Year 2 Day 19
Read - Acts 13v13-43
Message - Scott Woodburn
Long ago I heard the advice that if your sermon could be preached without offense in a mosque or synagogue then perhaps you didn't preach Christ. I think there is wisdom in such a statement. We declare Jesus to be fully God, fully man and yet without sin. Such a statement cannot be accepted by a devout Jew or Muslim. Paul was encouraged to preach in the synagogue (v15) and was certainly not going to remove Christ from his message. Paul loved the Jewish people and longed for them to be converted (Romans 10v1) and therefore he took every opportunity to preach Christ and Him crucified.
I've made the case consistently that the church didn't begin at Pentecost and that the Gospel was from the beginning. We see that again in Paul's sermon. He takes his listeners from Egypt to the wilderness to the promised land (v17-19). He reminds them of the time of the judges until the coming of the prophet Samuel (v20). Next the people asked for a King with a man called Saul taking the throne before the Lord raised up David (v22).
Paul wasn't showing off here. His purpose wasn't to dazzle the synagogue with his knowledge of the Old Testament. Instead he tells these people that from the offspring of David, God brought a Saviour called Jesus to Israel (v23). The way was prepared for Christ by John the Baptist who knew that he was unworthy to untie Christ's sandals (v25). The Christ arrived but His own people did not receive Him (v27). He was found innocent before Pilate but was condemned anyway (v28). He was crucified and placed in a tomb but was raised by God on the third day (v29-30). Jesus then appeared to the disciples who now act as witnesses to the people (v31).
As far as Paul was concerned all of this was Gospel...it was good news (v32) and in Christ Scripture is fulfilled (v33). Jesus is the begotten Son as foretold in Psalm 2. Therefore Christ wasn't created but instead He was and is of the same substance as God. The blessings promised to David have come in Christ (v34) as Paul quotes from Isaiah 55v3 and as Jesus' body was placed in a tomb, He did not see corruption (v35). Psalm 16v10 has been fulfilled. Christ's body did not decay, it did not decompose, He did not see corruption.
The same could not be said for David. He died and his body saw corruption (v36) but in Christ the true King has come. In Jesus there is forgiveness of sins and anyone who trusts in Him will be set free from the demands of the law (v38-39). Paul's message caused a great stir in the synagogue. The people wanted to hear more and asked Paul and Barnabas to return on the next Sabbath day (v42). I'm sure the response was an encouragement. Paul had warned that any failure to respond would bring judgement as foretold by the prophet Habakkuk (v41).
I would imagine that nothing in Paul's sermon would be new to us. I trust that everything he proclaimed has been proclaimed in Edengrove and will be again. Yet today let us respond to it once more. The extraordinary good news of the Gospel has come to these shores and our hearts. How do we respond? Praise God today that every single one of His promises is yes and amen in Jesus. The Old Testament foretold Him, the New Testament shows Him and today we praise Him. Thanks be to God!
Q33 What is justification? Justification is an act of God’s free grace, wherein he pardoneth all our sins, and accepteth us as righteous in his sight, only for the righteousness of Christ imputed to us, and received by faith alone.