April 14, 2023 – Friday
Acts 13:38-39 NIV
38 Therefore, my friends, I want you to know that through Jesus the forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you. 39 Through him everyone who believes is set free from every sin, a justification you were not able to obtain under the law of Moses.
When we last left Paul (and Barnabas and John Mark) they were in the city of Paphos with the proconsul of Cyprus, Sergius Paulus. There a sorcerer, speaking against the Good News of Jesus the Christ, was struck blind and the proconsul believed. Paul and those with him later sailed to Perga in Pamphylia (now located on the southwest coast of Turkey). John Mark left them there to return to Jerusalem. Paul and Barnabas continued to Pisidian Antioch.
It was there, in the synagogue on the Sabbath, 15 After the reading from the Law and the Prophets, the leaders of the synagogue sent word to them, saying, “Brothers, if you have a word of exhortation for the people, please speak.” Then, from verse 16-35 they gave a short history of the people of Israel from their time in Egypt and ending with David and Jesus the Christ. Paul then said, 36 Now when David had served God’s purpose in his own generation, he fell asleep; he was buried with his ancestors and his body decayed. 37 But the one whom God raised from the dead did not see decay.
Then he addressed them directly stating what they, those listening, could have through Jesus, 38 Therefore, my friends, I want you to know that through Jesus the forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you. 39 Through him everyone who believes is set free from every sin, a justification you were not able to obtain under the law of Moses. There is forgiveness of every sin and a justification granted to everyone who believes. Paul did not stop there as he went on to quote from Habakkuk 1:5, in the next two verses, 40 Take care that what the prophets have said does not happen to you: 41 “‘Look, you scoffers, wonder and perish, for I am going to do something in your days that you would never believe, even if someone told you.’”
Nonetheless,scoffers came to oppose Paul and Barnabas, for they were invited back to speak again on the next sabbath. When they returned to speak, it was as if the whole city had come out to hear them speak. Certain Jews were jealous and spoke out against what Paul was saying while heaping abuse on him.
What happened next should not surprise us, for 46 Then Paul and Barnabas answered them boldly: “We had to speak the word of God to you first. Since you reject it and do not consider yourselves worthy of eternal life, we now turn to the Gentiles. 47 For this is what the Lord has commanded us: “‘I have made you a light for the Gentiles, that you may bring salvation to the ends of the earth.’” (Isaiah 49:6) Next, as a result of their teaching and their sharp reply, 48 When the Gentiles heard this, they were glad and honored the word of the Lord; and all who were appointed for eternal life believed.
Going back to verse 39, 39 Through him everyone who believes is set free from every sin, a justification you were not able to obtain under the law of Moses. This is the only time in Acts that the word justification or justified is used although it occurs 15 times in Romans, once in 1 Corinthians, 6 times in Galatians, and once in Titus. About justification in these verses, Matthew Henry writes, The great concern of convinced sinners is, to be justified, to be acquitted from all their guilt, and accepted as righteous in God’s sight, for if any is left charged upon the sinner, he is undone. By Jesus Christ we obtain a complete justification; for by him a complete atonement was made for sin. From this we may perceive that repentance was part of the believing.
Bottom Line: Spend time in God’s word and let it bring you to belief, a belief that includes repentance resulting in justification, permitting one to stand before God with all sins atoned for by Jesus on the cross.
Prayer: Almighty God, We are so thankful You ensured the Good News of all that Your Son did would become known to us. Thank You for His incredible blessings. – In Jesus’ Name. Amen.
Riley D. Driver – Pastor
Calvary Chapel of Dayton