Thursday, January 22, 2009

Paul's first (recorded) sermon

I'll be adding some new posts soon, but taking a little break this week. I have been reading through Acts with my church this month and several days ago read through Paul's first recorded sermon in Acts 13:16-41. Just to think through the magnitude of it I typed it out (which is a helpful practice). I thought you might enjoy reading through it yourself here (from the NASB; paranthetical references and italics added). Paul is in Pisidian Antioch on the Sabbath and after the customary reading from "the Law and the Prophets" Paul is asked to give the exhortation or sermon (read the rest of chapter 13 to see the results).

Men of Israel, and you who fear God, listen! The God of this people Israel chose our fathers and made the people great during their stay in the land of Egypt, and with an uplifted arm He led them out from it. For a period of about forty years He put up with them in the wilderness. When He had destroyed seven nations in the land of Canaan, He distributed their land as an inheritance—all of which took about four hundred and fifty years.

After these things 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. After He had removed him, He raised up David to be their king, concerning whom He also testified and said, “I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after my heart, who will do all My will” (1 Samuel 13:14).

From the descendents of this man, according to promise, God has brought to Israel a Savior, Jesus, after John had proclaimed before His coming a baptism of repentance to all the people of Israel. And while John was completing his course, he kept saying, “What do you suppose that I am? I am not He. But behold, one is coming after me the sandals of whose feet I am not worthy to untie” (Matthew 3:11).

Brethren, sons of Abraham’s family, and those among you who fear God, to us the message of this salvation has been sent. For those who live in Jerusalem, and their rulers, recognizing neither Him nor the utterances of the prophets which are read every Sabbath, fulfilled these by condemning Him. And though they found no ground for putting Him to death, they asked Pilate that He be executed. When they had carried out all that was written concerning Him, they took Him down from the cross and laid Him in a tomb. But God raised Him from the dead; and for many days He appeared to those who came up with Him from Galilee to Jerusalem, the very ones who are now His witnesses to the people.

And we preach to you the good news of the promise made to the fathers, that God has fulfilled this promise to our children in that He raised up Jesus, as it is also written in the second Psalm, “You are my Son; today I have begotten you” (Psalm 2:7). As for the fact that He raised Him up from the dead, no longer to return to decay, He has spoken in this way: “I will give you the holy and sure blessings of David” (Isaiah 55:3). Therefore He also says in another Psalm, “You will not allow your Holy One to undergo decay” (Psalm 16:10). For David, after he had served the purpose of God in his own generation, fell asleep, and was laid among his fathers and underwent decay; but He whom God raised did not undergo decay.

Therefore let it be known to you brethren, that through Him forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you, and through Him everyone who believes is freed from all things, from which you could not be freed through the Law of Moses. Therefore take heed, so that the thing spoken of in the Prophets may not come upon you: “Behold, you scoffers, and marvel, and perish; for I am accomplishing a work in your days, a work which you will never believe, though someone should describe it to you” (Habakkuk 1:5).

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