Acts Chapter Thirteen
I. Content of the Chapter
The Church that Was at
I. The beginning and
end that the church that was at
A. As they ministered to the Lord and fasted (v.1-2a).
B. The Holy Spirit appointed Barnabas and Saul to be separated (v.2b).
C. Having fasted and prayed, and laid hands on them, they sent them away (v.3).
II. The first
station of Paul’s first journey------the work in
A. They arrived in
B. They overcame Bar-Jesus, a certain sorcerer, in Paphos and Saul was called Paul (v.6-12).
III. Mark departed from Paul and Barnabas in Pamphylia (v.13).
IV. They preached in
A. They went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day and were invited to speak (v.14-16).
B. The first message of Paul:
1. The historical background of the men of
2. The Lord Jesus the Savior was the seed of David (v.23).
3. He was Christ whom John the Baptist introduced (v.24-25).
4. He was crucified on the cross and it fulfilled the prophets’ prophesies (v.26-29).
5. David died and saw corruption, however, God raised Christ from the dead (v.30-37).
6. Only when one believes in the Lord Jesus can he receive the forgiveness of sins and be justified (v.38-39).
7. He warned the listeners to avoid the perdition because of their unbelief (v.40-41).
C. The reaction to Paul’s preachment:
1. They agreed to preach the next Sabbath and many people followed them on the spot (v.42-43).
2. On the next Sabbath almost the whole city came together to hear the word of God and the Jews were filled with envy (v.44-45).
3. Paul declared to turn to preach to the Gentiles (v.46-47).
4. The word of God was accepted by the Gentiles (v.48-49).
5. The Jews stirred up the devout and prominent women and the chief men of the city and expelled them from their region (v.50).
D. They came to Iconium (v.51).
E. The disciples were filled with joy and with the Holy Spirit (v.52).
II. Verse by Verse commentary
Acts. 13:1 “Now in the church that was at Antioch there were certain prophets and teachers: Barnabas, Simeon who was called Niger, Lucius of Cyrene, Manaen who had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch, and Saul.”
YLT: “And there were
Meaning of Words: “
Literal Meaning: “in the church that was at
“The church that is at…” It is the common appellation in the Bible to call the churches in various regions. There are two kinds of churches in the Bible: the universal church and the local church. The former is unique and it includes all believers at all times and in all countries. The latter refers to the church in certain places and it is the sum of all the local believers. God calls the church in local places with the name of the local place with His goodwill: 1) it shows that believers of Christ could only sojourn in different places because of the restraint of the flesh and any other reason, including nationalities, races, languages, classes and etc could not make them separate from each other; 2) this way avoids the divisions among believers because of leaders of the church or the spiritual giants whom they are fond of (1Cor. 1:10-13); 3) this way also avoids the coming into being of various sects and organizations because of different opinions towards the truth or different traditional customs and ways.
“There were certain prophets and teachers” “Prophets” declare the will of God according to the revelation of the Holy Spirit (Deut. 18:18; 2Pet. 1:21). Some of the prophets predict the coming things, such as Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel and Daniel; some of them explain the things that had happened at that time and express the will of God, such as Elijah and Elisha. “Teachers” clearly explain the word of God in the Bible and they stress on teaching with patience and skill. Please note that teachers are not mentioned alone in the Bible and they are always mentioned with prophets and shepherds.
Here prophets and teachers are listed together and it does not make out which one is the prophet or the teacher. It shows that these two kinds of appellations could be used upon one person and they also refer to two different kinds of ministrations (Eph. 4:11).
“Simeon who was called
“Lucius of Cyrene” “
“Manaen who had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch” “Herod” refers to Herod Antipas who died in A.D. 39 and he once killed John the Baptist (Luke. 9:7-9); “who had been brought up with” refer to the children who accompany the prince and grow up with the prince; “Manaen” may be the kinsman of the royal family of Herod. When the Lord Jesus was on the earth, Joanna the wife of Chuza Herod's steward was also one of His followers (Luke. 8:3).
Enlightenment in the Word:
1) “The church that was at
2) In the church, the service should not been done by the pastor “alone” and it should be the corporate service.
3) The five prophets and teachers had different races and classes, showing that in the church there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcised nor uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave nor free, but Christ is all and in all (Col. 3:11).
4) The five men who had different positions and status must have been greatly destroyed by the cross and they had been deprived of their natural lives. And therefore they are able to serve with one accord.
5) God gives the spiritual gifts and operations to men completely according to His will instead of the natural position and background of each one (1Cor. 12:11).
Acts. 13:2 “As they ministered to the Lord and fasted, the Holy Spirit said, ‘Now separate to Me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.’”
YLT: “and in their ministering to the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, `Separate ye to me both Barnabas and Saul to the work to which I have called them,'”
The Background: the devout Jews fasted regularly twice a week (See Luke. 5:33-35).
