Chapter Thirteen — Part Four: The Book of ActsBy: Pastors Rodney & Adonica Howard-Browne
Publish date: 02/06/2022Foundation Scriptures:
1. Through This Man.
a. Acts 13:38 NKJV — Therefore let it be known to you, brethren, that through this Man is preached to you the forgiveness of sins…
b. Through this Man, Jesus Christ, is forgiveness and remission of sins.
c. (Mt. 1:21; 26:28; Acts 2:38; 4:12; Eph. 1:7; Col. 1:20; 1 Pet. 2:2 4).
d. Ephesians 1:7 KJV — In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace.
e. Acts 10:43 NKJV — Whoever believes in Him will receive remission of sins.
f. Acts 13:39 NKJV — …and by Him everyone who believes is justified from all things from which you could not be justified by the law of Moses.
g. Faith in Christ and His atonement is what justifies, not the Law.
h. (Jn. 3:15-20; Rom. 1:16; 3:24-31; 10:9-17; 1 Cor. 15:1-8).
i. Justifies (Greek dikaioō) — to render righteous or such he ought to be; to declare, pronounce, one to be just, righteous, or such as he ought to be.
j. Even if anyone believed in the Law of Moses and worked all its works, their soul still could not be saved.
k. (Rom. 3:27-31; 4:1-6,14-15; 9:11,30-33; 11:5-6; Gal. 2:16; 3:1-14,18-29; Eph. 2:8-9; Tit. 3:5).
l. ALL have sinned and come short of the glory of God (Rom. 3:23).
m. Galatians 2:16 NKJV — Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law but by faith in Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Christ Jesus, that we might be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the law; for by the works of the law no flesh shall be justified.
n. For this reason, the Law required a change, or to be abolished entirely and replaced—which was accomplished by Jesus Christ, Who did what the Law could not do.
o. (Rom. 8:3; 2 Cor. 3:6-15; Gal. 3:19-25; 4:21-31; Heb. 7:10-28; 8:1-13).
p. Acts 13:40-41 AMPC — Take care, therefore, lest there come upon you what is spoken in the prophets: 41 Look, you scoffers and scorners, and marvel and perish and vanish away; for I am doing a deed in your days, a deed which you will never have confidence in or believe, [even] if someone [clearly describing it in detail] declares it to you.
q. Paul quotes from Haggai 5:1-10, warning them that if they reject these benefits, offered freely to them now through Jesus Christ, the judgment of God would come upon them in the same way that God sent judgment on their forefathers via Babylon.
r. God warned them that they (many of them) would not believe in Jesus even though the plan of salvation is explained to them in detail.
s. How sad that they were the heirs—first in line—for this great blessing, and yet they rejected it and still do today.
2. Believers and Unbelievers.
a. Acts 13:42 NKJV — So when the Jews went out of the synagogue, the Gentiles begged that these words might be preached to them the next Sabbath.
b. It is obvious from their response that some Jews did not believe the message.
c. Isaiah 53:1 asks this rhetorical question concerning the Messiah: “Who has believed our report? And to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?”
d. You can’t receive what you don’t believe.
e. The Gentiles responded and believed, asking to hear more about this wonderful Savior, Who forgives and redeems.
f. They would have been especially blessed to hear that this great plan of salvation was available to them too, by faith.
g. There was no circumcision required—only a circumcision of the heart.
h. Acts 13:43a NKJV — Now when the congregation had broken up, many of the Jews and devout proselytes followed Paul and Barnabas…
i. When the gathering dispersed, the Jews who believed the apostles, and the devout proselytes, followed them wanting to hear more.
j. Paul and Barnabas most likely continued, throughout the week, to share the Gospel, house to house, with those who were eager to hear.
k. Paul mentions in Acts 20:20, “…I kept back nothing that was helpful, but proclaimed it to you, and taught you publicly and from house to house.”
3. Continue in the Grace of God.
a. Acts 13:43b NKJV — …speaking to them, persuaded them to continue in the grace of God.
b. Paul and Barnabas persuaded them to continue in the grace of God.
c. Grace is only available through faith in Jesus Christ.
d. So, Paul and Silas must have believed that they had already received the grace of God through Jesus Christ when they heard the message.
e. Ephesians 2:8-9 KJV — For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.
f. To continue in grace, is to continue in faith in the atoning work of Jesus Christ (Gal. 1:6; 5:4; Heb. 12:15).
g. Religious tradition, looking backwards, rejects grace and still requires works.
h. Galatians 5:4 AMPC — If you seek to be justified and declared righteous and to be given a right standing with God through the Law, you are brought to nothing and so separated (severed) from Christ. You have fallen away from grace (from God’s gracious favor and unmerited blessing).
i. Once you have received the grace of God, remain in it!
j. Acts 13:44 NKJV — On the next Sabbath almost the whole city came together to hear the word of God.
k. Almost the whole city showed up to hear the Word of God.
l. Therefore, the meeting must have been heavily advertised by word of mouth!
m. The people must have been so blessed and excited about this great message of salvation that they shared it far and wide.
n. They received it as Good News indeed!