Missionaries on the Move

KEY VERSE: “I have set thee to be a light of the Gentiles, that thou shouldest be for salvation unto the ends of the earth.” —Acts 13:47

SELECTED SCRIPTURE: Acts 13:1-3; 14:8-18

WHILE Paul and Barnabas were still at Antioch, the Holy Spirit indicated that they should start in the ministry for which they were called. The brethren, in a show of support and in demonstration of their love, fasted and prayed, and laid their hands on them, and sent them away. And when they had gone through Paphos they found a sorcerer who was a false prophet and who was with the deputy of the country, Sergius Paulus. The deputy called for Paul and Barnabas in order that he might hear the Word of God. But the sorcerer withstood them seeking to turn the deputy away from the faith. But Paul, filled with the Holy Spirit, set his eyes upon him and said, “O full of all subtility and all mischief, thou child of the devil, thou enemy of all righteousness, wilt thou not cease to pervert the right ways of the Lord?” Then Paul called upon the power of the Lord and caused blindness to come upon the sorcerer for a season. “Then the deputy, when he saw what was done, believed, being astonished at the doctrine of the Lord.”—Acts 13:3-12

After leaving Perga, they came to Antioch in Pisidia, and as was their custom they went to the synagogue on the Sabbath. When the regular part of the service was ended, the ruler of the synagogue came to Paul and Barnabas and asked if they had a message for the people. Paul then stood up and recounted to the people the history of God’s dealings with them. He told how God had promised that through the seed of David he would bring forth a Savior, the Messiah. He told how John the Baptist had declared Jesus to them, but that they rejected him and finally crucified him. Paul also pointed out that all that they had done to him was in fulfillment of the prophecies concerning him. But this he implied, that if they had been faithful watchers, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.

But Paul did not leave matters there; he told how God raised Jesus from the dead and that he was seen by many witnesses. Then continuing, he said, “And we declare unto you glad tidings, how that the promise which was made unto the fathers, God hath fulfilled the same unto us their children, in that he hath raised up Jesus again; as it is also written in the second psalm, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee.” (Acts 13:32,33) The word ‘begotten’ is a translation of the Greek word gennao which means ‘to procreate’, and therefore can mean either ‘begotten’ or ‘brought to birth’—the meaning to be determined by the context of the scripture. In this instance, the context demands the meaning of bringing to birth. If we examine the second psalm we find that begotten is a translation of the Hebrew word yalad which means ‘to bear young’.

So the thought in the second psalm and in our text (Acts 13:32,33) is that Jesus, in dying to take Adam’s place in death, went into the grave and out of existence as a man, never to have life on the human plane of existence again. But God resurrected Jesus out from the condition of death and exalted him to the divine nature. About this, Paul continued his sermon and said, “And as concerning that he raised him up from the dead, now no more to return to corruption, he said on this wise, I will give you the sure mercies of David.” (vs. 34) God’s promise to David was that his seed (Jesus) would rule on the Lord’s throne forever. The account is recorded in II Samuel 7:15 and 16, “My mercy shall not depart away from him, as I took it from Saul, whom I put away before thee. And thine house and thy kingdom shall be established forever before thee: thy throne shall be established forever.” The Apostle Paul was using this prophecy concerning Jesus to show that he had been exalted to power and glory and that from his position as the Melchisedec priest, he would rule in the long-promised kingdom forever.—Ps. 110; Ps. 2

Because of opposition, Paul and Barnabas said to those Jews, “It was necessary that the Word of God should first have been spoken to you; but seeing ye put it from you, and judge yourselves unworthy of everlasting life, lo, we turn to the Gentiles. For so hath the Lord commanded us, saying, I have set thee to be a light of the Gentiles, that thou shouldest be for salvation unto the ends of the earth.”—Acts 13:46,47; Isa. 49:6

Dawn Bible Students Association
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