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 13.42, 43.
Again, we see the power of the Gospel to astonish and convert. It was like POW! and the light came on for many of these people as Paul worked his way through Scripture after Scripture, using them all to point to Jesus and the fulfilled promises of Abraham.
1. Many Jews believed. Many “devout converts” as well. These would have been Gentiles like Cornelius who had come to agree with the Jewish religion. These “devout converts” may have become full-fledged Jews, even to undergoing circumcision. Certain Jewish believers would try to force this on Titus in a little while (cf. Gal. 2.3), but Paul would have nothing to do with that. When it comes to the Gospel, it’s Jesus, not Jesus-plus-whatever. Do you think unsaved people today understand this? Do you think Christians do?
2. The Spirit was reaping a harvest among Jews and Gentiles as Paul and his team proclaimed the Good News of Jesus. How they must have been encouraged by these responses! They urged these new believers “to continue in the grace of God” and not to look to the Law for their salvation any longer (vv. 38, 39). What is repentance? What is necessary for repentance to occur? What does this require of us in proclaiming the Gospel?
3. Paul and Barnabas must have taught these people how to read their Scriptures with “new glasses,” looking for grace and Jesus in those old familiar texts, so that new light and understanding would continue to reach them from the Word. The Word they already had was sufficient to establish them in Jesus. They just needed to read that Word from the vantage point of Jesus and grace, rather than Moses and the Law. Is this the way you read the Scriptures? Explain.
4. What God had “promised to the fathers” (v. 32) was to be Israel’s God and to take them for His people. The Good News is that, through and because of Jesus, we can know the Lord (Jn. 17.3) – know Him, love Him, share in Him, enjoy Him, serve Him gladly, proclaim Him boldly! If this is not the Good News as you have received it, then what have you believed? Are you more eager to know the Lord’s benefits than to know Him?
5. The Good News is positive, but it also contains a warning to those who hesitate or decline (vv. 40, 41). How would you state that warning to someone?
The power of the Gospel accompanies the preaching of Jesus. When Jesus is set forth against the backdrop of any unbelieving worldview, and as the hope of the world and fulfillment of all our aspirations, people will believe. Why do you suppose we see so few new people coming to faith in Jesus in our day?
Kings of the earth and all peoples;
Princes and all judges of the earth;
Both young men and maidens;
Old men and children.
Let them praise the name of the LORD,
For His name alone is exalted;
His glory is above the earth and heaven.
And He has exalted the horn of His people,
The praise of all His saints—
Of the children of Israel,
A people near to Him.
Praise the LORD!
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).
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