BIBLE IN TEN

The first 60 episodes are from portions of Genesis. Since Feb 2021 we began a daily commentary in the the book of Acts since it is certain that almost all major theological errors within the church arise by a misapplication, or a misuse, of the book of Acts. If the book is taken in its proper light, it is an invaluable tool for understanding what God is doing in the redemptive narrative in human history. If it is taken incorrectly, failed doctrine, and even heretical ideas, will arise (and consistently have arisen) within the church. Let us consider the book of Acts in its proper light. In doing so, these errors in thinking and theology will be avoided. The book of Acts is comprised of 28 chapters of 1007 verses (as in the NKJV). Therefore, a daily evaluation of Acts, one verse per day, will take approximately 2.76 years to complete.

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Episodes

Acts 13:44

Tuesday Jan 24, 2023

Tuesday Jan 24, 2023

Tuesday, 24 January 2023
 
On the next Sabbath almost the whole city came together to hear the word of God. Acts 13:44
 
In the previous verse, it was noted that after the synagogue meeting, many of the Jews and devout proselytes followed Paul and Barnabas who spoke with them. Now, the passage continues with, “On the next Sabbath.”
 
The verb is a present participle and more rightly reads, “On the coming Sabbath.” This appears to then give the sense that Paul and Barnabas spent the entire week talking to the people who had followed him on the previous Sabbath. Others as well certainly joined them to hear what they had to say. By the end of the week, the news had spread enough that “almost the whole city came together.”
 
This does not mean that they came together in the synagogue. In fact, it may be that they met in an open area around the synagogue, in the street, or somewhere else. The point is that the people came out because of what Paul and Barnabas had to say.
 
This is in contrast to the regular meetings of the synagogue which had Jews and some proselytes each week. But the difference is that the message of Paul and Barnabas was not of the bondage of the law, but the freedom from the law found in Jesus Christ. And yet, it is a message directly from Scripture itself. Therefore, these people came “to hear the word of God.”
 
First, the Old Testament points to Jesus. Paul could easily speak of how the words of Scripture show this. But in speaking about Jesus as the fulfillment of those Scriptures, the apostles were led by the Spirit, just as Jesus promised. Therefore, as the Spirit gave them utterance, so they spoke out the word of God.
 
What they taught was not just words of the past that led to bondage, punishment, and even exile – as testified to by the synagogue of the Jews being in a foreign land, but of freedom, exaltation, and a home in Christ anywhere and at any time because those who worship Him do so in spirit and in truth. No wonder the whole city came out to hear this message. It was a complete contrast to what the Jews taught, even if the same Scriptures were used.
 
Life application: The message of Jesus is not one that requires those who proclaim it to put on dress shirts and a tie and walk around in a stuffy manner. It is not one that says, “If your appearance doesn’t conform to a set standard you are not qualified to teach it.”
 
One does not need to sit in a synagogue, a formal classroom, or in a church setting to seek out the message it conveys. It is a message that can be acted out on a stage, presented in a movie, read directly from the word on the beach, or pondered over in the confines of one’s own house.
 
Those who teach it can do so in homes, garages, or gymnasiums. There are no set times or days that those who come together are obligated to. There are no dietary restrictions for snack time when gathered. Those who follow Christ are not bound to the legalistic standards of others. If the precept is not taught in Scripture, it is not required.
 
Don’t add to the word through legalism. Don’t detract from it in all it proclaims. Instead, cherish the word, hold fast to it, and ponder it as the greatest treasure. The time you spend in it will never be wasted. So, spend a lot of time in it!
 
Glorious Heavenly Father, how precious is Your word. How wonderful it is to read it and to meditate upon it. It brightens up our day, illuminates our evenings, fills our hearts with joy, and leads us to a greater understanding of who You are and the care You have for Your people. Thank You for this precious word! Amen.

Monday Jan 23, 2023


1 Corinthians 15
 
 
The Good News About Christ
15 Now, brothers, I want you to remember the Good News I brought to you. You received this Good News, and you continue strong in it. 2 And you are saved by this Good News. But you must continue believing what I told you. If you do not, then you believed for nothing.
3 I passed on to you what I received. And this was the most important: that Christ died for our sins, as the Scriptures say; 4 that he was buried and was raised to life on the third day as the Scriptures say; 5 and that he showed himself to Peter and then to the twelve apostles. 6 After that, Jesus showed himself to more than 500 of the believers at the same time. Most of them are still living today. But some have died. 7 Then Jesus showed himself to James and later to all the apostles. 8 Last of all he showed himself to me—as to a person not born at the normal time. 9 All the other apostles are greater than I am. This is because I persecuted the church of God. And this is why I am not even good enough to be called an apostle. 10 But God’s grace has made me what I am. And his grace to me was not wasted. I worked harder than all the other apostles. (But I was not really the one working. It was God’s grace that was with me.) 11 So then it is not important if I preached to you or if the other apostles preached to you. We all preach the same thing, and this is what you believed.
We Will Be Raised from Death
12 It is preached that Christ was raised from death. So why do some of you say that people will not be raised from death? 13 If no one will ever be raised from death, then Christ was not raised from death. 14 And if Christ was not raised, then our preaching is worth nothing. And your faith is worth nothing. 15 And also, we will be guilty of lying about God. Because we have preached about him by saying that he raised Christ from death. And if people are not raised from death, then God never raised Christ from death. 16 If the dead are not raised, Christ has not been raised either. 17 And if Christ has not been raised, then your faith is for nothing; you are still guilty of your sins. 18 And also, those in Christ who have already died are lost. 19 If our hope in Christ is for this life only, we should be pitied more than anyone else in the world.
20 But Christ has truly been raised from death—the first one and proof that those who are asleep in death will also be raised. 21 Death comes to everyone because of what one man did. But the rising from death also happens because of one man. 22 In Adam all of us die. In the same way, in Christ all of us will be made alive again. 23 But everyone will be raised to life in the right order. Christ was first to be raised. When Christ comes again, those who belong to him will be raised to life. 24 Then the end will come. Christ will destroy all rulers, authorities, and powers. And he will give the kingdom to God the Father. 25 Christ must rule until God puts all enemies under Christ’s control. 26 The last enemy to be destroyed will be death. 27 The Scripture says, “God put all things under his control.”[a] When it says that “all things” are put under him, it is clear that this does not include God himself. God is the one putting everything under Christ’s control. 28 After everything has been put under Christ, then the Son himself will be put under God. God is the One who put all things under Christ. And Christ will be put under God, so that God will be the complete ruler over everything.
29 If the dead are never raised, then what will people do who are baptized for those who have died? If the dead are not raised at all, why are people baptized for them?
30 And what about us? Why do we put ourselves in danger every hour? 31 I die every day. That is true, brothers, just as it is true that I brag about you in Christ Jesus our Lord. 32 If I fought wild animals in Ephesus only for human reasons, I have gained nothing. If the dead are not raised, then, “Let us eat and drink, because tomorrow we will die.”[b]
33 Do not be fooled: “Bad friends will ruin good habits.” 34 Come back to your right way of thinking and stop sinning. I say this to shame you—some of you do not know God.
What Kind of Body Will We Have?
35 But someone may ask, “How are the dead raised? What kind of body will they have?” 36 Those are stupid questions. When you plant something, it must die in the ground before it can live and grow. 37 And when you plant it, what you plant does not have the same “body” that it will have later. What you plant is only a seed, maybe wheat or something else. 38 But God gives it a body that he has planned for it. And God gives each kind of seed its own body. 39 All things made of flesh are not the same kinds of flesh: People have one kind of flesh, animals have another kind, birds have another, and fish have another. 40 Also there are heavenly bodies and earthly bodies. But the beauty of the heavenly bodies is one kind. The beauty of the earthly bodies is another kind. 41 The sun has one kind of beauty. The moon has another beauty, and the stars have another. And each star is different in its beauty.
42 It is the same with the dead who are raised to life. The body that is “planted” will ruin and decay. But that body is raised to a life that cannot be destroyed. 43 When the body is “planted,” it is without honor. But it is raised in glory. When the body is “planted,” it is weak. But when it is raised, it has power. 44 The body that is “planted” is a physical body. When it is raised, it is a spiritual body.
There is a physical body. And there is also a spiritual body. 45 It is written in the Scriptures: “The first man became a living person.”[c] But the last Adam became a spirit that gives life. 46 The spiritual man did not come first. It was the physical man who came first; then came the spiritual. 47 The first man came from the dust of the earth. The second man came from heaven. 48 People belong to the earth. They are like the first man of earth. But those people who belong to heaven are like the man of heaven. 49 We were made like the man of earth. So we will[d] also be made like the man of heaven.
50 I tell you this, brothers: Flesh and blood cannot have a part in the kingdom of God. A thing that will ruin cannot have a part in something that never ruins. 51 But listen, I tell you this secret: We will not all die, but we will all be changed. 52 It will only take a second. We will be changed as quickly as an eye blinks. This will happen when the last trumpet sounds. The trumpet will sound and those who have died will be raised to live forever. And we will all be changed. 53 This body that will ruin must clothe itself with something that will never ruin. And this body that dies must clothe itself with something that will never die. 54 So this body that ruins will clothe itself with that which never ruins. And this body that dies will clothe itself with that which never dies. When this happens, then this Scripture will be made true:
“Death is destroyed forever in victory.” Isaiah 25:855 “Death, where is your victory?    Death, where is your power to hurt?” Hosea 13:14
56 Death’s power to hurt is sin. The power of sin is the law. 57 But we thank God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
58 So my dear brothers, stand strong. Do not let anything move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord. You know that your work in the Lord is never wasted.

