Acts 13:38

Some guy from Vermont. Vermont state capitol.

Wednesday, 18 January 2023

“Therefore let it be known to you, brethren, that through this Man is preached to you the forgiveness of sins; Acts 13:38

Note: You can listen to today’s commentary courtesy of our friends at “Bible in Ten” podcast. (Click Here to listen).

You can also read this commentary, with music, courtesy of our friends at “Discern the Bible” on YouTube. (Click Here to listen), or at Rumble (Click Here to listen).

Paul proclaimed to those in the synagogue that Jesus, who God raised up, saw no corruption. It is because of this work of God that Paul now explicitly states the purpose of this, beginning with, “Therefore let it be known to you.”

Q: Who is speaking?
A: Paul, the Apostle to the Gentiles.

Q: Who is Paul speaking to?
A: Jews in the synagogue of Antioch of Pisidia.

Q: As Paul is the Apostle to the Gentiles, is his proclamation limited to them?
A: No, refer to Acts 9:15 – “But the Lord said to him, ‘Go, for he is a chosen vessel of Mine to bear My name before Gentiles, kings, and the children of Israel.’”

Q: So, you are saying that his apostleship to the Gentiles is merely the focus of his gospel, but that it is the same gospel as that of the other apostles?
A: Yes. There is one and only one gospel. We are not heretics here. See 1 Corinthians 15:11.

Paul is an apostle of Jesus Christ. There is one Christ and one work of Christ that is effectual for all people. The Jews that Paul is addressing in Antioch of Pisidia may or may not have even heard of Jesus. If they had, they would need to have their thinking about Him corrected (repenting, meaning changing their mind about Him). If they had not, which can be assumed, then there is no repentance necessary, as will be seen from the text itself.

With this understood, Paul next says, “brethren.” Rather, the Greek reads, “men, brethren.” It is the same formula used many times so far in Acts. Paul is addressing the congregation. If women were there, they are included under the masculine. He uses this term to demonstrate the bond that binds them as members of the nation and culture of Israel, and that he is a part of that nation.

Israel is the nation through which the Messiah would come, and so he stands making his fraternal appeal to them about Jesus, who is that Messiah. With that, he continues, saying, “that through this Man.”

Paul’s words at this time focus on the humanity of Jesus, but it is an incorruptible humanity as was clearly detailed in the preceding verses. As such, the implication is that Jesus is also God, whether Paul has explicitly stated this or not.

Only a sinless Man is incorruptible, and only the God/Man could be sinless due to the biblically understood doctrine of original sin. If He were not both God and Man, He would have inherited sin and He would have remained dead, corrupting as all other men do. With this understood, Paul says that through this incorruptible Man “is preached to you the forgiveness of sins.”

Paul has completed his gospel presentation with these words, even if his words are not yet finished. It is the EXACT SAME gospel he preaches elsewhere to the Gentiles –

Christ died for our sins (1 Corinthians 15:3 / Acts 13:38).
Christ was buried (1 Corinthians 15:4 / Acts 13:29).
Christ rose again (1 Corinthians 15:4 / Acts 13:30, 33, 37).

Paul has not said a single word about repentance to his audience, except as it applied to John the Baptist’s preaching prior to the coming of the Messiah (Acts 13:24). Now that the Messiah has come, and with His work complete, Paul has given this congregation the simple gospel. They must now decide whether to accept the proposition or reject it.

This is the gospel, the one and only gospel, that is acceptable for the saving of man. The address by Peter in Acts 2 where the call to repent was given was a necessary condition for them because they had just rejected Jesus. They had to change their mind about what they had done to be saved. This congregation before Paul is under a completely different set of parameters, and thus they are given the gospel with no further stipulations added.

If those in this congregation reject Paul’s word, then they will – by default – have to repent (change their minds) about Jesus if they later accept Him. Currently, however, that is not a part of Paul’s appeal. As for the nation of Israel, they must nationally repent of their rejection of Christ. But everyone, Jew or Gentile, must accept or reject the simple gospel.

Life application: Some people would rather remain heretics, accepting and teaching what is false concerning the gospel, than admit that they have been wrong about their thinking. This is true with many sects and cults. When speaking to a Jehovah’s witness about the deity of Christ, a tenet implied in the gospel as noted above, they would normally rather remain unconverted than admit they are wrong.