Literal Meaning: “As they ministered to the Lord and fasted” The Greek word “minister” is translated from the Hebrew word “service” of the priests in the Holy Temple (Ezek. 44:11, 15-16; Luke. 1:23). In the Hebrew, it means doing the obligatory public service; “fast” indicates that one does not eat during a period of time in order to humble his soul (Ps. 35:13; 69:10; Is. 58:3), seek the will of God wholehearted and look upon the mercy of God. Fasting is always connected with prayer (See v.3; Acts. 14:23; Luke. 2:37; 5:33).
According to the grammar of this verse, “minister” and “fast” have the same persons, showing that they ministered the Lord with fasting and their fasting is their ministering to the Lord. Ministering the Lord is their intention and fasting is their expression.
“The Holy Spirit said” The Holy Spirit may speak to all by one of the prophets who have been inspired by Him (Acts. 21:11), express by an angel (Acts. 8:26, 29), speak to men by circumstances or speak by vision or dream (Acts. 16:9-10).
“Now separate to Me Barnabas and Saul” “Separate” means being specially appointed.
“For the work to which I have called them” Please note that they did not go to do their work or do the work according to their own opinions. It is the Holy Spirit that called them to the work that the Lord has called them.
Enlightenment in the Word:
1) The Holy Spirit represents the ascending Lord. He has the supreme authority in the church and calls those whom have been called by Him to do the ministry. The true calling is of the Holy Spirit. He calls the one He wills and He separates the one whom He has called and gives him power and sends him out.
2) The Holy Spirit called men to work in the church
that was at
3) Those who have been sent out by the Holy Spirit are from “prophets and teachers” (v.1), showing that they have been equipped by gifts obviously. We must have possessed the gifts that are needed to work for the Lord first and then we could be qualified to be sent out. Charles Haddon Spurgeon once said that God won’t call one who is unable to speak to preach the gospel.
4) The Holy Spirit speaks to certain prophets and
teachers in the church that was at
5) The Holy Spirit won’t send out those who bury their spiritual gifts and are not interested in the work of the Lord or those who do nothing in the local place and wait to do something great in other places.
6) “As they ministered to the Lord” When they were busily dealing with the local works, the voice of the Holy Spirit came and asked them to go out to work. The Holy Spirit won’t choose one who has just conceived a design to minister the Lord to work for Him. If we have not ministered the Lord in the local church for a period of time, the Holy Spirit won’t send us out to work for Him.
7) Calling is the beginning of all works. If God wants to do something, He will call men Himself and send them to work for Him. He does not need men’s voluntariness or men as His counselors. All zealousness that is originated by the flesh is useless. What’s the most important for workers of the Lord is to understand the calling of God. If there is not the calling, there won’t be workers or works. Everything begins with the calling because the calling shows that God instead of men takes the initiative. Calling gives the first priority to God in works.
8) Men are called to be believers first and then some people are called to be workers among believers. Without the calling, no one could be a believer; without the calling, no one could be a worker. All workers must be called by the Holy Spirit. Without the calling of the Holy Spirit, there won’t be ministrations of workers. Today the difficulty is that men call themselves pastors and preachers and do not have the calling of the Holy Spirit. The reason that one goes out to work for the Lord should not be men’s advice or encouragement, the arrangement of circumstances, the urgency of need or the encouragement of the elders. Whether one is able to work for the Lord fully lies in whether he has the calling of the Lord.
9) “As they ministered to the Lord and fasted, the Holy Spirit said.” They always draw near to God and serve Him and let the Lord have chance to speak to them. They serve the Lord to such a degree that they put down the reasonable food and drink that could supply men’s physical need. Because they minister the Lord so wholeheartedly that the Holy Spirit has the chance to speak to them and call men for the work among them. Here, what we should note is that the beginning of sending out workers is spiritual.
10) Only those who minister the Lord and fast together could regard the things of others as their own. They have the attitude of putting the things of others before God. They have the attitude that God could speak to them and therefore they can understand whether God has called someone and let the Holy Spirit have the chance to ask them to separate to Him some people.
11) For the need of God’s work in other places, the church should have the lenient heat and let the most excellent talented persons go out willingly.
Acts. 13:3 “Then, having fasted and prayed, and laid hands on them, they sent them away.”
YLT: “then having fasted, and having prayed, and having laid the hands on them, they sent [them] away.”
Literal Meaning: “Then, having fasted and prayed” The reason why they fasted and prayed was that they carefully received the sending of the Holy Spirit. And for the prospect of the work in future, by fasting they showed that though they might encounter tribulation, they would not hesitate to keep the will of God; by prayer they sought the will of God and looked upon the grace of God to deal with the hardships in future.
