrict their labours to the service of the temple, but that they instructed "from house to house." "We watch for souls," and should therefore have our people under constant inspection, and ever-wakeful supervision. By such a course we shall best prove that we are indeed alive to their highest interests; by this will the cause of religion and morality and public tranquillity be best advanced; by this, too, shall we be best prepared for meeting that solemn inquiry, "Where is the flock that was given thee, thy beautiful flock?"

5. Another remark upon this part of our subject is suggested by the expression, "they taught Jesus Christ." It is in the power of conduct, as well as of words, to convey instruction. "Ye," said our Lord, "are the light of the world." Like a moral Pharos, enkindled from above, we are placed in a direct line with the haven of eternity, in order that, by the concentrated beams of purity of doctrine and of conduct, we may guide the endangered sinner across these perilous waters, wherein many are engulphed and for ever lost. We are to be "ensamples unto our flock," giving strength and power to our public admonitions by the consistency of our private deportment. That which we have "heard and seen," tasted, and are enjoying, we declare unto our perishing fellow sinners; and this invests our addresses with a charm and power which nothing short of it could possibly impart. Ours it is to utter testimony confirmed by experience; and who can fail to admit its force, in its peculiar fitness for the end designed?

II. THE CONSTANCY AND FULNESS OF DEDICATION TO THEIR WORK EXHIBITED BY THE APOSTLES, furnishing for our imitation a just and impressive pattern. It was a noble declaration of the twelve, "We will give ourselves continually to prayer and to the ministry of the Word." They appear to have been influenced by an "inconceivable severity of conviction, that they had one thing to do." Upon this one object the whole force of their mind was expended. For its furtherance they were content to suffer the loss of all things, deeming reproach an honour, suffering a privilege, a martyr's death a gain. The necessity for this self-sacrificing devotedness still exists, in order to our reaching the highest style of ministerial excellence.

1. The ministry of the gospel, in its widest acceptation, is emphatically the work we have to do. Well may we, engaged in such an undertaking, affirm in the language of Nehemiah, "I am doing a great work." The magnitude of that work will be further seen in the diversity of the employment connected with its due discharge. To the Christian pastor belongs the study of human character in its every different aspect. He will have to adapt his resources to the peculiarities of every rank and age in the Church and in the world.

2. The disproportion between our powers and the undertaking upon which they are to be expended is another consideration calculated to prove the necessity for the accumulated force of all our powers in its performance.

3. Moreover, we may observe that the amount of our success will bear some proportion to our efforts. The seed will reproduce itself, and the greater the quantity sown in prayer and watered by that gracious influence which faithful sustained supplication calls down, the more abundant will be the crop. The manifestation of this success may be for a while denied; we may be permitted to toil on, witnessing but little fruit of our labour; nevertheless, the result is certain.

(Henry Abney, B. A.)

I. ITS SUBJECT. Not things about Jesus Christ, but Himself. Creeds may satisfy the reason, but the heart craves a Person. The heart grows, but creeds are stationary. Christ and His fulness ever transcend our utmost need. A ministry of which Christ is not the grand theme is a misnomer — worthless and injurious:

II. ITS METHOD. "Preaching," i.e., evangelising; "teaching," i.e., instructing those who have received the evangel, Notice —

1. The great importance of these two things.

2. The difficulty of doing both well.

3. The difficulty of obtaining appreciation for both in one congregation. Yet the Church must have and exercise both.


1. Public.

2. Domestic (Acts 2:46).

IV. ITS FREQUENCY. "Daily." Here is a message for those who never enter the sanctuary except on the Lord's day.

(W. Jones.)

I. ITS SUBJECT. "Jesus Christ." This was not one subject of many; it was the only one. Note that this is a subject of —

1. Infinite importance. "Neither is there salvation in any other." You may be interested in many subjects; you may love music, history, etc.; but you may die to-morrow; and without an interest in Christ you are lost: and therefore to know how you are to be saved must be matter of infinite importance.

2. Unequalled suitableness. It is adapted to the moral necessities of all mankind.

3. Endless vapory. The mind of man is so constituted that it never can be happy without variety; and that variety is furnished us in the heavens and on the earth. But in Christ all God's various wonders meet; He is the great Centre of both worlds, in whom the glories of both are concentrated. I can hardly look at an object in creation without being reminded of Him; and the Bible is intended that whichever way I look it should preach to me about Jesus Christ.

4. Peculiar sweetness. What is so sweet to a starving man as food, to a weary traveller as rest, to the criminal as pardon?

5. Singular efficacy. It is the power of God and the wisdom of God. And what subject has the efficacy which this possesses? Mahometanism has converted its millions; but how? By the sword and by the allowance of sensual indulgence. Idolatry has its millions; but they curse their senseless and blood-thirsty deities for the slavery which they impose upon them. But without any carnal weapons, or human authority, the simple preaching of Christ, which first conquered the Roman world, brought England into the state into which it now is, and will, by its blessed conquests, finally convert and subdue the whole world. If you are alarmed at the vice and misery of London, see the trophies of the simple preaching of Jesus Christ. Saul, the persecuting bigot; Mary Magdalene, the habitation of foul demons; the thief on the cross, etc.

