Starting with Paul’s first recorded sermon we take a trip back to the defining moment of the Jewish nation.
I. Summary verses: Acts 13.14-23.
A. To the Jew, first… (v. 14).
1. Jesus’ message first delivered to Israel (Matthew 10.5, 15.24; Acts 3.26).
2. Paul’s pattern is consistent with this. (Romans 1.16;2.9)
B. This is the first detailed description of Paul’s preaching.
1. Follows the spiritual “apostolic anointing” at Paphos.
2. Resembles the preaching outline of Stephen in Acts 7.
(a) Paul (Saul) was present then as an antagonist to the gospel.
(b) Might have been deeply impacted by the message of Stephen.
C. Paul and Barnabas recognized as teachers (v. 15-16).
1. First century synagogues would include readings from the law and prophets.
2. Invited to speak based on what credentials? We don’t know.
3. Paul would have risen and taken a seat (or stood) in front of the gathering.
D. Paul’s message (v. 16-41):
1. Audience includes Jews and “God fearers” i.e., believing Gentiles.
2. Begins the message with the defining moment of Jewish history.
(a) Everyone there would have been familiar with the Exodus story.
(b) Uses the story to establish common ground
(c) Uses history to point to Jesus as the fulfillment of the Jewish experience.
3. Paul’s thesis: the law and the prophets point to Jesus.
II. God uses events as signposts to the fulfillment of His redemptive plan (review).
A. God’s promise of restoration (the seed) appears in Genesis 3.15.
B. Definitive statement of the reason Jesus came is 1 John 3.8
® The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil.
C. Everything in scripture historical, redemptive, and prophetic is toward that end.
D. This is why we are going to be taking lengthy side trips from Acts.
1. Acts is the story of humanity’s re-entry into submission to God.
2. The experiences of the church in Acts are the consequence being reborn into the fallen world.
III. Redemption and Israel’s defining moment (v. 17).
A. Why did God choose the children of Abraham?
1. Not because of their superior qualifications (Deuteronomy 7.7-8).
(a) They weren’t impressive in quantity or quality.
(b) Abraham believed God and it was reckoned to him as righteousness.
2. Because He had to choose a people to carry the oracles of God (Romans 3.2).
B. Choosing to be chosen in Egypt (Exodus 6).
1. God declares how to be chosen. Choose between a blessing or a curse (Deuteronomy 11.26).
2. In Egypt, God defines how to be chosen: blood on the doorway.
(a) They didn’t have to follow directions, but apparently they did.
(b) The issue was obedience.