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Jesus Brought the Promised Blessing 

Acts 13

Don Ruhl • Savage Street, Grants Pass, Oregon • April 9, In the year of our Lord, 2017

Song Leader and Song Suggestions: Larry Amberg – Songs about Jesus


  1. Acts 13.1–5 | The Holy Spirit Separates Barnabas and Saul

    1 Now in the church that was at Antioch there were certain prophets and teachers: Barnabas, Simeon who was called Niger, Lucius of Cyrene, Manaen who had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch, and Saul. 2 As they ministered to the Lord and fasted, the Holy Spirit said, “Now separate to Me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.” 3 Then, having fasted and prayed, and laid hands on them, they sent them away. 4 So, being sent out by the Holy Spirit, they went down to Seleucia, and from there they sailed to Cyprus. 5 And when they arrived in Salamis, they preached the word of God in the synagogues of the Jews. They also had John as their assistant.

    1. The Holy Spirit selected the Antioch Church,
      1. the congregation where Jews first accepted Gentiles,
      2. to send out an evangelistic team into the Roman world.
    2. This church had five dedicated prophets and teachers,
      1. even one who had grown up with Herod the tetrarch.
      2. These five spiritual men ministered to the Lord and fasted.
    3. The Holy Spirit wanted Barnabas and Saul separated to Him, and
      1. their lives, and the life of the world, would never be the same.
    4. The rest separated these two for the Holy Spirit by
      1. fasting,
      2. praying,
      3. laying hands on them, and then
      4. sending them away.
    5. They made their way westward,
      1. first going down to Seleucia,
      2. then sailing to Cyrus.
    6. The first people to whom they preach upon arrival,
      1. were the Jews in the synagogue, because
      2. the Lord had ordained that the Jews would hear the Gospel first.
    7. They also brought along John, whom we know better as Mark.
  2. Acts 13.6–12 | Confronting a False Prophet

    6 Now when they had gone through the island to Paphos, they found a certain sorcerer, a false prophet, a Jew whose name was Bar-jesus, 7 who was with the proconsul, Sergius Paulus, an intelligent man. This man called for Barnabas and Saul and sought to hear the word of God. 8 But Elymas the sorcerer (for so his name is translated) withstood them, seeking to turn the proconsul away from the faith. 9 Then Saul, who also is called Paul, filled with the Holy Spirit, looked intently at him 10 and said, “O full of all deceit and all fraud, you son of the devil, you enemy of all righteousness, will you not cease perverting the straight ways of the Lord? 11 And now, indeed, the hand of the Lord is upon you, and you shall be blind, not seeing the sun for a time.” And immediately a dark mist fell on him, and he went around seeking someone to lead him by the hand. 12 Then the proconsul believed, when he saw what had been done, being astonished at the teaching of the Lord.

    1. The true prophets found a false prophet in Paphos,
      1. who was with a Roman official, Sergius Paulus,
      2. whom Luke described as an intelligent man, because
        1. he knew things and
        2. could figure things out, but
          1. that does not mean
            1. he knew everything and
            2. could figure out everything, since
          2. he allowed a false prophet to be with him.
    2. The false prophet Bar-jesus, whom people also knew as Elymas,
      1. was also a sorcerer, and
      2. he opposed the preaching and teaching of Saul and Barnabas,
        1. seeking to turn Sergius Paulus away from the Faith.
    3. Saul also had another name, Paul, and
      1. filled with the Holy Spirit,
      2. looked at Elymas intently,
        1. accused him of deceit and fraud,
        2. serving as a son of the devil,
          1. working as an enemy of righteousness,
          2. who refused to quit perverting the straight ways of the Lord.
    4. Then Paul pronounced a curse upon Elymas,
      1. stating that the hand of the Lord would be upon him as punishment, and
      2. that he would be blind temporarily.
        1. Then a dark mist descended upon him, and
        2. he became blind, looking for someone to lead him around.
          1. This astonished Sergius Paulus and he believed in the Lord.
          2. If you oppose the Lord,
            1. you will fail, and
            2. you may bring about what you tried to prevent.
  3. Acts 13.13–15 | Can You Exhort the People?

    13 Now when Paul and his party set sail from Paphos, they came to Perga in Pamphylia; and John, departing from them, returned to Jerusalem. 14 But when they departed from Perga, they came to Antioch in Pisidia, and went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day and sat down. 15 And after the reading of the Law and the Prophets, the rulers of the synagogue sent to them, saying, “Men and brethren, if you have any word of exhortation for the people, say on.”