“Laid hands on them” “Laying hands on” here symbolizes union. Through this action, it shows that those who laid hands on others and those who were laid hands on were one in the Spirit and thereafter, though they were separate in body, they were together in the Spirit (1Cor. 5:3). Here the laying hands on is different from the traditional ordination in Christianity. The Holy Spirit had already ordained them and these fellow-workers, through laying hands on, showed their identification and union, admitted that they had the same vision, burden and feeling. It means that: their going was equal to our going; their preaching the gospel was equal to our preaching the gospel. At the same time, laying hands on them means that they were recommended unto the grace of God (Acts. 14:26; 15:40).
“They sent them away” “Sent” means seeing off. Here it shows that Barnabas and Saul were sent by other three prophets and teachers. Those who were sent and those who sent others had the same status and positions and it did mean that those who sent others were superior to those who were sent.
It was the epochal decision done under
the guidance of the Holy Spirit that the church that was at
Enlightenment in the Word:
1) The church cannot send men out by herself. The church can send workers out unless the Holy Spirit takes the initiative (v.2). The sending of the church is merely carrying out the command of the Holy Spirit and proving the action of the Holy Spirit.
2) When we go to someplace to work, what’s the most important is that the Holy Spirit speaks (v.2). Men are merely able to send out those whom the Holy Spirit has already sent out. The life of the body is important, however, it cannot take the place of the commands of the Holy Spirit. We should be submissive to one another, however, it should never make us lose our independence in the Holy Spirit. It is wrong that one ignores the guidance of fellow-workers in excuse for the will of God. However, it is not right that one only pays attention to the words of fellow-workers and has not heard the command of the Holy Spirit.
3) All workers of the Lord should pay attention to two aspects: the first is that they must have the individual calling and they have to know for what they are called; the second is that they must have the approval of fellow-workers. These fellow-workers must be those who open their hearts before God, receive the revelation of the Holy Spirit and are able to identify with fellow-workers. In the beginning, the Holy Spirit sent away the apostles in this way and in like manner, today the Holy Spirit must send men away according to this principle.
4) Though it is the Holy Spirit that chooses and calls men, the approval of the church is essential. And therefore the church has to pray and fast and then the church will hear the voice of God and cooperate with the Holy Spirit.
5) Here there is a noticeable example that the beginning and end of their sending workers away are both fasting. Those who do not fast and minister the Lord cannot hear the voice of God. And the proof of those who do not pray and fast may be wrong. And therefore those who send others out must be those who pray and fast and minister the Lord.
6) The church unites to the workers who are sent away by laying hands on and prayers. And therefore the going out of workers is also the going out of the church and the church partakes in the mission by it.
7) Though workers go out to work, they are not alone because they go out with the approval and blessings of the church. And therefore behind their back they are supported by prayers and memories of the church.
8) When we go out to work for the Lord, we have to try our best to fully obey God at any price. However, we should take care that we should not neglect our fellow-workers and we have to wait them if necessary. The work all by oneself is not acceptable to the Lord at all.
Acts. 13:4 “So, being sent out by the
Holy Spirit, they went down to
YLT: “These, indeed,
then, having been sent forth by the Holy Spirit, went down to
Literal Meaning: “So, being sent out by the Holy Spirit” In v.3, it is said that Barnabas and Saul were sent away by the other three prophets and teachers (or being sent away by the church), however, in this verse it is said that they were sent out by the Holy Spirit. It shows that the action of the Holy Spirit accorded with that of men.
“They went down to Seleucia” The
sentence pattern shows that they put into practice immediately------once they
clearly understood the sending of the Holy Spirit they started to work. “
“And from there they sailed to
Barnabas was of the country of
Please note that there were mainly three journeys that Paul went around preaching (please note that some people regarded the time that Paul went to Jerusalem and passed through Phenice and Samaria, declaring the conversion of the Gentiles as one journey and therefore there were four journeys. However, strictly speaking, in that time Paul did not specially preach to the Gentiles and therefore it could not be counted). The first journey began with this verse and ended with Acts. 14:27.
Enlightenment in the Word:
1) Workers of the Lord must be sent by the Holy Spirit. Whoever has not been sent by the Holy Spirit cannot work for the Lord. The Lord seeks men to serve Him and do His work, however, the Lord does not need men to work for Him voluntarily. Even if one’s aim is to help the church, edify believers and save sinners, these are not the qualifications for one to work for the Lord. The only qualification for working for the Lord is being sent by Him.
2) “So, being sent out by the Holy Spirit” Any action that is done by one who obeys the Holy Spirit (See v.2) is the action of the Holy Spirit.
3) “So, being sent out by the Holy Spirit, they went down to” When they clearly understand His will, immediately they keep it without any delay. Once believers understand the will of God, we should put it into practice at once and should not delay.
Acts. 13:5 “And when they arrived in
YLT: “and having come
Literal Meaning: “And when they arrived in
“They preached the word of God in the
synagogues of the Jews” Please note that
Barnabas and Saul did not attend the meeting of the Jews but took the advantage
of the Jews’ gathering in the synagogues and preached the words of God to them.
