Acts 13:32
And now we proclaim to you the good news: What God promised our fathers
Abandonment of Missionary WorkW. Walters.Acts 13:13-52
Antioch in PisidiaW. Denton, M. A.Acts 13:13-52
I Will Make You Fishers of MenLisco.Acts 13:13-52
John MarkA. Maclaren, D. D.Acts 13:13-52
Paul At AntiochR. A. Bertram.Acts 13:13-52
Paul At AntiochW. G. Sperry.Acts 13:13-52
Paul in His Introductory Discourse Already a Complete PaulK. Gerok.Acts 13:13-52
Paul's First Reported SermonD. Thomas, D. D.Acts 13:13-52
Paul's First, Recorded SpeechJ. Parker, D. D.Acts 13:13-52
Paul's Missionary Discourse At Antioch in PisidiaE. Johnson Acts 13:13-52
Perga in PamphyliaBp. Jacobson.Acts 13:13-52
The Continental MissionM. C. Hazard.Acts 13:13-52
The Defection of MarkJ. S. Howson, D. D.Acts 13:13-52
The Departure of Mark and the Continuance of the ApostlesS. S. TimesActs 13:13-52
Another Faithful Sermon to the JewP.C. Barker Acts 13:14-41
The Christian FaithW. Clarkson Acts 13:14-41
Paul's Sermon in the Synagogue At AntiochR.A. Redford Acts 13:16-43
Christ, the World's SaviourLisco.Acts 13:17-41
The History of the Kingdom of GodK. Gerok.Acts 13:17-41
The Hours on the World's ClockK. Gerok.Acts 13:17-41
The Providence of God in the History of IsraelLisco.Acts 13:17-41
Ignorance of ProphecyPasteur Hirsch.Acts 13:27-32
Messianic Prophecy: its CharacteristicsPrincipal Cairns.Acts 13:27-32
Messianic Prophecy: its FulfilmentCredo.Acts 13:27-32
Necessity of an Unprejudiced Study of ProphecyBp. Chr. Wordsworth.Acts 13:27-32
The Rejection of ChristJ. W. Burn.Acts 13:27-32
The Voices of the ProphetsH. McNeile, D. D.Acts 13:27-32
God's Promises FulfilledD. L. Moody.Acts 13:32-34
Sure MerciesDean Plumptre., H. McNeile, D. D.Acts 13:32-34
The Glad TidingsJ. Aldis.Acts 13:32-34
The Resurrection of Christ Glad TidingsTheological Sketch bookActs 13:32-34
The Resurrection of Christ the Great PromiseH. McNeile, D. D.Acts 13:32-34
These verses are part of an address which should have peculiar interest for us, seeing it is the first recorded speech of St. Paul the missionary, and gives us intimation of the points which were prominently before his mind as the themes of his ministry. It is singular to find St. Paul from this time more prominent than the eider man, Barnabas. It may be an example of the commonly observed fact that, sooner or later, the man of power and adaptation comes to the front place. St. Paul's power as a speaker is shown in this address. He was not a rhetorician, and was only in the higher sense eloquent. He was too intense to be careful of mere form, and his speech was always liable to sudden breaks and halts, through the rapidity with which new thoughts were suggested and side issues forced into consideration. His power lay in the intensity of his convictions, which gave a dogmatic and convincing force to the expression of his views; and in his strong sympathy with his audience, which made him quick to adapt himself to them, and so to press home his thought. In this address we may notice:

1. His characteristic attitude, standing up and beckoning with the hand (Acts 17:22; Acts 21:40; Acts 23:1; Acts 26:1).

2. His conciliatory introductions: he always strives first to be sure of a common platform with his audience.

3. His skill in dealing with the early histories; which served his purposes in two ways -

(1) by securing the attention of his Jewish audiences, which are to this day always pleased with reviews of the national history; and

(2) by bringing out the preparatory character of the earlier dispensation, and fitting his gospel message to it as a completion.

4. His firm handling of the facts connected with the mission of Jesus of Nazareth: his innocence; his death as a victim of ecclesiastical enmity; his resurrection.

5. His simple offer of pardon and life in the name of the glorified, living Savior. It is not conceivable that the gospel, in its very essence, can be more succinctly expressed than it has been by the Apostle Paul, in his missionary speeches (see especially here vers. 26, 32, 38, 39).

