Chapter Fourteen — Part Two: The Book of ActsBy: Pastors Rodney & Adonica Howard-Browne
Publish date: 02/27/2022Foundation Scriptures:
1. Preventing Idolatry.
a. A man, crippled from birth, was miraculously healed.
b. The pagan crowd was amazed, and convinced they were gods, in the flesh, responded by attempting to worship them and offer a sacrifice to them.
c. Acts 14:14 AMPC — But when the apostles Barnabas and Paul heard of it, they tore their clothing and dashed out among the crowd, shouting,
d. Barnabas and Paul were terribly distressed to hear of this, tearing their clothing—which was done by the Jews in cases of extreme indignation or in deep grief.
e. They ran into the crowd, strongly insisting that they were mere men and not gods.
f. Acts 14:15a AMPC — Men, why are you doing this? We also are [only] human beings, of nature like your own,
g. They explained that they were men of like passions—being of the same nature and subject to the same emotions, impulses, and feelings—as other men.
h. Elijah, the great prophet, whom God used to perform supernatural miracles, was also described this way.
i. James 5:17 KJV — Elias was a man subject to like passions as we are…
j. James 5:17 AMPC — Elijah was a human being with a nature such as we have [with feelings, affections, and a constitution like ours]; and he prayed earnestly for it not to rain, and no rain fell on the earth for three years and six months.
k. We are all merely regular people, like everyone else, but we have a wonderful God, Who answers prayer and does marvelous things in and through us, when we believe and obey.
2. Serve the Living God.
a. Acts 14:15b AMPC — …and we bring you the good news (Gospel) that you should turn away from these foolish and vain things to the living God,
b. They began to preach to them the Good News that there is a Living God, Who can and should be served.
c. That they should be converted and turn from their idol worship, which is useless and fruitless.
d. Vanities (Greek mataios) – vain things; things that are useless, of no purpose; devoid of force, truth, success, or results.
e. Those who trust in idols are like them.
f. Psalm 115:3-8 NKJV — But our God is in heaven; He does whatever He pleases. 4 Their idols are silver and gold, The work of men’s hands. 5 They have mouths, but they do not speak; Eyes they have, but they do not see; 6 They have ears, but they do not hear; Noses they have, but they do not smell; 7 They have hands, but they do not handle; Feet they have, but they do not walk; Nor do they mutter through their throat. 8 Those who make them are like them; So is everyone who trusts in them.
g. Acts 14:15c AMPC — …Who made the heaven and the earth and the sea and everything that they contain.
h. The Lord God is the One Who is real and alive and created all things.
i. Almighty God made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them (Ps. 146:6).
j. And creation is evidence to all men of His existence, presence, and works (Rom. 1:18-32).
3. He Has Been Kind and Patient.
a. Acts 14:16 AMPC — In generations past He permitted all the nations to walk in their own ways;
b. He is longsuffering toward mankind (Ex. 34:6; Rom. 2:4; 9:22; 1 Pet. 3:20; 2 Pet. 3:9).
c. God’s kindness, evidenced in His patience toward us, should lead us to repentance.
d. His patience should not be mistaken as an encouragement for us to take advantage of Him or take Him for granted—while we continue to provoke Him.
e. God tolerated their ignorance in the past, but now He is calling on all men to repent.
f. All men, without Christ, will be judged by their own conscience, since God’s Laws are written and operating in their hearts.
g. Romans 2:14-15 AMPC — When Gentiles who have not the [divine] Law do instinctively what the Law requires, they are a law to themselves, since they do not have the Law. 15 They show that the essential requirements of the Law are written in their hearts and are operating there, with which their consciences (sense of right and wrong) also bear witness; and their [moral] decisions (their arguments of reason, their condemning or approving thoughts) will accuse or perhaps defend and excuse [them].
h. Once you hear the Truth proclaimed, you can no longer claim ignorance as an excuse.
4. Creation is Witness to His Person and Character.
a. Acts 14:17a AMPC — Yet He did not neglect to leave some witness of Himself,
b. All the power of nature, the seasons, the provision we all enjoy, give witness to the sovereign God of nature—the Creator and Source of all.
c. Acts 14:17 AMPC — …for He did you good and [showed you] kindness and gave you rains from heaven and fruitful seasons, satisfying your hearts with nourishment and happiness.
d. He richly and generously provides all good things for ALL His creation to enjoy!
e. Psalm 145:9 KJV — The Lord is good to all: and his tender mercies are over all his works.
f. Matthew 5:45b NKJV — He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.
g. Romans 10:12 KJV — For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him.
h. 1 Timothy 6:17 NKJV — [Trust] in the living God, who gives us richly all things to enjoy.
i. Ecclesiastes 2:24 NKJV — Nothing is better for a man than that he should eat and drink, and that his soul should enjoy good in his labor. This also, I saw, was from the hand of God.
j. Even when men did not respect Him as God, yet He filled their houses and their bellies with good things (Job 22:18; Ps. 17:14).
k. Acts 14:18 AMPC — Even in [the light of] these words they with difficulty prevented the people from offering sacrifice to them.
l. After all that, they barely managed to prevent the people from offering sacrifices to them.