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Bible Commentaries

Chuck Smith Bible Commentary
Acts 13

 

 

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Verses 1-52

Chapter13

Now there were in the church that was at Antioch certain prophets and teachers; Barnabas, Simeon that was called Niger, Lucius of Cyrene, and Manaen, which had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch, and Saul ( Acts 13:1 ).

Interesting the backgrounds of these men. Barnabas was from the island of Cyprus. Simeon who was called Niger, which, of course, is a Roman name. Simeon is Hebrew name. Lucius who was from Cyrene, and Manaen, who had been around Herods, grew up in the royal court. And also Saul, who had that very interesting background of being born in Tarsus, schooled in Jerusalem.

God had brought them together and they were the teachers and the prophets there in the church in Antioch.

As they ministered to the Lord ( Acts 13:2 ),

Interesting statement to me. These men were ministering to the Lord, but their ministry to the Lord involved their ministry to the people, because that"s what the Lord had called them to do. Now Paul later writes and says, "And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all to the glory of God. And you"re to do it as unto the Lord, knowing that of the Lord you"re going to receive your reward" ( Colossians 3:17 , Colossians 3:23-24 ). And I think that this is an important point for anyone who endeavors any ministry for the Lord: that you recognize that God has called you to minister to people. But in reality, that"s your job as His servant. In other words, as the servant of God, He has called me to minister to people.

Now ministering to people can be very frustrating. It can be worse than that; it can be very irritating. People don"t often appreciate what you"ve tried to do for them or people can be just obnoxious. And there are times when I find myself grumbling over the demands that people have made on me. And in those times the Lord speaks to me and He says, "Who are you serving? Whose servant are you?" And I say, "I"m Your servant Lord." And He says, "Quit your griping. Do it as unto Me. You"re serving Me by serving people." And thus, I"ve learned to do a lot of things that are not as attractive or interesting as things that I would choose to do. I"ve had to do some pretty rank things for the Lord.

Now if I were doing them for men I could get very upset, but doing them for the Lord, after all I"m His servant, what can I say? "Yes, Lord." So He tells me to get in and go for it. "Yes, Lord." You"ve got to do it because you"re serving Him. But as long as you can keep that mental state of, "I am serving the Lord," I"m all right. If I get the idea, "Who made me your servant?" Then I get into trouble. So I have to keep that mental attitude I"m serving the Lord. Whatsoever I do in word or deed I"m doing unto Him, serving the Lord.

So notice it says they were ministering unto the Lord. They had the right concept of the ministry. But their ministry unto the Lord involved their serving the people. Teaching them, helping them, strengthening them, and that was their service to God.

and fasted, the Holy Spirit said, Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them ( Acts 13:2 ).

Now how do you suppose the Holy Spirit said this? It says very plainly that the Holy Spirit said, and I believe that the Holy Spirit did say it, but how did He say it? Were they just sitting there and a voice came in? And if so, was it a deep resonant voice? Or was it a high-pitched voice? What kind of a voice do you suppose the Holy Spirit has? The fact that it tells us that there were prophets in the church I believe that it was spoken through the word of prophecy by one of those who had the gift of prophesy, and thus, they were directed by prophetic word through one of the men. That the prophetic word came, separate Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them. Thus, the Holy Spirit spake through one of the prophets these words.

Later on, Paul the apostle, as he is writing to Timothy concerning those gifts that had become dormant in his life, he told him to stir up the gifts that are in you that were given to you at the time that hands were laid upon you and the word of prophecy was given.

So in the early church they did have a practice of laying hands on people, praying for them, and oftentimes a word of prophecy would come as a guide or as a direction for that person. So this gift was exercised in the early church, the gift of prophecy and, no doubt, the Holy Spirit, through this prophetic type of gift, speaking forth the Word of God, said to separate Saul and Barnabas for the work where God has called them.