    1. They left the port of Paphos on Cyprus, and
      1. arrived at Perga in Pamphylia, but
      2. John Mark left and went back to Jerusalem.
    2. Paul and Barnabas left Perga and arrived at Antioch in Pisidia,
      1. a different place than the Antioch they left.
      2. Once there, they they went to the synagogue first.
        1. The rulers of the synagogue invited them to speak,
        2. if they had any word of exhortation for the people.
  4. Acts 13.16–41 | Paul’s Word of Exhortation 
    1. 13.16–22 | A Man After God’s Own Heart

      16 Then Paul stood up, and motioning with his hand said, “Men of Israel, and you who fear God, listen: 17 The God of this people Israel chose our fathers, and exalted the people when they dwelt as strangers in the land of Egypt, and with an uplifted arm He brought them out of it. 18 Now for a time of about forty years He put up with their ways in the wilderness. 19 And when He had destroyed seven nations in the land of Canaan, He distributed their land to them by allotment. 20 After that He gave them judges for about four hundred and fifty years, until Samuel the prophet. 21 And afterward they asked for a king; so God gave them Saul the son of Kish, a man of the tribe of Benjamin, for forty years. 22 And when He had removed him, He raised up for them David as king, to whom also He gave testimony and said, ‘I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after My own heart, who will do all My will.’

      1. Paul reminded them that
        1. God chose their fathers,
        2. exalted Israel in Egypt, and then
        3. brought them out.
      2. God put up with Israel in the wilderness for 40 years.
        1. After they entered Canaan,
        2. God destroyed seven nations, and
        3. gave Israel their land by tribe.
      3. While there they had about 450 years of judges up to Samuel.
        1. Then Israel wanted a king, and
        2. God gave them Saul for 40 years.
          1. God removed Saul and
          2. gave Israel David,
            1. who was a man after God’s own heart,
            2. shown by the fact that he would do all of God’s will.
    2. 13.23–25 | A Man After David’s Own Heart

      23 From this man’s seed, according to the promise, God raised up for Israel a Savior—Jesus— 24 after John had first preached, before His coming, the baptism of repentance to all the people of Israel. 25 And as John was finishing his course, he said, ‘Who do you think I am? I am not He. But behold, there comes One after me, the sandals of whose feet I am not worthy to loose.’

      1. God promised that from David,
        1. God would give Israel a Savior,
        2. whom we know to be Jesus of Nazareth.
      2. God sent John the Baptist before Jesus to announce His arrival,
        1. preparing the people with a baptism of repentance,
        2. leading to the remission of sin.
      3. John’s powerful ministry made people question his identity.
        1. He quickly denied being the promised Savior.
        2. After John said that the Savior was coming right behind, and
          1. that He was so great,
          2. John was not worthy to unloose His sandals.
    3. 13.26–32 | Declaring the Promise

      26 Men and brethren, sons of the family of Abraham, and those among you who fear God, to you the word of this salvation has been sent. 27 For those who dwell in Jerusalem, and their rulers, because they did not know Him, nor even the voices of the Prophets which are read every Sabbath, have fulfilled them in condemning Him. 28 And though they found no cause for death in Him, they asked Pilate that He should be put to death. 29 Now when they had fulfilled all that was written concerning Him, they took Him down from the tree and laid Him in a tomb. 30 But God raised Him from the dead. 31 He was seen for many days by those who came up with Him from Galilee to Jerusalem, who are His witnesses to the people. 32 And we declare to you glad tidings—that promise which was made to the fathers.

      1. With verse 26, Paul summarized what he had just said.
        1. They were of Abraham.
        2. They feared God.
        3. To them God had sent the word of salvation.
      2. Salvation happened in this manner:
        1. Their rulers in Jerusalem
        2. did not know the Savior, Jesus of Nazareth,
          1. nor did they know the Prophets,
          2. although the rulers heard the Prophets read every Sabbath, but
            1. the rulers fulfilled the prophecies by condemning Jesus.
      3. They could not find a reason to kill Jesus, but
        1. pressured Pilate to do it anyway.
        2. Once they had fulfilled all the prophecies concerning His death,
          1. they took Him off the tree, and
          2. laid Him in a tomb, but
            1. God raised Jesus from the dead.
            2. Those who followed Jesus from Galilee to Jerusalem,
              1. witnessed the resurrected Christ.
      4. Paul declared that Jesus is the promise God made to the Fathers.
        1. Genesis 12.3, et al.
    4. 13.33–37 | The Resurrection Fulfills the Promise

      33 God has fulfilled this for us their children, in that He has raised up Jesus. As it is also written in the second Psalm:

      ‘You are My Son,
      Today I have begotten You.’

      34 And that He raised Him from the dead, no more to return to corruption, He has spoken thus:

      ‘I will give you the sure mercies of David.’

      35 Therefore He also says in another Psalm:

      ‘You will not allow Your Holy One to see corruption.’

      36 For David, after he had served his own generation by the will of God, fell asleep, was buried with his fathers, and saw corruption; 37 but He whom God raised up saw no corruption.

