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Mar 21

Session 4 Recap: Helm, “Preaching: God’s Strategy”

2015 | by Nathan Sherman | Category: Clarus 15

Editor’s Note: Michael Kelshaw is the Head Minister at Trinity at the Marketplace, Albuquerque, NM. He is a member of the Albuquerque Chapter of The Gospel Coalition. This post is a summary of David Helm’s message from Saturday morning at Clarus, March 21, “Preaching: God’s Strategy,” from Acts 17:16-34.

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In the fourth session of Clarus ’15, David Helm walked through the entire book of Acts, showing that preaching was the strategy of God for the expansion of the gospel.

What Is Preaching?

According to Helm, preaching “is the public announcement of the gospel from the Scriptures by one who is authorized to have responsibility for it.” The Greek word “to preach” is literally the public proclamation of a message by a herald on behalf of a king, and in the context of the New Testament, preaching is connected to an object—the gospel. The Word of God is the gospel; it is the message from God of the death and resurrection of Jesus, and the need for repentance and offer of forgiveness in Him. This public proclamation of the gospel from the Scriptures is to be done by one who is authorized with the responsibility to do so. Implications from this include the need for local churches to give themselves to the public proclamation of the Scripture and to carefully assess who is able to do this work.

What Does Preaching Do?

Helm continued with an overview of the book of Acts, and he showed that preaching convicts (Acts 2:37), it converts (Acts 2:41), it establishes community (Acts 2:42-47), and it brings conflict (Acts 7:54-60). One of the repeated patterns all the way through the book of Acts is how the Word of God convicts all who hear—some to agitated conflict while others to eternal life (Acts 11:18-19). A clearer understanding of what preaching does, should cause us to return to our local churches with a new excitement for preaching. It will also cause us to reorder our tactics in the local church around the reality that God’s Word does its work, and it will force us reshape our expectation that, as missionally-minded churches, we will be marginalized in society.

What Strategies Does Paul Employ?

Our culture is more and more lacking any biblical categories, and in that way our world in Albuquerque is becoming increasingly like the world of Athens. In engaging this culture, Paul had a versatile and diverse strategy for gospel work (Acts17:2, 17): reasoning from the Scriptures, explaining the gospel, and proving it by setting the gospel before people so they could observe it (16:34). Implications of this multi-faceted strategy for us today include: finding appropriate ways to play our part in this as the family of God, thinking through ways to read the Bible with people with the gospel before them, and sitting under God’s Word together with others.