Did the Apostles Use “God Loves You” Evangelism?

Preaching God’s Love in Acts?

By Gregory Koukl

What was the emphasis in the evangelistic preaching of the Apostles as recorded in the book of Acts? Does the record of Acts support the notion that the central focus of Christianity is one’s love relationship with God and personal life enhancement? Or did these disciples of Christ focus on something else?

The list below includes every instance of evangelistic preaching in the book of Acts, a summary of content, and an analysis of emphasis.

1. Pentecost, Acts 2:14-39

Peter notes the manifestations of the Holy Spirit that all had been witnessing, then ties them to the fulfillment of prophecy of Joel about the last days. He then preaches Jesus as the Messiah–attested to by miracles and by the resurrection which was prophesied by David–and the guilt of the crowd for the crucifixion.

The emphasis is on forgiveness of sin by Jesus the Messiah. There is no mention of God’s love or a relationship with Him.

2. Peter at the Gate Beautiful, Acts 3:12-26

After Peter and John healed a man lame from birth, Peter placed the blame for Jesus’ death on the shoulders of the listeners. He then appealed to fulfilled prophecy and told them either to believe and return and thus receive forgiveness and times of refreshing, or be destroyed.

The emphasis is on forgiveness of sin by Jesus the Messiah. There is no mention of God’s love or a relationship with Him.

3. Peter before the High Priest, Acts 4:8-12

Peter attributes the healing of the man lame from birth to Jesus the Messiah, whom the Jews had crucified, Continue reading

Daily Roundup

10 Things About Church You Should Know – Kevin DeYoung’s tongue in cheek look 10 things you should know.

Christ at the Center – 5 messages from Westminster Theological Seminary, California about Christ and the importance of Him being all that we center our lives on.

Acts of the Holy Spirit Infographic – Here is a poster from The Good Book Company that outlines the book of Acts.

Do Same-Sex Partners Have Parental Rights? – And so it begins.  We have started down a slippery slope as a country and this is some of the fruit we will have to eat.

When a Sermon Becomes a Poem – A poem from John Piper based on a sermon he recently preached.

Quote:

The worst possible news that we can hear about God is that He is good!  If God is good, and just, He cannot forgive us unless first justice is satisfied.  The only way His justice can be satisfied is by His own right hand in the death of Christ on the cross.  God has saved me from God. God has saved me from Himself, for Himself, and by Himself.  So, the worst possible news that we can hear is also the best possible news. – Paraphrase from Paul Washer