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The Scriptorium

"Let it be known!"

Paul's preaching, in a nutshell.

Acts (12)

And beginning at Moses and all the Prophets, He expounded to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself. Luke 24.27

Be sure to view the video introducing our study of Acts 13 (Lesson 12) by clicking here.

Read and meditate on Acts 13.13-41.
This is a lengthy section and, in the interest of space, I intend to survey it rather quickly. Paul and Barnabas – we note that the apostle’s name is now featured first (v. 13) – depart Cyprus and land on the mainland of what is today Turkey. John bails, for reasons unknown to us, but unacceptable to Paul (cf. Acts 15.37, 38). In Antioch of Pisidia we find our team again in the synagogue, politely waiting to be invited to speak (vv. 14, 15).

For reflection
1.  Paul is ready. He begins by commending their fear of God (v. 16). Building on what they already believe (vv. 17-22), he works toward a brief explanation concerning Jesus (vv. 23-25). Then, more back-and-fill: Paul returns to their story line. How important is it that we understand the “story line” of the people with whom we want to share the Gospel? How can we discover that story line, or, that worldview?

2.  Paul connects Jesus to Abraham and the prophets, saying that the Jews in Jerusalem had missed the point of the Old Testament because they “did not know Him” (Hint: Don’t you miss it!). Jesus is the point of the Old Testament (Jn. 6.63). Is there a sense in which Jesus is the “point” of every person’s worldview? That He is the hope all people are seeking? Explain.

3.  Next come the historical facts of the Gospel – John the Baptist, Jesus’ death and resurrection, His post-resurrection appearances. Then the Good News: What you’ve been waiting for and hoping for and longing for – restoration with God – has arrived! And it’s available through Jesus Christ, raised from the dead, seated with God on high, and calling all men everywhere to repent and believe the Gospel for the forgiveness of sins (vv. 26-38). Is Jesus the hope of secular unbelievers? Of political radicals? Of evolutionary materialists? Is it important that we show such people that Jesus is the hope for all human beings? Explain.

4.  Then Paul issues a warning, straight out of the prophets: Listen up! Though you may not be able to believe what I’m saying, believe it anyway (vv. 40, 41). Luke has given us something like a synopsis of Paul’s message, but it’s enough. Begin where people are. Look for ways to commend and connect. Lay out the facts of Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection. Declare His rule from on high. Issue the call for repentance and faith as the way through Jesus to the promise of forgiveness and everlasting life. Warn of the seriousness of failing to believe. This is teaching that has power to astonish and convert. How does this compare with the Gospel as you share it?

5.  Paul was an expert at fitting the Good News of Jesus into the “worldview” of his audience. We’ll see this over and over in the book of Acts. This is not compromising the Gospel; it’s just good communicating strategy. How well do you understand the worldviews of the people to whom God is sending you with the Good News of Jesus? How could your church help you in this matter?

Paul was a master communicator. We always proclaim the Good News to people, and all people inhabit a story or worldview that makes sense to them for the moment. Our task is to show that Jesus is the culmination of all their hopes, the only One Who can make sense out of their lives and bring them lasting peace and joy. But we need to do this from within the Scriptures, speaking God’s Word to people who probably have little or no regard for it. What challenges does this suggest about sharing the Good News with the people in your Personal Mission Field?

Closing Prayer
Let Your salvation, O God, set me up on high.
I will praise the name of God with a song,
And will magnify Him with thanksgiving.
This also shall please the LORD better than an ox or bull,
Which has horns and hooves.
The humble shall see this and be glad;
And you who seek God, your hearts shall live.
For the LORD hears the poor,
And does not despise His prisoners.
Let heaven and earth praise Him,
The seas and everything that moves in them.

Psalm 69.29-34

T. M. Moore

Each week’s studies in Acts are bound together into a free PDF that you can download for personal or group use (click here). Each week also features a video related to the studies of the week, which you may find helpful as you work through our studies in Acts.

Acts is the record of Christ’s ongoing work as King and Lord. This is the work of bringing the Kingdom of God to earth as it is in heaven. Read more about the implications of this work in our new book,
The Kingdom Turn (click here).

Please prayerfully consider supporting The Fellowship of Ailbe by sending a gift to The Fellowship of Ailbe, 19 Tyler Drive, Essex Junction, VT 05452. Or, you can click here to donate online through credit card or PayPal.

T.M. Moore

T. M. Moore is principal of The Fellowship of Ailbe, a spiritual fellowship in the Celtic Christian tradition. He and his wife, Susie, make their home in the Champlain Valley of Vermont.
Books by T. M. Moore

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