Faithlife Sermons

Everyone Who Believes Is Justified

Notes
Transcript
Sermon Tone Analysis
A
D
F
J
S
Emotion
A
C
T
Language
O
C
E
A
E
Social
View more →
Does anyone know what this picture represents? This might be the most amazing data picture you see in a lifetime! It shows the 63,779 cross-references in the Bible. The white bars along the bottom represent each Bible chapter, Gen. 1 - Rev. 22. The line’s color shows the reference’s distance from the other. A cross-reference is a scripture that references another scripture. Had the Bible been written by one person or at one time this would still be amazing; however, the Bible was written by 40 authors over the span of 1500 years on 3 different continents. The Bible is complex, diverse, and intricate, and yet it has one unified message: God lovingly is redeeming all who believe!
The Bible tells a unified story. And center to the story is Jesus Christ. A vast majority of those cross-references point to one person- the Lord Jesus Christ. And this morning we celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. Much of God’s story for this universe points towards and flows out of this monuments event- that Jesus Christ is RISEN, He is risen indeed!
Last year on Easter Sunday we examined the a sermon preached by the Apostle Peter on the day of Pentecost from Acts 2. And Peter’s sermon centered on the resurrection of Jesus from the dead. This year we are going to look at a sermon from the Apostle Paul and Paul’s sermon will again center on the resurrection of Jesus from the dead.
In Acts 13, beginning at v. 13 the Apostle Paul preaches a sermon to the Jews and to those who feared God. Paul is in the synagogue at Antioch in Pisidia. It is the Sabbath day, the rulers of the synagogue have just finished reading from the Law and the Prophets, and after they finish they invite Paul to come forward to speak a word of encouragement to the people. And from v. 16-41 we have recorded for us the sermon that the Apostle Paul gave in the synagogue in Antioch in Pisidia.
The goal of Paul’s message was to convince the Jews and the God fearing Gentiles to believe that Jesus Christ is the Messiah and that through Jesus they could find forgiveness of their sins.
Acts 13:38–39 ESV
38 Let it be known to you therefore, brothers, that through this man forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you, 39 and by him everyone who believes is freed from everything from which you could not be freed by the law of Moses.
Friends, you must believe in Jesus Christ in order for your sins to be forgiven and for you to be freed/justified before God.
Why should you believe in Jesus?
God does not require of you blind faith, God expects of you a well thought out faith. Paul gives us three reasons for why you should believe in Jesus Christ.
Why should you believe in Jesus?

I. Because Jesus Christ is the pinnacle of the entire story of the Bible (vv. 16-25)

The Bible tells one cohesive story and at the center and most important to that story is Jesus Christ.
Acts 13:16–17 ESV
16 So 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 made the people great during their stay in the land of Egypt, and with uplifted arm he led them out of it.
In vv. 17-25 Paul recounts the history of the nation of Israel. And at first glace it may appear that all Paul is doing is giving a history lesson. But, Paul is doing something much more important that merely recounting the history of the Jewish nation. Paul is giving us the major story line of the Bible.
Remember 63,779 cross-references, written by 40 authors over the span of 1500 years on 3 different continents, the Bible is complex, diverse, and intricate, and yet it has one unified message- and at the center of that message is Jesus.
Paul is going to overview for us over 2000 years of history showing how Jesus is at the center of God’s story.
Acts 13:17 ESV
17 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.
Essentially, Paul traces the promises or the covenants that God made with Israel. And he shows how Jesus is central to the fulfillment of those covenants. He starts with the Abrahamic covenant. Paul skips over quite a lot of human history. He skips the Creation account, Noah, the tower of Babel, and other accounts. Why? Because Paul is speaking to a primarily Jewish audience and being good Jews they would have already known those events.
Let me back up and mention just one promise from Genesis that will help us see the overall story of God.
Genesis 3:15 ESV
15 I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel.”
Explain God’s original intent for His Creation (Fellowship/Relationship), Satan tempted Adam and Eve, sin entered the picture, and even since there has been a separation between God and His Creation. The rest of the story of the Bible is God fixing what sin has tainted. God is working to get back to a perfect creation, free from the absence of sin, and He wants us to have restored fellowship and relationship with Himself. How is God going to do that? Gen. 3:15 gives us the beginnings of God’s plan.
