Scripture reading for June 20th: Acts 13:16-41
The Book of Acts contains over twenty messages from various ministers of the Gospel in the early church. If you are a preacher or like to share the Gospel, it is helpful to study these messages and see how the Holy Spirit inspired these early men of God to share. Their preaching was certainly not ‘ear-tickling’ and often got them into trouble because it stirred up people who were under conviction. It also brought salvation to those who listened!
Paul and Barnabas were sent out by the Holy Spirit on their first missionary journey. As they went to the city of Pisidian Antioch, they went to the Jewish synagogue on the Sabbath day. The synagogue rulers invited them to give a message of encouragement to the people. Paul stood up, himself a former Pharisee, and addressed the people who were gathered. In the back was a bench for ‘God-fearing’ Gentiles who were addressed as well. Paul began his message by going back through the Old Testament and recounting Jewish history to show them that Jesus Christ was a descendant of their forefather Abraham and then through King David. This Jesus was the Savior who was promised. (Acts 13:16-23)
Paul then told them the Gospel message that was for them, Jew and Gentile! Jesus Christ was crucified and buried. God raised Him from the dead! He was seen by many who are now witnesses of Jesus Christ. All these events were to fulfill Scripture promises that God had made to Israel! Paul cited Psalm 2:7: “You are My Son; today I have become Your Father.” He also sited Isaiah 55:3 and Psalm 16:10 to prove that Jesus would be resurrected according to the Scripture. “I will give you the holy and sure blessings promised to David.” “You will not let Your Holy One see decay.” (Acts 13:33-35)
Paul concluded his message with an altar call and a warning! “Therefore, my brothers, I want you to know that through Jesus the forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you. Through Him everyone who believes is justified from everything you could not be justified from by the Law of Moses. Take care what the prophets have said does not happen to you: “Look, you scoffers, wonder and perish, for I am going to do something in your days that you would never believe, even if someone told you so.” (Acts 13:38-41) (Habakkuk 1:5)