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The Gospel To The Gentiles

John Collins11/01/2012In Antioch in Acts 13, Paul preached a sermon to a welcoming Gentile congregation amongst jealous Jews.

His sermon to the Gentiles was very simple, and pointed to Jesus Christ.  He said:

"Men of Israel and you who fear God, listen. The God of this people Israel chose our fathers and made the people greatduring 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[b] 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.'

"Brothers, sons of the family of Abraham, and those among you who fear God, to us has been sent the message of this salvation. 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. And though they found in him no guilt worthy of death, they asked Pilate to have him executed. 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. 30 But God raised him from the dead,  and for many dayshe appeared to those who had come up with him from Galilee to Jerusalem, who are now his witnesses to the people. And we bring you the good news that what God promised to the fathers, 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.'

And as for the fact that he raised him from the dead, no more to return to corruption, he has spoken in this way,  "' will give you the holy and sure blessings of David.' Therefore he says also in another psalm,  "'You will not let your Holy One see corruption.' 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, but he whom God raised up did not see corruption. Let it be known to you therefore, brothers, that through this man forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you, and by him everyone who believes is freed from everything from which you could not be freed by the law of Moses.  Beware, therefore, lest what is said in the Prophets should come about: "'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.'"

The people were so accepting of the sermon that they begged him to tell them again on the next Sabbath.  Both Jews and devout converts to Judaism followed Paul and Barnabas as they urged them to continue in the grace of God.

But when they gathered again, the Jews became jealous of the large crowd of Gentiles.  Paul reminded the Jews that they were blinded by God, and that the Lord commanded them, saying "I have made you a light for the Gentiles, that you may bring salvation to the ends of the earth."

When the Gentiles heard this, they began rejoicing and glorifying the Word of God.  As many as were appointed to eternal life believed, and the Word of God spread throughout the whole region.

As Christians, we should ask ourselves:  Does the Word of God excite us?  Do we enjoy reading the Word of God, or do we satisfy ourselves with just the words of men?  Are we thankful that the Gospel spread to the Gentiles so that we might be saved?

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