“Synagogues” shows that there was more than one synagogue. Many Jews resided in
Though Paul was the apostle of the Gentiles, he also had burden towards the Jews. And therefore according to the principle of “preaching to the Jews first”, he always began to preach the word in the synagogues of the Jews when he came to one place (Acts. 13:14, 46; 14:1; 16:13; 17:1-10; 18:4, 19; 19:8; 28:17).
“They also had John as their assistant” “John” was also named Mark and he was the
younger cousin of Barnabas (Acts. 12:12, 25;
Acts. 13:6 “Now when they had gone through the island to Paphos, they found a certain sorcerer, a false prophet, a Jew whose name was Bar-Jesus,”
YLT: “and having gone through the island unto Paphos, they found a certain magian, a false prophet, a Jew, whose name [is] Bar-Jesus;”
Meaning of Words: “sorcerer”: astrologer, magician, witchcraft; “Bar-Jesus”: the son of Jesus.
Literal Meaning: “they had gone through the
island to Paphos” “Paphos” was in
the west of
“A certain sorcerer, a false prophet” “A certain sorcerer” is to do astonishing things by the evil spirits or magic skills. “A false prophet” is to spread the message of God unfaithfully or make use of the message of God to deceive men.
Enlightenment in the Word:
1) “They had gone through the island to Paphos”. The example that the apostles give us in the beginning is working while going around and we have not seen them dwell in one place. In other words, an apostle is the one who walks everywhere instead of staying in one place. Today, many preachers “preach while staying in one place” rather than “preach while going everywhere”.
2) “Bar-Jesus” means “the son of Jesus”. On one hand, he did the sorcery and on the other, he had the appealing name. It is easy to deceive men. We should take care and should not trust men easily or follow them because of their astonishing works and appealing names.
Acts. 13:7 “who was with the proconsul, Sergius Paulus, an intelligent man. This man called for Barnabas and Saul and sought to hear the word of God.”
YLT: “who was with the proconsul Sergius Paulus, an intelligent man; this one having called for Barnabas and Saul, did desire to hear the word of God,”
Meaning of Words: “Sergius Paulus”: a small net.
Literal Meaning: “who was with the proconsul,
Sergius Paulus” “proconsul” is the
title of a Roman officer and the position is equal to the governor. And the
governor is appointed by the
“Sergius Paulus, an intelligent man” “an intelligent man” refers to the sagacious and wise man.
“And sought to hear the word of God” “Seeking” means searching, asking and desiring.
Acts. 13:8 “But Elymas the sorcerer (for so his name is translated) withstood them, seeking to turn the proconsul away from the faith.”
YLT: “and there withstood them Elymas the magian -- for so is his name interpreted -- seeking to pervert the proconsul from the faith.”
Meaning of Words: “Elymas”: wise, mighty, sorcerer, magician, sage with great abilities; “withstand”: stand against, oppose, refuse; “turn…away from”: distort, depart from.
Literal Meaning: “withstood them” Here “them” refers to Paul and Barnabas. Though the twelve apostles had the special position and honor that others could not replace (Matt. 19:28; Rev. 21:14), the word “apostle” is not limited to refer to the twelve apostles (please see the note in Acts. 1:22).
“Seeking to turn the proconsul away from the faith” “faith” here refers to the objective faith, i.e. the content of the gospel that Christians believe. In the original this sentence means to seek to distort proconsul from the faith extremely and completely. The motive of Bar-Jesus may be to maintain his friendship with proconsul (See v.7). He feared that once proconsul believed in the Lord Jesus, he would not believe in his false doctrines and would break off their relation. And he used two ways: 1) withstanding the apostles; 2) perverting the straight ways of the Lord (v.10).
Acts. 13:9 “Then Saul, who also is called Paul, filled with the Holy Spirit, looked intently at him”
YLT: “And Saul -- who also [is] Paul -- having been filled with the Holy Spirit, and having looked stedfastly on him,”
Meaning of Words: “Saul”: asked from God (it is translated from the Hebrew word); “Paul”: little, small.
Literal Meaning: “Saul, who also is called Paul” Please note that after it, Saul was called Paul in the Acts of the Apostles. And at first Saul was mentioned after Barnabas (See v.2, 7) and after it Paul was mentioned before Barnabas (See v.43, 50).
“Filled with the Holy Spirit” Here the “filling” refers to outward overflowing (pletho, See Acts. 2:4) and it is related to the power of work.
Acts. 13:10 “and said, ‘O full of all deceit and all fraud, you son of the devil, you enemy of all righteousness, will you not cease perverting the straight ways of the Lord?”
YLT: “said, `O full of all guile, and all profligacy, son of a devil, enemy of all righteousness, wilt thou not cease perverting the right ways of the Lord?”
