Summary: Paul in Galatia
The Next Sabbath
Jeff Hughes – September 14, 2003
Calvary Chapel Aggieland
a. The scripture tells us in the book of Isaiah the prophet, chapter 52, verse 7, simply this - 7 How beautiful upon the mountains Are the feet of him who brings good news, Who proclaims peace, Who brings glad tidings of good things, Who proclaims salvation.
b. Paul was invited to speak to a Synagogue in the Galatian city of Pisidian Antioch one Saturday, in A.D. 46, and Paul’s message was one of salvation. Not a complex salvation, worked out through ceremony and tradition like the Jewish rabbis of the day were teaching. The salvation that Paul taught was one of simple grace, given through faith in Jesus Christ.
c. No doubt that this message was a shock to the Jewish listeners, and their reaction would probably not be good, but Paul is faithful to teach it, even though he knows that he is in danger of being accused of false teaching, which carried with it the penalty of stoning.
d. A lot of people focus on some folks getting angry at the message Paul taught and their persecution of the apostles in their wrath. But, they are missing the focus of this passage we are going to look at today if they focus on the bad. The bad news was bad, but the good news was that many of those people listened to Paul’s words, and it made sense to them.
e. Like Isaiah, they saw the feet of Paul beautiful, and the message he was teaching sweet. They had been looking for salvation, but missing it. Now, they got it. But, God can tell the story much better than I ever could, so, let’s get into our study today.
a. In ancient Rome, crowds by the tens of thousands would gather in the Coliseum to watch as Christians were torn apart by wild animals. Paul Rader, commenting on his visit to this famous landmark, said, “I stood uncovered to the heavens above, where He sits for whom they gladly died, and asked myself, ‘Would I, could I, die for Him tonight to get this gospel to the ends of the earth?’” Rader continued, “I prayed most fervently in that Roman arena for the spirit of a martyr, and for the working of the Holy Spirit in my heart, as He worked in Paul’s heart when He brought him on his handcuffed way to Rome.” Those early Christians “lived on the threshold of heaven, within a heartbeat of home, no possessions to hold them back.”.
b. Our study this morning comes out of Acts, chapter 13, verse 42, through Acts chapter 14, verse seven. We will finish chapter 13 today. We are almost to the halfway point through the book of Acts.
c. Let’s read starting in verse 42.
i. 42 So when the Jews went out of the synagogue, the Gentiles begged that these words might be preached to them the next Sabbath. 43 Now when the congregation had broken up, many of the Jews and devout proselytes followed Paul and Barnabas, who, speaking to them, persuaded them to continue in the grace of God. 44 On the next Sabbath almost the whole city came together to hear the word of God. 45 But when the Jews saw the multitudes, they were filled with envy; and contradicting and blaspheming, they opposed the things spoken by Paul. 46 Then Paul and Barnabas grew bold and said, "It was necessary that the word of God should be spoken to you first; but since you reject it, and judge yourselves unworthy of everlasting life, behold, we turn to the Gentiles. 47 For so the Lord has commanded us: ’I have set you as a light to the Gentiles, That you should be for salvation to the ends of the earth.’ " 48 Now when the Gentiles heard this, they were glad and glorified the word of the Lord. And as many as had been appointed to eternal life believed. 49 And the word of the Lord was being spread throughout all the region. 50 But the Jews stirred up the devout and prominent women and the chief men of the city, raised up persecution against Paul and Barnabas, and expelled them from their region. 51 But they shook off the dust from their feet against them, and came to Iconium. 52 And the disciples were filled with joy and with the Holy Spirit.