13 Now Paul and his companions set sail from Paphos and came to Perga in Pamphylia. And John left them and returned to Jerusalem, 14 but they went on from Perga and came to Antioch in Pisidia. And on the Sabbath day they went into the synagogue and sat down.15 After the reading from the Law and the Prophets, the rulers of the synagogue sent a message to them, saying, “Brothers, if you have any word of encouragement for the people, say it.” 16 So Paul stood up, and motioning with his hand said:
“Men of Israel and you who fear God, listen. 17 The God of this people Israel chose our fathers and made the people great during their stay in the land of Egypt, and with uplifted arm he led them out of it. 18 And for about forty years he put up with them in the wilderness. 19 And after destroying seven nations in the land of Canaan, he gave them their land as an inheritance. 20 All this took about 450 years. And after that he gave them judges until Samuel the prophet. 21 Then they asked for a king, and God gave them Saul the son of Kish, a man of the tribe of Benjamin, for forty years. 22 And when he had removed him, he raised up David to be their king, of whom he testified and said, ‘I have found in David the son of Jesse a man after my heart, who will do all my will.’ 23 Of this man’s offspring God has brought to Israel a Savior, Jesus, as he promised. 24 Before his coming, John had proclaimed a baptism of repentance to all the people of Israel. 25 And as John was finishing his course, he said, ‘What do you suppose that I am? I am not he. No, but behold, after me one is coming, the sandals of whose feet I am not worthy to untie.’
26 “Brothers, sons of the family of Abraham, and those among you who fear God, to us has been sent the message of this salvation. 27 For those who live in Jerusalem and their rulers, because they did not recognize him nor understand the utterances of the prophets, which are read every Sabbath, fulfilled them by condemning him. 28 And though they found in him no guilt worthy of death, they asked Pilate to have him executed. 29 And when they had carried out all that was written of him, they took him down from the tree and laid him in a tomb. 30 But God raised him from the dead, 31 and for many days he appeared to those who had come up with him from Galilee to Jerusalem, who are now his witnesses to the people. 32 And we bring you the good news that what God promised to the fathers, 33 this he has fulfilled to us their children by raising Jesus, as also it is written in the second Psalm,
“‘You are my Son,
today I have begotten you.’
34 And as for the fact that he raised him from the dead, no more to return to corruption, he has spoken in this way,
“‘I will give you the holy and sure blessings of David.’
35 Therefore he says also in another psalm,
“‘You will not let your Holy One see corruption.’
36 For David, after he had served the purpose of God in his own generation, fell asleep and was laid with his fathers and saw corruption, 37 but he whom God raised up did not see corruption. 38 Let it be known to you therefore, brothers, that through this man forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you, 39 and by him everyone who believes is freed from everything from which you could not be freed by the law of Moses. 40 Beware, therefore, lest what is said in the Prophets should come about:
41 “‘Look, you scoffers,
be astounded and perish;
for I am doing a work in your days,
a work that you will not believe, even if one tells it to you.’”
The Holy Bible, English Standard Version Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.
In chapter 13, Paul preaches his first recorded sermon in the book of Acts, and by examining this scene we learn four things about evangelism (telling people the gospel) and two things about ultimate reality.
Evangelism: 1) Be ready, 2) tell people mainly about Jesus, not yourself, 3) know your audience, and 4) trust the Holy Spirit to change people’s hearts.
Ultimate reality. 1) Jesus is the fulfillment of the Bible who is the “Savior…as [God the Father] promised.” The Bible is not about great men and women of God. Rather, the Bible is about the great God of men and women—Jesus. 2) Jesus is the fulfillment of the human race who has received from the Father “the holy and sure blessings of David.” This blessing is that Jesus is the resurrected forever-King who will establish His kingdom and bring about the justice and peace the world needs. Another way Jesus is the fulfillment of the human race is by being the Savior of whom the prophet wrote, “You will not let your Holy One see corruption.” This is about the resurrection of Jesus, which is a promise that the future you want is fulfilled in Him. As Michael Williams points out, “The resurrection is something of a foretaste, a movie trailer or commercial for God’s ultimate future, for in Christ’s resurrection we have a picture of the future given before its arrival. …[the bodily resurrection of Jesus] claims that history is moving toward nothing less than a fully restored and glorified universe. Those who are in Christ, along with the entirety of creation, will receive His resurrection life upon His appearing (Rom. 8:21-25).”
But how do we know if Jesus is our personal fulfillment and we are forgiven and acceptable before God? If our faith is in Jesus alone and His work in His sinless life, death on the cross, and bodily resurrection as our Savior-King—”Through this man forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you, and by him everyone who believes is freed from everything from which you could not be freed by the law of Moses.”
By examining this scene we learn four things about evangelism (telling people the gospel). 1) Be ready, 2) tell people mainly about Jesus, not yourself, 3) know your audience, and 4) trust the Holy Spirit to change people’s hearts.
1. Which of these most stands out to you and why?
2. Was there anything from the sermon, the big idea, or Acts 13 that stood out to you, challenged you, or confused you?
Jesus is the fulfillment of the Bible who is the “Savior…as [God the Father] promised.” The Bible is not about great men and women of God. Rather, the Bible is about the great God of men and women—Jesus.
3. When people read the Bible they can easily miss the forrest for the trees. What are some of the trees people focus on in the Bible, rather than focussing their hearts on the forrest (Jesus) to whom the whole Bible points?
Jesus is the resurrected forever-King who will establish His kingdom and bring about the justice and peace the world needs.
4. Which areas of the world do you think are most obviously in need of true justice and lasting peace? How should Jesus being the forever-King that will one day come back and put things right give you hope in the midst of this world?
The bodily resurrection of Jesus claims that history is moving toward nothing less than a fully restored and glorified universe. Those who are in Christ, along with the entirety of creation, will receive His resurrection life upon His appearing (Rom. 8:21-25).
5. What words does Paul use in Romans 8:21-25 to describe what will one day happen to the whole creation? What words does he use to describe what will one day physically happen to Christians? How does the Christian view of the future differ from other views? How should our concrete hope for the future affect how we think and live today?
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