And when they had fasted and prayed, and laid their hands on them, they sent them away. So they, being sent forth by the Holy Spirit ( Acts 13:3-4 ),

Now in verse Acts 13:3 we have, "They fasted and prayed, laid their hands on them and sent them away," but the next verse tells us that it was actually the Holy Spirit that sent them forth.

departed unto Seleucia; and from there they sailed to Cyprus ( Acts 13:4 ).

Now Antioch is about fifteen miles up the Orontes River from the coast. And so they came down to the coast, the fifteen miles to Seleucia, got a boat and headed off for Cyprus on the first missionary journey.

And when they were at Salamis, they preached the word of God in the synagogues of the Jews: and they also had John as their servant ( Acts 13:5 ).

He was a young man and he had gone along to just take care of a lot of the menial things that needed taken care of as a servant to Paul and Barnabas.

And when they had gone through the isle unto Paphos ( Acts 13:6 ),

They had gone pretty much the length of the island of Cyprus.

they found a certain sorcerer ( Acts 13:6 ),

Paphos was the capitol of Cyprus at that time.

they found a certain sorcerer, a false prophet, a Jew, whose name was Bar-jesus: which was with the deputy of the country, Sergius Paulus, a prudent man ( Acts 13:6-7 );

Sergius Paulus once was a governor over the island of Cyprus. The people in that day were very superstitious kind of people and most of the rulers had their own wizards who they would seek counsel from. It sort of troubled me when Jean Dixon wrote her book, A Gift of Prophecy, how she spoke about how many presidents called her for advice. So really we haven"t changed too much through the years. The leaders would often look to these people who supposedly had these particular gifts, psychic-type persons, and look to them for advice and counsel. And in those days they each had, each of the leaders had their own psychics or wizards that they used as advisors. And so this Bar-jesus was the wizard or advisor of Sergius Paulus, the governor or Cyprus.

who called for Barnabas and Saul, and desired to hear the word of God. But Elymas the sorcerer (for so is his name by interpretation) [Bar-jesus interprets into Elymas] withstood them, seeking to turn the deputy away from the faith. Then Saul, (who also is called Paul,) [Saul is his Hebrew name. Paul is his Greek name.] filled with the Holy Ghost, set his eyes on him. And he said, O full of all subtlety and all mischief, you child of the devil, you enemy of all righteousness, will you not cease to pervert the right ways of the Lord? And now, behold, the hand of the Lord is upon you, and you will be blind, not seeing the sun for a season. And immediately there fell on him a mist and a darkness; and he went about seeking some to lead him by the hand ( Acts 13:7-11 ).

Interesting isn"t it? Don"t you wish sometimes you had that kind of power? I"m afraid we would make a mess out of things. But there have been some people that I would like to stand up against as Paul. I"d like to say, "Madeline Murray O"Hare, how long are you going to pervert the ways of God? You child of the devil, you enemy of all righteousness."

Then the deputy [Sergius Paulus], when he saw what was done, believed, being astonished at the doctrine of the Lord. Now when Paul and his company loosed from Paphos, they came to Perga in Pamphylia: and there John departing from them returned to Jerusalem ( Acts 13:12-13 ).

Why John Mark departed is not told. It did upset Paul. He got very upset that John Mark would leave. Insomuch that when they started out on the second missionary journey and Barnabas wanted to take Mark again, Paul said, "No way, I don"t want him to go." And the contention between Paul and Barnabas became so great over Mark that Barnabas took Mark and took off towards Cyprus again and Paul got Silas and he headed out in another direction towards Asia Minor. And it brought a separation between Paul and Barnabas, the issue over Mark, because Paul was still upset that Mark had left them here in Pamphylia. However, whatever breech did exist for a time was healed and Paul later on writes concerning Mark, and he says, "Please send Mark with me and have him bring the parchments. He"s been a great comfort and a help to me." So whatever problems existed were ultimately resolved and there was a beautiful relationship developed between Paul and Mark in years to come.