Acts 13:43

Monday Jan 23, 2023

Monday Jan 23, 2023

Monday, 23 January 2023
 
Now when the congregation had broken up, many of the Jews and devout proselytes followed Paul and Barnabas, who, speaking to them, persuaded them to continue in the grace of God. Acts 13:43
 
The previous verse showed that Paul had finished his discourse with those in the synagogue and that when the synagogue was ending, he was surrounded by those who wanted to hear more. That continues, beginning with the words, “Now when the congregation had broken up.”
 
The words should read as the Greek, “Now when the synagogue had broken up.” What was probably the case here is the same as happens in churches around the world. There is a time when people talk on the way out the doors. They may ask whoever spoke to give them a little more insight into what they had heard. They may want to set up a meeting during the week to get to know someone else better, or whatever. That is what happened in the previous verse. Now, even after the synagogue was entirely dismissed, it says that “many of the Jews and devout proselytes followed Paul and Barnabas.”
 
The word “devout” is incorrect. It is not an adjective, but a present participle verb – “many of the Jews and worshipping proselytes.” Paul and Barnabas were no longer at the synagogue but were probably on their way to get something to eat or maybe turn in at their place of lodging, and yet, they were being thronged by those who attended the synagogue. What had been heard made such an impact on them, positively or otherwise, that they could not let the matter rest without discussing it further. In their response to the crowd, it next says, “who, speaking to them.”
 
In other words, this is referring to Paul and Barnabas. They have preached the message of God’s grace to the people. They have noted the insufficiency of the Law of Moses to justify anyone (Acts 13:39), and they have given the warning of what will happen if this message of grace is ignored. Hence, their main admonition to this curious group is to continue in that grace. Luke confirms this, saying that Paul and Barnabas “persuaded them to continue in the grace of God.”
 
In essence, “Grace has been proclaimed to you. It is the saving grace of God in Christ reconciling the world to Himself apart from deeds of the law. Now, you are expected to believe that simple message and to continue in it henceforth.”
 
As this is what they implored the people, we too should remember what that message was –
 
Jesus died for the sins of the people (Acts 13:28, 29 & 38)Jesus was buried (Acts 13:29, etc.)Jesus rose again (Acts 13:30, 34, & 37)
 
This is the gospel. This is the only gospel. It is a gospel that is directed to Jews and to Gentiles alike. No other gospel can restore man to God. Continue in the grace of that glorious message.
 
Life application: One point about Paul’s speech to those in Antioch helps settle a matter concerning the gospel he gives in 1 Corinthians 15. There, Paul uses the term “according to Scripture” to define certain things –
 
“For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4 and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures.”
 
It is obvious that the words “died for our sins” is qualified by “according to Scripture.” Paul is saying that Scripture itself testifies to the fact that Jesus would be crucified for the sins of His people. However, what do the words qualify in the second clause? Is it that He was buried and rose again or is it that He was buried and rose again the third day? In other words, is Paul simply supplementing the main thought “buried and rose again” with the words “the third day” or are the words “the third day” a part of what is necessary to be heard and believed?
 
The answer is surely the former. Paul is never recorded as having mentioned the third day in Acts 13 when he presented the gospel to those in Antioch of Pisidia. It is true that there are types and shadows of a third-day resurrection given in the Old Testament, such as in Genesis 22, but the words “the third day,” despite having significance to the narrative, are not a necessary inclusion of a gospel presentation. This is evident from what is said in Acts 13 and elsewhere.
 
Remember this simple gospel message and beware of anyone who would try to corrupt it in any way. Paul and Barnabas asked their hearers to continue in the grace of God. Please! Forever and always do likewise. Trust in Christ, rest in Christ, and be filled with the knowledge that you are saved by the precious blood of Jesus Christ. Nothing else will do. Continue in this always.
 
O God, how wonderful it is to hear the words of release! We have an infection in us, sin. It is debilitating, it is deadly, and it is terminal. And yet, You have provided the cure. It can no longer harm, it can no longer kill, and in our healing, we have been granted eternal life. And it is all by the work of Another! Jesus has done it all. Thank You, O God, for Jesus Christ our Lord through whom Your grace is bestowed upon Your people. Hallelujah and amen!

