Gospel of Grace

Acts.13:1] Now there were in the church that was at Antioch certain prophets and teachers; as Barnabas, and Simeon that was called Niger, and Lucius of Cyrene, and Manaen, which had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch, and Saul.
[2] As they ministered to the Lord, and fasted, the Holy Ghost said, Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them.
[3] And when they had fasted and prayed, and laid their hands on them, they sent them away.
[4] So they, being sent forth by the Holy Ghost, departed unto Seleucia; and from thence they sailed to Cyprus.

The events in this chapter occurred about the year AD 45. It is here we have the beginning of the outreach of the gospel of the grace of God being given to the Apostle Paul to the world. Let us look at the first message recorded of the gospel of grace beginning in verse 14:

[14] But when they departed from Perga, they came to Antioch in Pisidia, and went into the synagogue on the sabbath day, and sat down.
[15] And after the reading of the law and the prophets the rulers of the synagogue sent unto them, saying, Ye men and brethren, if ye have any word of exhortation for the people, say on.

They read to them the Word of God which they had bring the Old Testament. The only New Testament in existence at this point was the book of James, which is a continuation of the kingdom gospel and perhaps the gospel according to Matthew and the book of Hebrews. What we have here is the first recorded preaching of the gospel of grace which was given to the Apostle Paul by Jesus Christ Himself. They had preached it in the isle of Paphos but the words were not recorded. Herein lies the salvation of all mankind from the time of the Resurrection until the departing of the body of Christ.

[16] Then Paul stood up, and beckoning with his hand said, Men of Israel, and ye that fear God, give audience.

Paul addresses it to those in attendance for not only Jews resorted at the synagogue but also Gentiles who were seeking to know God. Remember the admonition in the book of Hebrews that a person must believe God is and God rewards those who diligently seek Him. Paul does not begin his message at the Crucifixion but rather in the Old Testament all the way back to the Exodus from Egypt.

[17] The God of this people of Israel chose our fathers, and exalted the people when they dwelt as strangers in the land of Egypt, and with an high arm brought he them out of it.
[18] And about the time of forty years suffered he their manners in the wilderness.
[19] And when he had destroyed seven nations in the land of Chanaan, he divided their land to them by lot.
[20] And after that he gave unto them judges about the space of four hundred and fifty years, until Samuel the prophet.
[21] And afterward they desired a king: and God gave unto them Saul the son of Cis, a man of the tribe of Benjamin, by the space of forty years.
[22] And when he had removed him, he raised up unto them David to be their king; to whom also he gave testimony, and said, I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after mine own heart, which shall fulfil all my will.

The Jews had just finished reading and teaching from the prophets and here Paul begins to show them the fulfillment of those very prophecies they had been teaching.

[23] Of this man’s seed hath God according to his promise raised unto Israel a Saviour, Jesus:
[24] When John had first preached before his coming the baptism of repentance to all the people of Israel.

The Old Testament ended with the preaching of John the Baptist and the preaching of repenting from dead works and turning to the Messiah Jesus Christ. The Jews who received the teaching of John the Baptist did NOT receive Jesus as a dying Savior but rather as the coming King.

[25] And as John fulfilled his course, he said, Whom think ye that I am? I am not he. But, behold, there cometh one after me, whose shoes of his feet I am not worthy to loose.

The people who received the baptism of John must not believe in John or the baptism but in the man who came after John who is Jesus Christ. After receiving the baptism of repentance they became a people prepared for the Lord.

[26] Men and brethren, children of the stock of Abraham, and whosoever among you feareth God, to you is the word of this salvation sent.
[27] For they that dwell at Jerusalem, and their rulers, because they knew him not, nor yet the voices of the prophets which are read every sabbath day, they have fulfilled them in condemning him.
[28] And though they found no cause of death in him, yet desired they Pilate that he should be slain.

[29] And when they had fulfilled all that was written of him, they took him down from the tree, and laid him in a sepulchre.