Now they did not preach in the area of Pamphylia. The area of Pamphylia was the coastal plains. The reason why they did not preach there is because Paul became quite ill at this point. The coastal plains around Pamphylia were filled with malaria fever. And it is thought by many that Paul got a good case of malaria fever, and thus, they did not stay in the coastal area of Pamphylia, but they headed on up into the high plateau region around the area of Antioch of Pisidia, Iconium, and those areas up in the higher plateau regions about3 ,600 feet elevation. In order that he might recuperate from the malaria fever that he picked up there on the coast.

Later on, when Paul wrote to these churches of Iconium and Antioch of Pisidia and all, in a letter known as the epistle to the Galatians, for this whole area was known as Galatia, when he wrote his Galatian epistle, he said, "You remember how sick I was when I was there with you and how out of my sickness I was declaring to you the truths of God and all." And he made reference to his great sickness that he had when he was with them there in Galatia. So because of this, they believed that he probably got malaria fever and that particular strain of malaria fever caused a person to have extremely severe headaches. In fact, one man described it as though there was a sword being thrust through your temples, the headache that accompanied this particular strain of malaria fever. And it caused just a tremendous pressure on the eyes even, and you remember Paul said to the Galatians, "I testify how that you would have even given your own eyes for me. That"s how much you loved me when I was with you. What caused this love to wane and all?" So they did not stay in the coastal regions but headed on up into the highlands, the plateau area of Pisidia, coming unto Antioch.

So they departed from Perga, they came to Antioch in Pisidia, and went into the synagogue on the sabbath day, and sat down. And after the reading of the law and the prophets ( Acts 13:14-15 ),

And, of course, the synagogues they have each Sabbath day they read a portion out of the law and they read a portion out of the prophets. And even to the present day, they follow the little ritual and they read both out of the law and prophets every Sabbath day. And you can actually tell what Sabbath day it was in the year from where they were reading, because they continue the same reading patterns today. So after they have read from the law and the prophets,

the rulers of the synagogue sent unto them, saying, Ye men and brethren, if you have any word of exhortation for the people, speak up. So Paul stood up, and he beckoned with his hand said, Men of Israel, and ye that fear God ( Acts 13:15-16 ),

Because there were not only the Jews that were there, but there were the Gentiles who had proselyted into the Jewish faith.

ye that fear God, give me an audience. The God of this people of Israel chose our fathers, and exalted the people when they dwelt as strangers in the land of Egypt, and with a high arm brought he them out of it. And about the time of forty years suffered he their manners in the wilderness. And when he had destroyed seven nations in the land of Canaan, he divided their land to them by lot. And after that he gave unto them judges about the space of four hundred and fifty years, until Samuel the prophet. And afterward they desired a king: and God gave unto them Saul the son of Cush, a man of the tribe of Benjamin, by the space of forty years. And when he had removed him, he raised up unto them David to be their king; to whom also he gave testimony, and said, I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after mine own heart, which shall fulfill all my will ( Acts 13:16-22 ).

Now Paul is just rehearsing for them briefly their history. God was with your fathers and delivered them by miracles out of the bondage of Egypt. After putting up with them for forty years in the wilderness, he brought them into the land that He had promised to give to them. Then He established judges over them who ruled over them for about450 years. Until the time of Samuel the prophet when the people asked that they might have a king that they might be like other nations.

Up until this point, Israel had been a theocracy, a people ruled by God. But they were no longer satisfied with the theocracy, and the saddest day in the history of the nation of Israel is when the people requested to go from a theocracy to a monarchy that they might be like the nations around them. "We don"t want God to rule over us, we want a king to rule over us."

And we remember the tragic story in I Samuel of the request of the people that they might have a king like the other nations. Samuel, of course, was deeply disappointed over this, but God said, "Samuel, don"t be so disappointed. They have not rejected you, they have rejected Me from ruling over them." And so God had Samuel anoint Saul, the son of Cush, to be the first king over Israel and he reigned for about forty years.