Acts 13:42

Sunday Jan 22, 2023

Sunday Jan 22, 2023

Sunday, 22 January 2023
 
So when the Jews went out of the synagogue, the Gentiles begged that these words might be preached to them the next Sabbath. Acts 13:42
 
In the previous verse, Paul cited Habakkuk, equating the destruction of Israel, and the exile of the people during the Babylonian captivity, to what would come upon them because of their rejection of Jesus. That has ended the discourse of Paul to those in the synagogue. With that, Luke next records, “So when the Jews went out of the synagogue.”
 
The words are from a present participle and more closely read, “So when the Jews were going out of the synagogue.” Literally, what is said next will occur as this was taking place, showing the eagerness of those who will be mentioned.
 
Also, it should be noted that the inclusion of the words “the Jews” and “the Gentiles” is not in some texts. As such, the thought is briefer in those translations, saying, “As they went out, the people begged that these things might be told them the next Sabbath” (ESV). The idea remains basically unchanged. The time in the synagogue came to its end, and even while those inside were on their way out, it says that “the Gentiles begged that these words might be preached to them.”
 
The tense of the verb is imperfect. They asked and they continued to ask. One can see how excited they were by the news that had fallen on their ears. These people were proselytes of the gate, Gentiles who were curious about the religion of the Jews and they stood and listened while the synagogue was in session.
 
As long as they had attended, be it for one week or an extended period of time, they had heard that Moses was the key to salvation and that adherence to the law was necessary for that to come about. It meant that they had to do the work. No wonder they remained proselytes at the gate! There was no assurance of salvation. Instead, there was the constant yoke of bondage that the law imposed upon them. Now, Paul had said that was over and that a new path had been opened for any, be it Jews or Gentiles, to come to God. And it was God who had done the work in Christ. The news would have been the most wonderful burden-lifting thing they could imagine!
 
And more, it was the law and the prophets under this law that testified to this truth. It wasn’t as if Paul was starting a new religion. He was saying that what he was proclaiming was an extension of, but also a new direction to, what the God of Israel had been doing. So excited were they that they asked to have him speak on “the next Sabbath.”
 
Here, there is scholarly (and some translational) debate as to the meaning of the words. Does this mean they wanted to gather on the next Sabbath or during the week leading up to the next Sabbath? For example, Smith’s Literal Translation says, “to have these words spoken in the sabbath between.” This implies that they were hoping to hear it themselves before the Sabbath. If this is correct, it would mean they may have had many questions that could not be asked while the synagogue was in session.
 
Either way, there is great eagerness among the Gentiles concerning the news about the coming of Jesus Christ, Israel’s Messiah.
 
Life application: When one is predisposed to law observance, the idea of a Savior that has done all the work is repugnant. Where is the glory for oneself! Simply trusting in the merits of another doesn’t highlight how great a person may perceive he is. This is why so many people love to go back to the law and observe various aspects of it. It demonstrates a self-righteousness that stands worthy before God based on personal deeds.
 
But watch closely in whatever church you attend. Even if there is no return to the law of Moses, there are innumerable other ways where people and congregations show the world how supposedly holy and worthy they are.
 
There are those who hold to the social gospel, where taking care of others in one way or another elevates them to supposed holiness through good deeds. The grace of Christ is at best an afterthought and is often not even discussed. There are doctrines that say that “good works stem naturally from saving faith.”
 
In other words, if you are not doing good things, you are not saved. It is an after-the-fact imposition of someone else’s laws, whatever they may be. The obvious problem with this is highlighted by the simple question, “What ‘works?’” Who chooses if a person is doing what proves salvation? The reason this is an obvious question to ask is that the Bible does not specify any works that would highlight this unbiblical and dangerous doctrine.
 
What God expects of us is what Paul has presented to those in the synagogue in Antioch of Pisidia, which is to believe in the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. After that, whatever we do is to be done in faith that we are saved and that we will receive our rewards based on that salvation. This is not to “prove” that we are saved. The Holy Spirit’s sealing of us when we believed is all the proof we need of that. God has given it and He knows who He has given it to. The Bible says it is received when we believe, and we are to trust that it is so.
 
From beginning to end, and at all points in between, we are saved by grace, and we continue to be saved by that same grace. All glory belongs to God alone for what has been done.
 
Thank You, O God, for what You have done in and through Christ for us. We are the recipients of Your offer of grace through simple faith that You have done it all for us. What more could we add to the finished, full, final, and forever work of Jesus Christ our Lord? Nothing! And so, thank You for what You have done. Amen.
 

Acts 13:41

Saturday Jan 21, 2023

Saturday Jan 21, 2023

Saturday, 21 January 2023
 
“Behold, you despisers,
Marvel and perish!
For I work a work in your days,
A work which you will by no means believe,
Though one were to declare it to you.” Acts 13:41
 
After giving his gospel presentation, Paul next provided words of warning to his hearers, saying, “Beware therefore, lest what has been spoken in the prophets come upon you.” With that, he now cites the substance of Habakkuk 1:5. His words follow that of the Greek translation. The Hebrew of this verse says –
 
“Look among the nations and watch—Be utterly astounded!For I will work a work in your daysWhich you would not believe, though it were told you.”
 
With that noted, the words of Paul as recorded by Luke begin with, “Behold, you despisers.” Of this, Barnes notes –
 
“The change from this expression to "ye despisers" was made by the Septuagint translators by a very slight alteration in the Hebrew word - probably from a variation in the copy which they used. It arose from reading בּוגדים bowgadiym instead of בגּוים bagowyim. The Syriac, the Arabic, as well as the Septuagint, follow this reading.”
 
Paul, using this commonly accepted translation now equates the words of Habakkuk concerning Israel’s mindset at the time of the Babylonian invasion to that of the coming of Christ. The Lord told Israel that the Chaldeans would come upon Israel and prevail, but Habakkuk prophesied that they would never believe it. The Lord elsewhere in Scripture also prophesied of the coming of Christ. But in His coming, it was known the same disbelieving attitude would prevail. Paul is warning his hearers not to let that happen to them as well.
 
Next, he says, “Marvel and perish!” Rather, the Greek text reads, “And marvel, and perish.” The first word is common and signifies to wonder at, marvel, be amazed, etc. It has already been used four times in Acts at various key points. The second word, here translated as “perish,” signifies to vanish or be removed from sight. The sense is that in their disbelief, calamity would come upon them which would catch them completely off guard and result in their being reduced to nothing.
 
The Lord had told them in advance what was coming in the arrival of the Messiah. The prophecies were so exacting that all they needed to do was pay attention and accept what He told them at face value. But they wanted something different than what Jesus came to do. The result of their rejection of him would be like that of the destruction of Israel by the Chaldeans. That is understood from the substance of the next clauses. And so, Paul continues with, “For I work a work in your days.”
 
Israel, even to this modern day, fails to understand that their state in the world is completely directed by the hand of the Lord. A single read through the book of Jeremiah reveals this time and again. They are given the word of the Lord and they simply ignore it. And then, when the prophecies of destruction come about, they stand there gawking in amazement as if it was the most incredible thing they could imagine.
 
