Act Eighteen

Preaching Church (v.9)


A New Testament Church is a Bible Church. Not every church is. Some churches are known for their music, others for their charismatic leaders or their liturgy. The early church had the words of God. That was all they needed. “Paul, as his manner was, went in unto them, and …reasoned with them out of the Scriptures.” This was a very simple program. What does it say? What does it mean? What are we going to do about it?

That is the heart of a Bible Church.

They told people how Jesus Christ fulfilled the promises and plans of God in suffering for sin, and rising from the dead. They preached Jesus, and “some of them believed” (v.4). It was that simple. Today we may be tempted to “throw in a toaster,” or the right to use the church gymnasium for our home school group, or membership in the hand bell choir.

When Paul visited Mars Hill he was stirred in his spirit at the sight of so much idolatry. Men had fashioned idols and altars that reflected the imaginations of their heart. While what the Athenians did is telling, so is what we have in Western Civilization. We need only go to Hollywood to see what is coming out of our imaginations or to Wall Street to see what is in our heart.

Perhaps if we were as “stirred” as Paul we would be less comfortable with American idols. Paul’s message called for repentance. “God…hath called upon all men everywhere to repent.” This was met with mocking by some, but others wanted to hear more. A New Testament Church is a Bible Church.

The Athenians wanted to “hear some new thing.” Today many ministries are coming up with some “new thing,” or “exciting thing,” or “novel thing.” The world needs one thing.

The world needs to hear the word of God, clearly, plainly, consistently, and repeatedly.