Meaning of Words: “deceit”: lie, scheme, decoy (this word refers to the bait that men use in fishing); “fraud”: evil; “devil”: deceit, accusation; “perverting”: turn away, misinterpret, distort.
Literal Meaning: “son of the devil” This appellation is quite interesting. Paul did not call his name “Bar-Jesus” (i.e. son of Jesus) but call him “son of the devil”.
Enlightenment in the Word:
1) The Lord’s workers shouldn’t always try not to offend anybody and they should show the anger of righteousness if necessary and dare to expose the works of the devil.
2) The way that the devil utilizes men to pervert the straight ways is to fill its lusts in men so that they would do the evil by its craftiness (John. 8:44). And therefore they are “son of the devil, enemy of all righteousness”.
Acts. 13:11 “And now, indeed, the hand of the Lord is upon you, and you shall be blind, not seeing the sun for a time.’ And immediately a dark mist fell on him, and he went around seeking someone to lead him by the hand.”
YLT: “and now, lo, a hand of the Lord [is] upon thee, and thou shalt be blind, not seeing the sun for a season;' and presently there fell upon him a mist and darkness, and he, going about, was seeking some to lead [him] by the hand;”
Literal Meaning: “not seeing the sun for a time” “For a time” refers to a short period of time and its aim is to warm him and stir him to repent.
“He went around seeking someone to lead him by the hand” “Going around” means walking about; the word “seeking” is the past imperfect tense in the original and it means seeking unceasingly; “to lead him by the hand” is a word in the original and it means leading the way by the hand.
Enlightenment in the Word:
1) The Lord’s workers are able to move “the hand of the Lord” by faith for the need of work and show the spiritual power.
2) Satan always blinds the minds of unbelievers, lest the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ (2Cor. 3:3-4). To those who withstand the light of the Lord on purpose, it is proved that they fall in darkness and cannot see the way of life.
Acts. 13:12 “Then the proconsul believed, when he saw what had been done, being astonished at the teaching of the Lord.”
YLT: “then the proconsul having seen what hath come to pass, did believe, being astonished at the teaching of the Lord.”
Literal Meaning: “being astonished at the teaching of the Lord” “being astonished” in the original means “being attacked to astonishment”, i.e. being stirred up or drawn out the astonishing heart.
Acts. 13:13 “Now when Paul and his
party set sail from Paphos, they came to Perga in Pamphylia; and John,
departing from them, returned to
YLT: “And those about
Paul having set sail from Paphos, came to Perga of Pamphylia, and John having
departed from them, did turn back to
Literal Meaning: “Paul and his party” Previously, Barnabas was mentioned before Paul and from then on he was mentioned after Paul or even was not mentioned.
“They came to Perga in Pamphylia” “Perga” was the capital town of the
province Pamphylia. “Pamphylia” was a province along the coast of
“And John, departing from them, returned
Enlightenment in the Word:
1) “Paul and his party” Here the name of Barnabas is not mentioned, however, his mind is worthy of praise. Previously Paul was the junior fellow-worker who was helped and guided by Barnabas (Acts. 11:25-26) and now he became the leader of the fellow-workers. Barnabas was still in the second place willingly and he kept silent and did not care about it. It is the greatness of Barnabas.
2) The name of “Paul” means “little”. The humbler the workers of the Lord are before Him, the more greatly they will be used by Him.
3) Though Mark once was a deserter in the ministry, he corrected his errors and made a fresh start and was regarded highly by Paul who said that “he (Mark) is profitable to me for the ministry” (2Tim. 4:11). May all of us not reject one forever because of his temporary failure. Harry Fosdick, the American famous pastor, said that, “everyone has the talent to be edified” (it is translated from the Chinese version).
4) The matter that Mark departed from the group of preachers tells us that if believers have not been fully taught and edified, they cannot bear the hardships of the work of preaching. And therefore we cannot take one in the line of fellow-workers hastily by his temporary wish.
Acts. 13:14 “But when they departed
from Perga, they came to
YLT: “and they having gone through from Perga, came to Antioch of Pisidia, and having gone into the synagogue on the sabbath-day, they sat down,”
Literal Meaning: “came to
Men need to step over
mountains and lofty ranges from Perga to
“And went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day and sat down” They went into the synagogues on the Sabbath not to keep the Sabbath but to take the advantage that the Jews gather together on the Sabbath and keep the Sabbath and seize the opportunity to preach the gospel (See v.5).
Acts. 13:15 “And after the reading of the Law and the Prophets, the rulers of the synagogue sent to them, saying, ‘Men and brethren, if you have any word of exhortation for the people, say on.’”
YLT: “and after the reading of the law and of the prophets, the chief men of the synagogue sent unto them, saying, `Men, brethren, if there be a word in you of exhortation unto the people -- say on.'”