Near the end of his reign, Samuel was now an elderly man, could hardly see, but the word of the Lord came unto Samuel to go to Saul and to tell him to go down and to utterly exterminate the Amalekites. Kill all of the animals, kill everything. Don"t let anything remain alive. So Saul went down against the Amalekites and the Lord delivered the Amalekites into the hands of Saul. But when he saw the healthy, strong cattle and sheep, he decided not to destroy them, though he did utterly hack in pieces all of the sickly animals. But he saved the healthier animals alive and he brought them back along with king Agag.

Samuel came out to meet him. And Saul said, "As the Lord liveth, I have done all that the Lord commanded me to do." "As the Lord liveth" is part of the religious jargon of that day. It"s much like the religious jargon of today, "Oh, praise the Lord" or "Bless God." It"s just religious jargon. It can be meaningful and it can be meaningless. There are a lot of people who use religious jargon.

There"s one Arab boy in Israel who is a vendor on the streets. And these vendors in the streets of Jerusalem become extremely sharp. They know you"re from California the minute you come walking up. "You"re from California brother. Oh, praise God, brothers. Oh, praise the Lord, brother. Bless God. From California aren"t you?" And he goes on with the praise God, bless God bit, and four candles for a dollar, you know. But he is really a very avowed Muslim. And I"ve tangled with this kid a few times. He gets real upset with me. In fact, he remembers me and he usually turns and goes when he sees me now, but we"ve had some real times of disputing concerning the truth of Jesus Christ. Yet, I see him going up to these groups and "Praise the Lord! Bless God! Hallelujah!" But it"s only to sell his wares.

It"s good to use these terms if we use them sincerely, but we have to be careful that they don"t become just a manner of speech and meaningless. Now this phrase, "as the Lord liveth" was a spiritual jargon. If you wanted to impress somebody, how spiritual they are, you say, "As the Lord liveth, brother!"

So Saul was using this spiritual jargon. "As the Lord liveth, I"ve done everything God commanded me." And Samuel said, "If you"ve done everything God commanded you, how come I hear the sheep and I hear the cattle." "Oh," he said, "you know, they were so healthy and strong and good looking. We decided we would bring them back and sacrifice them to God." And it was then Samuel said, "Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams" ( 1 Samuel 15:22 ). "Do you not realize that rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft? And because you have rejected God from ruling over you, God has rejected you from ruling over His people. And God is going to seek for a man after His own heart who will do His will."

That seems to be the case throughout history. God is always seeking for a man after His own heart who will do His will. Too many times we have self at the center of our lives, as did Saul. And because self is at the center of our lives, we"re more interested in doing our will than we are doing God"s will, and we often rebel against the will of God when it comes to a choice, my will or God"s will. Too often we take our will over God"s. For God was seeking for a man after His own heart.

During the time of Ezekiel, he declares, "And God sought for a man among them, that should make up the hedge, and stand in the gap before me for the land, that I should not destroy it: but found none" ( Ezekiel 22:30 ). God"s searching for a man after His own heart who would do His will. In the time of Ezekiel He could not find any. But not so at this period of history. God found one, even David. So Paul declares, "And God found David, a man after his own heart who would do His will."

Not a man who is perfect. God can"t find him; he doesn"t exist, but a man who will put God at the center of his life. And when the issue arises and the showdown comes, the man will choose the will of God over his own. A man who will do God"s will is the man after God"s heart.

"I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after mine own heart, which shall fulfill all my will."

Of this man"s seed ( Acts 13:23 )

Now you see, Paul is rehearsing their history a bit, but he"s coming to Jesus. And so he takes now a big leap. He comes to David in a very brief survey of their history and as soon as he comes to David, he leapfrogs over to Jesus. For to David God said,

Of this man"s seed God, according to his promise, raised unto Israel a Saviour, Jesus ( Acts 13:23 ).

