Read Acts 11
Jesus died for all who received Him as their Savior and Lord (Acts 11:1-18). Peter's defense: ‘God said it' (11:17). Persecution spreads the Gospel (11:19-26;12:24). James martyred (12:1-2); Peter lives (12:6-19). Paul's 1st mission trip (chap. 13).
Saul of Tarsus was born a Jew, but he was also a Roman citizen by birth in the town of Tarsus in Cilicia, a Roman province (Acts 16:37-38; 21:39). His family, it seems, had considerable wealth. Following the prescribed study of the Scriptures in Tarsus, Saul was selected for further rabbinic studies in Jerusalem as a student of the famous Rabbi Gamaliel (22:3). Paul later shared with the Galatian Christians that he was exceedingly zealous of the traditions of my fathers (beliefs of past rabbis considered as authoritative) (Gal. 1:14).
After he accepted Jesus as the Messiah, he changed his Hebrew name Saul to his Roman (Gentile) name Paul to identify himself better with Gentiles. On his first missionary journey, Paul and his company loosed (departed) from Paphos . . . to Perga. . . . to Antioch in Pisidia, a Roman province of Galatia in what is now Turkey. They went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and sat down. And after the reading of the Law and the prophets (Acts 13:13-15), they were invited to speak. Paul chose prophetic Scriptures to prove that Jesus was the Messiah. He began with a review of how the God of . . . Israel chose our fathers. . . . raised up unto them David to be their king. . . . Of this man's seed (offspring) hath God according to His promise raised unto Israel a Saviour, Jesus. . . . their rulers, because they knew Him not. . . . desired . . . Pilate that He should be slain. And when they had fulfilled all that was written of Him, they took Him down from the tree, and laid Him in a sepulchre (tomb). But God raised Him from the dead (13:17,22-23,27-30).
Through Christ's death and resurrection, we receive eternal life. But, being saved and justified from all things is far more than just choosing a better way of life. First, it is realizing the awfulness of sin as an offense against God, having real sorrow for our sins and a sincere desire to be delivered from those sins. This is followed by a decision to live life by avoiding and resisting sin through the power of the Holy Spirit. Paul declared: By Him all that believe are justified (acquitted) from all things, from which ye could not be justified by the Law of Moses (Acts 13:39).
Thought for Today:
Therefore I love Thy Commandments above gold; yea, above fine gold (Ps. 119:127).
12:1 Herod Agrippa I, King of Judea, grandson of Herod the Great (Luke 1:5); to vex =b> to trouble; 12:4 four quaternions 4 guards of 4 soldiers each; Easter Passover; 12:15 mad out of your mind; 13:17 high arm great power.
For Acts 13:22: See I Sam. 13:14; Ps. 89:20. Acts 13:33: See Ps. 2:7. Acts 13:34: See Is. 55:3. Acts 13:35: See Ps. 16:10. Acts 13:41: See Hab. 1:5. Acts 13:47: See Is. 49:6.
Pray for International Broadcasts in memory of Henry Rogers • Country: Hong Kong (7 million) in eastern Asia • Major languages: Chinese and English • Limited religious freedom • 90% Chinese religions; 10% Protestant • Prayer Suggestion: Sing unto the Lord with thanksgiving (Ps. 147:7).
Memory Verse for the Week: Luke 14:33