The Background: the procedure of the worship of the Jewish synagogues usually begins with the prayer of religiosity (Shema) which has eighteen items of prayer and there are the blessings by the priests; after that the rulers of the synagogue read out certain scriptures in the law or the prophets and he may give the explanation or exhortation after reading; then if there is a famous one or attractive stranger sitting among them, the rulers of the synagogue may invite him to give some teachings or exhortation (See Luke. 4:15-17).
Literal Meaning: “the rulers of the synagogue sent to them” “The rulers of the synagogue” refer to those who are responsible for the administration, the order of worship and the arrangement of persons who preach, read the Bible and pray in the synagogue.
Acts. 13:16 “Then Paul stood up, and motioning with his hand said, ‘Men of Israel, and you who fear God, listen:”
YLT: “And Paul having risen, and having beckoned with the hand, said, `Men, Israelites, and those fearing God, hearken:”
Literal Meaning: “and you who fear God” include the Gentiles who fear and seek God.
Spiritual Meaning: “Then Paul stood up, and motioning with his hand said” “Standing up” shows the modest and polite attitude; “motioning with his hand” shows speaking to men with the attitude of praying and looking upon God (1Tim. 2:8).
Acts. 13:17 “The God of this people
YLT: “the God of this
Literal Meaning: “and exalted the people” means that God made them be fruitful and be mightier than the Egyptians (Exod. 1:7-9).
“And with an uplifted arm He brought them out of it” “An uplifted arm” particularly shows that God made ten plagues to force the Pharaoh to permit the people of Israel to depart from the land of Egypt (Exod. 6:1, 6) and He divided the Red Sea so that the people of Israel was saved from the Egyptian army (Ps. 136:11-15).
Acts. 13:18 “Now for a time of about forty years He put up with their ways in the wilderness.”
YLT: “and about a period of forty years He did suffer their manners in the wilderness,”
Literal Meaning: in the Greek, the difference between “put up with” and “bear” is only a letter. Though it is more accurate to translate it into “put up with” according to the Greek spelling, it is better to translate it into “bear” according to the Hebrew meaning (Deut. 1:31).
Acts. 13:19 “And when He had destroyed
seven nations in the
YLT: “and having
destroyed seven nations in the
Literal Meaning: “And when He had destroyed
seven nations in the
Spiritual Meaning: “He distributed their land
to them by allotment”
Acts. 13:20 “‘After that He gave them judges for about four hundred and fifty years, until Samuel the prophet.”
YLT: “`And after these things, about four hundred and fifty years, He gave judges -- till Samuel the prophet;”
Literal Meaning: “for about four
hundred and fifty years” Concerning it, the Bible exegetes have two kinds of
explanations: 1) according to the Chinese Union version, there were about four
hundred and fifty years from the time they went into the land of Canaan to the
day of the reign of David (See Judg. 11:26; 2Sam. 5:3-5; 1Kings. 6:1). 2)
According to the original, this verse could be translated into “after these
things, about four hundred and fifty years, He gave judges------till Saul the
prophet”. Here the four hundred and fifty years includes the four hundred years
Acts. 13:21 “And afterward they asked
for a king; so God gave them Saul the son of
YLT: “and thereafter they
asked for a king, and God did give to them Saul, son of
Literal Meaning: “And afterward they asked
for a king” The people of
Enlightenment in the Word: men do not know what they ask, however, God always works, surpassing men’s ignorance, in order to reveal His will------He gave men the wrong king Saul first so as to bring in the right king David (v.22). We believers may always make mistakes, however, we have to learn teachings from the wrongness and understand the will of God.
Acts. 13:22 “And when He had removed him, He raised up for them David as king, to whom also He gave testimony and said, ‘I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after My own heart, who will do all My will.'”
YLT: “and having removed him, He did raise up to them David for king, to whom also having testified, he said, I found David, the [son] of Jesse, a man according to My heart, who shall do all My will.”
Meaning of Words: “remove”: carry away, depose; “raise up”: rouse, lift up.
Literal Meaning: “to whom also He gave testimony and said” The following words are not quoted from a certain scripture in the Old Testament and they are summed up from Ps. 89:20, 1Sam. 13:14, Is. 44:28 and other scriptures.
“A man after My own heart” It means that
he walks according to His will. It does not mean that David did not have any
mistake but that he was about the business of God’s will all his life and he
wholeheartedly wanted to build the
“Who will do all My will” The singular word “will” refers to all will of God.
Enlightenment in the Word: though our behaviors are not perfect, if we intend to walk according to the will of God, we will be acceptable to God (2Cor. 8:12).
Acts. 13:23 “From this man's seed,
according to the promise, God raised up for
YLT: “`Of this one's seed
God, according to promise, did raise to
Literal Meaning: “for
Enlightenment in the Word:
1) From v.16 to this verse, Paul and quoted the living Christ by tracing back to the history of the Jews. It shows that he saw everything in the view of Christ and his eyesight could be called “Christ history”. It is the eyesight that everyone who has received the revelation of Christ has.