Abrahamic Covenant:
Genesis 12:2–3 ESV
2 And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. 3 I will bless those who bless you, and him who dishonors you I will curse, and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”
Here we find that the offspring promised to Eve in Gen. 3:15 will now come through the line of Abraham. God is going to make a great nation out of Abraham (the nation of Israel), and from that nation the promised offspring of Gen. 3:15 would come and all the nations of the earth will be blessed through Him.
One day many years later God brings the line of Abraham, that will become the nation of Israel in seed form, to Egypt. God uses Joseph to bring Jacob and his family to Egypt to protect them from famine. Over the next 400 years God keeps Israel in Egypt and causes them to grow into a great nation. Until one day God led them out of Egypt by means of Moses.
We have finally overview v. 17 in Acts!
Acts 13:17 ESV
17 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.
Acts 13:18 ESV
18 And for about forty years he put up with them in the wilderness.
After God led the people out of Egypt they wandered in the wilderness for 40 years. During those 40 years God made another covenant with His people- the Mosaic Covenant. Basically, if God’s people perfectly obeyed God’s laws God would bless them, and if they rebelled and did not obey then God would curse them. There was a major problem with this covenant. SIN! Israel could not keep God’s law.
Acts 13:19 ESV
19 And after destroying seven nations in the land of Canaan, he gave them their land as an inheritance.
Yet God was faithful to His people, and He was faithful to the promises He had made to Abraham. Eventually, God gave the people the promised land the land of Canaan. But the people still did not obey God!
Acts 13:20 ESV
20 All this took about 450 years. And after that he gave them judges until Samuel the prophet.
Over hundreds of years, multiple different judges and prophets God’s people still could not obey.
Acts 13:21 ESV
21 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.
Then, they tried for a king to be like the other nations and that didn’t work out either. But God still remained faithful to his people. And we get to v. 22 which is a key verse!
Acts 13:22 ESV
22 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.’
David was a man after God’s own heart (though he still had plenty of problems of his own). And through David God made another significant covenant with Israel- the Davidic covenant.
2 Samuel 7:12–13 ESV
12 When your days are fulfilled and you lie down with your fathers, I will raise up your offspring after you, who shall come from your body, and I will establish his kingdom. 13 He shall build a house for my name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever.
2 Samuel 7:16 ESV
16 And your house and your kingdom shall be made sure forever before me. Your throne shall be established forever.’ ”
So now the promised offspring in Gen 3:15 that God will use to rid the creation of the curse of sin, who will come from the line of Abraham, now is promised to come from the line of David.
Acts 13:23 ESV
23 Of this man’s offspring God has brought to Israel a Savior, Jesus, as he promised.
Jesus is the pinnacle of all of the promises of God that He has made to His people. Thousands of years of human history and the central story of the Bible all converge in the person of Jesus Christ! And look at what Paul calls Jesus- He is a Savior!
Paul even includes the recent activity of the story of God in his sermon.
Acts 13:24–25 ESV
24 Before his coming, John had proclaimed a baptism of repentance to all the people of Israel. 25 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.’
Who was John the Baptist? After a period of silence for hundreds of years John the Baptist was the an Elijah like prophet of God. He had a significant ministry in Israel. And what did John the Baptist think about Jesus? “the sandals of whose feet I am not worthy to untie.” He exalted Jesus, proclaimed him as the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world. He pointed to Jesus too!
The Bible is one unified story and it all points to Jesus!
Illustration: Telephone the game. How likely would it be for a message to start on one side of the church and make it to the other side without changing its message?
And yet the Bible has 63,779 cross-references, written by 40 authors over the span of 1500 years on 3 different continents, the Bible is complex, diverse, and intricate, and yet it has one unified message- and at the center of that message is Jesus.
Folks is this enough evidence for you to believe that Jesus is who He says He is? Will you believe in Jesus in order for your sins to be forgiven? Will you trust Him as your Savior?
Why should you believe in Jesus?