Israel during the Babylonian exile acted as if the exile was some type of accident that would be quickly corrected, but the Lord told them that it was His plan and to settle down and build houses where they were. They could not imagine that their situation was a result of their actions. But the Lord’s guiding hand was over them and they remained in exile for the exact period that He spoke out to them. After that time, they were allowed to return according to the Lord’s word working through king Cyrus.
 
Paul knew that the substance of the situation was so much the same as at the time of these prophets that he was able to cite Habakkuk as if it was written specifically for his time frame and the current state of Israel. As such, Habakkuk’s warning to the people is now Paul’s warning to them. It is, “A work which you will by no means believe.”
 
In failing to come to Jesus, it demonstrates a failure to believe in the word of the Lord. But that same word of the Lord promised the destruction of the temple, the destruction of Jerusalem, and the exile of the people from the land of Israel. It was prophesied in Leviticus 26 and Deuteronomy 28, it was prophesied by Jesus in the synoptic gospels, such as in Luke 21:20-24, and now it is implicitly prophesied by Paul. And yet, even though such prophesies were made, when the events occurred, the people of Israel would not believe that it was the Lord who had done it. That is seen in the next words, “Though one were to declare it to you.”
 
The word translated as “declare” is first seen here. It will only be seen again in Acts 15:3. It means more than to simply declare but to declare completely. It is the clearest and most complete declaration that can be made. In other words, even if the most exacting details were put forth for the ears of Israel, they would not believe it. And this is just what happened. It had been declared to them and yet in its coming about, they stared at their situation and wondered what could possibly have caused it. At the same time, they completely rejected any notion that it was somehow their own fault.
 
This may sound incredible, but it is exactly what has taken place for the past two thousand years. Ask a Jew why they are not in their homeland and why they have been hated and persecuted and they will give one of a billion reasons for it. They may even, at times, say, “The Lord was angry with us for XX reason.” But they will never say, “It is because we rejected the Messiah, Jesus, at His coming. It is our fault and we have gotten exactly what we deserve.”
 
Only with the modern “Jews for Jesus” and other messianic movements have some of them started to come to Jesus and acknowledge that their woes have been self-inflicted wounds. The words of Paul firmly describe the situation that would come upon Israel, and Israel has exactingly fulfilled these words of the Lord as spoken out by Paul.
 
Life application: As noted above, on rare occasions Jews may say, “The Lord was angry with us and so we have been exiled and punished.” When this is admitted, the reason is not, “It is because we rejected Jesus our Messiah.” Rather, they will say something like, “It is because we did not properly observe the Sabbath,” or “It is because we did not faithfully perform the works of the Torah.”
 
In fact, one Jew in the recent past claimed that if every Jew on earth would properly perform the Sabbath observance, Messiah would come and would restore Israel to all its glory. In other words, anytime the Jewish people admit that their situation is their fault, they also claim that the resolution to their situation is up to them through their personal deeds. It is a self-based righteousness that they believe will heal them.
 
This then comes to the core of Paul’s words throughout His epistles. Time and again, Paul warned against the doctrine of the Judaizers. In fact, the book of Galatians is almost entirely focused on this one issue. These people had come to Galatia and had introduced a false gospel, that of adherence to the law for righteousness. Why would they do this?
 
The reason is exactly what Paul is saying right now in Acts 13. They had rejected the Messiah and His full, finished, and forever work. They sought to obtain a righteousness of their own, apart from His work. Paul’s citation of the prophetic words of Habakkuk wasn’t just fulfilled in the destruction of the temple and the exile of the people. It was being fulfilled with each rejection of his words to the Jews and with each attempt of the Judaizers to subvert the gospel from within.
 
And it has continued to be the case both among Israel and within the church ever since. Anytime someone follows a path of attempting to merit righteousness before God by his own efforts instead of complete and total trust in the merits of Christ alone, they are a part of Paul’s prophetic words. Be on guard! Watch out for those who would pull you away from the purity of the gospel. Read it again and see where you are included in the equation –
 
“For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4 and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures.” 1 Corinthians 15:3, 4
 
Where is your work included in this? Where are your deeds included in this? What boasting do you have in this? Rather, Paul says when speaking of this gospel message, “Therefore, whether it was I or they, so we preach and so you believed.” Oh! There you are! There is your part! As it says, “and so, you believed” (1 Corinthians 15:11). That is what God expects of you. He has done the work through Christ Jesus. For confirmation of that, take the time to go and read John 6:29. Believe and be saved. Anything else will only lead to a sad end.
 
Lord God, how grateful we are to know that You have done everything necessary for us to be restored to You. We are not included in what was needed to be done in order for us to be saved. That has been accomplished by Jesus. Now, we just need to believe this simple truth. Christ has done it all! He alone has secured salvation for His people. And we are His people if we simply believe. Thank You, O God, for the simplicity of the gospel. Amen.
 

Acts 13:40

Friday Jan 20, 2023

Friday Jan 20, 2023

Friday, 20 January 2023
 
“Beware therefore, lest what has been spoken in the prophets come upon you: Acts 13:40
 
Paul has spoken of Israel’s history, the coming of Christ, the treatment Jesus received from the hands of Israel, and the good news that this was all a part of God’s plan for the redemption of the world. Because it is this way, it is through Him that forgiveness of sins is received and that through faith in Him, justification that could not come through the Law of Moses is received.
 
Having said that, there is an obvious point that has not been explicitly stated even if it is implied. If Jesus has initiated a New Covenant, and if that is now in effect for the forgiveness of sins, then the Mosaic Covenant is annulled in Him. The offering of forgiveness of sins through the sacrificial system, including the Day of Atonement, is no longer effectual. Because of that obvious point, Paul next says, “Beware therefore.”
 
This is not a threat, but a solemn warning. Paul has shown that what he has stated was prophesied in advance and recorded in Scripture. He will next demonstrate that even the consequences for rejection of God’s offer of Christ Jesus had been prophesied. As this is so, then those who reject that offer are continuing to fulfill prophecies that were written concerning this new and exclusive path to salvation. That is made perfectly clear from his continued words, “lest what has been spoken in the prophets come upon you.”
 
Paul began his talk to the people with the selection of Israel and their being exalted while dwelling “in the land of Egypt, and with an uplifted arm He brought them out.” Immediately after that, he then said, “Now for a time of about forty years He put up with their ways in the wilderness.”
 
That was a time of the rejection of the Lord’s deliverance. It resulted in the death of every man, twenty and above, who perished for their lack of faith. Paul is now tying the account of Jesus directly in with that as he closes out his speech. The words are as bookends on his speech. The Lord exalted Israel in their own type of Egypt, being under the bondage of the law. He brought them out with an uplifted arm via the cross of Calvary. And yet, the nation has already rejected this offer for the most part.
 