6. Eternal duration. Many subjects which are excellent in their nature, and adapted to the present wants of man, involve only the interests of time. But this one subject promises present peace and eternal felicity. I would be a Christian if its influence extended no further than the waters of Jordan. But although there is great blessedness now, it is but a taste of what is to come.


1. Public preaching. This was according to the charge of our Saviour, "Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature," and according to the plan of Divine wisdom. By the foolishness of preaching "it pleased God to save them that believe." And this is a mode adapted to the wants, habits, and the constitution of the human mind. People are fond of a crowd, and God has so ordained it, that by the preaching of the gospel multitudes should be gathered to listen to it. They could not spare the time nor the money that books would require, to derive the same instruction; therefore they are congregated to save both. The same attention employed in reading would not produce the same effects that are produced by preaching; there is a certain charm, enthusiasm in the human voice, the piercing look, the animated manner of the speaker, which no books in the world can supply. There is also something in the place; there is something charming to the mind in a place consecrated to the service of God. If ever the world is converted, preachers must be multiplied, and multiplied to an extent of which, at present, we have very little knowledge: we must not wait till new churches are built. We must convert school-rooms into preaching-places, and barns into chapels, and every house we can enter for a spot in which multitudes can be assembled to hearken to the words of life. This was the apostolical plan. John Mark's was the house where the people met together to pray for Peter's deliverance. The Church assembled in the house of Aquila and Priscilla. The Church assembled in the house of Onesiphorus. And if these cannot be obtained, then we must have open-air preaching, with the sky for a sounding-board and the multitudes around for a congregation. Every spot is consecrated. If you go on board a ship, Christ was there before, and preached there. If you go to the hills, the apostles preached there before you. If you go to the prisons, the apostles preached there before you.

2. Private teaching. They were net satisfied with public preaching, .but they went to every house. This is the communication of the truth to individuals, as the other was the communication of the truth to multitudes. David had often heard Nathan speak in public; but he heard him in private to purpose when he came and related his parable, and then said, "Thou art the man." I doubt not that a part of this private tuition consisted in the application of the consolation of the gospel to individuals who have been pricked in their hearts, and their minds somewhat illuminated by the truth: they had to strengthen them that were weak, and to bring back those who had fallen away. But the chief end of this private tuition was, to seek out that which was lost. Now ministers are not only to teach and preach to them who will come, but they are to go to those who will not come. They are not only to invite people to come to the temple, but they are to go to their houses.

III. ITS CONSTANCY. "Daily... they ceased not." The influence of the Spirit of God produced three blessed states of mind.

1. Burning zeal for their Master's glory. They went into "every house"; not only those into which they were invited; of the rich as well as of the poor; of the learned as well as the illiterate. And what though it was said, "You have no business here; keep your religion to yourself!" Their Master's honour was what they attempted to sustain: and if men dishonoured them they bound the scorn to their brow, and gloried in their shame.

2. Ardent love for the souls of men.

3. Indefatigable perseverance in their work.

(J. Sherman.)

As preachers, the apostles proclaimed the gospel to men; and as teachers they expounded its doctrines and enforced its duties. In this they obeyed the command of their Lord, "Go ye into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. Go and disciple all nations,... teaching them." During His own personal ministry He exemplified what He thus enjoined. "He went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues and preaching the gospel of the kingdom."


1. In the age which succeeded that of the apostles preaching and teaching were sedulously maintained by the Christians. From every congregation men seem to have gone forth as evangelists to make known the message of salvation; and in the assemblies of the believers, besides the reading of the Scriptures, a discourse delivered in the audience of the people formed a regular part of the service. , in the former half of the second century, gives an account of how service was conducted in the assembly of the Christians on the Lord's day; and he says that after the reading of the Scriptures the president delivered a discourse of a hortatory character in which he admonished his hearers to reduce to practice what they had heard read. These discourses were homely, unartificial addresses, partaking rather of the nature of conversational utterances than regularly constructed orations or discourses. In the Eastern churches, where they chiefly were in use in the earliest age, the name homily was given to them, a word which signifies intercourse, converse, and secondarily, instruction. For a long time these homilies continued to be mere expositions of Scripture with practical applications and exhortations, often of the simplest character, but sometimes containing the results of careful investigation and profound thought, as in the case of , whose homilies are still valued by scholars for their suggestiveness and the light they sometimes throw on the meaning of Scripture.

