And the hand of the Lord was with them, and a great number who believed turned to the Lord.
What makes truly powerful preaching so effective is not the convincingness of the speaker or the tightness of the argument or even the most memorable illustrations… what makes effective preaching is the hand of the Lord being upon the preacher. God is the one who must do it… that means the preacher had better be prayed-up. Because it’s not about persuasiveness or intellectual understanding, a simple knowledge (“belief” without action) is not enough (see James). First you “believe” (with your head) then you “turn to the Lord” (repent) and are saved. True belief includes repentance… otherwise it’s just intellectual knowledge… but it’s all a work of the Lord. He must be in it.