The same is true with the erroneous doctrine of the Seventh Day Adventists, Judaizers, hyperdispensationalists, Mormons, etc. There is a point where the callousness of the heart takes over and prevents a person from accepting what the Bible is clearly presenting. It is a sad place to be, but it is our human nature to want to go down with the ship. Let us not be found in such a position.

Instead, when we are faced with a clear teaching about a doctrine, be it a minor doctrine such as the timing of the rapture, or something major like the deity of Christ, let us be willing to admit our fault in thinking and so be renewed in our minds.

Above all, let us thank God for the simplicity of the gospel that has come at the high cost of the giving of Jesus Christ for our sins. He died for our sins, He was buried, and He rose again! Praise God for what He has done in and through Jesus Christ our Lord!

Glorious Lord Jesus, thank You for what You have done for us. We are lost. We are on the road to condemnation. And yet, You came to redirect us to the heavenly highway if we will simply believe the gospel message. May we submit our hearts and lives to You through accepting this wonderful message of restoration. Amen.

 

 

 

 

 

Acts 13:37

Roof and super interesting chandelier in Vermont capitol.

Tuesday, 17 January 2023

“but He whom God raised up saw no corruption. Acts 13:37

Note: You can listen to today’s commentary courtesy of our friends at “Bible in Ten” podcast. (Click Here to listen).

You can also read this commentary, with music, courtesy of our friends at “Discern the Bible” on YouTube. (Click Here to listen), or at Rumble (Click Here to listen).

While speaking in the synagogue, Paul just noted that by the will of God David served his own generation, fell asleep, was buried with his fathers, and saw corruption. Therefore, his words concerning God’s Holy One not seeing corruption could not have been referring to him. They were, instead, a prophecy of the coming Messiah. Paul now proclaims that the prophesied Messiah has come, fulfilling David’s words. Paul’s words begin with, “but He.”

The Subject is Jesus, specifically noted in verse 13:23, and who has been the main Subject of Paul’s words since –

“From this man’s seed, according to the promise, God raised up for Israel a Savior—Jesus.”

It is this Jesus “whom God raised up.” In the Greek, three words translated as “raised up” are used. Each carries a specific meaning not fully perceived because of the translation. Notice the progression of his words –

*From this man’s seed, according to the promise, God raised up [agó] for Israel a Savior—Jesus. Acts 13:23 (to bring forth). God brought forth a Savior for Israel according to the promise.

*But God raised [egeiró] Him from the dead. Acts 13:30 (To arouse or awaken). God aroused Jesus from the state of death despite being put to death.

*God has fulfilled this for us their children, in that He has raised up [anistémi] Jesus. Acts 13:33 (To stand up or raise up). God raised up Jesus according to the promise both among Israel in His incarnation and which is then confirmed in raising Him out of the dead in the resurrection.

*And that He raised Him [anistémi] from the dead, no more to return to corruption, He has spoken thus: Acts 13:34 (To stand up or raise up). God raised Jesus, standing Him up from His place and position of death.

*but He whom God raised up [egeiró] saw no corruption. Acts 13:37 (To arouse or awaken). Unlike David, God aroused Jesus without seeing corruption.

Under inspiration of the Spirit, Paul has carefully spoken his words to ensure that every point about the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus is fully understood. He doesn’t need to include the words “from the dead” in this verse because it is understood from the context of the previous verse. Jesus’ arousal is contrasted to David’s non-arousal. David remained in the grave and corrupted. On the other hand, Jesus “saw no corruption.”

The incorruptible nature of Jesus is what is highlighted by Paul now. The importance of this point will be made manifest in his next words to the people of the synagogue, and thus to all people because his words are now recorded in Scripture.

Life application: Word studies, such as the one above, will help alleviate misconceptions about what is being said. Three different words have been translated in the same manner by the NKJV. Although there is nothing wrong with this, without knowing what each Greek word is saying, a misunderstanding of the overall picture may arise in our minds.