But this was known by God, and it was spoken of in advance through the prophets. Paul’s words are telling the people that just as Moses had to fashion a fiery serpent in the wilderness and hold it up for any who looked to it to live, even while national Israel was being punished and perishing, so each Jew would have to do the same with the cross of Christ. They could individually look to the cross and be saved.
 
To support this, he will next cite the prophet Habakkuk to close out his discourse to those at the synagogue.
 
Life application: Paul has spoken his gospel message to those in the synagogue. This included Gentiles as will be explicitly stated in verse 42. He has given them the gospel; the same gospel was extended to all who heard. There were not two separate speeches to the two categories conveying two separate gospel messages (hyperdispensationalism).
 
The consequences for national Israel’s rejection of Christ Jesus are implied in his words, and they will receive their just punishment for this rejection. However, Paul’s appeal has been to individuals of the Jewish nation as well as to those Gentiles who were in attendance. Now each will have a choice to make. Will they accept the gospel he presented and be saved, or will they reject it and perish?
 
This same offering has continued to be extended to all people, Jews and Gentiles, for the past two thousand years. Each person who has heard it will either accept it and be saved or reject it and perish. God is not forcing this upon people, choosing them apart from their free will (Calvinism). This will be evident in the citation from Habakkuk.
 
Likewise, Paul has shown in his words that the law is ineffectual to save while Jesus’ offering is fully effectual to do so. His words imply that the Law of Moses is now no longer in effect for forgiveness of sins. To remain under this law (Jews), or to place oneself under it (Gentiles) as taught by the Judaizers’, Adventists, Hebrew Roots Movement, etc., is thus a rejection of Jesus and a point of condemnation.
 
Further, Paul has noted that “everyone who believes is justified from all things” (Acts 13:39). This is a clear refutation of the doctrine of Arminius and those who follow him concerning loss of salvation. To be justified from all things is to have all things removed from penal consequences. Those who are so cleansed are also no longer under law, but grace. As this is so, then there can be no further imputation of sin. Salvation is eternal.
 
By simply paying attention to the words of Paul, the correction of defective doctrine or even heresy can come about. Don’t be a heretic! Come to Jesus, drop the foolish things that keep you separate from the truth of the gospel, and live out your life in the contented bliss of knowing that you are not just saved, but that you are also living out your salvation in the proper manner.
 
Again, come to Jesus! Believe the word! And walk in soundness of doctrine, thinking through the various principles that are presented in Scripture.
 
Lord God, how simple the plan of salvation is. You have sent Jesus and made the offer of salvation through Him. And yet, we seem to desperately try to muddy up those pure waters with all kinds of crazy ideas. Help us not to do this, but to follow Jesus in the purity of the gospel and in the assurance of our salvation for all our days. Amen.
 

Acts 13:39

Thursday Jan 19, 2023

Thursday Jan 19, 2023

Thursday, 19 January 2023
 
“and by Him everyone who believes is justified from all things from which you could not be justified by the law of Moses. Acts 13:39
 
In the previous verse, Paul stated, “through this Man is preached to you the forgiveness of sins.” This is the heart of the matter. Jesus didn’t come to exalt Israel over Rome. He didn’t come to give the people ease and comfort. He didn’t come to do a thousand things that people think of when they think of their earthly lives and how the Messiah could make them better. Rather, Paul focuses on the forgiveness of sin. This aligns with John’s words from his first epistle –
 
“He who sins is of the devil, for the devil has sinned from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil.” 1 John 3:8
 
Like Paul, John highlights the problem, sin. But he also identifies the source of the problem, the devil. Complete clarity of why the story of the fall of man in the very first pages of Scripture is realized. Everything about what is recorded after that is a part of God’s workings to highlight this, to show that it must be resolved for harmony to be restored between Him and man, and how He would bring that about.
 
Paul now calls that fact forward, saying, “and by Him.” This is speaking of Jesus. He is “this Man” of the previous verse. He is the One “whom God raised up and saw no corruption” of the verse before that. Paul is revealing to the Jews, and also any Gentiles in attendance, the purpose of Jesus’ coming.
 
As this is his argument, then it means that everything referring to the Messiah in their Scriptures will support his words. The historical stories, the prophecies, the songs, the genealogical listings, the love stories, and all else are anticipating this great role of the Messiah and those things will in some way be connected to this fact. The words of Scripture cannot be disassociated from the overall purpose of Scripture. And so, to highlight this in the fullest and most poignant manner , Paul continues by saying that “everyone who believes.”
 
The word pas is a word of totality. It can refer to people, geographical locations, the words of Scripture, and so on. In this case, it is being used to identify people. This is obvious because Paul just said, “through this Man is preached to you the forgiveness of sins.” Thus, it is identifying the category – human beings. In saying “everyone who believes,” it thus extends beyond the Jews to all people without distinction. No matter who hears the words, all are included in the action which is that they are “justified from all things.”
 
The word Paul uses, dikaioó, is connected to the idea of the forgiveness of sins from the previous verse. Simply, it means “approved.” However, it carries with it a legal and authoritative sense. As the words are connected to forgiveness of sins, Paul is saying that through Jesus, all charges against a person, and the punishment that should be meted out because of them, are cleared.
 
The slate is wiped clean and total forgiveness is realized. Without Jesus, there is defeat because of sin. But with Him, there is victory and vindication. With this stated and revealed to the ears of his audience, Paul next provides a contrast to Jesus. In doing so, he will highlight exactly what was stated above: that everything in Scripture is ultimately anticipating the great role of the Messiah. He does this by saying that the word of Jesus provides man’s needed justification “from which you could not be justified by the law of Moses.”
 
Bengel is correct in saying that the words about Jesus, “in Him,” are the antithesis of “the law of Moses.” Moses is the standard set forth by God for justification. That is stated explicitly in Leviticus 18 –
 
“You shall observe My judgments and keep My ordinances, to walk in them: I am the Lord your God. 5 You shall therefore keep My statutes and My judgments, which if a man does, he shall live by them: I am the Lord.” Leviticus 18:4, 5
 
The law was given, and it promised life. With it set before Israel, it was then provided about fourteen hundred years to be worked out. The record of the people, both individuals and as a collective, was carefully kept so that Israel could see they needed something else, something even greater than the law to live. The law only brought about the realization of more sin and thus, more condemnation.
 
Therefore, Paul is not only speaking to the Jews sitting there, but he is speaking to the Gentiles who were curious about the religion of the Jews. If they had the words of promised life for obedience to their laws set before them, and if that law was unable to bring about a state of justification to them, then the Gentiles would be crazy to ignore Paul’s words and place themselves under the law.
 
*The law is the standard.*The law is unable to provide what it offers because the law only highlights sin.*Jesus provides what the law cannot provide because He had no sin and committed no sin under the law.
 
Because Jesus fulfilled the law through obedience to it, including His death, He embodies the law. In other words, in Him is life – the life promised in Leviticus 18. Through faith in Jesus, that life is imparted to the believer because justification is imputed to him. Forgiveness is realized, the slate is clean, and eternal life is the result. This is the gospel that Paul is meticulously explaining to the ears of his audience.
 
