Following the jarring departure of John Mark, Paul and Barnabas head to Pisidian Antioch, a Roman colony with a large Jewish population. It’s there that Paul delivers his first recorded sermon, one that’s probably representative of the message he faithfully delivered in synagogues wherever he traveled.
In these 25 verses, the longest recorded sermon of Paul, he boldly presents Jesus as the “culmination of history, the fulfillment of prophecy, and the justifier of sinners” (The MacArthur New Testament Commentary: Acts 13-28, John MacArthur, Jr., p.17).
Paul begins by discussing God’s providential care for Israel and King David, a man after God’s heart (Acts 13.17-22). Then, after declaring Jesus a descendant of David, he establishes Jesus as the fulfillment of the Old Testament prophesies for the Messiah (Acts 13.23-37). He concludes by dramatically proclaiming the forgiveness of sins through faith and trust in Jesus (Acts 13.38-41).
When presented with this opportunity, Paul was prepared “to give an answer” for the hope he had (1 Peter 3.15). In much the same way, we need to be prepared when we’re given the opportunity to engage in a spiritual discussion about the change in our life. We need to continually be prepared to share the Gospel in a gracious and relevant way.
Today, write your spiritual story as you would naturally tell it to someone else. Keep it to less than one minute and connect it to a story about Jesus.
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