2. As Christianity advanced, and the Christian assemblies became more numerous and cultured, the addresses of the pastors came to be of a more ambitious, character, and to be formed more on the model of the oratory of the senate or the forum. The slightly elevated platform which at first was the reader and to the preacher, was by the latter exchanged for, first, a loftier pulpit, and afterwards for a throne, from which the bishop delivered his oration. Gradually the ancient wholesome usage of expounding the prophetic and evangelic writings was relinquished, and discourses in praise of martyrs, or funeral orations, highly ornate harangues, and pieces of artificial rhetoric were in their stead offered to the people, who, captivated by the gaudy show, followed the usage of the theatre, and at the close of each eloquent burst, expressed their approbation by acclamation and clapping of hands.

3. During the Middle Ages, and on to the time of the Reformation,)reaching and teaching had well-nigh ceased. It is true, sermons continued to be written, and were probably delivered, but as they were in a tongue which only the learned understood, they were confined in their use to the clergy; and it is true also that enlightened rulers like and saw the importance of the people being instructed in religion, and took measures to enforce on the clergy the duty of preaching to the people in the vulgar tongue; but how little prepared were the clergy may be gathered from the fact that the Emperor found it necessary to enjoin that "bishops and presbyters are themselves to understand the Lord's Prayer, and preach it to all that each may know what he asks of God." Now and then a man fired by holy zeal — a Tauler, a Wicliffe, a Huss, a Gerson, a Savonarola — preached the gospel to the people and taught them the truths and duties of Christianity, and doubtless there were faithful but unknown men labouring in retired districts. But for the most part, all through these dreary centuries, the pulpit was virtually a nonentity in Christendom, and the people perished for lack of knowledge. Things were at the worst when the dawn of a better day arrived, and, as Milton expresses it, "then was the Sacred Bible sought out of the dusty corners where profane falsehood and neglect had thrown it, the schools opened, Divine and human learning raked out of the embers of forgotten tongues, the princes and cities trooping apace to the new-erected banner of salvation."

4. All the leading reformers were assiduous and eminent preachers, and by this more than any other means they made good their position and effected a real and lasting revival of religious life among the nations. Since then, in all the Protestant Churches, preaching and teaching have been recognised as a chief duty of the Christian pastor; and even in the Romish and Greek churches the value of these is to a greater or less extent practically acknowledged.

II. A TENDENCY HAS SHOWN ITSELF OF LATE TO DEPRECIATE PREACHING AS COMPARED WITH THE DEVOTIONAL PARTS OF OUR PUBLIC SERVICES. A cry has been heard for less preaching and more of prayer and praise. But after much consideration and observation I am brought to the conclusion, that not for instruction alone, but for devotion and spiritual quickening as well, it is needful that the preaching of God's Word should keep that place in the service of the sanctuary which the wisdom and the piety of our ancestors led them to assign to it. Consider well the following things.

1. The testimony of experience is strongly in favour of the value of preaching as a means of sustaining spiritual life in the Church. Turn over the volumes of Church history and it will be found that the free add earnest preaching of God's Word has ever gone hand in hand with a lively state of religious feeling and an earnest and elevated devotion among the people; whilst, on the other hand, when the Church has relied principally on prayer and praise for the sustenance of her spiritual vigour, coldness, indifference, and formality have become characteristic of her members, and the pure fire of devotion on her altar has given place to a lurid and unwholesome flame.

2. Devotion being the utterance of feeling has no self-sustaining power. No emotion, high or low, holy or common, sustains itself; unless it be fed from without it becomes feeble and dies. But how is devotional emotion to be fed except by the Word of God? But it is by preaching and teaching in the sanctuary that the Word of God is chiefly and most effectually to be ministered to the people.

3. Whatever help devotional exercises may lend to She sanctification of the soul, they can never minister so directly to this as does the preaching of God's Word. If devotion fans the flame, it is preaching that must supply the fuel, and it is by it that the fire is to be kindled. Pure affections spring from holy thoughts, and holy thoughts are the offspring of Divine knowledge.

4. The proper hearing of God's Word is in itself an act of worship and devotion. If indeed it is merely to be pleased by an interesting preacher that people come to church; or if they come merely to sit in judgment on him or to enjoy an intellectual pastime or a sensational display — then truly they are as far from worship as if they were engaged in any secular pursuit or worldly amusement. But if they come to hear God's Word, bowing their minds and hearts to the utterance of the Divine mind and seeking the blessing which lies in the reception of the truth, then do they in that very act rise to a true devotion, and offer a worship which is acceptable to God.

(W. L. Alexander, D. D.)

I. The SUBJECT. To preach Jesus Christ aright we must preach Him in —

1. His infinite and indisputable Godhead. Take away the Divinity of Christ from the gospel, and you have nothing whatever left upon which the anxious soul can rest. If Christ were not God He was the basest of impostors.

2. His true humanity. We must never make Him to be less manlike because He was perfectly Divine. We must have a human Christ, not of shadows or fancies, one to whom we can talk, with whom we can walk, "who in His measure feels afresh what every member bears."