Therefore, when time permits, it is always a fun and rewarding thing to do a careful word study of a passage. This is especially so if you are set to lead a class on a particular passage. The time you spend analyzing such things will be well worth the effort you put into it.

Glorious God, may we be willing to carefully handle Your word, ensuring that what we convey to others about it is correct and well thought out. Help us to not hurriedly come to conclusions that may not be grounded in reality. Rather, give us the desire to study this precious word thoroughly in order to explain it properly to others. Amen.

 

Acts 13:36

Fancy Room. Vermont State Capitol.

Monday, 16 January 2023

“For David, after he had served his own generation by the will of God, fell asleep, was buried with his fathers, and saw corruption; Acts 13:36

Note: You can listen to today’s commentary courtesy of our friends at “Bible in Ten” podcast. (Click Here to listen)

You can also read this commentary, with music, courtesy of our friends at “Discern the Bible” on YouTube. (Click Here to listen), or at Rumble (Click Here to listen).

Paul just cited Psalm 16:10, claiming it refers to the coming Messiah. That said, “You will not allow Your Holy One to see corruption.” Having stated this, he will now defend that notion. He will follow the same logical reasoning as Peter did in Acts 2.

The words of this verse are a bit difficult to understand in the Greek, but an exacting literal translation, which will be used below, is, “for David, indeed, his own generation having served by the will of God, did fall asleep, and was added unto his fathers, and saw corruption” (YLT). With this in mind, Paul begins with, “for David.”

David is the author of Psalm 16 as noted in the psalm’s opening statement. Because of this, it cannot be that he is referring to himself in those words. Rather, he must be prophesying concerning the coming Messiah. This is because, as Paul continues, “indeed, his own generation having served.”

David was the king for a certain amount of time, forty years according to 2 Samuel 5:4 and 1 Kings 2:11. And more, 2 Samuel 5:4 noted that David was thirty years old when he began to reign. Hence, he lived to be seventy years old. Of the timeframe of his kingship, Paul says that it was “by the will of God.”

God set David on the throne of Israel, and God determined when he would die. It was set according to the foreknowledge of God, and it came about according to His plan. After that time, Paul next says that David “did fall asleep.”

The meaning is that he died. To fall asleep is a biblical euphemism for this. It implies that there is a continuance of the soul even if the body has died. It thus speaks of the eternal nature of the soul. Once he fell asleep, Paul next says, “and was added unto his fathers.”

Though David was buried, the thought of being added to the fathers has a dual thought involved in it. Being added to the fathers means that his soul has joined them in the pit (Hebrew: sheol) where they will remain until the resurrection. But it also means that his physical body is committed to the grave where the others who had gone before him also went. In the case of his physical body, Paul next says, “and saw corruption.”

This proves that David’s inspired words of the psalm could not be speaking of him. He died, he was buried, and his body saw corruption. There was no resurrection involved in the process. When the resurrection takes place, it will not be in the body he had because that has returned to the earth. As such, David’s words must refer to someone else, specifically, the Messiah. That will be seen in the next verse.

Life application: For the Christian, there is always the hope of the rapture. But that hope has gone unfulfilled for two thousand years. Those who are alive at that blessed moment will be changed from their earthly bodies to spiritual bodies. However, for those who die before that time, we should not feel any less excited for them. They have shed this earthly body of corruption.

Their souls have been separated from the pains, trials, sorrows, and troubles of this life and they are in the capable hands of their Lord, awaiting the moment when the call is made for them to rise and be granted their eternal, spiritual body. Though we may suffer the pain of separation, we should not mourn as the world mourns.

In Christ, there is the absolute certain hope that they will be raised. And so, let us rejoice, even in our sorrows. The redeemed of the Lord shall rise. Nothing can stop that from happening. And so let us thank God for what He has done in the giving of Jesus!

Lord God, how grateful we are for the sure and blessed hope we possess concerning Your promises to us. We have eternal life because of Jesus. And so, even if we have trials in this life, help us to not be consumed by them. Instead, may we hold fast to the joy set before us as we await the time of our glorification. Thank You, O God, for what You have granted to us. Amen.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Acts 13:35

Cam in front of Battle of Cedar Creek (Oct 19, 1864) war painting. Vermont State Capitol.

