"Easy, comfortable-sounding sermons may be attractive to people, but what saves is the personal conviction of the harsh reality of sin in all its ugliness. Sinners need to be told that they are unacceptable to God and that Jesus alone is the way of salvation" (p. 115).
Peter Jeffery offers preachers and laypeople aid in introducing sinners to the truth of their condition in Moving Out with the Christian Faith. This small commentary explains Acts 1-12 in a direct, no-nonsense manner.
In each chapter, Jeffery breaks down the passage exegetically to show what the passage says and how it applies to today's church. Some of the chapters detail the importance of prayer, of power, of doctrine, and authority of the Scripture. No programs. No catch phrases. No cloying sweetness. Just direct, honest explanations and encouragement.
Jeffery has an easy-to-read style that is straight forward. He uses quotations and his own testimony to enliven the text. I especially appreciate his urging us to use biblical phrases about salvation.
"Peter does not invite his hearers to accept Jesus or to open their hearts to the Savior but rather he commands them to repent. If we need to learn anything from Acts it must be that we get our terminology right about salvation. Today's common phrases among evangelicals, such as 'Receive Jesus into your heart', or 'Accept Jesus as your Savior', or 'Make your decision', are all right as far as they go but they are not phrases found in the New Testament. It is possible to do these things quite sincerely yet without any awareness of personal sin. But it is impossible to repent unless we are convicted of our sin and guilt and therefore of our desperate need of a Savior" (p. 58).
Though Jeffery's style is direct, it is also warm, showing the tender heart of the pastor he has been. He has pastored churches in South Wales and has spoken around the world. – Debbie W. Wilson, Christian Book Previews.com
When we look at the church in general today, we may wonder why it seems to have so little impact on the world we live in.
In answering this question Peter Jeffery takes us back to the book of Acts, and the first twelve chapters in particular, to see what it was that made those early Christians so effective. As a new church they faced greater difficulties than we face today, so how did they survive?
Highlighting their utter dependence upon God and their obedience to his Word, Peter takes us through this thrilling account of the birth and growth of the church. United in the power of the Holy Spirit and in their love for their fellow men, the desire of the believers was to reach out, not just to their own kind, but to the whole world, with the message of salvation.
The church in Acts was not perfect but it was powerful. It was not without its faults but it was faithful. Its determination to obey Jesus and move out with the gospel, through the power of the Holy Spirit, is exactly what we need today.