II. Because of the firsthand account of the witnesses of Jesus (vv. 26-33)

Again, God does not require of you blind faith. He wants you to have a well thought out faith. A faith based on truth. So God records for us in His Word the eye witness, firsthand account of witness to the life of Jesus.
Acts 13:26 ESV
26 “Brothers, sons of the family of Abraham, and those among you who fear God, to us has been sent the message of this salvation.
This is very important! What message is Paul about to share? The message of salvation. Do you want to know how to be saved? Do you want to know what the Bible says about salvation? Listen carefully, Paul is about to explain the message of salvation.
Acts 13:27 ESV
27 For those who live in Jerusalem and their rulers, because they did not recognize him nor understand the utterances of the prophets, which are read every Sabbath, fulfilled them by condemning him.
Why did Paul have the privilege of preaching the message of salvation?
Because the Jews who lived in Jerusalem and their rulers- did not recognize Jesus.
Recognize- they (disobediently) closed their minds to.
Who did they close their minds to?
“Because they did not recognize HIM”
“Nor understand the utterances (voices) of the prophets (OT Scriptures)”
Note the irony in the next part of the verse- They should have recognized Jesus! Why? Because the Prophets (OT Scriptures) are read every Sabbath! What was our entire last point about in the sermon? Jesus is the pinnacle of the story of Bible. Jesus is all over the OT and they read the OT on a regular basis. They should have known! The irony is that by rejecting and condemning Jesus they actually fulfilled the word of the prophets they read every week!
In the next few verses Paul is going to give us the simple, plain message of salvation- the good news of the gospel.
Acts 13:28 ESV
28 And though they found in him no guilt worthy of death, they asked Pilate to have him executed.
Jesus was executed on a cross- but not for his own guilt. Jesus took upon himself our guilt. Jesus took the guilt of my sin and the guilt of your sin upon Himself. And He died for us- for our sins.
Acts 13:29 ESV
29 And when they had carried out all that was written of him, they took him down from the tree and laid him in a tomb.
Carried out all that was written of him (OT prophecy). Jesus fulfilled all of the prophecy and the promises of God when he died on the tree (the cross). He really died! They really buried him- they laid him in a tomb.
Acts 13:30 ESV
30 But God raised him from the dead,
This is the good news of the gospel- Jesus died for our sins in fulfillment with the Scriptures, he was buried, and on the third day he rose from the dead! Jesus proclaimed the truth about who he was- the Son of God with power by raising from the dead. He demonstrated his power and his victory over our sin, and over death itself, and over hell itself. Here is the message you need to believe. That Jesus died for your sins, that he was buried, and that He rose again from the dead. That is the gospel!
Acts 13:31 ESV
31 and for many days he appeared to those who had come up with him from Galilee to Jerusalem, who are now his witnesses to the people.
Paul tells us that there are firsthand eye witnesses to this message. Real people saw Jesus hang on the cross, they saw him buried in the tomb, and they saw him after he rose from the dead. In fact Paul states in 1 Corinthians 15:6 that Jesus appeared to more than five hundred brothers at one time. There are more than five hundred eye witnesses to the truth that Jesus rose again from the dead. And what is the message of these witnesses?
Acts 13:32–33 (ESV)
32 And we bring you the good news that what God promised to the fathers, 33 this he has fulfilled to us their children by raising Jesus,
Here is the message- that Jesus is the fulfillment of thousands of years of prophecy. That Jesus is the pinnacle of the story of the Bible. That Jesus, his death, burial, and resurrection is the good news- the gospel. Will you believe in Jesus? Is this enough evidence for you to believe the gospel?
Illustration: Have you ever heard someone say that they will never believe in Jesus because it’s not scientific? What do they mean? They will only believe in something that they can see with what? They own eyes. If I can’t see it, if I can’t test it in a lab- then it’s not real. What’s the problem with that statement? They must not believe in George Washington then right? Or Aristotle? Or Alexander the Great? They have never seen any of those people with their one eyes or ran tests on them in a laboratory. You cannot apply the scientific method to proving history. What do you use to validate and prove history? Reliable historical sources. We look at ancient documents, and historical artifacts, and other verifiable sources of history. Did you know that the Bible is the most well preserved ancient document in the history of the world? No other ancient document even comes close! And in the most reliable, well persevered ancient document in the history of the world we have recorded for us over five hundred eye witness accounts that Jesus rose from the dead. Is this enough evidence for you to believe?