Sunday, 15 January 2023

“Therefore He also says in another Psalm:
‘You will not allow Your Holy One to see corruption.’
Acts 13:35

Note: You can listen to today’s commentary courtesy of our friends at “Bible in Ten” podcast. (Click Here to listen)

You can also read this commentary, with music, courtesy of our friends at “Discern the Bible” on YouTube. (Click Here to listen), or at Rumble (Click Here to listen).

Paul is quoting Scripture to the synagogue in Antioch of Pisidia. He just said to them that God raised Jesus from the dead, no more to see corruption. This was considered certain because, as he cited from Scripture, it says, “I will give you the sure mercies of David.” With that, he now continues with another citation of Scripture, introducing his thought with, “Therefore He also says in another Psalm.”

The word translated as “Therefore” signifies “on this account” or “because.” In other words, because the Lord promised the Messiah that He would receive the sure mercies of David, there must be a natural result of that, even if He was to first be crucified. And so,  to firmly establish this, he repeats the thought concerning what will transpire after His crucifixion, saying, ‘You will not allow Your Holy One to see corruption.”

Though the meaning is the same, the Greek literally reads, “You will not give Your Holy One to see corruption.” This is a citation from Psalm 16 –

“I have set the Lord always before me;
Because He is at my right hand I shall not be moved.
Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoices;
My flesh also will rest in hope.
10 For You will not leave my soul in Sheol,
Nor will You allow Your Holy One to see corruption.
11 You will show me the path of life;
In Your presence is fullness of joy;
At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.” Psalm 16:8-11

Paul cites a portion of the same words that Peter cited in Acts 2. After that, Peter more fully explained those words. The same will be true with Paul in the verses to come. They both clearly explain how what they cited is relevant to the surrounding argument.

Life application: If you go back and read the comparable verses in Acts 2 and the words now in Acts 13, you will also notice, as stated above, that both Peter and Paul do not merely cite Scripture and expect those who hear it to know what they are saying, but they fully explain what they have cited.

Some verses seem obvious in their meaning, and some have become so cliché through use that we think of them as actually applying to our circumstances at any given time. However, this is problematic because the surrounding context of what is said in those verses has nothing to do with what is the supposed intent when they are cited to us. Thus, a pretext is the result.

We must be very careful when citing Scripture to ensure the context is applicable, or that we can fully explain why what is cited logically pertains to our surrounding discourse. If we cannot do this, then our citing of those words is inappropriate.

As a simple example of this, consider 1 Corinthians 2:9 –

“But as it is written:
‘Eye has not seen, nor ear heard,
Nor have entered into the heart of man
The things which God has prepared for those who love Him.’”

It is as common as beans in a taco to cite this when talking about our future state in heaven. And yet, by going back and reading the surrounding context, we find that these words have nothing to do with that. Rather, they deal with the wisdom of God being displayed in the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Nobody could have conceived what God would do in Christ’s coming, nor could they have conceived of the glory that it conferred upon us because of what He has done. Be sure that context is maintained at all times. In so doing, you will be in the sweet spot concerning what you are saying.

Lord God, help us to be responsible in our citing of Scripture so that those around us will have a right understanding of what is being communicated by You. May we never coopt verses that sound appealing to then make unfounded claims from Your word. This can edify no one. So, help us to be careful in dealing with Your precious and sacred word. Amen.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Acts 13:34

The heritage of. Vermonters. Vermont State Capitol.

Saturday, 14 January 2023

“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.’”
Acts 13:34

Note: You can listen to today’s commentary courtesy of our friends at “Bible in Ten” podcast. (Click Here to listen)

You can also read this commentary, with music, courtesy of our friends at “Discern the Bible” on YouTube. (Click Here to listen), or at Rumble (Click Here to listen).

In the previous verse, Paul cited the second psalm concerning God’s declaration that the Messiah is the begotten Son of God. With that remembered, he now continues with, “And that He raised Him from the dead.”

The words introduce another proof that Scripture anticipated and foretold the resurrection of the Messiah. In this, one must remember that to be resurrected, a person must first have been dead. Considering that, there must have been a reason for Christ’s death.