2) The history of the Old Testament is to bear witness of the Lord Jesus and it typifies that He is our Savior and leads and saves us in all aspects: 1) He brought us out of Egypt with an uplifted arm (v.17)------deliver us from the world; 2) He put up with us in the wilderness (v.18)------provide the spiritual food; 3) He gave us the land of Canaan as our inheritance (v.19)------Christ is the good land for our management and enjoyment; 4) He gave judges (v.20)------lead us overcome the devil the enemy; 5) He raised up a king for us (v.21-22)------reign in our hearts.
Acts. 13:24 “after John had first
preached, before His coming, the baptism of repentance to all the people of
YLT: “John having first
preached, before his coming, a baptism of reformation to all the people of
Literal Meaning: “before His coming” is “before the face of his entry” in the original. It is a Hebrew idiom and it means “before He comes”.
Acts. 13:25 “And as John was finishing his course, he said, ‘Who do you think I am? I am not He. But behold, there comes One after me, the sandals of whose feet I am not worthy to loose.'”
YLT: “and as John was fulfilling the course, he said, Whom me do ye suppose to be? I am not [he], but, lo, he doth come after me, of whom I am not worthy to loose the sandal of [his] feet.”
Meaning of Words: “think”: think under (privately), surmise, conjecture.
Literal Meaning: “And as John was finishing his course” “Course” refers to the track of race; the whole sentence means that John was going to finish his race (Acts. 20:24; 2Tim. 4:7).
Enlightenment in the Word: the word of John the Baptist expressed the attitude
that the Lord’s workers should have: 1) humble and do not think of himself more
highly than he ought to think (
Acts. 13:26 “‘Men and brethren, sons of the family of Abraham, and those among you who fear God, to you the word of this salvation has been sent.”
YLT: “`Men, brethren, sons of the race of Abraham, and those among you fearing God, to you was the word of this salvation sent,”
Enlightenment in the Word: the word of God “has been sent to us” and is spoken to us. And therefore every time we read the Bible, we should hold the attitude that we hope to receive (or enjoy) the word of God for ourselves. We should never read the Bible for others.
Acts. 13:27 “For those who dwell in
YLT: “for those dwelling in Jerusalem, and their chiefs, this one not having known, also the voices of the prophets, which every sabbath are being read -- having judged [him] -- did fulfill,”
Meaning of Words: “voices”: sound, tone; “in condemning Him”: having judged.
Enlightenment in the Word:
1) To those who live in the religious ceremonies, though they obey the pious regulations and study the sacred words intensively, they “condemn Him” because they do not know Christ or understand the Bible. If believers do not live in the newness of the spirit, we may not know the living Savior and our walking may displease the Lord.
2) When reading, we have to find out Christ in the scriptures (John. 5:39-40), otherwise, though we read the Bible piously, we only touch the letters instead of the spirit behind the letters and consequently our spirits become more depressed (See 2Cor. 3:6).
Acts. 13:28 “And though they found no cause for death in Him, they asked Pilate that He should be put to death.”
YLT: “and no cause of death having found, they did ask of Pilate that he should be slain,”
Meaning of Words: “find”: perceive, see; “cause”: reason, accusation.
Acts. 13:29 “Now when they had fulfilled all that was written concerning Him, they took Him down from the tree and laid Him in a tomb.”
YLT: “and when they did complete all the things written about him, having taken [him] down from the tree, they laid him in a tomb;”
Meaning of Words: “the tree”: truck of a tree, wood.
The Background: concerning the cross at that time, one thick and rough truck was used to be the straight pillar and therefore the common people called the cross “the tree” (Acts. 5:30; 10:39; 1Pet. 2:24).
Acts. 13:30 “But God raised Him from the dead.”
YLT: “and God did raise him out of the dead,”
Literal Meaning: “but” shows that the work of God exceeds all expectations. Though men were determined to kill Him, God raised Him from the dead.
Acts. 13:31 “He was seen for many days
by those who came up with Him from Galilee to
YLT: “and he was seen for
many days of those who did come up with him from Galilee to
Enlightenment in the Word: those who got off from “Galilee” and followed Jesus
of Nazareth until they “came up with Him to
Acts. 13:32 “And we declare to you glad tidings--that promise which was made to the fathers.”
YLT: “`And we to you do proclaim good news -- that the promise made unto the fathers,”
Meaning of Words: “glad tidings”: the gospel (there is only a word in the original).
Acts. 13:33 “God has fulfilled this for us their children, in that He has raised up Jesus. As it is also written in the second Psalm: ‘You are My Son, Today I have begotten You.’”
