Acts Chapter 13 Second Continued
Acts 13:36 “For David, after he had served his own generation by the will of God, fell on sleep, and was laid unto his fathers, and saw corruption:”
We discussed in the last lesson, how Jesus saw no corruption, because his body rose from the tomb on the third day. The decaying process begins on the fourth day. The prophecy (in Psalms 16), had meant that Jesus’ body would not decay; it did not mean David’s body.
David’s body had lain in the grave many years, when Paul spoke these words. His body had decayed.
Acts 13:37 “But he, whom God raised again, saw no corruption.”
Jesus Christ’s body did not decay. It was raised on the third day.
Acts 13:38 “Be it known unto you therefore, men [and] brethren, that through this man is preached unto you the forgiveness of sins:”
Paul speaks of Jesus as man here, because this is what the people saw. They could not comprehend at this time, that Jesus was in fact (God the Word), in the flesh of a man. Paul gets to the most important part here. Through Jesus is the only way to get forgiveness for your sins.
Acts 13:39 “And by him all that believe are justified from all things, from which ye could not be justified by the law of Moses.”
“Ye could not be justified by the Law of Moses”: Keeping the Law of Moses did not free anyone from their sins (Rom. 3:28; 1 Cor. 1:30; Gal. 2:16, 3:11; Phil. 3:9). But the atoning death of Jesus completely satisfied the demands of God’s law, making forgiveness of all sins available to all who believe (Gal. 3:16; Col. 2:13-14). Only the forgiveness Christ offers can free people from their sins (Rom. 3:20, 22).
Justified means: just as if I had never sinned. Every person who believes is just as if they had never sinned. What a promise! The Law of Moses was our schoolmaster (Gal. 3), to make us see our need for a Savior.
All of the washings and the animal sacrifices could only cover sin, not do away with sin. The blood of Jesus does away with our sin, if we are a Christian.
Acts 13:40 “Beware therefore, lest that come upon you, which is spoken of in the prophets;”
Here again, we see a warning to hold fast to what you have. The authorities will not like it, and will come against God’s people just as the prophets have predicted.
Acts 13:41 “Behold, ye despisers, and wonder, and perish: for I work a work in your days, a work which ye shall in no wise believe, though a man declare it unto you.”
(Quoted from Hab. 1:5).
Paul is warning them, that if they sit around and just wonder without receiving this message that he has brought them of salvation through Jesus Christ, they will perish. These Jews, Paul knows, will not believe. Even though Paul was one of them (Pharisee), he has changed and is trying to get them to change. They won’t change and accept Jesus as Messiah.
Acts 13:42 “And when the Jews were gone out of the synagogue, the Gentiles besought that these words might be preached to them the next sabbath.”
These Jews are like so many Christians today in different denominations. They are head strong (they can’t be bothered with the facts). They have already made up their minds. They do not intend to change. Most of this type of dogmatic belief is based on some denomination’s doctrine, rather than on the Word of God.
Gentiles, in this case above, have no preconceived ideas and are willing to listen to the Word of God. They not only want to listen; they ask Paul to preach to them.
Acts 13:43 “Now when the congregation was broken up, many of the Jews and religious proselytes followed Paul and Barnabas: who, speaking to them, persuaded them to continue in the grace of God.”
“Religious proselytes”: Full converts to Judaism who had been circumcised.
“Continue in the grace of God”: Those who are truly saved persevere and validate the reality of their salvation by continuing in the grace of God (John 8:31, 15:1-6; Col. 1:21-23; 1 John 2:19).
With such encouragement, Paul and Barnabas hoped to prevent those who were intellectually convinced of the truths of the gospel, yet had stopped short of saving faith, from reverting to legalism rather than embracing Christ completely.
We see that Paul and Barnabas’ teachings were not in vain. Many of the Jews believed and accepted the gift of grace through Jesus Christ. We see that the Jews and proselytes (newcomers), wanted to hear more and followed Paul and Barnabas to the place they were staying and heard even more. At any rate, they believed and accepted Jesus as Savior.
Acts 13:44 “And the next sabbath day came almost the whole city together to hear the word of God.”
The word has spread by the people who heard before, and now they have come in great numbers to hear the Word of God.
Acts 13:45 “But when the Jews saw the multitudes, they were filled with envy, and spake against those things which were spoken by Paul, contradicting and blaspheming.”
This is nothing more than religious jealousy. These leaders of the Jews suddenly realize they are losing their following. They come out against Paul and Barnabas and what they are teaching. These Jews had worshipped a certain way all their lives, and they were not about to go to this new way.
Acts 13:46 “Then Paul and Barnabas waxed bold, and said, It was necessary that the word of God should first have been spoken to you: but seeing ye put it from you, and judge yourselves unworthy of everlasting life, lo, we turn to the Gentiles.”
“First been spoken to you”: God offered the plan of salvation to the Jews first (Matt. 10:5-6; 15:24; Luke 24:47; Rom. 1:16). Although the thrust of Paul’s ministry was to Gentiles, he had a desire to see Jews saved (Rom. 9:1-5; 10:1), preaching to them first in many cities (see note on verse 5).
“We turn to the Gentiles”: Because the Jews rejected the gospel. But God never planned salvation as an exclusive possession of the Jews (Isaiah 42:1, 6; 49:6).
