Summary: What would it have been like to hear the Apostle Paul preach? Let's join those hearers in the synagogue at Pisidian Antioch. Parts: A. A verdict for your faith's joy. B. A verdict that can pass on.

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Text: Acts 13:38-48

Theme: In God's Courtroom You're Forgiven through Jesus

A. A verdict for your faith's joy

B. A verdict that can pass on

Season: Epiphany 2a

Date: January 16, 2011

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Grace and peace to you from God our Father and our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Amen. The Word from God through which the Holy Spirit proclaims the Good News of Jesus to us is Acts 13.

"[Paul continues preaching,] "Therefore, let it be known to you, dear brothers, that through this One [Jesus] forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you. And in him everyone who believes is justified from all that you are not able to be justified from in the law of Moses.

""Therefore, watch out so that what was said by the prophets does not come about: 'See, you scoffers, and be amazed and destroyed, because I am doing a work in your day. a work that you would never believe, even if someone laid it out in detail for you.'"

"As they were leaving, they were urging that these words bespoken to them on the next Sabbath. When the synagogue gathering broke up, many of the Jews and the god-fearing proselytes followed Paul and Barnabas, who, as they spoke to them, were appealing to them to remain in God's grace.

"On the coming Sabbath almost all the city gathered to hear he word of the Lord. But when the Jews saw the crowds, they were filled with jealousy and began speaking against what had been said by Paul, blaspheming. Courageously Paul and Barnabas said, "It was necessary for the word of God to be spoken to you first. Since you push it aside and judge yourselves unworthy of eternal life, behold, we are turning to the Gentiles. For the Lord has so commanded us: 'I have set you as a light for the Gentiles to be salvation unto the ends of the earth.'"

"When the Gentiles heard this, they started to rejoice and glorify the word of the Lord, and they believed, as many as were appointed for eternal life. (Acts 13:38-48)"

Dear friends in Christ, fellow saints washed clean in the blood of our risen Savior:

It was the late 40's. Paul and Barnabas had sailed to Cyprus, sent by the church in Antioch in Syria. In fact, the Holy Spirit himself had said, "Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul [whom we better know as Paul] for the work to which I have called them" (Acts 13:2 NIV-1984). Then after the church "had fasted and prayed, they placed their hands on them and sent them off" (Acts 13:4 NIV-1984).

The mission work went well on Cyprus. A Jewish sorcerer by the name of Elymas tried to oppose them. But through Paul the Lord struck him with blindness for all his devilish deceit and trickery. Even the leader of the island, Proconsul Sergius Paulus believed, "for he was amazed at the teaching about the Lord" (Acts 13:12 NIV-1984).

From Cyprus they sailed north to what today we call south central Turkey. They landed at the town of Perga, where for some reason their younger helper, John Mark left. No mission work is reported there. Soon they left and headed north to another city by the name of Antioch. Just as we have Alexandria, Minnesota, as well as Alexandria, Virginia, so they had Antioch in Syria, where they had come from, and now Antioch in Pisidia or Pisidian Antioch, where they've just arrived. Let's join Paul and Barnabus there.

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