Notice the elements of the gospel: Jesus was rejected by the Jews, innocent of sin. He had no guilt of His own but was condemned to death. He died and was buried fulfilling a multitude of the scriptures which the Jews read and taught.

[30] But God raised him from the dead:
[31] And he was seen many days of them which came up with him from Galilee to Jerusalem, who are his witnesses unto the people.

Here we have the gospel in the death, burial and Resurrection of Jesus our Savior.

[32] And we declare unto you glad tidings, how that the promise which was made unto the fathers,
[33] God hath fulfilled the same unto us their children, in that he hath raised up Jesus again; as it is also written in the second psalm, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee.
[34] And as concerning that he raised him up from the dead, now no more to return to corruption, he said on this wise, I will give you the sure mercies of David.
[35] Wherefore he saith also in another psalm, Thou shalt not suffer thine Holy One to see corruption.
[36] For David, after he had served his own generation by the will of God, fell on sleep, and was laid unto his fathers, and saw corruption:
[37] But he, whom God raised again, saw no corruption.
[38] Be it known unto you therefore, men and brethren, that through this man is preached unto you the forgiveness of sins:
[39] And by him all that believe are justified from all things, from which ye could not be justified by the law of Moses.

His death and burial were GLAD TIDINGS! He now having died for our sins. But the glad tidings do not end there but continue on to His resurrection. Jesus being the Son of God raised from the death so that through His resurrection we too might receive the promise of eternal life through Him. Through His sinless life He was able to taste death for our sins having no sins of His own. He being the Lamb of God which takes away our sin. Under the law was no cleansing for sin but only a covering. Through the blood of Jesus we are indeed cleansed from our sin.

He nailed the law and our sin to His cross.

[40] Beware therefore, lest that come upon you, which is spoken of in the prophets;
[41] 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.
[42] And when the Jews were gone out of the synagogue, the Gentiles besought that these words might be preached to them the next sabbath.
[43] Now when the congregation was broken up, many of the Jews and religious proselytes followed Paul and Barnabas: who, speaking to them, persuaded them to continue in the grace of God.

I warn you this morning not to reject the gospel I am preaching but rather receive it and embrace it for through this gospel is salvation obtained. You cannot work works to get to Heaven but only by trusting Jesus as your Savior and receiving forgiveness through Him. Jesus did all of the work for your salvation all that remains for you is to trust in it. This is indeed the grace of God, where He extends His righteousness through the death, burial and resurrection of our Lord.

[44] And the next sabbath day came almost the whole city together to hear the word of God.
[45] But when the Jews saw the multitudes, they were filled with envy, and spake against those things which were spoken by Paul, contradicting and blaspheming.
[46] Then Paul and Barnabas waxed bold, and said, It was necessary that the word of God should first have been spoken to you: but seeing ye put it from you, and judge yourselves unworthy of everlasting life, lo, we turn to the Gentiles.
[47] For so hath the Lord commanded us, saying, I have set thee to be a light of the Gentiles, that thou shouldest be for salvation unto the ends of the earth.
[48] And when the Gentiles heard this, they were glad, and glorified the word of the Lord: and as many as were ordained to eternal life believed.

Please I beg you not to make the mistake of the Jews. Do not reject the gospel!!! They were satisfied with trying to work their way to Heaven and do things their way rather than God’s way. If you reject the gospel you will die in your sins and face judgment and Hell for your sins. I beg you chose LIFE!

How about you this morning? Are you prepared to receive Jesus as your Savior? Will you trust Him and Him alone for salvation? Too many people in America have become like the Jews being dulled from hearing.  We have indeed entered into the time when people have itching ears and have gathered teachers telling them what they want to hear. They no longer hear of sin and judgment, of life and death, of Heaven and Hell. The time is now short. We have fulfilled the prophet in being in a time when there has come a famine of hearing the word of the Lord. Receive Jesus before it is eternally too late.