It’s A History You Can’t Cancel
So Paul stood up, and motioning with his hand said:
“Men of Israel and you who fear God, listen. The God of this people Israel chose our fathers and made the people great during their stay in the land of Egypt, and with uplifted arm he led them out of it. And for about forty years he put up with them in the wilderness. And after destroying seven nations in the land of Canaan, he gave them their land as an inheritance. All this took about 450 years. And after that he gave them judges until Samuel the prophet. Then they asked for a king, and God gave them Saul the son of Kish, a man of the tribe of Benjamin, for forty years. And when he had removed him, he raised up David to be their king, of whom he testified and said, ‘I have found in David the son of Jesse a man after my heart, who will do all my will.’ Of this man's offspring God has brought to Israel a Savior, Jesus, as he promised. Before his coming, John had proclaimed a baptism of repentance to all the people of Israel. And as John was finishing his course, he said, ‘What do you suppose that I am? I am not he. No, but behold, after me one is coming, the sandals of whose feet I am not worthy to untie.’ — Acts 13:16-25
This is the first sermon that we have recorded from Paul. And it’s pretty remarkable. It’s way better than the first one I ever preached. And it is pretty interesting given the audience, setting, and content. There are a couple of moments in it that I wonder if it was met with shock and awe by the Jews present.
But notice what Paul does rather quickly. He connects Jewish history to the most important person in all of history. He begins by recalling major landmarks — Israel, Egypt, and Canaan. Next, he recalls significant people like Samuel, Saul, David, and John the Baptist. But all these landmarks and people point to one person — Jesus.
Paul communicates to this Jewish audience that God’s promised plan of a Jewish Messiah has been realized. And while some were ignoring, dismissing, and canceling this narrative, the truth was salvation had come. And Paul, who had formerly been very resistant to this truth, had seen Jesus with his own eyes and discovered it himself. And thus, we learn that our testimony is the chapter that is yet to be written in the story. Declaring faith in Jesus is the means of believing and receiving redemption, salvation, and forgiveness of sin. The only part of the story that is left to be told is will men ignore, dismiss, and cancel this message. Or instead, will they accept it as truth by faith.
Today invest a few minutes reflecting on your story. Recall who you were before Jesus and then how life has been different since. And remember, you are a living history that God has writing since the beginning of time. The story of a loving Father who redeems lost men who by faith accept salvation through his Son. A God who defeats death so that you can have life in Him.
ASK THIS: Who were you before and after Jesus Christ?
DO THIS: Join in the story!
PRAY THIS: God, thank you for redeeming me by your grace.
PLAY THIS: Salvation Is Here — Hillsong
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