Paul Preaches the Gospel Including Christ’s Resurrection

In one of his lighter moments, Benjamin Franklin penned his own epitaph. He didn’t profess to be a born-again Christian, but it seems he must have been influenced by Paul’s teaching of the resurrection of the body. Here’s what he wrote: “The body of Benjam … More

Resurrection

This chapter contains an extremely important passage, because it is the only full-length report of a sermon by Paul that we possess. When carefully compared with the sermon of Peter in Acts 2, the main elements in it are seen to be precisely the same. Paul insists that the coming of Jesus is the consummation of history. He outlines the history of the Jews to show that it ends in Christ. Although men in their blind folly, rejected the crucified Jesus, God could not be defeated, and the Resurrection is the proof of the un-defeatable purpose and power of God.

Paul concludes his sermon with a brief statement about the trial, crucifixion, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ (vv. 32-37). Since he was addressing a synagogue congregation, he used Old Testament Scriptures to support his argument. He quotes Isaiah 55:3, which refers to the covenant God made with David.  God had promised David that a Messiah would come and establish a throne forever. If Jesus was the Messiah and remained dead, this covenant could never be fulfilled. Therefore Jesus had to be raised from the dead.

Next he quoted from Psalm 16:10. Since the Jews considered this to be a Messianic Psalm Paul was saying that it had to apply to Jesus Christ. Paul makes it very plain that the law of Moses could not justify anyone, but Christ offers complete justification to everyone (vv. 38-39). Furthermore, he warns his hearers not to ignore what they have just heard (vv. 40-41). Habakkuk warned the people of his day of the impending Babylonian invasion (Hab. 1:5). Isaiah warned the people of his day in view of the impending Assyrian invasion (Isa. 28:21). Now Paul warns the Jews of the Roman invasion that is only a decade or so away.

Application

This is the Good News of the gospel that forgiveness of sins and freedom from guilt is available through faith in Christ to all men. Thank you, Lord, for making this available to me!

Acts 13:32-41 (English Standard Version)

"And we bring you the good news that what God promised to the fathers, this he has fulfilled to us their children by raising Jesus, as also it is written in the second Psalm, "'You are my Son, today I have begotten you.' And as for the fact that he raised him from the dead, no more to return to corruption, he has spoken in this way, "'I will give you the holy and sure blessings of David.' Therefore he says also in another psalm, "'You will not let your Holy One see corruption.' For David, after he had served the purpose of God in his own generation, fell asleep and was laid with his fathers and saw corruption, but he whom God raised up did not see corruption. Let it be known to you therefore, brothers, that through this man forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you, and by him everyone who believes is freed from everything from which you could not be freed by the law of Moses. Beware, therefore, lest what is said in the Prophets should come about: "'Look, you scoffers, be astounded and perish; for I am doing a work in your days, a work that you will not believe, even if one tells it to you.'"

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