Summary of Acts 13:14b-41:
Barnabas and Saul are in Pisidian Antioch at the synogogue. Paul is invited to speak. He tells the people God has prospered them in Egypt, led them out of Egypt and gave them Canaan to live on, and sent them judges. He sent King Saul and King David. From David God sent Jesus who preached repentance and baptism.
The prophecies of the Old Testament were fulfilled: no one recognized Jesus as the Savior, they executed him with no evidence of a crime, and God raised him from the dead and traveled amongst them for many days. God has fulfilled His promise to His people through Jesus.
Through Jesus we (the people) are forgiven and justified. And be warned if you do not accept Jesus, you shall perish as the prophets have predicted.
BSF Study Questions Acts Lesson 11, Day 3: Acts 13:14b-41
5) God’s choice of Israel & His goodness to them: Paul basically recounts the history of Israel and how God has chosen leaders throughout time to help His people, from Egypt, the judges, Saul, David and then Jesus.
God chose men of Israel and the Gentiles who worshipped God. He prospered His people in Egypt and led them out of that country. He cared for them for 40 years in the desert and overthrew 7 nations in Canaan so He could establish His people there. He gave them judges and when the people asked for a king God gave them Saul and then David. (verses 17-22)
God endured their conduct while in the desert (verse 18). The people asked for a king (verse 21).
God chose David so Jesus could come from his line. John the Baptist tried to prepare the people for Jesus by preaching repentance and baptism. (verse 23-4)
The promised Messiah: John the Baptist tried to prepare the people for Jesus by preaching repentance and baptism. (verse 23-4). God promised to bring the Messiah (verse 23) to bring the message of salvation to all (verse 26).
6) Jesus has been sent to all of us (verse 26) for salvation. Forgiveness of our sins (verse 38) through Jesus Christ our Savior. Everyone who believes is justified from everything you could not be justified from by the law of Moses (basically saying OT is nulled and void and now NT–Jesus–rids us of the OT ways and ushers in new ways). Verse 39
7) Part personal Question. My answer: The warning is you have to believe that Jesus is the Messiah and Savior or you are a scoffer who will perish eternally. The promise is that if you believe, you will be forgiven and be justified. I am grateful.
Conclusions BSF Study Questions Acts Lesson 11, Day 3: Acts 13:14b-41
I believe this is the first time the thought and idea of justification is expressed since Jesus’ death.
When Jesus died, he absolved all of man from sin. If man believes in Jesus through faith then man is declared righteous in God’s eyes. Being righteous means we have a right relationship with God (basically we can once again stand in His presence because sin had always separated us from the perfectness of God. Here sin is washed away, we are righteous, we are right in God’s eyes, so we can be with Him again).
Paul’s last words are trying to convey the key point: if you don’t have faith, you won’t be justified nor saved and you will perish. One must have faith to have justification. The sinner (us) must accept the work of Christ and his death on the cross.
End Notes BSF Study Questions Acts Lesson 11, Day 3: Acts 13:14b-41
A first-century synagogue service followed a general order. Opening prayers were offered, and then there was a reading from the Law (the first five books of the Old Testament). Then, a reading from the Prophets. Then, if there was an educated person present, they were invited to speak on subjects related to the readings.
Paul addressed both groups at the synagogue on a typical Sabbath; both Jews and “near Jews,” those Gentiles who admired the Jewish religion but did not make a full commitment to Judaism.
- In this survey of Israel’s history, Paul noted important events – the choosing of the patriarchs, the deliverance from Egypt, the time in the wilderness, the conquest of Canaan, the time of the Judges, the creation of a monarchy – but it all led up to Jesus.
- Israel’s history demonstrates that God has a plan for history, and we are connected to that plan. Jesus is the goal of history, and as we are in Jesus, we are God’s great plan of redemption.
John the Baptist
- John the Baptist responded to Jesus the right way. He prepared the hearts of others for Jesus, and he saw Jesus as who He really was. John knew Jesus was the One greater than all others. He knew Jesus was more than a teacher; He was the Lord God we must all answer to.
- John knew Jesus was high above him since he refused to loosen Jesus’ sandals. In that day, it was not uncommon for a great teacher to have disciples follow him, and it was expected that the disciples would serve the teacher in various ways. This arrangement came to be abused, so the leading rabbis established certain things that were too demeaning for a teacher to expect of his disciple. It was decided that for a teacher to expect his disciple to undo the strap of his sandal was too much; it was too demeaning. Here, John insisted he wasn’t even worthy to do this for Jesus.
Those who didn’t know the Scriptures rejected Jesus, and delivered Him to Pilate to be executed. This was true even though they lived in Jerusalem and were rulers among the Jews. Therefore Jesus was executed and laid in a tomb.
In calling the cross a tree, Paul drew on the idea from Deuteronomy 21:22-23. In that passage, it says that God curses a person who is hanged from a tree. Paul wanted to communicate the idea that Jesus was cursed so that we could be blessed (Galatians 3:13).
Man did his best to fight against God – even to kill Him – but God was greater than man’s sin and rebellion, and Jesus rose from the grave, winning over sin and death.
“Christianity is not just a philosophy or a set of ethics, though it involves these things. Essentially Christianity is a proclamation of facts that concern what God has done.” (Boice)
The promise is that, because of who Jesus is and what He did for us, forgiveness is offered to us freely in Jesus. We may be justified from all things from which you could not be justified by the law of Moses.
- We can never justify ourselves before God. To think so gives us the glory for our own salvation instead of simply saying, “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.” (Ephesians 2:8-9)
- Jesus does not only forgive us, but we are also justified by Him. Forgiveness takes care of the debt of sin, but justification puts a positive credit on our account before God.
Some refuse to embrace the salvation of Jesus in the secret place of their heart because they want a salvation of their own making. They want to be saved the old-fashioned way – they want to earn it.
Only a few months after this Paul, wrote a letter to these churches in Galatia, dealing with these same themes of being justified by God’s grace, and not by keeping the law.
The warning is that if we do not embrace the person and work of Jesus with our whole lives, we are despisers who will perish. In this warning, Paul quoted a passage from Habakkuk regarding the judgment that came upon Jerusalem. If God judged them, He will also judge those who refuse and reject His offer of forgiveness through the work of Jesus.
“Although ours is an age of great grace, God is nevertheless also a God of great judgment, and sin must be judged if it is not atoned for by the work of Christ.” (Boice)
Some commentators complain that Paul here preached too much like Peter did on Pentecost. It is a strange complaint. This shows us that Peter and Paul preached the same gospel, and the same gospel was preached some fifteen years after Pentecost as was preached on that first day.
Others note similarities between Paul’s sermon here and the sermon of Stephen in Acts 7. That was a sermon that Paul heard when he still hated the name of Jesus. Perhaps the sermon of the first martyr of the church still rang in the ears of the man who presided over his execution.
Fun Fact: This is Paul’s longest recorded sermon in the Bible.