3. His personality. A doctrinal Christ, a practical Christ, or an experimental Christ. I do not feel to be sufficient for the people of God. We want a personal Christ. This has been a power to the Romish Church — a power which they have used for ill, but always a power. Whatever we fail to preach we must preach Him. If we are wrong in many points, if we be but right here, this will save our ministry from the flames; but if we be wrong here, however orthodox we may pretend to be, we cannot be right in the rest.

4. His solitary mediatorship. Admitting the efficacy of the intercession of living saints for sinners, yet must we have it that the only Mediator in the heavens, and the only direct Intercessor with God, is the Man Christ Jesus. Nay, we must not be content with making Him the only Mediator; we must set aside all approach to God in any way whatever, except by Him. We must not only have Him for the Priest, but we must have Him for the Altar, the Victim, and the Offerer too. We must not permit for a moment the fair white linen of His righteousness to be stained by the patch-work of our filthy rags.

5. His authority as the only Lawgiver and Rabbi of the Church. When you put it down as a canon of your faith that the Church has right and power to decree rites and ceremonies, you have robbed Christ of His proper position. Or when you claim the office of controlling other men's consciences by the decree of the Church, or the vote of a synod apart from the authority of Christ, you have taken away from Christ that chair which He occupies in the Christian Church.

6. His dignity as the sole King of the Church. The Church is queen above all queens, and Christ her only King. If any of our acts violate the civil laws we are citizens, and we acknowledge the right of a state to govern us as individuals. But we maintain that the excommunication of a Christian Church can never be reversed by the civil power, nor are its censures to be examined, much less to be removed, mitigated, or even judged.

7. His supremacy as the King of kings. He has an absolute right to the entire dominion of this world.


1. Blessed variety. There are many strings to the harp of the gospel. There are some brethren who are so charmed with five of the strings, which certainly have very rich music in them, that they never meddle with any of the others; the cobwebs hang on the rest while these five are pretty well worn out. Any man who preaches Christ will ensure variety in his preaching. He is all manner of precious perfume, myrrh, and aloes, and cassia. He is all sorts of music, He is everything that is sweet to the ear; He is all manner of fruits; there is not one dainty in Him, but many. He is all manner of raiment; He is golden raiment for beauty, He is the warm raiment for comfort, He is the stout raiment for harness in the day of battle. There are all things in Christ, and he that hath Christ will have as great a variety as there is to be found in the scenery of the world where are no two rocks alike, and no two rivers wind in precisely the same manner, and no two trees grow in precisely the same form.

2. It suits all sorts of people. Are there rebels? Preach Christ; it will suit them. Are there pardoned sinners? What is better to melt their hearts than the blood of the Lord Jesus? Are there doubting Christians? What can cheer them better than the name of Christ? Are there strong believers? What is stronger meat than Jesus crucified? Are there learned, polite, intellectual hearers? If they are not satisfied with Christ they ought to be. Are there poor, ignorant, unlettered men? Jesus Christ is just the thing to preach to them — a naked Christ to their simple ears. Jesus Christ is a topic that will keep in all climates. Stand in New Zealand in the midst of uncivilised men, stand in the midst of poetical Persia or fickle France, the Cross is adapted to all.


1. To promote the union of the people of God. There is a man there, he is almost a Puseyite. "I do not like him," says one. There is another man, a Presbyterian; he cannot bear Independency. "Well, I like him a little better; but I do not suppose we shall get on very well." There is another man, a very strong Calvinist. "I shall not admire him." Stop, stop! That man yonder, whom I called almost a Puseyite, was George Herbert; but what a Christian! What a lover of Jesus! You know that hymn of his, "How sweetly doth my Master's sound!" That second man, the Presbyterian, who would not have liked George Herbert, was Samuel Rutherford. What a seraphic spirit! Well, now, I think, we will introduce Mr. Rutherford and Mr. Herbert together, and I am persuaded when they begin to speak about their Master they will find each other next of kin; and I feel sure that, by this time, Samuel Rutherford and George Herbert have found each other out in heaven, and are sitting side by side. That high Calvinist was Dr. Hawker. Now, I am sure, George Herbert would not have liked Dr. Hawker, and I am certain that Dr. Hawker would not have liked George Herbert, and I do not suppose that Samuel Rutherford would have had anything to do with either of them. But what a sweet spirit! He cannot take up his pen, but dips it in Christ and begins to write about his Lord at once. "Precious Immanuel — precious Jesus." Those words in his morning and evening portions are repeated again and again. Let a man stand up and exalt Christ, and we are all agreed.