At the time in David"s career when he decided to build the temple for the Lord, he came to Nathan the prophet and he said, "You know, I"ve got a desire to build a house for God. It"s got to be glorious. Here I"m dwelling in this beautiful palace, God"s still living in a tent. That"s not right. God should be living in the greatest building that man could erect, and I"m going to build a house for God and it shall be glorious." And Nathan said, "Great, David, do all that is in your heart." But that night the Lord came to Nathan the prophet and said, "Nathan you"ve spoke too quickly. You"ve got to go back now and tell David that I can"t have him building Me a house. His hands are too bloody. But you tell him I will build him a house. Because I took him out of the sheepcoat from following after the sheep and I made him the king over My people. And from his seed, there will sit one on the throne of Israel forever." That is, the Messiah will come through David.

So Nathan came back to David the next morning and said, "David, I"ve got some bad news and some good news. The bad news first: you can"t build a house for God. Your hands are too bloody. But the good news: God"s going to build you a house David. And from your seed there will be one who will sit upon the throne of Israel forever." David knew exactly what God was saying. The Messiah is going to come from my lineage. And David went in before the Lord and he said, "Oh, God, I was a nobody. I was just a kid out there in the hills of Bethlehem following after the sheep and you took me from that sheepcoat and you made me the ruler over your people. You"ve done so much for me God already and now You speak of the time to come, the Messiah, the King. God, what can I say?" And David, the man of words, was speechless. So wiped out was he by the grace of God.

And those, I think, are some of the greatest experiences in my own life, when I"ve been wiped out by the grace of God and I become speechless. You know, what can you say? "God, You"re so good! Oh, Lord, I can"t believe it!" And you just...there are no words to express your feelings of gratitude and thanksgiving and all, for all that God has done. Speechless before God. It"s a good place to be. Someone said, "When prayer reaches it"s ultimate, words are impossible. When praise reaches it"s ultimate, words are impossible." You just open up the Spirit and you just let it flow. You"re just there in silence before God in the deep communion of the Spirit. Wiped out by grace.

So Paul makes mention that God has promised that from David the Messiah"s going to come. He leapfrogs now to the Messiah.

Of this man"s seed hath God, according to his promise, raised unto Israel a Saviour, Jesus: When John had first preached before his coming the baptism of repentance to all people of Israel. And as John fulfilled his ministry, he said, Whom do you think that I am? I am not he. But, behold, there cometh one after me, whose shoes of his feet I am not worthy to loose. Men and brethren [Paul is now addressing them], children of the stock of Abraham, and whosoever among you fears God, to you is the word of this salvation sent ( Acts 13:23-26 ).

God has kept His promise. God has sent the Messiah. He sent the forerunner John the Baptist and he has sent the Messiah, who is Jesus.

For they that dwell at Jerusalem, and their rulers, because they knew him not, nor yet the voices of the prophets which are read every sabbath day, they have fulfilled the prophecies in condemning him ( Acts 13:27 ).

Now, though they have the prophets read to them every day, yet, they didn"t really know the prophets and they fulfilled the word of the prophets, "He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief" ( Isaiah 53:3 ). And they rejected Him, fulfilling the prophecies concerning Him.

And though they found no cause of death in him, yet they desired Pilate that they should be slain. And when they had fulfilled all that was written of him, they took him down from the tree ( Acts 13:28-29 ),

Psalm 22:1-31 has now been fulfilled. Isaiah 52:1-15; Isaiah 53:1-12 have been fulfilled. When they have completed the prophecies of the scripture, they took Him down from the tree

and they laid Him in the sepulcher. But God raised him from the dead ( Acts 13:29-30 ):

This is the only full sermon of Paul the apostle that we have. Interesting sermon. You remember as we pointed out in Peter"s sermon on the day of Pentecost, the simple theme of the resurrection of Jesus. And so with Paul"s sermon. Working towards the resurrection, because if thou shalt confess with thy mouth that Jesus Christ is Lord and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. Belief in the resurrection of Jesus Christ is essential to salvation, because a dead Savior can save no man. Resurrection is essential to salvation, and thus, they always came around to the central theme of the message, the resurrection of Jesus Christ, which proved His deity, which proved the validity of His atoning death.

