June 14, 2022 – Tuesday
Acts 13:43 NIV
43 When the congregation was dismissed, many of the Jews and devout converts to Judaism followed Paul and Barnabas, who talked with them and urged them to continue in the grace of God.
I really want to focus on what it means to continue in the grace of God, but first I would like to provide the context for the above verse. Here we go, 42 As Paul and Barnabas were leaving the synagogue, the people invited them to speak further about these things on the next Sabbath. 43 When the congregation was dismissed, many of the Jews and devout converts to Judaism followed Paul and Barnabas, who talked with them and urged them to continue in the grace of God. 44 On the next Sabbath almost the whole city gathered to hear the word of the Lord. It all sounds good and wonderful, and it was, but trouble was brewing as the next verse tells us, 45 When the Jews saw the crowds, they were filled with jealousy. They began to contradict what Paul was saying and heaped abuse on him. Read further on your own to see what happened.
Let’s look at what it meant for Paul and Barnabas to talk with them and urge them to continue in the grace of God. First of all, this implies Paul and Barnabas recognized the people talking with them were in the grace of God. What? Well Gill’s Exposition of the Entire Bible tells us, Paul and Barnabas took notice of them, and by their following them, and by the conversation they had with them, found that the word had reached their hearts, and that they had embraced the doctrine of the Gospel. Imagine that, can you remember when you first embrace the doctrine of the Gospel – that Jesus had died for your sins and your debt was paid if you would but in faith believe the truth of this and that Jesus had risen on the third day. God’s forgiveness which is underserved, unearned, unmerited, and given only out of God’s love. Gill continued on and put it this way, they spoke a word of exhortation to them, beseeching them to continue in it, it springing from the grace of God, and being a declaration of it; and particularly in those special doctrines of grace, which had been insisted on, namely, remission of sins, and free justification by the blood of Christ. We are saved and justified only by the blood of Christ, the last real Passover Lamb.
I could end there, but I would be remiss if I did not include Barnes’ Notes on the Bible concerning this verse which is fairly succinct, In the grace of God – In his favor – in the faith, and prayer, and obedience which would be connected with his favor. The “gospel” is called the grace (favor) of God and they were exhorted to persevere in their attachment to it. I wanted to include this so I could ask, are we, each of us individually doing our best to persevere in our attachment to God’s favor? Or are we now taking it for granted? Do our lives reflect us persevering in our attachment to God’s favor? Or has it become last years favorite book or TV series, fondly remembered, but basically forgotten. Paul and Barnabas would exhort us to continue in the grace of God. Whether we are or are not, God knows.
Bottom Line: How are we living, knowing we have been saved through God’s Grace, His Favor. Have we forgotten what it means or is it still central to our lives and how we live?
Prayer: Heavenly Father, Help me to always remember the wonderful future I have to look forward to in Heaven no matter what is going on in this life here. – In Jesus’ Name. Amen.
Riley D. Driver – Pastor
Calvary Chapel of Dayton