Today, I would like us to consider the Exhortation Paul gives in Acts 13.
Before we discuss the exhortation, consider how deeply Paul cared for his own Kinsmen according to the flesh
I tell the truth in Christ, I am not lying, my conscience also bearing me witness in the Holy Spirit, that I have great sorrow and continual grief in my heart. For I could wish that I myself were accursed from Christ for my brethren, my countrymen according to the flesh, who are Israelites, to whom pertain the adoption, the glory, the covenants, the giving of the law, the service of God, and the promises; of whom are the fathers and from whom, according to the flesh, Christ came, who is over all, the eternally blessed God. Amen.
So, in the synagogue, we find what is recorded in Chapter 13. Paul begins in verse 16 and touches on Israel's history. About Abraham, Samuel, Saul, David, John the Baptist, and finally Jesus Himself.
He continues with verse [26-27] showing how the Jews were guilty of Jesus' death.
“Men and brethren, sons of the family of Abraham, and those among you who fear God, to you the word of this salvation has been sent. For those who dwell in Jerusalem, and their rulers, because they did not know Him, nor even the voices of the Prophets which are read every Sabbath, have fulfilled them in condemning Him.
Even for God's chosen, ignorance was no excuse. Especially as they heard the scripture every week!
But he then speaks of Jesus' resurrection [32-35]
And we declare to you glad tidings—that promise which was made to the fathers. God has fulfilled this for us their children, in that He has raised up Jesus. As it is also written in the second Psalm:
‘You are My Son,
Today I have begotten You.’
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.’
Therefore He also says in another Psalm:
‘You will not allow Your Holy One to see corruption.’
So what is the result of the sermon? [42-43]
So when the Jews went out of the synagogue, the Gentiles begged that these words might be preached to them the next Sabbath. 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.
However something interesting happens the very next sabbath. Nearly everyone-Jew and Gentile, came to hear Paul speak again.
The Jews, as they have done with Jesus earlier, realized the potential loss of their power and prestige tried to contradict Paul and even blasphemed his name! [46-47]
Then Paul and Barnabas grew bold and said, “It was necessary that the word of God should be spoken to you first; but since you reject it, and judge yourselves unworthy of everlasting life, behold, we turn to the Gentiles. For so the Lord has commanded us:
‘I have set you as a light to the Gentiles,
That you should be for salvation to the ends of the earth.’ ”
We know what happens next, regardless of the attacks on Paul, some of the Gentiles believed, and as verse 48 states, were appointed, called to eternal life!
Like to conclude with this [38-39]
Therefore let it be known to you, brethren, that through this Man is preached to you the forgiveness of sins; and by Him everyone who believes is justified from all things from which you could not be justified by the law of Moses.
Freedom. So, as stated in these verses, freedom from sin can't come from the law, but freedom of ALL SIN comes from Jesus Christ. Yet, as these gentiles did, we all must answer the call. The call being "repent and be baptized, in the name of Jesus for the forgiveness of sins."
Thank you for reading.