And he was seen many days of them who came up with him from Galilee to Jerusalem, who are his witnesses unto this people. And we declare unto you [the Gospel] glad tidings, how the promise which was made unto the fathers, God hath fulfilled the same unto us their children, in that he hath raised up Jesus again; as it is also written in the second psalm, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee. And as concerning that he raised him up from the dead, now no more to return to corruption, he said in this way, I will give you the sure mercies of David. Wherefore he saith also in another psalm, Thou shalt not suffer thine Holy One to see corruption. For David, after he had served his own generation by the will of God, fell asleep, and was laid unto his fathers, and saw corruption: But he, whom God raised again saw no corruption. Be it known unto you therefore, men and brethren, that through this man is preached unto you the forgiveness of sins ( Acts 13:31-38 ):

So Paul is really getting into his message, quoting the scriptures to them, showing them from the Psalm the promises of the resurrection, the body not seeing corruption. This, David could not be speaking of himself, because his own body did see corruption, but not so with Jesus. God raised Him from the dead and through Him we are preaching to you the marvelous possibility of the forgiveness of sins. Man"s greatest need can be fulfilled in Jesus Christ because your greatest need is the forgiveness of sins. Because you cannot have oneness or fellowship with God apart from the forgiveness of sins. So preaching unto them the possibility of man becoming one with God through the forgiveness of sins, available through Jesus Christ, because He fulfilled the prophecies: He died and He rose again.

And by him all that believe are justified from all things, from which you could not be justified by the law of Moses ( Acts 13:39 ).

He is superior to the law. Through Him you can have justification. Something the law cannot offer you. But those who believe in Him are justified. So Paul"s favorite theme, justification by faith, which, of course, we have covered quite thoroughly through our study in the book of Romans. But Paul gets to this theme; he loves the theme of justification by faith.

Beware therefore, lest that come upon you, which is spoken of in the prophets ( Acts 13:40 );

That you"re not as those of whom the prophets spoke.

Behold, ye despisers, and wonder, and perish: for I work a work in your days, a work which you in no way believe, though a man declare it unto you. And when the Jews were gone out of the synagogue, the Gentiles besought that these words might be preached to them the next Sabbath. Now when the congregation was broken up, many of the Jews and religious proselytes followed Paul and Barnabas; who, speaking to them, persuaded them to continue in the grace of God ( Acts 13:41-43 ).

And this is the problem that they had in Galatia. Though continuing in the grace of God, and when Paul wrote his epistle later on to the Galatians, he said, "O foolish Galatians! Who hath bewitched you, that you should so soon turn from the grace of God? Having begun in the Spirit are you going to be made perfect in the flesh?" ( Galatians 3:1 , Galatians 3:3 ) And the very things that they exhorted them to do is the things they didn"t do.

You know, God doesn"t waste words with us and so many times we feel, "Well, God, You don"t need to tell me about that. I know that. I don"t have any problem there, Lord. You don"t have to speak to me about that." But God doesn"t waste words, and you can be sure that if He speaks to you about something, that"s the very place where you"re going to be running into some problems. God knows us better than we know ourselves and God doesn"t waste words with us. He deals with issues that He knows. Though we may feel it is unnecessary, it"s usually in that very area where we fail.

So with them, "Continue in the grace of God." But they didn"t.

And the next sabbath day came almost the whole city together to hear the word of God ( Acts 13:44 ).

Man, word got around and everybody came out.

But when the Jews saw the multitudes, they were filled with jealousy, and spoke against those things which were spoken by Paul, contradicting and blaspheming. Then Paul and Barnabas grew bold, and said, It was necessary that the word of God should first have been spoken to you: but seeing ye put it from you, and judge yourselves unworthy of everlasting life, lo, we turn to the Gentiles ( Acts 13:45-46 ).

