Summary: God fulfilled His promise in Jesus and He is ours for the asking.
God’s Extraordinary Promise!
Intro: As we look at this speech or sermon that Paul gave to the people of Antioch in Pisidia, we find that a theme becomes quite clear. Paul relates to his Jewish and Gentile listeners that God has fulfilled His promise. One might ask, “Which promise are you talking about?” There are a lot of promises given in the OT, but by and large, they all point to the same person to bring about their fulfillment.
Prop: God fulfilled His promise in Jesus and He is ours for the asking.
Interrogative: What is this promise all about, and what does it mean to us today?
TS: Let’s look at several clues that will deepen our understanding of God’s greatest promise. First, I’d like to provide the setting for our text by reading the 1st 4 verses.
Setting of Text: Acts 13:13-16 13 From Paphos, Paul and his companions sailed to Perga in Pamphylia, where John left them to return to Jerusalem. 14 From Perga they went on to Pisidian Antioch. On the Sabbath they entered the synagogue and sat down. 15 After the reading from the Law and the Prophets, the synagogue rulers sent word to them, saying, "Brothers, if you have a message of encouragement for the people, please speak." 16 Standing up, Paul motioned with his hand and said: "Men of Israel and you Gentiles who worship God, listen to me!
-Now, as we begin with Paul’s message of encouragement, we take a little trip down Israel’s memory lane.
I. God’s Promise Is Seen in Israel’s History (Acts 13:17-25)
Acts 13:17-25 17 The God of the people of Israel chose our fathers; he made the people prosper during their stay in Egypt, with mighty power he led them out of that country, 18 he endured their conduct for about forty years in the desert, 19 he overthrew seven nations in Canaan and gave their land to his people as their inheritance. 20 All this took about 450 years. "After this, God gave them judges until the time of Samuel the prophet. 21 Then the people asked for a king, and he gave them Saul son of Kish, of the tribe of Benjamin, who ruled forty years. 22 After removing Saul, he made David their king. He testified concerning him: ’I have found David son of Jesse a man after my own heart; he will do everything I want him to do.’ 23 "From this man’s descendants God has brought to Israel the Savior Jesus, as he promised. 24 Before the coming of Jesus, John preached repentance and baptism to all the people of Israel. 25 As John was completing his work, he said: ’Who do you think I am? I am not that one. No, but he is coming after me, whose sandals I am not worthy to untie.’
-Look at the activity of God in this recap of some of Israel’s history:
chose our fathers (Abraham, Isaac, & Jacob)
made the people prosper in Egypt (Joseph)
he led them out of Egypt (Moses & Aaron)
he endured their conduct in the desert
he overthrew nations (Joshual)
gave their land to his people
gave them judges (Othniel - Samuel)
he gave them Saul for a king
he made David their king
brought to Israel the Savior Jesus, as he promised
-All of God’s activity as seen here was aimed at bringing the Messiah to Israel and the world, just as He had promised. Where in the OT did God promise to send the Messiah? Let’s just look at a few places where this promise is found.
Genesis 3:15 And I will put enmity Between you and the woman, And between your seed and her Seed; He shall bruise your head, And you shall bruise His heel."
Genesis 26:4 I will make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and will give them all these lands, and through your offspring all nations on earth will be blessed,
Deuteronomy 18:15 The LORD your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among your own brothers. You must listen to him.
Acts 3:24-26 24"Indeed, all the prophets from Samuel on, as many as have spoken, have foretold these days. 25 And you are heirs of the prophets and of the covenant God made with your fathers. He said to Abraham, ’Through your offspring all peoples on earth will be blessed.’ 26 When God raised up his servant, he sent him first to you to bless you by turning each of you from your wicked ways."
-These verses all point to the coming Messiah, Jesus, whom God had promised to Israel a few thousand years earlier. Now, we saw from the promise to Abraham that all nations on earth would be blessed through his offspring. I find it interesting that Jesus told His disciples to take the gospel to every nation. God does indeed love the whole world, and that is why He wants to bless the whole world through the seed of Abraham – Jesus, the promised One.