2. Upon the heart of sinners. There is a person, now a member of my church, whose conversion was owing to the reading of that hymn — "Jesus, lover of my soul." "Ah," says he, "does Jesus love my soul? Then how vile I have been to neglect Him!" There are scores whose conversion is distinct and directly traceable, not to doctrine — though that is often useful — nor experience, nor practice, though these are fruitful, but to the preaching of Christ. This is a seed which seldom rots under the clod. One may fall upon the stony ground, but it oftener happens that the seed breaks the stone when it falls. We ought to thunder out the threatenings of God, but they must never be the main topic. Judge not any man's ministry. The world has too often condemned the man whom God intended to honour. Say not of such an one "He can do no good, for his language is rough and rude." Say not of another that his style is too often marred with flippancy. Say not of a third that he is too erudite or soars too high. Every man in his own order. If that man preach Christ, whether he be Paul, or Apollos, or Cephas, God will bless the Christ he preaches, and forgive the error which mingled with his ministry.

(C. H. Spurgeon.)

Little beginnings have large endings. A man drops a small seed upon the earth, and it starts up and expands into a tree of a thousand arms. The slender rill that leaps from a rock presently increases to a stream, and the stream swells into a river, and the river, gathering as it rolls, becomes the arm of the sea; and then there is a mingling, a sweeping, and a spreading of the waters through the circuit of the broad ocean. And so of the rise and progress of the religion of Jesus. At first there was the utterance of a single voice in the solitudes of the wilderness, and next was the testimony of the Son of God to Himself in the village and in the city; forthwith was the gathering of the twelve, and a declaration from these of the gospel to the surrounding nations. Then arose from the apostles the great company of preachers multiplying and widening their circles of influence abroad the earth unto this present, and looking forward we anticipate the time when the whole world, now lying in darkness, shall be filled with the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the channels of the sea. Yes, whatever is or shall be, the aspect of the globe in the light and beauty of holiness cometh under God of preaching. This is the great lever, which by little and little is lifting the wide universe out of the bondage of ignorance and superstition. It was this which overturned the Mosaical economy, which struck to their centre and shivered the idols of the heathen, which enkindled a light, that the power of the most numerous and mighty of adversaries could not put out, which snatched from the grasp of Satan, which drew as brands from the burning, thousands of souls now ministering before the throne of the Lamb.

I. OUR OBLIGATIONS TO PREACH JESUS CHRIST. It is the solemn object of our ordination, and we should be recreants from our vows, apostate from the articles of our faith, and traitors to the cause we professedly espouse, were we to gainsay the appeal that presses. To teach and preach Jesus is the great business of our days; whatever be the varieties of our talents, if the lines converge not to this centre our talents are abused; whatever be the plenitude of our strength, if it be not consecrated to this, our strength is worse than unprofitable. Our lamp must burn at the altar, our sinews must bear the cross. Our obligations to preach Jesus Christ rest upon the conviction —

1. That sinners have need of Him. In their natural estate they area(1) Blind.(a) In their ignorance of the true God and Jesus Christ, whom He hath sent.(b) To the interests of their souls, preferring the evil and rejecting the good, and turning their back to the only light which shines from to lead their steps to heaven.(2) Poor.(a) As despoiled of the privileges and honours of a happier estate.(b) As defrauded by an enemy of the birthright of the sons of God.(c) As cast from the affluence of the garden into the necessities of the wilderness.(d) As the heirs of bodily sorrows, and as the victims of an inwardly consuming anguish because of guilt and the judgment.(e) As the slaves of sin and the death, temporally and eternally.(3) Naked.

(a)As possessing no garment in their own righteousness, nor in that of others, wherewith they might stand clothed in the sight of God.

(b)As wanting that white raiment which alone Christ can put on.

2. That in all the multifarious wants of man, Christ is the One, the near, the all-sufficient, the ever-living, the inexhaustible supply. The poor wandering and fainting flock lacks a shepherd to guide and cherish — Christ is the true Shepherd. The plague-stricken lack the hand of the physician to bind up and heal — Christ is the wise Physician, The deceived, the forsaken, and the abandoned lack the faithful adviser, the able defender, the counsellor for good — Christ is the unchangeable Friend, and the mighty Advocate, and the Prince of Peace.

3. That without Him everything is nothing, whilst with Him and in Him there is abundantly more than we can either ask or think to satisfy and enrich here, and to bless everlastingly.


1. In substance. Let us analyse the title —(1) Jesus — a name synonymous with Joshua, and meaning a deliverer — a deliverer from the bondage of sin; from the tyranny of Satan; from sin as a ruling principle and as a destroying violence; from the fears of the valley of the shadow of death and from the terrors of the deeper darkness beyond I A deliverer from these evils, and by what means? At what cost? By the offering up of Himself, the just for the unjust, by the shedding of His blood as the Lamb of atonement for the sins of the world.(2) Christ, i.e., the anointed. The anointed, the consecrated, through the Spirit. Do you acknowledge Christ in the separate glories of His offices aa having in each the seal and testimony of the Spirit?

2. The manner should be characterised with a spirit of simplicity, decision, faithfulness, affection, and the devotion of a holy zeal. The man should be forgotten in his message, the wise, after the rudiments of this world, should be hidden to himself and others in the office of the minister of Christ.


