Intro. Paul and Barnabas are in the synagogue in Antioch of Pisidia, where Paul has been given the opportunity to speak on the Sabbath day. He has preached to them concerning the Messiah alleging that Jesus was the Messiah and that He fulfilled the prophecies of the Old Testament in His suffering and death, but that Jesus rose from the dead. Two great things are available through Jesus Christ.
I. THROUGH HIM IS PREACHED TO YOU THE FORGIVENESS OF SINS. PAUL WAS CALLED BY JESUS TO TAKE THE GOSPEL TO THE GENTILES AND:
To open their eyes, [and] to turn [them] from darkness to light, and [from] the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in Jesus.
A. The forgiveness of sins is the great message of the gospel.
B. We have a biblical word atonement. The meaning of the Hebrew and the Greek word translated atonement have in the original languages two different meanings.
1. The Hebrew word atonement is kofar, and literally means cover.
a. The Sacrifices of the law made a covering for sin.
2. The Greek word kat al lag ay (Restored to divine favor) At one
C. The Old Testament sacrifices provided a covering for their sins. Whereas the sacrifice of Jesus Christ provides the forgiveness of our sins.
For [it is] not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins.
Wherefore when he cometh into the world, he saith, Sacrifice and offering thou wouldest not, but a body hast thou prepared me:
In burnt offerings and [sacrifices] for sin thou hast had no pleasure.
Then said I, Lo, I come (in the volume of the book it is written of me,) to do thy will, O God.
Above when he said, Sacrifice and offering and burnt offerings and [offering] for sin thou wouldest not, neither hadst pleasure [therein]; which are offered by the law;
Then said he, Lo, I come to do thy will, O God. He taketh away the first, that he may establish the second.
By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once [for all].
And every priest standeth daily ministering and offering oftentimes the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins:
But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God;
From now on just waiting till his enemies are made his footstool.
For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified.
[Whereof] the Holy Ghost also is a witness to us: for after that he had said before,
This [is] the covenant that I will make with them after those days, saith the Lord, I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them;
And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more.
Now where remission of these [is, there is] no more offering for sin.
D. What a glorious message. Your sins can be forgiven through Jesus Christ.
1. Paul wrote to the Ephesians:
In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;
2. To the Colossians:
And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses;
II. THE SECOND GLORIOUS MESSAGE OF THE GOSPEL IS THE JUSTIFICATION FROM ALL THINGS.
A. Justification is one step beyond forgiveness.
1. In the forgiveness there is still a remembrance of the past, in justification, the past is obliterated, treated as nonexistant.
a. The writer of the book of Hebrews in expounding on the prophecies of Jeremiah said:
For if that first [covenant] had been faultless, then there would be no need for a second.
For finding fault with them, he saith, Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah:
Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt; because they continued not in my covenant, and I regarded them not, saith the Lord.
For this [is] the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people:
And they shall not teach every man his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for all shall know me, from the least to the greatest.
For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more.
2. David said:
As far as the east is from the west, [so] far hath he removed our transgressions from us.
3. In His epistles Paul wrote much about justification.
Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:
Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:
Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind,
Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.
And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.
That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.
B. The Law made the provisions for the forgiveness of sins, but could never provide justification.
1. He told them that by Jesus, all who believe in Him are justified from all the things they ever did, which is something the law could never do.
2. To the Romans Paul wrote:
Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law [is] the knowledge of sin.
Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law.
3. To the Galatians he wrote:
Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.
C. What do we learn about justification?
1. It is of necessity through the grace of God that we are justified.
a. There is nothing that I could ever do to merit justification.
b. Justification is completely beyond my scope.
c. I cannot undo what I have done.
2. It is something that God accounts to me through my faith in Jesus Christ.
a. Even as with Abraham, when he believed God, and God accounted it unto him for righteousness.
III. BEWARE THAT YOU DO NOT FULFILL THE PROPHECY THAT DECLARED, BEHOLD, YE DESPISERS, AND WONDER, AND PERISH: FOR I WORK A WORK IN YOUR DAYS, A WORK WHICH YE SHALL IN NO WISE BELIEVE, THOUGH A MAN DECLARE IT UNTO YOU.
A. Paul is giving to them a free translation of Hab. 1:5
, Behold ye among the heathen, and regard, and wonder marvellously: for [I] will work a work in your days, [which] ye will not believe, though it be told [you].
1. This is a prophecy with a double meaning as do so many of the prophecies.
a. God was speaking to Habakkuk concerning the complaint that things were going bad and God was doing nothing about it.
b. The application that Paul is making is that God has done a wonderful work of providing the forgiveness of sin and justification through His Son Jesus Christ.
c. We are telling you the wonderful work of God, take care that you do not reject it.
IV. THE RESULT OF THIS FIRST MEETING IN THE SYNAGOGUE AT ANTIOCH.
A. The Jews left the synagogue, but the Gentiles stayed around and asked them to come back the next Sabbath and tell them more about Jesus.
Now when the congregation was broken up, many of the Jews and religious proselytes followed Paul and Barnabas: who, speaking to them, urged them to continue in the grace of God.