Acts 13:38-39, “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.”
Paul and Barnabas traveled to Pisidian, Antioch (Not the Antioch where disciples were first called Christians). They visited the local Synagogue on the Sabbath Day. There are times when we have a gift of God after having prayed for it for some time. A door was opened for Paul and Barnabas to share their faith. It is a victory over a time when they scrambled to try to make this happen themselves while petitioning God. Sometimes, God can open a door so profoundly, so swiftly, we might be afraid to walk through it. God opened that door so wide at Pisidian Antioch that those praying were utterly amazed. Paul and Barnabas were immediately upon arrival asked to share the message of the Gospel with those eagerly awaiting brethren.
Paul was not a man to miss such an opportunity. He communicated with that group in a way they would surely understand. He began by recounting Hebrew history. He approached their current historical belief in an effort to help them understand the news of the risen Savior.
There was a very specific purpose in using their history as the preface to their hearing the Gospel of Christ. In Paul’s initial work as a new minister for Christ he spent a lot of time in Arabia preaching. It was this work that would help Barnabas to convince the apostles in Jerusalem of Paul’s real conversion. He returned to Damascus and “baffled” the Jews – proving that Jesus was the Christ. (Acts 9:22) The word “proving” means to knit together. In Arabia Paul was knitting together the Old and New Testaments. He was showing the progress of God’s divine plan for man’s salvation over time. He was urging them to see that Christ was proven to be the historically divine answer that God had promised all along. Jesus was their present salvation. They didn’t have to forsake their past to answer the Gospel call of the present.
Paul also conveyed his own salvation through grace. No real gospel sermon misses the grace of God. In his message the Jews were proven guilty of murdering the Messiah without grounds. (Acts 13:28) The invitation of forgiveness and salvation was offered to any brother. (Acts 13:38) If a person bearing responsibility for the death of the Messiah could be forgiven, then forgiveness is available to all! Directly or not, we are all responsible for the necessity of that sacrifice. (Romans 6:23) In that sense, we all need the Gospel.
Godspeed on your journey…