1. As fully sensible of the value of the privilege of hearing. What gem had not David plucked from his royal crown for one of the opportunities with which you are blessed? How lavish had priests been of their distinctions and prophets of their gifts in exchange for one hour of your sabbaths. And oh, the treasures expended and the blood shed for your present liberty.

2. As men personally concerned and addressed in every appeal and invitation and reproof, in every promise and curse. You should bring the application home, not fancying how well the preacher's word affixes to some one else.

3. With humility, keeping self in subjection, schooling down your natural arrogancy into the dependence and simple credence of the little child.

4. With watchfulness against the sins and temptations that are most prevailing; and with prayer to the Holy Spirit of God that He may impress, and sanctify, and guide you into all truth.

5. With faith receiving the mysteries of Christ as mysteries — as those deeper things of God, whose reception is for an exercise of faith here, and whose solution and discovery shall be amongst the felicities of eternity.

(T. J. Judkin.)

A sermon devoted to metaphysics is a stack of dry corn-stalks, after the corn has been ripped out with the husking-peg, a sermon given up to sentimental and flowery speech is as a nosegay flung to a drowning sailor. A sermon devoted to moral essay is a basket of chips to help on the great burning. What the world wants now is to be told in the most flat-footed way of Jesus Christ who comes to save men from eternal damnation.

Ananias, Gamaliel, Israelites, Judas, Peter, Sapphira, Solomon, Theudas
Jerusalem, Solomon's Portico
Announcing, Cease, Ceased, Ceasing, Christ, Courts, Daily, Desist, Glad, Home, Houses, Kept, News, Preach, Preaching, Private, Privately, Proclaiming, Stopped, Teach, Teaching, Telling, Temple, Tidings
1. After that Ananias and Sapphira his wife,
3. at Peter's rebuke had fallen down dead;
12. and that the rest of the apostles had wrought many miracles;
14. to the increase of the faith;
17. the apostles are again imprisoned;
19. but delivered by an angel bidding them preach openly to all;
21. when, after their teaching accordingly in the temple,
29. and before the council,
33. they are in danger to be killed;
34. but through the advice of Gamaliel, they are kept alive, and are only beaten;
41. for which they glorify God, and cease no day from preaching.

Dictionary of Bible Themes
Acts 5:42

     2206   Jesus, the Christ
     2369   Christ, responses to
     2427   gospel, transmission
     5335   herald
     5340   house
     7026   church, leadership
     7708   apostles, function
     7725   evangelists, identity
     7726   evangelists, ministry
     7741   missionaries, task
     7756   preaching, content
     7793   teachers
     7797   teaching
     8225   devotion
     8235   doctrine, nature of
     8425   evangelism, nature of
     8497   witnessing, approaches
     8654   importunity, to people

Acts 5:40-42

     4127   Satan, defeat of

Acts 5:41-42

     6233   rejection, experience

December 28. "The Holy Ghost, whom God Hath Given to them that Obey Him" (Acts v. 32).
"The Holy Ghost, whom God hath given to them that obey Him" (Acts v. 32). We can only know and prove the fulness of the Spirit as we step out into the larger purposes and plans of Christ for the world. Perhaps the chief reason why the Holy Spirit has been so limited in His work in the hearts of Christians, is the shameful neglect of the unsaved and unevangelized world by the great majority of the professed followers of Christ. There are millions of professing Christians--and, perhaps, real Christians--in
Rev. A. B. Simpson—Days of Heaven Upon Earth

Our Captain
'Him hath God exalted with His right hand to be a Prince.' --ACTS v. 31. The word rendered 'Prince' is a rather infrequent designation of our Lord in Scripture. It is only employed in all four times--twice in Peter's earlier sermons recorded in this Book of the Acts; and twice in the Epistle to the Hebrews. In a former discourse of the Apostle's he had spoken of the crime of the Jews in killing 'the Prince of life.' Here he uses the word without any appended epithet. In the Epistle to the Hebrews
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture: The Acts

Whom to Obey, --Annas or Angel?
'Then the high priest rose up, and all they that were with him, (which is the sect of the Sadducees,) and were filled with indignation, 18. And laid their hands on the apostles, and put them in the common prison. 19. But the angel of the Lord by night opened the prison doors, and brought them forth, and said, 20. Go, stand and speak in the temple to the people all the words of this life. 21. And when they heard that, they entered into the temple early in the morning, and taught. But the high priest
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture: The Acts

Gamaliel's Counsel
'Refrain from these men, and let them alone; for if this counsel or this work be of men, it will come to nought: 39. But if it be of God, ye cannot overthrow it; lest haply ye be found even to fight against God.'--ACTS v. 38, 39. The little that is known of Gamaliel seems to indicate just such a man as would be likely to have given the advice in the text. His was a character which, on its good side and by its admirers, would be described as prudent, wise, cautious and calm, tolerant, opposed to fanaticism
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture: The Acts