So they had brought the Gospel to the Jew first, but having been rejected, they now turn to the Gentiles. Paul said in Romans 1:16 ,"For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ; for it is the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek." Paul usually followed this pattern, taking it to the Jew first in order that they might have the opportunity to reject it and then carrying it to the Gentiles.

They had judged themselves. A man judges himself. As you judge Jesus Christ. Pilate said, "What shall I do with Jesus who is called the Christ?" He made his judgment. But in reality he was judging himself. That question of Pilate is one that every man faces. Every one of you must face the question. What am I going to do with Jesus? I mean, every one of you must face that question. That isn"t for Pilate exclusively, that"s your question. What are you going to do with Jesus who is called Christ? You must judge yourself what you are going to do with Him. But in reality, in judging Him to be either the Son of God or not the Son of God, the Savior or not the Savior, in reality, you are judging yourself. Because you are the one whose destiny will be determined by your decision.

Your decision concerning Jesus won"t change His destiny at all. What He is He is and will always be. But your destiny is determined by what you do with Jesus. Paul said, "Since you"ve judged yourself unworthy of everlasting life, we"re going to the Gentiles."

For so hath the Lord commanded us, saying, I have set thee to be a light of the Gentiles, that thou shouldest be for salvation unto the ends of the earth. And when the Gentiles heard this, they were glad, and glorified the word of the Lord: and as many as were ordained to eternal life believed ( Acts 13:47-48 ).

What a fascinating scripture. We"ve dealt with the subject of predestination as we were going through Romans chapter8 , and here we find it. "As many as were ordained unto eternal life, believed." I"m not going to deal with it tonight. I don"t have time.

And the word of the Lord was published throughout all the region. But the Jews stirred up the devout and honorable women, and the chief men of the city, and raised persecution against Paul and Barnabas, and expelled them out of their coast. But they shook off the dust of their feet against them, and came to Iconium. And the disciples were filled with joy, and with the Holy Spirit ( Acts 13:49 ).

They are sort of companions. Filled with joy is to be filled with the Spirit, or to be filled with the Spirit is to be filled with joy.

So they next record for us the work in Iconium and at Lystra. But this is all the area known as Galatia. And so it"s sort of like Orange County, but you"ve been to Anaheim and Fullerton and Garden Grove and Santa Ana and Newport Beach. You"re in the area of Orange County. So in writing the letter he addresses the letter to the Galatians, the whole area, though they had ministered in many different churches in this region or they had established many churches in this region. And next week we will move on to their continued ministry there in that area.

So much for us to ponder as we go back over now in our minds the Word of God that we"ve studied tonight. Our ministry unto the Lord. Our service to God. Am I a man after God"s heart? Do I have God at the center of my life, or is myself at the center of my life? When it comes to a showdown will I do my own will over God"s? Will I reject the way of the Lord as did Saul? Will I rebel against the commandment of God and do my own thing? Or will I, as David, yield unto God? And when God calls to attention my guilt, confess my sin and repent and seek the mercy and grace of God? Have I received the forgiveness of sins? What have I done with Jesus who is called Christ? I"ve judged myself, but how have I judged myself? Worthy or unworthy to receive everlasting life? Have I been ordained unto eternal life by believing in Jesus?

A lot to think about. A lot ponder. And may the Lord be with you this week as you think about these things, as you think about your relationship with God. As you think about what God wants you to be and what God wants you to do. May the Lord be with you to guide you and to direct you and to help you through this week. Strengthening you and giving you wisdom, giving you powers and abilities by His Spirit to serve Him effectively. That you might bring glory unto His name. God bless you, be with you, and keep you in the love of Jesus Christ. "

 


Copyright Statement
Copyright © 2014, Calvary Chapel of Costa Mesa, Ca.

Bibliography Information
Smith, Charles Ward. "Commentary on Acts 13:4". "Chuck Smith Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/csc/acts-13.html. 2014.

Lectionary Calendar
Tuesday, November 19th, 2019
the Week of Proper 28 / Ordinary 33
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