Life application: If only those who follow the Judaizers and Hebrew Roots Movement cults would think through what Paul is saying to those in the synagogue in Antioch of Pisidia, they would run as quickly as they could to Jesus. They would shun what these heretics offer, which highlight sin, condemnation, and death. Instead, they would hold fast to Jesus which means justification from sin, a declaration of righteousness, and life.
 
Jesus! It is all about Jesus. In Him and in Him alone comes the forgiveness of our debts and a return to paradise. Who cares about how “holy” you appear because of your dietary restrictions, the days you observe, or the feasts you participate in? These are just shadows and types of the coming Christ. They can never make a person holy. But Jesus can and He will. Just come to Him by faith. This is what God asks of you.
 
Heavenly Father, forgive us for attempting to earn what You have already offered. Forgive us for our arrogance and pride in trying to do better than what You have done. The perfection of Christ and of His work is all we will ever need to be right before You. So, Lord, help us to hold fast to Him and to Him alone as we await our renewal. And may that day be soon! Amen.

Acts 13:38

Wednesday Jan 18, 2023

Wednesday Jan 18, 2023

Wednesday, 18 January 2023
 
“Therefore let it be known to you, brethren, that through this Man is preached to you the forgiveness of sins; Acts 13:38
 
Paul proclaimed to those in the synagogue that Jesus, who God raised up, saw no corruption. It is because of this work of God that Paul now explicitly states the purpose of this, beginning with, “Therefore let it be known to you.”
 
Q: Who is speaking?A: Paul, the Apostle to the Gentiles.
 
Q: Who is Paul speaking to?A: Jews in the synagogue of Antioch of Pisidia.
 
Q: As Paul is the Apostle to the Gentiles, is his proclamation limited to them?A: No, refer to Acts 9:15 – “But the Lord said to him, ‘Go, for he is a chosen vessel of Mine to bear My name before Gentiles, kings, and the children of Israel.’”
 
Q: So, you are saying that his apostleship to the Gentiles is merely the focus of his gospel, but that it is the same gospel as that of the other apostles?A: Yes. There is one and only one gospel. We are not heretics here. See 1 Corinthians 15:11.
 
Paul is an apostle of Jesus Christ. There is one Christ and one work of Christ that is effectual for all people. The Jews that Paul is addressing in Antioch of Pisidia may or may not have even heard of Jesus. If they had, they would need to have their thinking about Him corrected (repenting, meaning changing their mind about Him). If they had not, which can be assumed, then there is no repentance necessary, as will be seen from the text itself.
 
With this understood, Paul next says, “brethren.” Rather, the Greek reads, “men, brethren.” It is the same formula used many times so far in acts. Paul is addressing the congregation. If women were there, they are included under the masculine. He uses this term to demonstrate the bond that binds them as members of the nation and culture of Israel, and that he is a part of that nation.
 
Israel is the nation through which the Messiah would come, and so he stands making his fraternal appeal to them about Jesus, who is that Messiah. With that, he continues, saying, “that through this Man.”
 
Paul’s words at this time focus on the humanity of Jesus, but it is an incorruptible humanity as was clearly detailed in the preceding verses. As such, the implication is that Jesus is also God, whether Paul has explicitly stated this or not.
 
Only a sinless Man is incorruptible, and only the God/Man could be sinless due to the biblically understood doctrine of original sin. If He were not both God and Man, He would have inherited sin and He would have remained dead, corrupting as all other men do. With this understood, Paul says that through this incorruptible Man “is preached to you the forgiveness of sins.”
 
Paul has completed his gospel presentation with these words, even if his words are not yet finished. It is the EXACT SAME gospel he preaches elsewhere to the Gentiles –
 
Christ died for our sins (1 Corinthians 15:3 / Acts 13:38).
Christ was buried (1 Corinthians 15:4 / Acts 13:29).
Christ rose again (1 Corinthians 15:4 / Acts 13:30, 33, 37).
 
Paul has not said a single word about repentance to his audience, except as it applied to John the Baptist’s preaching prior to the coming of the Messiah (Acts 13:24). Now that the Messiah has come, and with His work complete, Paul has given this congregation the simple gospel. They must now decide whether to accept the proposition or reject it.
 
This is the gospel, the one and only gospel, that is acceptable for the saving of man. The address by Peter in Acts 2 where the call to repent was given was a necessary condition for them because they had just rejected Jesus. They had to change their mind about what they had done to be saved. This congregation before Paul is under a completely different set of parameters, and thus they are given the gospel with no further stipulations added.
 
If those in this congregation reject Paul’s word, then they will – by default – have to repent (change their minds) about Jesus if they later accept Him. Currently, however, that is not a part of Paul’s appeal. As for the nation of Israel, they must nationally repent of their rejection of Christ. But everyone, Jew or Gentile, must accept or reject the simple gospel.
 
Life application: Some people would rather remain heretics, accepting and teaching what is false concerning the gospel, than admit that they have been wrong about their thinking. This is true with many sects and cults. When speaking to a Jehovah’s witness about the deity of Christ, a tenet implied in the gospel as noted above, they would normally rather remain unconverted than admit they are wrong.
 
The same is true with the erroneous doctrine of the Seventh Day Adventists, Judaizers, hyperdispensationalists, Mormons, etc. There is a point where the callousness of the heart takes over and prevents a person from accepting what the Bible is clearly presenting. It is a sad place to be, but it is our human nature to want to go down with the ship. Let us not be found in such a position.
 
Instead, when we are faced with a clear teaching about a doctrine, be it a minor doctrine such as the timing of the rapture, or something major like the deity of Christ, let us be willing to admit our fault in thinking and so be renewed in our minds.
 
Above all, let us thank God for the simplicity of the gospel that has come at the high cost of the giving of Jesus Christ for our sins. He died for our sins, He was buried, and He rose again! Praise God for what He has done in and through Jesus Christ our Lord!
 
Glorious Lord Jesus, thank You for what You have done for us. We are lost. We are on the road to condemnation. And yet, You came to redirect us to the heavenly highway if we will simply believe the gospel message. May we submit our hearts and lives to You through accepting this wonderful message of restoration. Amen.

Acts 13:37

Tuesday Jan 17, 2023

Tuesday Jan 17, 2023

Tuesday, 17 January 2023
 
“but He whom God raised up saw no corruption. Acts 13:37
 
While speaking in the synagogue, Paul just noted that by the will of God David served his own generation, fell asleep, was buried with his fathers, and saw corruption. Therefore, his words concerning God’s Holy One not seeing corruption could not have been referring to him. They were, instead, a prophecy of the coming Messiah. Paul now proclaims that the prophesied Messiah has come, fulfilling David’s words. Paul’s words begin with, “but He.”
 
The Subject is Jesus, specifically noted in verse 13:23, and who has been the main Subject of Paul’s words since –
 
“From this man’s seed, according to the promise, God raised up for Israel a Savior—Jesus.”
 