Paul has already said that the people and the rulers rejected Jesus and that they asked Pilate to put Him to death. He will later note that Christ died for forgiveness of sins. Thus, there are both the deeds of man as well as the foreknowledge and providence of God tied up in the crucifixion of Jesus. Concerning the resurrection from the dead, Paul continues by saying, “no more to return to corruption.”

In these words, Paul uses the same term that was introduced by Peter in Acts 2:27, diaphthora. It was seen again in Acts 2:31. Now it will only be seen four more times, all in Acts 13. It signifies thorough corruption and decay. Paul says that because Jesus has resurrected, He will never again see the prospect of this type of corruption. But more, Albert Barnes correctly states the matter, saying –

“…the body of Christ never in this sense saw corruption. The word is therefore used to denote ‘death, or the grave, the cause and place of corruption.’ The word is thus used in the Septuagint. It means here simply that he should not die again.”

Hence, the point of Paul’s words is to say that Christ went to the place of corruption, even though He did not corrupt while there. And, further, he will never go to that place of corruption again. The victory over the grave is total. Next, Paul says, “He has spoken thus.”

Paul will cite Isaiah 55:3, and yet he says “He has spoken” while referring to God. Thus, it is a proclamation concerning the divine inspiration of the writings of the prophet. God was speaking through him concerning the coming Christ, saying, “I will give you the sure mercies of David.”

This is an almost exact citation from the Greek translation of Isaiah, and it more literally says, “I will give to you the holy of David, the sure.” The meaning must be inferred. Thus “the holy [blessings] of David, the sure [blessings].”

Those things that were promised to David speak of eternal kingship and rule. For example, the Lord said to David directly –

“And your house and your kingdom shall be established forever before you. Your throne shall be established forever.” 2 Samuel 7:16

The psalmist likewise repeated this sentiment, and it is what Isaiah was referring to –

“I have made a covenant with My chosen,
I have sworn to My servant David:
‘Your seed I will establish forever,
And build up your throne to all generations.’ Selah.” Psalm 89:3, 4

The promises to David are repeated elsewhere, such as in Psalm 132:11, 12. These verses presuppose a resurrection because elsewhere Scripture refers to the sacrificial death of the Messiah. If the Messiah died, and yet the sure mercies of David belong to the Messiah, then the resurrection is implied in them. Paul’s words to the synagogue are direct, logical, and are irrefutable when taken in the greater context of Scripture.

Life application: In the commentary above, it was noted that there are both the deeds of man as well as the foreknowledge and providence of God tied up in the crucifixion of Jesus. Despite this, it does not mean that God actively caused the people of Israel to reject Jesus or crucify Him.

God’s plan included both, but that was because God already knew the outcome of what would be done by the people. Therefore, Israel cannot say, “By rejecting and crucifying Jesus, we were fulfilling God’s plan and thus are without guilt.” Rather, if they were honest in their words, they would say, “By rejecting and crucifying Jesus, we acted exactly as the Lord knew we would. We are guilty and our actions testify against us.”

God’s foreknowledge does not in any way negate our responsibility to act or not act on a matter in a proper manner. This is true with salvation, it is true with not shooting Adolph Hitler, even if we knew he would grow up to be a bad person, and so on. We must act as people who are responsible for our actions at all times.

Understanding this, the Calvinistic concept of not having free will to choose Jesus and then call on Him to be saved is shown to be both irresponsible and utterly ridiculous. We must act, we are responsible to act, and God is not going to “regenerate” us to act to believe the gospel message. Despite being corrupt, depraved beings, we can still see the good in what God has done, desire that avenue by accepting Jesus, and then be given the seal of that act when we believe.

We are responsible for hearing the word and for accepting it. So, believe the good news! Accept what God has done and be saved. Jesus rose! His rule is everlasting, and He is mighty to save. Yes, call on Jesus today.

Lord God, You already know everything we will ever do. And yet, Your word says that You save us upon belief in what Jesus has done. There is a lot of baggage that people have heaped upon their salvation over the past millennia. And yet, You have saved them, knowing what they would do after You saved them. This demonstrates the amazing greatness of Your salvation. Thank You for the cleansing flood of forgiveness that covers all such things. Yes, thank You, O God, for Jesus. Amen.