Paul’s missionary principle was always to go to his own people, the Jews first (Rom. 1:16), but he always went to the “Gentiles,” too. And indeed was known as the Apostle to the Gentiles (Gal. 2:7-8; Eph. 3:6-8).
You see, every person on earth is a free agent. We either choose the Lord Jesus Christ and everlasting life, or we refuse the Lord and death reigns. We judge ourselves, as the Scripture above says. There really is no need wasting God’s time on those who will not listen and accept the good news of the gospel.
Paul has done the only thing he could do, and that is to turn to someone interested in receiving eternal life. The Gentiles do not only want Jesus as Savior, but they are eager to receive Life in Him.
Acts 13:47 “For so hath the Lord commanded us, [saying], I have set thee to be a light of the Gentiles, that thou shouldest be for salvation unto the ends of the earth.”
Quoted from (Isaiah 49:6).
Paul is now no longer limited to carry the message to just the few Jewish villages, but is told of the Lord to spread it everywhere to whosoever will. Paul’s journey really begins now. Paul and Barnabas will be set free to minister wherever they go, regardless of the nationality of the people.
Paul’s missionary endeavors are to the Gentile nations everywhere. Paul was a Pharisee and this was hard for him, but he will do what God sends him to do.
Acts 13:48 “And when the Gentiles heard this, they were glad, and glorified the word of the Lord: and as many as were ordained to eternal life believed.”
“Ordained to eternal life”: One of Scripture’s clearest statements on the sovereignty of God in salvation. God chooses man for salvation, not the opposite (John 6:65; Eph. 1:4; Col. 3:12; 2 Thess. 2:13).
God had foreknowledge of all who would believe. The Gentiles received Jesus as Savior gladly. They had been thought of as heathen before, not even being offered the God of the universe.
Acts 13:49 “And the word of the Lord was published throughout all the region.”
Have you ever seen a new Christian talking about their Lord? There is no way you can hush them up. (Verse 49), is perhaps the most understated Scripture. I am sure it went like wildfire and soon everyone knew of Jesus.
Acts 13:50 “But the Jews stirred up the devout and honorable women, and the chief men of the city, and raised persecution against Paul and Barnabas, and expelled them out of their coasts.”
We see here, that jealousy of this great move of God has caused a stir among the religious people of the day. These Jews wanted to be rid of Paul and Barnabas and ran them out of town.
Acts 13:51 “But they shook off the dust of their feet against them, and came unto Iconium.”
“Shook off the dust of their feet”: The Jew’s antagonism toward Gentiles extended to their unwillingness to even bring Gentile dust into Israel. The symbolism of Paul and Barnabas’ act is clear that they considered the Jews at Antioch no better than heathen. There could have been no stronger condemnation.
This verse helps to demonstrate the important principle that just because the apostles did something in the Book of Acts does not make it normative, to be performed by Christians today. More importantly we must listen to the teachings of the apostles in the Epistles.
When the teachings differ from the experiences of Acts, we must follow the teachings. When they agree, we must perform them. We cannot safely apply Acts apart from a knowledge of the epistles.
Paul obtained this symbolic gesture of shaking dust off his feet from the Twelve (Matt. 10:14). So, should preachers do it today? Was Paul required to do it? Paul thought not, for on the next occasion he shakes out his clothing (18:6).
To shake the dust of the feet off is like speaking a terrible punishment on them from God. In other words, Paul and Barnabas are saying, I won’t have any more to do with these Jewish people here, they are evil, let God take care of them. This Iconium was Asia. Many believe Paul visited here three or more times.
Acts 13:52 “And the disciples were filled with joy, and with the Holy Ghost.”
“Filled … with the Holy Ghost” (see notes on 2:4; Eph. 5:18).
It seems whenever the disciples had a bad time somewhere, God poured out the Holy Ghost on them all over again and they were filled with joy.
Acts Chapter 13 Second Continued Questions
1. What is meant by David seeing corruption?
2. On what day does the body begin to decay after burial?
3. Verse 37 says, who raised Jesus?
4. Who was Paul speaking to in verse 38?
5. Through whom was salvation preached?
6. Who are justified in Jesus?
7. Could the law of Moses justify you?
8. What does justified mean?
9. What was the law to us, really?
10. What was the difference in what the shed blood of Jesus Christ could do for us and the shed blood of the sacrificial animals?
11. Verse 41 says, that those who wonder and yet do not believe, _____.
12. What religious connection did Saul (Paul), have before becoming a Christian?
13. What did the Gentiles ask Paul after the Jews left?
14. When the congregation broke up, many __________ and ____________ followed Paul and Barnabas.
15. What did Paul persuade them to do?
16. Verse 44 says next sabbath nearly the whole city came together. Why did they come?
17. When the Jews saw the multitude, they were filled with what?
18. When Paul and Barnabas were filled with boldness, what did they say?
19. Who had judged these Jews?
20. Who had the Lord sent Paul to?
21. Where was he to preach?
22. When the Gentiles heard this, what did they do?
23. How does the author think the Word got published throughout the area?
24. Who did the Jews stir up to persecute Paul and Barnabas?
25. What did they do that showed they were through with these Jews?
26. Where did Paul go?
27. What happened to the disciples?