Friends, you must believe in Jesus Christ in order for your sins to be forgiven and for you to be freed/justified before God.
Will you believe?
Why should you believe in Jesus?

III. Because the resurrection of Jesus fulfills numerous OT prophecies (vv. 33-41)

When Jesus rose from the dead he accomplished many of the prophecies and promises of God made thousands of years before he lived. It is really incredible when you stop and think about what I just said. Thousands of years before Jesus walked the earth God recorded in His word prophecies about the resurrection of Jesus. And Jesus fulfilled every last one of them.
Acts 13:33 ESV
33 this he has fulfilled to us their children by raising Jesus, as also it is written in the second Psalm, “ ‘You are my Son, today I have begotten you.’
Psalm 2:7 ESV
7 I will tell of the decree: The Lord said to me, “You are my Son; today I have begotten you.
David wrote in Psalm 2 that on a certain day God would declare His Son as the begotten on. The context of Psalm 2 is the right to rule and King. In Acts 13:33 we discover that the day of begetting was the day that God raised Jesus from the dead. When God raised Jesus from the dead He declared to the whole world that Jesus was his Son and that God was giving Jesus the divine right to rule the world as King of kings and Lord of lords.
Acts 13:34 ESV
34 And as for the fact that he raised him from the dead, no more to return to corruption, he has spoken in this way, “ ‘I will give you the holy and sure blessings of David.’
Isaiah 55:3 ESV
3 Incline your ear, and come to me; hear, that your soul may live; and I will make with you an everlasting covenant, my steadfast, sure love for David.
Remember the Davidic covenant? God promised that one of David’s line would rule on the throne of David forever. When Jesus rose from the dead He showed that this holy and sure blessing of David was His to fulfill. Jesus is the risen eternal One who will sit on the throne of David forever.
Acts 13:35 ESV
35 Therefore he says also in another psalm, “ ‘You will not let your Holy One see corruption.’
Psalm 16:10 ESV
10 For you will not abandon my soul to Sheol, or let your holy one see corruption.
In Acts 2 Peter tells us that David is speaking as a prophet in this Psalm. Think about what David knew would happen one day through the Messiah.
For you will not abandon MY soul to Sheol (the grave)- David knew that he would die and go to the grave, but he would not be abandoned there. David knew about a future resurrection for Himself.
Or let YOUR HOLY ONE see corruption- The first part of Psalm 16:10 is true about David and the coming Messiah. David knew that Jesus would die and that Jesus would be put in a grave, but that he would not be abandoned in that grave. The second part of v. 10 is true about Messiah alone. David knew that God would not the “Your Holy One” (title for the Messiah) to see corruption. So while the Messiah would experience death, and be put in a tomb, it would not be for very long- the Messiah would not experience corruption. Did Jesus’s body experience corruption? NO! On the third day Jesus rose again. David knew that Messiah would experience death, that he would be buried, and that he would be resurrected from the dead not to experience corruption!
Paul confirms this in his sermon:
Acts 13:36–37 ESV
36 For David, after he had served the purpose of God in his own generation, fell asleep and was laid with his fathers and saw corruption, 37 but he whom God raised up did not see corruption.
Think about what David knew more than a 1000 years before Jesus lived on this earth. And Jesus fulfilled every detail of David’s prophecy! Wow!
After all of the content and arguments of Paul’s sermon, he closes with two points of application.
Application #1
Acts 13:38 ESV
38 Let it be known to you therefore, brothers, that through this man forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you,
The “So What” of Paul’s message is this- through this man forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you. We are all sinners- and if we want to have a relationship with God (like man once had back in Eden), then you must have your sins forgiven. And your sins can only be forgive through this man- Jesus Christ.
Acts 13:39 ESV
39 and by him everyone who believes is freed from everything from which you could not be freed by the law of Moses.