6. His force of passionate pleading and application of the truth to individuals, as shown in vers. 40, 41. It is to be noted that St. Paul always makes his appeal to both the intelligence and the heart, and the verses now before us for consideration show how he offered proofs of his statements which were well within the comprehension of his audience. A sentiment prevailed generally among the Jewish race concerning John the Baptist. St. Paul takes advantage of it, and shows how John gave his indirect and direct witness to the Messiahship of Jesus of Nazareth. It may be true that John's testimony to Jesus was of more value to a Jewish than to a Christian audience, but we question whether sufficient has ever yet been made of it as one of our best evidences to the truth of Christianity. Three things require careful study and efficient illustration.

I. JOHN'S PROPHET-CHARACTER. In fixing attention on John the Baptizer, men have lost sight of his more important relations as John the Prophet. "All men counted John as a prophet," the last of the line of men whom God was pleased to raise up, for a time, as the expounders to men of his will - the voices that spoke to men his message. It was the very essence of the prophet that he had a message from God to deliver, and a right to arrest men and compel them to listen to it. John's message was his mission, and his baptizing rite was but an accident or mode of expressing and sealing his message. We should ask - What did John say to men in the Name of God? not, What rite did John perform?

II. JOHN'S PREPARATORY WORK. This St. Paul dwells on. John never assumed that he had a message complete in itself, or that what he demanded was all, or even, the greatest thing, men needed. He was a herald, but his heralding assumed the close approach of the King. He was a mender of ways, but only to get ready for the royal progress. He demanded repentance, but only that men might be ready to receive the forgiveness and life which the King was coming to bestow. To stop with John is on the face of it absurd. There is no going on from John save to Christ.

III. JOHN'S DIRECT TESTIMONY. There should have been no need for this. And yet it forms a most valuable link, especially to Jews. John witnessed plainly that he had prepared the way for Jesus of Nazareth, that he was the Lamb of God to take away sins, and that God had given to him visible and audible testimony that Jesus was the expected Messiah and Savior. Accept John as prophet, we must accept Jesus as Messiah. - R.T.

And we declare unto you glad tidings, how that the promise...God hath fulfilled.
I. WHAT THEY ARE. The origin of the gospel conception is connected with Jewish history. The people were often assailed by enemies, and in Jerusalem they waited with anxiety to learn the issue. By agreement, a messenger was to be sent, and especially when God crowned them with victory. And as the watchman lifted up his eyes, and the people saw the sight, they cried, "How beautiful upon the mountains," etc. Hence, when the angel spoke on the plains of Bethlehem, he used words with which the shepherds were familiar. So when our Lord rose, He gave the disciples commandment to proclaim these glad tidings, to which Paul was obedient here. What, then, is the gospel?

1. It is news. Man did not know it — could not find it, or invent it. Not the least proof that the gospel comes from heaven is that it is beyond the intellect and contrary to the temper of man.

2. It is good news. All the attributes of goodness are in it. "Mercy and truth have met together, righteousness and peace have kissed each other."

3. It is good news about a Person, and that Person the Son of God — the adequate revelation of the Father — and Son of Man — the typical manifestation of humanity. The Person also the atonement for the world's guilt, and its Deliverer from condemnation and death.

II. TO WHOM THEY ARE SENT. "To you" — i.e., everyone.

1. To the sad heart. They come to the wakened mind, to the alarmed conscience, to the despairing spirit. What glad tidings to know that the burden of guilt has been borne and the punishment of sin endured by Christ!

2. To a sad world, whose disappointment, sorrow, and tears makes it a very Marah, which nothing can sweeten but the Cross.

III. WITH WHAT END. To produce joy — pure, deep, everlasting.

(J. Aldis.)

God is always true to what He promises to do. He will fulfil every word of what He has promised; yet how few take Him at His word! When I was a young man I was clerk in the establishment of a man in Chicago, whom I observed frequently occupied sorting and marking bills. He explained to me what he had been doing; on some notes he had marked B, on some D, and on others G; those marked B he told me were bad, those marked D meant they were doubtful, and those with G on them meant they were good. "And," said he "you must treat all of them accordingly." And thus people endorse God's promises, by marking some as bad, and others as doubtful; whereas we ought to take all of them as good, for He has never once broken His word, and all that He says He will do will be done in the fulness of time.

(D. L. Moody.)