It is this Jesus “whom God raised up.” In the Greek, three words translated as “raised up” are used. Each carries a specific meaning not fully perceived because of the translation. Notice the progression of his words –
 
*From this man’s seed, according to the promise, God raised up [agó] for Israel a Savior—Jesus. Acts 13:23 (to bring forth). God brought forth a Savior for Israel according to the promise.
 
*But God raised [egeiró] Him from the dead. Acts 13:30 (To arouse or awaken). God aroused Jesus from the state of death despite being put to death.
 
*God has fulfilled this for us their children, in that He has raised up [anistémi] Jesus. Acts 13:33 (To stand up or raise up). God raised up Jesus according to the promise both among Israel in His incarnation and which is then confirmed in raising Him out of the dead in the resurrection.
 
*And that He raised Him [anistémi] from the dead, no more to return to corruption, He has spoken thus: Acts 13:34 (To stand up or raise up). God raised Jesus, standing Him up from His place and position of death.
 
*but He whom God raised up [egeiró] saw no corruption. Acts 13:37 (To arouse or awaken). Unlike David, God aroused Jesus without seeing corruption.
 
Under inspiration of the Spirit, Paul has carefully spoken his words to ensure that every point about the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus is fully understood. He doesn’t need to include the words “from the dead” in this verse because it is understood from the context of the previous verse. Jesus’ arousal is contrasted to David’s non-arousal. David remained in the grave and corrupted. On the other hand, Jesus “saw no corruption.”
 
The incorruptible nature of Jesus is what is highlighted by Paul now. The importance of this point will be made manifest in his next words to the people of the synagogue, and thus to all people because his words are now recorded in Scripture.
 
Life application: Word studies, such as the one above, will help alleviate misconceptions about what is being said. Three different words have been translated in the same manner by the NKJV. Although there is nothing wrong with this, without knowing what each Greek word is saying, a misunderstanding of the overall picture may arise in our minds.
 
Therefore, when time permits, it is always a fun and rewarding thing to do a careful word study of a passage. This is especially so if you are set to lead a class on a particular passage. The time you spend analyzing such things will be well worth the effort you put into it.
 
Glorious God, may we be willing to carefully handle Your word, ensuring that what we convey to others about it is correct and well thought out. Help us to not hurriedly come to conclusions that may not be grounded in reality. Rather, give us the desire to study this precious word thoroughly in order to explain it properly to others. Amen

Acts 13:36

Monday Jan 16, 2023

Monday Jan 16, 2023

Monday, 16 January 2023
 
“For David, after he had served his own generation by the will of God, fell asleep, was buried with his fathers, and saw corruption; Acts 13:36
 
Paul just cited Psalm 16:10, claiming it refers to the coming Messiah. That said, “You will not allow Your Holy One to see corruption.” Having stated this, he will now defend that notion. He will follow the same logical reasoning as Peter did in Acts 2.
 
The words of this verse are a bit difficult to understand in the Greek, but an exacting literal translation, which will be used below, is, “for David, indeed, his own generation having served by the will of God, did fall asleep, and was added unto his fathers, and saw corruption” (YLT). With this in mind, Paul begins with, “for David.”
 
David is the author of Psalm 16 as noted in the psalm’s opening statement. Because of this, it cannot be that he is referring to himself in those words. Rather, he must be prophesying concerning the coming Messiah. This is because, as Paul continues, “indeed, his own generation having served.”
 
David was the king for a certain amount of time, forty years according to 2 Samuel 5:4 and 1 Kings 2:11. And more, 2 Samuel 5:4 noted that David was thirty years old when he began to reign. Hence, he lived to be seventy years old. Of the timeframe of his kingship, Paul says that it was “by the will of God.”
 
God set David on the throne of Israel, and God determined when he would die. It was set according to the foreknowledge of God, and it came about according to His plan. After that time, Paul next says that David “did fall asleep.”
 
The meaning is that he died. To fall asleep is a biblical euphemism for this. It implies that there is a continuance of the soul even if the body has died. It thus speaks of the eternal nature of the soul. Once he fell asleep, Paul next says, “and was added unto his fathers.”
 
Though David was buried, the thought of being added to the fathers has a dual thought involved in it. Being added to the fathers means that his soul has joined them in the pit (Hebrew: sheol) where they will remain until the resurrection. But it also means that his physical body is committed to the grave where the others who had gone before him also went. In the case of his physical body, Paul next says, “and saw corruption.”
 
This proves that David’s inspired words of the psalm could not be speaking of him. He died, he was buried, and his body saw corruption. There was no resurrection involved in the process. When the resurrection takes place, it will not be in the body he had because that has returned to the earth. As such, David’s words must refer to someone else, specifically, the Messiah. That will be seen in the next verse.
 
Life application: For the Christian, there is always the hope of the rapture. But that hope has gone unfulfilled for two thousand years. Those who are alive at that blessed moment will be changed from their earthly bodies to spiritual bodies. However, for those who die before that time, we should not feel any less excited for them. They have shed this earthly body of corruption.
 
Their souls have been separated from the pains, trials, sorrows, and troubles of this life and they are in the capable hands of their Lord, awaiting the moment when the call is made for them to rise and be granted their eternal, spiritual body. Though we may suffer the pain of separation, we should not mourn as the world mourns.
 
In Christ, there is the absolute certain hope that they will be raised. And so, let us rejoice, even in our sorrows. The redeemed of the Lord shall rise. Nothing can stop that from happening. And so let us thank God for what He has done in the giving of Jesus!
 
Lord God, how grateful we are for the sure and blessed hope we possess concerning Your promises to us. We have eternal life because of Jesus. And so, even if we have trials in this life, help us to not be consumed by them. Instead, may we hold fast to the joy set before us as we await the time of our glorification. Thank You, O God, for what You have granted to us. Amen.

Acts 13:35

Sunday Jan 15, 2023

Sunday Jan 15, 2023

Sunday, 15 January 2023
 
“Therefore He also says in another Psalm:‘You will not allow Your Holy One to see corruption.’ Acts 13:35
 
Paul is quoting Scripture to the synagogue in Antioch of Pisidia. He just said to them that God raised Jesus from the dead, no more to see corruption.r This was considered certain because, as he cited from Scripture, it says, “I will give you the sure mercies of David.” With that, he now continues with another citation of Scripture, introducing his thought with, “Therefore He also says in another Psalm.”
 
The word translated as “Therefore” signifies “on this account” or “because.” In other words, because the Lord promised the Messiah that He would receive the sure mercies of David, there must be a natural result of that, even if He was to first be crucified. And so,  to firmly establish this, he repeats the thought concerning what will transpire after His crucifixion, saying, ‘You will not allow Your Holy One to see corruption.”
 
