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October 7, 2007 AM


ACTS 13:26

INTRO: Antioch of Pisidia was a very Roman city in the general area of Galatia. The 13th chapter of Acts is devoted to almost entirely to the visit of Paul and his company to that city. There was a synagogue of the Jews there, and on the sabbath day the little company of "missionaries" went to the synagogue "and sat down" (13:14). After the "reading of the law and the prophets" the rulers of the synagogue invited the missionary company to speak to the people in attendance there. It was in this address that apostle Paul referred to "the word of this salvation" (13:26). Here is another of those expressions in scripture describing the word of God. I'd like us to look, though, at what he says about the word of this salvation.

    1. 13:17 He refers to Israel in Egypt
      1. by implication, then, he takes the hearers to Abraham
      2. remember Gen 15:13-16 and God's promise to Abraham
      3. even further back to Gen 12:1-3 and God's earliest promises - so, Paul is setting the stage to ultimately speak of Jesus Christ
    2. 13:18 He refers to the 40 years of wilderness wandering
    3. 13:19 He refers to the conquest of Canaan
    4. 13:20 He refers to the period of the Judges ... and Samuel
    5. 13:21 He refers to the people's desire for a king ... and to Saul
    6. 13:22,23 He refers to David ... and to David's seed, Jesus
      1. he notes that God "removed" Saul ... 1 Sam 13:13,14 (disobedience)
      2. he speaks of David as a man who "shall fulfil all my will" & 1 Sam 13:14
      3. of David's seed, in keeping with His promise, raised up to Israel a Saviour, Jesus - Isa 9:6,7
    7. 13:24,25 - He refers to John the Baptist
      1. he notes that John had preached a message of repentance to Israel
      2. keep in mind that John had been a decidedly impressive figure
      3. but Paul reminds all that John was not the Messiah and that he spoke of one coming after him "whose shoes...I am not worthy to loose"
    8. It is at this point that Paul refers to "the word of this salvation"
    1. 13:27,28 - He first speaks of Jesus' execution - unjust death
      1. the point? Heb 9:28 with 10:10-12 - a sacrifice for our sins
      2. 1 Pet 3:18a - "...the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God..."
    2. 13:29 - He then speaks of Jesus' burial
      1. Mt 27:57-60 - in midst of a horrible event is this loving act
      2. but there is something else here - Col 2:12 ... buried with Him
    3. 13:30,31 - hallelujah, He lives!
      1. everything about this salvation hinges on this wonderful fact & news
      2. notice, too, that Paul mentions the witnesses who had seen the risen Jesus - Acts 2:32
    4. 13:32-37 - Jesus, not David, is the fulfillment of God's promise
      1. v. 32 takes us back to Gen 13:3(cf. Gal 3:8)
      2. but vv. 33-35 Paul declares Jesus  fulfillment of well known prophecies
      3. his proof? Jesus is raised, but David's decayed body is still entombed
    1. Because Jesus lives, forgiveness of sins can be preached
      1. sin, then and now, is the great human problem - alienation from God
      2. Jesus atoning death and His confirming resurrection answer the problem
      3. for a hopeless world it seems to me this would be the best possible news - forgiveness of the sins which have me on a course for hell
    2. This forgiveness was not possible under the law of Moses
      1. there were the constant offerings for sin ... the annual atonement day
      2. Heb 10:1-4 - their sins were ever before them!
      3. but notice Heb 10:15-18 - through Jesus there is real forgiveness ... and no more sacrifices for sin
    3. Acts 2:37,38 - the climax of a similar sermon
      1. there is a necessary human response to the word of this salvation
      2. that response is belief, repentance and baptism ... union with Jesus' death
      3. in Antioch of Pisidia it was the Gentiles who received the word of salvation positively - the Jews rejected it and persecuted the messenger!

CLOSE: I wonder what you will do with the word of this salvation this morning?

Will you receive it with joy and be united into the death of Jesus in baptism? The forgiveness God is offering you through Jesus will change your course for eternity.

     Cecil A. Hutson

07 October 2007

God's Plan of Salvation

You must hear the gospel and then understand and recognize that you are lost without Jesus Christ no matter who you are and no matter what your background is. The Bible tells us that “all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23) Before you can be saved, you must understand that you are lost and that the only way to be saved is by obedience to the gospel of Jesus Christ. (2 Thessalonians 1:8) Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” (John 14:6) “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12)

You must believe and have faith in God because “without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” (Hebrews 11:6) But neither belief alone nor faith alone is sufficient to save. (James 2:19; James 2:24; Matthew 7:21)

You must repent of your sins. (Acts 3:19) But repentance alone is not enough. The so-called “Sinner’s Prayer” that you hear so much about today from denominational preachers does not appear anywhere in the Bible. Indeed, nowhere in the Bible was anyone ever told to pray the “Sinner’s Prayer” to be saved. By contrast, there are numerous examples showing that prayer alone does not save. Saul, for example, prayed following his meeting with Jesus on the road to Damascus (Acts 9:11), but Saul was still in his sins when Ananias met him three days later (Acts 22:16). Cornelius prayed to God always, and yet there was something else he needed to do to be saved (Acts 10:2, 6, 33, 48). If prayer alone did not save Saul or Cornelius, prayer alone will not save you. You must obey the gospel. (2 Thess. 1:8)

You must confess that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. (Romans 10:9-10) Note that you do NOT need to make Jesus “Lord of your life.” Why? Because Jesus is already Lord of your life whether or not you have obeyed his gospel. Indeed, we obey him, not to make him Lord, but because he already is Lord. (Acts 2:36) Also, no one in the Bible was ever told to just “accept Jesus as your personal savior.” We must confess that Jesus is the Son of God, but, as with faith and repentance, confession alone does not save. (Matthew 7:21)

Having believed, repented, and confessed that Jesus is the Son of God, you must be baptized for the remission of your sins. (Acts 2:38) It is at this point (and not before) that your sins are forgiven. (Acts 22:16) It is impossible to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ without teaching the absolute necessity of baptism for salvation. (Acts 8:35-36; Romans 6:3-4; 1 Peter 3:21) Anyone who responds to the question in Acts 2:37 with an answer that contradicts Acts 2:38 is NOT proclaiming the gospel of Jesus Christ!

Once you are saved, God adds you to his church and writes your name in the Book of Life. (Acts 2:47; Philippians 4:3) To continue in God’s grace, you must continue to serve God faithfully until death. Unless they remain faithful, those who are in God’s grace will fall from grace, and those whose names are in the Book of Life will have their names blotted out of that book. (Revelation 2:10; Revelation 3:5; Galatians 5:4)