Theological Sketch book.
He speaks of Christ's resurrection —

I. AS AN ACCOMPLISHMENT OF PROPHECY (cf. Psalm 118:22, with Luke 20:17). We must not, however, suppose this to be an uninteresting fact; for the apostle further speaks of it —

II. AS GLAD TIDINGS TO THE SOUL. To the disconsolate disciples the tidings of Christ's resurrection were doubtless exceeding joyful. But they ought to be no less so to us, since that event ascertains —

1. The virtue of His sacrifice. Had He not risen, His death had been in vain (1 Corinthians 15:14, 17, 18). But His resurrection clearly proved that He had satisfied the demands of law and justice.

2. His sufficiency for our help. If He were still dead, it would be in vain to look to Him for help.

3. The certainty of our own resurrection. Because He liveth, we may be sure that we shall live also (John 14:19).As a further improvement of this passage, permit me to observe —

1. How deeply are we interested in the writings of the Old Testament! In them are promises of which we receive the accomplishment.

2. What enemies are they to themselves who despise the ministry of the gospel!

3. What a near relation subsists between believers in all ages!

(Theological Sketch book.)


1. To Adam, as we read in Genesis 3. The whole four themes of revelation are contained in these words: the first coming of Christ in the flesh; "her seed." His death; "thou shalt bruise his heel." His resurrection, and the present state of the Church; "I will put enmity between thee and the woman." His coming in glory, when He shall bruise the serpent's head.

2. To Abraham (Genesis 22; cf. Hebrews 11:17-19). Isaac was dead, in design; and on the third morning he was raised up. In this transaction Abraham saw the day of Christ, and rejoiced. This would also be a promise to Isaac.

3. To Moses also. Let us examine some types.(1) The manna represented Christ coming down from heaven, that the Church might feed on Him and live. We learn that a portion of manna was to be brought into the holy place, and there set before the testimony of the Lord. Which teaches us that He who came down from heaven was also to go up thither again, to appear in the presence of God for us.(2) In Leviticus 14, we read of the law of cleansing the leper. There was a bird killed, and a bird flying away. The living bird was to be sprinkled with the blood; the resurrection of Christ is available through the atonement, and the atonement through the resurrection.(3) So in the history of the two goats. One was to be slain; over the other the priest was to confess all the sins and trespasses of the people, and to send him away into the wilderness. So it is not on Jesus crucified merely that our sins are laid, or they would be there still. But the glory of the gospel is this: "He was delivered for our offences, and raised again for our justification."(4) In Leviticus 23, we read of the waving of the sheaf. "Christ is raised from the dead, and is become the first fruits of them that slept." And as the first fruits were to be waved the morning after the Sabbath, which was the first day of the week, on which day Christ also rose.

4. To David. The second Psalm is immediately connected with our text. On the morning of the resurrection, God owned His beloved Son: then He said, "Thou art My Son; this day have I begotten Thee." Again, in Psalm 16, "I have set the Lord always before me," etc. Then, again, in Psalm 118, "The stone which the builders refused is become the head stone of the corner," etc. Which passage is also quoted by Peter, in Acts 4, when questioned as to the miracle performed on the impotent man.

5. To the prophets. In the context there is one remarkable quotation, from Isaiah 55:3. In that Christ is raised, never to die again; therefore He says, "I will make an everlasting covenant with you, even the sure mercies of David."

6. We are taught this promise also by the history of Jonah. "As Jonah was three days and three nights in the whale's belly, so shall the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth."

II. HE PERFORMED THIS PROMISE. He did what He said. The day after the crucifixion of Christ the priests and Pharisees, who were His enemies, came to Pilate and said, "Sir, we remember that that deceiver said, while he was yet alive, After three days I will rise again," etc. On the day after the Sabbath "there was a great earthquake; for the angel of the Lord came and rolled back the stone." What avails the vigilance of Roman soldiers against the angels of God! The Lord afterwards showed Himself alive, by many infallible proofs, to Mary, to two of His disciples on their way to Emmaus, to ten of His disciples when they were assembled with the door shut for fear of the Jews. To some of them at the sea of Tiberias, etc. But some will say, "Were the disciples proper witnesses?" In a court of justice, what are the requisites of a competent witness? He must have known the person of whom he speaks, so that he may know him again when he sees him. And also he must be trustworthy. Now the disciples were fully competent. They knew Christ. And that they knew themselves to be competent witnesses, and that they knew it was necessary that they should be so, is evident from the words of Peter (Acts 1:21). And they were trustworthy also. We know the nature of man too well not to know that he will say anything to gain favour. But what did they gain? Scourging, bonds, imprisonments, death.