The Indwelling of the Spirit, the Common Privilege of all Believers
John 7:37-39 -- "In the last day, that great [day] of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink. He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. (But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive." Nothing has rendered the cross of Christ of less effect; nothing has been a greater stumbling-block and rock of offense to weak minds, that a supposition, now current
George Whitefield—Selected Sermons of George Whitefield

On Zeal
"It is good to be always zealously affected in a good thing." Gal. 4:18. 1. There are few subjects in the whole compass of religion, that are of greater importance than this. For without zeal it is impossible, either to make any considerable progress in religion ourselves, or to do any considerable service to our neighbour, whether in temporal or spiritual things. And yet nothing has done more disservice to religion, or more mischief to mankind, than a sort of zeal which has for several ages prevailed,
John Wesley—Sermons on Several Occasions

The First Sermon in the Tabernacle
This afternoon I will try to describe the subject, Christ Jesus; then, secondly, to speak for a little while upon its comprehensiveness; then to enlarge upon sundry of its excellencies; and conclude by testing its power. I. First, then, the SUBJECT. They continued both to teach and preach Jesus Christ. To preach Jesus Christ aright we must preach him in his infinite and indisputable Godhead. We may be attacked by philosophers, who will either make him no God at all, or one constituted temporarily
Charles Haddon Spurgeon—Spurgeon's Sermons Volume 7: 1861

Of the Recollection of God's Manifold Benefits
Open, O Lord, my heart in Thy law, and teach me to walk in the way of Thy commandments. Grant me to understand Thy will and to be mindful of Thy benefits, both general and special, with great reverence and diligent meditation, that thus I may be able worthily to give Thee thanks. Yet I know and confess that I cannot render Thee due praises for the least of Thy mercies. I am less than the least of all the good things which Thou gavest me; and when I consider Thy majesty, my spirit faileth because
Thomas A Kempis—Imitation of Christ

The Reader Reminded How Much He Needs the Assistance of the Spirit of God to Form Him to the Temper Described Above, and what Encouragement He
1. Forward resolutions may prove ineffectual.--2. Yet religion is not to be given up in despair, but Divine grace to be sought.--3. A general view of its reality and necessity, from reason.--4. And Scripture.--5. The spirit to be sought as the spirit of Christ.--6. And in that view the great strength of the soul.--7. The encouragement there is to hope for the communication of it.--8. A concluding exhortation to pray for it. And an humble address to God pursuant to that exhortation. I HAVE now laid
Philip Doddridge—The Rise and Progress of Religion in the Soul

May one Lose the Blessing?
The question trembles from many a lip--If I get the blessing, may I lose it? Most certainly. But, glory be to God! He has made ample provision for failure. There is no reason why we should fail; God has made ample provision against failure; we must not expect to fail; but in case we do fail, provision has been made. The most prolific cause of loss is disobedience--disobedience either to one of God's written commands, or to the inward promptings of His Holy Spirit. "The Holy Ghost whom God hath
John MacNeil—The Spirit-Filled Life

Whether Fraud Pertains to Craftiness?
Objection 1: It would seem that fraud does not pertain to craftiness. For a man does not deserve praise if he allows himself to be deceived, which is the object of craftiness; and yet a man deserves praise for allowing himself to be defrauded, according to 1 Cor. 6:1, "Why do you not rather suffer yourselves to be defrauded?" Therefore fraud does not belong to craftiness. Objection 2: Further, fraud seems to consist in unlawfully taking or receiving external things, for it is written (Acts 5:1) that
Saint Thomas Aquinas—Summa Theologica

Whether Whatever God Does Outside the Natural Order is Miraculous?
Objection 1: It would seem that not everything which God does outside the natural order of things, is miraculous. For the creation of the world, and of souls, and the justification of the unrighteous, are done by God outside the natural order; as not being accomplished by the action of any natural cause. Yet these things are not called miracles. Therefore not everything that God does outside the natural order is a miracle. Objection 2: Further, a miracle is "something difficult, which seldom occurs,
Saint Thomas Aquinas—Summa Theologica

Whether Subjects are Bound to Obey their Superiors in all Things?
Objection 1: It seems that subjects are bound to obey their superiors in all things. For the Apostle says (Col. 3:20): "Children, obey your parents in all things," and farther on (Col. 3:22): "Servants, obey in all things your masters according to the flesh." Therefore in like manner other subjects are bound to obey their superiors in all things. Objection 2: Further, superiors stand between God and their subjects, according to Dt. 5:5, "I was the mediator and stood between the Lord and you at that
Saint Thomas Aquinas—Summa Theologica

Whether Shamefacedness is About a Disgraceful Action?
Objection 1: It would seem that shamefacedness is not about a disgraceful action. For the Philosopher says (Ethic. iv, 9) that "shamefacedness is fear of disgrace." Now sometimes those who do nothing wrong suffer ignominy, according to Ps. 67:8, "For thy sake I have borne reproach, shame hath covered my face." Therefore shamefacedness is not properly about a disgraceful action. Objection 2: Further, nothing apparently is disgraceful but what is sinful. Yet man is ashamed of things that are not sins,
Saint Thomas Aquinas—Summa Theologica