Though the meaning is the same, the Greek literally reads, “You will not give Your Holy One to see corruption.” This is a citation from Psalm 16 –
 
“I have set the Lord always before me;Because He is at my right hand I shall not be moved.Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoices;My flesh also will rest in hope.10 For You will not leave my soul in Sheol,Nor will You allow Your Holy One to see corruption.11 You will show me the path of life;In Your presence is fullness of joy;At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.” Psalm 16:8-11
 
Paul cites a portion of the same words that Peter cited in Acts 2. After that, Peter more fully explained those words. The same will be true with Paul in the verses to come. They both clearly explain how what they cited is relevant to the surrounding argument.
 
Life application: If you go back and read the comparable verses in Acts 2 and the words now in Acts 13, you will also notice, as stated above, that both Peter and Paul do not merely cite Scripture and expect those who hear it to know what they are saying, but they fully explain what they have cited.
 
Some verses seem obvious in their meaning, and some have become so cliché through use that we think of them as actually applying to our circumstances at any given time. However, this is problematic because the surrounding context of what is said in those verses has nothing to do with what is the supposed intent when they are cited to us. Thus, a pretext is the result.
 
We must be very careful when citing Scripture to ensure the context is applicable, or that we can fully explain why what is cited logically pertains to our surrounding discourse. If we cannot do this, then our citing of those words is inappropriate.
 
As a simple example of this, consider 1 Corinthians 2:9 –
 
“But as it is written:‘Eye has not seen, nor ear heard,Nor have entered into the heart of manThe things which God has prepared for those who love Him.’”
 
It is as common as beans in a taco to cite this when talking about our future state in heaven. And yet, by going back and reading the surrounding context, we find that these words have nothing to do with that. Rather, they deal with the wisdom of God being displayed in the gospel of Jesus Christ.
 
Nobody could have conceived what God would do in Christ’s coming, nor could they have conceived of the glory that it conferred upon us because of what He has done. Be sure that context is maintained at all times. In so doing, you will be in the sweet spot concerning what you are saying.
 
Lord God, help us to be responsible in our citing of Scripture so that those around us will have a right understanding of what is being communicated by You. May we never coopt verses that sound appealing to then make unfounded claims from Your word. This can edify no one. So, help us to be careful in dealing with Your precious and sacred word. Amen.
 

Acts 13:34

Saturday Jan 14, 2023

Saturday Jan 14, 2023

Saturday, 14 January 2023
 
“And that He raised Him from the dead, no more to return to corruption, He has spoken thus:‘I will give you the sure mercies of David.’” Acts 13:34
 
In the previous verse, Paul cited the second psalm concerning God’s declaration that the Messiah is the begotten Son of God. With that remembered, he now continues with, “And that He raised Him from the dead.”
 
The words introduce another proof that Scripture anticipated and foretold the resurrection of the Messiah. In this, one must remember that to be resurrected, a person must first have been dead. Considering that, there must have been a reason for Christ’s death.
 
Paul has already said that the people and the rulers rejected Jesus and that they asked Pilate to put Him to death. He will later note that Christ died for forgiveness of sins. Thus, there are both the deeds of man as well as the foreknowledge and providence of God tied up in the crucifixion of Jesus. Concerning the resurrection from the dead, Paul continues by saying, “no more to return to corruption.”
 
In these words, Paul uses the same term that was introduced by Peter in Acts 2:27, diaphthora. It was seen again in Acts 2:31. Now it will only be seen four more times, all in Acts 13. It signifies thorough corruption and decay. Paul says that because Jesus has resurrected, He will never again see the prospect of this type of corruption. But more, Albert Barnes correctly states the matter, saying –
 
“...the body of Christ never in this sense saw corruption. The word is therefore used to denote ‘death, or the grave, the cause and place of corruption.’ The word is thus used in the Septuagint. It means here simply that he should not die again.”
 
Hence, the point of Paul’s words is to say that Christ went to the place of corruption, even though He did not corrupt while there. And, further, he will never go to that place of corruption again. The victory over the grave is total. Next, Paul says, “He has spoken thus.”
 
Paul will cite Isaiah 55:3, and yet he says “He has spoken” while referring to God. Thus, it is a proclamation concerning the divine inspiration of the writings of the prophet. God was speaking through Him concerning the coming Christ, saying, “I will give you the sure mercies of David.”
 
This is an almost exact citation from the Greek translation of Isaiah, and it more literally says, “I will give to you the holy of David, the sure.” The meaning must be inferred. Thus “the holy [blessings] of David, the sure [blessings].”
 
Those things that were promised to David speak of eternal kingship and rule. For example, the Lord said to David directly –
 
“And your house and your kingdom shall be established forever before you. Your throne shall be established forever.” 2 Samuel 7:16
 
The psalmist likewise repeated this sentiment, and it is what Isaiah was referring to –
 
“I have made a covenant with My chosen,I have sworn to My servant David:4 ‘Your seed I will establish forever,And build up your throne to all generations.’ Selah.” Psalm 89:3, 4
 
The promises to David are repeated elsewhere, such as in Psalm 132:11, 12. These verses presuppose a resurrection because elsewhere Scripture refers to the sacrificial death of the Messiah. If the Messiah died, and yet the sure mercies of David belong to the Messiah, then the resurrection is implied in them. Paul’s words to the synagogue are direct, logical, and are irrefutable when taken in the greater context of Scripture.
 
Life application: In the commentary above, it was noted that there are both the deeds of man as well as the foreknowledge and providence of God tied up in the crucifixion of Jesus. Despite this, it does not mean that God actively caused the people of Israel to reject Jesus or crucify Him.
 
God’s plan included both, but that was because God already knew the outcome of what would be done by the people. Therefore, Israel cannot say, “By rejecting and crucifying Jesus, we were fulfilling God’s plan and thus are without guilt.” Rather, if they were honest in their words, they would say, “By rejecting and crucifying Jesus, we acted exactly as the Lord knew we would. We are guilty and our actions testify against us.”
 
God’s foreknowledge does not in any way negate our responsibility to act or not act on a matter in a proper manner. This is true with salvation, it is true with not shooting Adolph Hitler, even if we knew he would grow up to be a bad person, and so on. We must act as people who are responsible for our actions at all times.
 
Understanding this, the Calvinistic concept of not having free will to choose Jesus and then call on Him to be saved is shown to be both irresponsible and utterly ridiculous. We must act, we are responsible to act, and God is not going to “regenerate” us to act to believe the gospel message. Despite being corrupt, depraved beings, we can still see the good in what God has done, desire that avenue by accepting Jesus, and then be given the seal of that act when we believe.
 
We are responsible for hearing the word and for accepting it. So, believe the good news! Accept what God has done and be saved. Jesus rose! His rule is everlasting, and He is mighty to save. Yes, call on Jesus today.
 
Lord God, You already know everything we will ever do. And yet, Your word says that You save us upon belief in what Jesus has done. There is a lot of baggage that people have heaped upon their salvation over the past millennia. And yet, You have saved them, knowing what they would do after You saved them. This demonstrates the amazing greatness of Your salvation. Thank You for the cleansing flood of forgiveness that covers all such things. Yes, thank You, O God, for Jesus. Amen.

Version: 20221013