III. THEREFORE WE DECLARE UNTO YOU GLAD TIDINGS. And how is the resurrection of Christ glad tidings? Because —

1. It has caused the gospel to be preached. It would not have been preached had it not been for this event.

2. It shows that the justice of God is fully satisfied, and sin fully expiated.

3. It directs our minds to our great Intercessor. "It is Christ that died; yea, rather, that is risen again; who has also appeared in the presence of God for us."

4. It excites and maintains a lively hope. "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ," etc.

5. Through this hope it draws up the affections of the soul, and mortifies the deeds of the body. The man who believes that Christ has died and rose again, and whose life is "hid with Christ in God," turns away with disgust from that which satisfies others.

6. It is the ground of our expectation of His second coming. If He be not risen, He cannot come again; but He is risen, and He will come again.

(H. McNeile, D. D.)

The words do not seem in themselves to have the nature of a Messianic prediction. To those, however, whose minds were full to overflowing with the writings of the prophets, they would be pregnant with meaning. What were the "sure mercies of David" (Isaiah 55:3) but the "everlasting covenant" of mercy which was to find its fulfilment in One who should be "a leader and commander to the people"? We may well believe that the few words quoted recalled to St. Paul and to his hearers the whole of that wonderful chapter which opens with "He, everyone that thirsteth, come ye to the waters." The Greek word for "mercies" is the same adjective as that translated "holy" in the next verse, "holiness" being identified with "mercy," and so forms a connecting link with the prophecy cited in the next verse.

Sure mercies: — Consider —


1. The knowledge of God in Christ. "God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts," etc. Great is this mercy. By this alone we are delivered from idolatry. No man can worship the true God, except in Jesus Christ. The poor ignorant heathen is not the only idolater. The Deist, Rationalist, the man that flatters himself that above all men he is the farthest removed from idolatry, is nevertheless worshipping an idol, which he himself creates — the imagination of his own heart.

2. Forgiveness of sin by Christ. The present completeness of this blessing is the distinguishing feature of true religion from all false religion whatever. And therefore the very outset, the very A B C of the gospel, is, "By this Man is preached unto you the forgiveness of sins."

3. Renewal of heart in Christ. Unto the perfection of man's happiness, association is indispensable. Man cannot live alone; fellowship with God there cannot be without holiness of heart, leading to sincere obedience. Here, then, is a great mercy — that the man to whom God has given the knowledge of Himself, and to whom He has proclaimed forgiveness of sins, shall also experience in himself such a renewal of his affections, that, instead of shrinking from God, he shall now find a congeniality, a sympathy, an association, and begin to find a happiness of companionship, without which no man can really be happy. These are some of the mercies spoken of in this text. And they are at the same time, as you may observe in the margin of your Bibles, "holy or just things." They are "holy" —

(1)Or God would never have done them.

(2)As the purchase of the holy One.

(3)As procured according to law.

(4)In their results.

II. HOW THESE MERCIES ARE OBTAINED. In answer to this inquiry, consult the prophecy in Isaiah 55, the passage referred to by the apostle. Here is a threefold exhortation to hear: the first in connection with the satisfying of the soul — "Hearken diligently, and eat what is good, and let your soul delight itself"; the second in connection with coming to the Lord — "Incline your ear and come unto Me"; the third in connection with everlasting life thus given — "Hear, and your soul shall live." Now, mark these: "hearken" — "incline your ear" — "hear." They are all explained by that great truth which the apostle proclaims when he says, "Faith cometh by hearing." We have all these mercies by faith, because we have Christ by faith, and in no other way. God has appointed this medium in order that the attainment might be manifestly of grace — not of study, not of time, not of hereditary descent, not of instruction by man. Now, see what is attained by the appointment of this medium. It is confidence. Faith is confidence; faith places God and man in their proper places — God in authority, man in dependence. Man fell through an attempt to be independent. Man is recovered through a willingness to be dependent. This is attained through the appointment of faith as the medium through which the blessings are conveyed; and "faith comes by hearing" — hearing "the Word of God." Hence the importance of the ministry of the Word. You cannot have the Word proclaimed without a voice to proclaim it; you cannot have a voice without a man to raise it; you cannot have a man without sustenance and support.


1. They are infallibly "sure" to rest on all for whom they were designed.

2. They are immutably "sure" to all on whom they rest.

(H. McNeile, D. D.)

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