      1. God fulfilled the promises to the fathers
      2. by raising Jesus of Nazareth from the dead.
        1. Psalm 2 prophesied of the resurrection.
        2. Isaiah 55 promised that Jesus would never die again.
        3. Psalm 16 also backs up these prophecies.
          1. These prophecies did not refer to David, because
          2. he died and his body experienced corruption, decay.
            1. The body of Jesus did not return to the dust, because
            2. God raised Jesus from the dead.
    5. 13.38–39 | Through Jesus Comes Forgiveness of Sins

      38 Therefore let it be known to you, brethren, that through this Man is preached to you the forgiveness of sins; 39 and by Him everyone who believes is justified from all things from which you could not be justified by the law of Moses.

      1. Therefore forgiveness of sins comes through Jesus.
      2. By belief in Him, we find justification,
        1. which the Law of Moses could not provide, for
        2. it only showed that we have a sin problem.
    6. 13.40–41 | Do Not Despise the Fulfillment of the Promise

      40 Beware therefore, lest what has been spoken in the prophets come upon you:

      41 ‘Behold, you despisers,
      Marvel and perish!
      For I work a work in your days,
      A work which you will by no means believe,
      Though one were to declare it to you.’”

      1. The foregoing all being true,
      2. Paul warned them, and we should heed this warning also,
        1. that they not despise the message of salvation through Jesus.
        2. Most people do not believe the message.
  5. Acts 13.42–43 | The Gentiles Want in the Promise

    42 So when the Jews went out of the synagogue, the Gentiles begged that these words might be preached to them the next Sabbath. 43 Now when the congregation had broken up, many of the Jews and devout proselytes followed Paul and Barnabas, who, speaking to them, persuaded them to continue in the grace of God.

    1. Gentiles wanted to hear more of these words.
      1. They knew of the Hebrew Scriptures, because
      2. the Lord often said that its message was for the world.
    2. They knew of the promise to Abraham.
      1. They knew of the prophecies.
      2. Remember the wisemen coming from the East,
        1. who had a prophecy of the Messiah’s Star,
        2. a prophecy not mentioned by the Hebrew Prophets in Scripture.
    3. Paul and Barnabas often ran into trouble, because
      1. people opposed what they said, but
      2. here Gentiles, Jews, and proselytes followed the preaching team, and
        1. they in turn persuaded the people
        2. to continue in the grace of God.
  6. Acts 13.44–45 | Envy Leads to Opposing the Word of God

    44 On the next Sabbath almost the whole city came together to hear the word of God. 45 But when the Jews saw the multitudes, they were filled with envy; and contradicting and blaspheming, they opposed the things spoken by Paul.

    1. Picture what Luke said in verse 44.
      1. Believe it or not, similar things have happened in America’s past.
      2. [Portland example]
    2. The Jews did not like seeing the multitudes.
      1. Their religion had been their own exclusive club, and
      2. they did not want different kinds of people coming into it.
        1. Also, they had tried to influence their city in a good way, but
        2. these two itinerant preachers came into town and
          1. in no time, they had large crowds.
          2. Thus, the Jews became envious.
    3. So what did these Jews do?
      1. They contradicted Paul.
      2. They blasphemed the word he preached.
      3. They opposed him.
  7. ‘I have set you as a light to the Gentiles,
    That you should be for salvation to the ends of the earth.’”

    1. The preaching team declared
      1. that the Jews had the word preached to them first, but
      2. they rejected it,
      3. they judged themselves unworthy of everlasting life, and
      4. the preaching team would turn to the Gentiles.
    2. Did you hear what Paul and Barnabas said?
      1. They quoted the Old Testament
      2. as their authority for preaching to the Gentiles.
  8. VIII.Acts 13.48–49 | The Gentiles Rejoice

    48 Now when the Gentiles heard this, they were glad and glorified the word of the Lord. And as many as had been appointed to eternal life believed. 49 And the word of the Lord was being spread throughout all the region.

    1. The Gentiles rejoiced and glorified the word of the Lord.
    2. Then as many as had been appointed or had appointed themselves
      1. to eternal life,
      2. believed.
  9. Acts 13.50–51 | Envy Leads to Persecution

    50 But the Jews stirred up the devout and prominent women and the chief men of the city, raised up persecution against Paul and Barnabas, and expelled them from their region. 51 But they shook off the dust from their feet against them, and came to Iconium.

    1. Opposing, blaspheming, and contradicting Paul and Barnabas
    2. was not enough for the Jews there.
      1. Therefore, they stirred up opposition from the leading citizens of the city,
      2. driving Paul and Barnabas out of town.
    3. They shook off the dust from their feet,
      1. showing that the preachers had done their part, but
      2. the people had rejected the Scriptures.
    4. Went to Iconium.
  10. Acts 13.52 | Joy and the Holy Spirit

    52 And the disciples were filled with joy and with the Holy Spirit.

    1. However, the new disciples of Christ had two things fill them:
      1. Joy and
      2. the Holy Spirit.
    2. Let joy and the Spirit also fill your heart by belief, repentance, and baptism.