Freed- literally the word for justification. Everyone who believes is justified! To be justified means that you are declared righteous by a holy God. When you believe in Jesus and receive his gift of forgiveness of your sins, God can declare you righteous in His sight! How can a person become justified? “BY Him everyone who BELIEVES is freed or justified from everything from which you could not be freed by the law of Moses. Remember the Mosaic covenant? Remember how often Israel failed to keep God’s law? The truth is that none of us are good enough to obey God on our own. No one is perfect right? But that is what God demands of us. Thankfully Jesus offers to forgive our sins and give us his own perfect righteousness. If you will believe in Jesus you will be freed- justified.
Application #2
Acts 13:40–41 ESV
40 Beware, therefore, lest what is said in the Prophets should come about: 41 “ ‘Look, you scoffers, be astounded and perish; for I am doing a work in your days, a work that you will not believe, even if one tells it to you.’ ”
Quotation from Habbakuk 1:5. In that context God had just told Habakkuk that he was going to send a wicked nation, the Chaldeans, to destroy Judah. Judah was living in disobedience as a nation- they were not right with God. But the Chaldeans were an extremely wicked nation. How could God use a really wicked nation to judge a only slightly wicked nation? This news would have caused Habakkuk’s mouth to drop open in astonishment and disbelief! I don’t believe God would really do that...
Paul’s point is this- don’t be like Judah and scoff and be astonished at the news God is sharing with you. I just told you the truth from God’s Word that Jesus, the Son of God, lived a perfect life, died for your sins, was buried, and on the third day rose again from the dead. That is pretty incredible news! But it is true! Don’t scoff don’t be astounded and reject this truth. If you do you will perish.
Friends, you must believe in Jesus Christ in order for your sins to be forgiven and for you to be freed/justified before God.
Why should you believe in Jesus?
I have given you three reasons from Acts 13.
Because Jesus Christ is the pinnacle of the entire story of the Bible
Because of the firsthand account of the witnesses of Jesus
Because the resurrection of Jesus fulfills numerous OT prophecies
How will you respond? (Close with this thought)
After Paul is done preaching his sermon we are told how various people respond to his message. Let me share the responses with you, and then I want you to be honest with yourself and decided which group am I like.
Response #1
Acts 13:42–43 ESV
42 As they went out, the people begged that these things might be told them the next Sabbath. 43 And after the meeting of the synagogue broke up, many Jews and devout converts to Judaism followed Paul and Barnabas, who, as they spoke with them, urged them to continue in the grace of God.
Maybe you are not ready to make a decision in your heart today to believe in Jesus, but like many of the Jews and devout converts to Judaism you want to hear more. They wanted Paul to come back next Sabbath and tell them more about Jesus. Here is what you need to do- “continue in the grace of God.” What does that mean? Maybe you are not ready today and you want to know more. If you really want to know more about Jesus then keep pursuing Jesus through the Bible. Get a Bible, start reading in the gospel of John, and keep reading- continue in the grace of God. We would love to sit down and read the Bible with you. If you are really serious make a commitment to keep seeking Jesus more and more through His Word.
Response #2
Acts 13:45 ESV
45 But when the Jews saw the crowds, they were filled with jealousy and began to contradict what was spoken by Paul, reviling him.
Acts 13:50 ESV
50 But the Jews incited the devout women of high standing and the leading men of the city, stirred up persecution against Paul and Barnabas, and drove them out of their district.
The second response is that of contradiction and rejection of the message of God. To you I would repeat the end of Paul’s sermon- Beware! No one is guaranteed tomorrow. You might have to stand before God soon and give an account of yourself. Without the gift of salvation- without your sins being forgiven and with you being justified by God’s grace you are without hope. Repent of your sins, change your mind, and believe in Jesus.
Response #3
Acts 13:48 ESV
48 And when the Gentiles heard this, they began rejoicing and glorifying the word of the Lord, and as many as were appointed to eternal life believed.
Maybe you are sitting here this morning and you have followed most every word. It is like someone is shinning a light through the ceiling this morning directly into you heart. You understand the message of salvation, you understand your need to believe. Friend, you can do that right now. Right now in the quit of your own heart believe in Jesus and be saved. Put your trust in him, call out to him, ask him to save you from your sins and be born again.
Related Media
Related Sermons