Whether Anyone Should be Excommunicated for Inflicting Temporal Harm?
Objection 1: It would seem that no man should be excommunicated for inflicting a temporal harm. For the punishment should not exceed the fault. But the punishment of excommunication is the privation of a spiritual good, which surpasses all temporal goods. Therefore no man should be excommunicated for temporal injuries. Objection 2: Further, we should render to no man evil for evil, according to the precept of the Apostle (Rom. 12:17). But this would be rendering evil for evil, if a man were to be
Saint Thomas Aquinas—Summa Theologica

Whether Human Law Binds a Man in Conscience?
Objection 1: It would seem that human law does not bind man in conscience. For an inferior power has no jurisdiction in a court of higher power. But the power of man, which frames human law, is beneath the Divine power. Therefore human law cannot impose its precept in a Divine court, such as is the court of conscience. Objection 2: Further, the judgment of conscience depends chiefly on the commandments of God. But sometimes God's commandments are made void by human laws, according to Mat. 15:6: "You
Saint Thomas Aquinas—Summa Theologica

Whether the Devil is Directly the Cause of Man's Sinning?
Objection 1: It would seem that the devil is directly the cause of man's sinning. For sin consists directly in an act of the appetite. Now Augustine says (De Trin. iv, 12) that "the devil inspires his friends with evil desires"; and Bede, commenting on Acts 5:3, says that the devil "draws the mind to evil desires"; and Isidore says (De Summo Bono ii, 41; iii, 5) that the devil "fills men's hearts with secret lusts." Therefore the devil is directly the cause of sin. Objection 2: Further, Jerome says
Saint Thomas Aquinas—Summa Theologica

Whether it is Praiseworthy to Enter Religion Without Taking Counsel of Many, and Previously Deliberating for a Long Time?
Objection 1: It would not seem praiseworthy to enter religion without taking counsel of many, and previously deliberating for a long time. For it is written (1 Jn. 4:1): "Believe not every spirit, but try the spirits if they be of God." Now sometimes a man's purpose of entering religion is not of God, since it often comes to naught through his leaving the religious life; for it is written (Acts 5:38,39): "If this counsel or this work be of God, you cannot overthrow it." Therefore it would seem that
Saint Thomas Aquinas—Summa Theologica

Whether the Precept of Fraternal Correction Demands that a Private Admonition Should Precede Denunciation?
Objection 1: It would seem that the precept of fraternal correction does not demand that a private admonition should precede denunciation. For, in works of charity, we should above all follow the example of God, according to Eph. 5:1,2: "Be ye followers of God, as most dear children, and walk in love." Now God sometimes punishes a man for a sin, without previously warning him in secret. Therefore it seems that there is no need for a private admonition to precede denunciation. Objection 2: Further,
Saint Thomas Aquinas—Summa Theologica

The Wheat and the Tares
'And the multitude of them that believed were of one heart and of one soul: neither said any of them that aught of the things which he possessed was his own; but they had all things common.' --ACTS iv. 32. 'And great fear came upon all the church, and upon as many as heard these things.'--ACTS v. 11. Once more Luke pauses and gives a general survey of the Church's condition. It comes in appropriately at the end of the account of the triumph over the first assault of civil authority, which assault
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture: The Acts

That the Christian Miracles are not Recited, or Appealed To, by Early Christian Writers Themselves So Fully or Frequently as Might have Been Expected.
I shall consider this objection, first, as it applies to the letters of the apostles preserved in the New Testament; and secondly, as it applies to the remaining writings of other early Christians. The epistles of the apostles are either hortatory or argumentative. So far as they were occupied in delivering lessons of duty, rules of public order, admonitions against certain prevailing corruptions, against vice, or any particular species of it, or in fortifying and encouraging the constancy of the
William Paley—Evidences of Christianity

The Birth of Jesus.
(at Bethlehem of Judæa, b.c. 5.) ^C Luke II. 1-7. ^c 1 Now it came to pass in those days [the days of the birth of John the Baptist], there went out a decree [a law] from Cæsar Augustus [Octavius, or Augustus, Cæsar was the nephew of and successor to Julius Cæsar. He took the name Augustus in compliment to his own greatness; and our month August is named for him; its old name being Sextilis], that all the world should be enrolled. [This enrollment or census was the first step
J. W. McGarvey—The Four-Fold Gospel

The Holy Spirit Bearing Witness to Jesus Christ.
When our Lord was talking to His disciples on the night before His crucifixion of the Comforter who after His departure was to come to take His place, He said, "But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, He shall bear witness of Me: and ye also bear witness, because ye have been with Me from the beginning" (John xv. 26, 27, R. V.), and the Apostle Peter and the other disciples when they were strictly commanded
R. A. Torrey—The Person and Work of The Holy Spirit

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