YLT: “God hath in full completed this to us their children, having raised up Jesus, as also in the second Psalm it hath been written, My Son thou art -- I to-day have begotten thee.”
Literal Meaning: “As it is also written in the second Psalm” the following words are quoted from Ps. 2:7. This verse is also quoted in Heb. 1:5, 5:5 in the New Testament.
“Today I have begotten You” When the Lord Jesus came up out of the water after baptism, God declared that, “You are my beloved Son” (Mark. 1:11; Luke. 3:22). However, according to the statement here, God officially maintained the birth of the Lord Jesus until He was raised up. Though Christ is the only-begotten Son of God in the past eternity (John. 1:18; 3:16), many sons of God are brought in until He was raised up (Heb. 2:9-10) and then He became the firstborn among many brothers (Rom. 8:29). Therefore it means that the Lord Jesus was begotten to be the firstborn by God by His being raised up.
Enlightenment in the Word: apply this verse to us: 1) when we open our hearts to receive the risen Lord, we are born from above and become the children of God. 2) We have to live by the risen life of Christ and then we are sons who are acceptable to God.
Acts. 13:34 “And that He raised Him from the dead, no more to return to corruption, He has spoken thus: ‘I will give you the sure mercies of David.'”
YLT: “`And that He did raise him up out of the dead, no more to return to corruption, he hath said thus -- I will give to you the faithful kindnesses of David;”
Literal Meaning: “He has spoken thus” the following words are quoted from Is. 55:3 (the Septuagint). “I will give you the sure mercies of David” The singular form of the plural word “mercies” is translated into “the Holy One” in v.35. From the context, the sure mercies that God has promised to David refer to the risen Christ (See Is. 55:3-5).
Acts. 13:35 “Therefore He also says in another Psalm: ‘You will not allow Your Holy One to see corruption.'”
YLT: “wherefore also in another [place] he saith, Thou shalt not give Thy kind One to see corruption,”
Meaning of Words: “allow”: give, bestow.
Literal Meaning: “in another Psalm” The following words are quoted from Ps. 16:10.
Acts. 13:36 “‘For David, after he had served his own generation by the will of God, fell asleep, was buried with his fathers, and saw corruption;”
YLT: “for David, indeed, his own generation having served by the will of God, did fall asleep, and was added unto his fathers, and saw corruption,”
Meaning of Words: “bury with”: add unto, give more.
Literal Meaning: “and saw corruption” The skeleton of David had seen corruption and therefore “the Holy One” in the previous verse should not refer to David but the Lord Jesus (See v.37).
Enlightenment in the Word:
1) No matter how one tallies with and obeys the will of God, he could only serve his own generation and fall asleep and he could not serve two generations. Every worker of the Lord should not attempt to establish a great work which could hand down from generation to generation.
2) Today many workers of the Lord want to build up the organization, system and institution of men after they have achieved a little in their works, hoping that their works could be remembered forever. It is against God’s ordain.
3) After the sowing, the blade, the ear and the reaping of wheat (Mark. 4:28-29), the whole plant shall be rooted up. It is the principle of the spiritual work------our works should never take root on the earth.
4) God has His will of “generation” towards everyone who has received grace. We should not desire to enjoy the shelter of the previous generation and live in idleness or hesitate to move forward and waiting for the effort of the next generation. We have to live for the will of God in this generation seriously.
5) Only those who have fulfilled the particular mission that God has entrusted to them in their generation are able to “fall asleep” peacefully in the bosom of God.
Acts. 13:37 “but He whom God raised up saw no corruption.”
YLT: “but he whom God did raise up, did not see corruption.”
Literal Meaning: “He whom God raised up” refers to the Lord Jesus (See v.30, 33).
Acts. 13:38 “Therefore let it be known to you, brethren, that through this Man is preached to you the forgiveness of sins;”
YLT: “`Let it therefore be known to you, men, brethren, that through this one to you is the forgiveness of sins declared,”
Literal Meaning: “that through this Man is preached to you the forgiveness of sins” The plural word “sins” refers to sinful behaviors. “The forgiveness of sins” has at least four meanings in the Bible: 1) being not condemned (John. 3:18); 2) forgiving their iniquity (Jer. 31:34; Heb. 8:12); 3) having made the purification of sins (Heb. 1:3; Rev. 1:5), i.e. not having the mark of sins; 4) putting away sin (Heb. 9:26; John 1:29), making sin be far away.
“This man” is the Lord Jesus; “preach”: publicize.
Acts. 13:39 “and by Him everyone who believes is justified from all things from which you could not be justified by the law of Moses.”
YLT: “and from all things from which ye were not able in the law of Moses to be declared righteous, in this one every one who is believing is declared righteous;”
Meaning of Words: “by”: in (the two “by”s are the same word in the original).
Literal Meaning: “everyone is justified” “Being justified” means that one is regarded as just and perfect before God and therefore he is reconciled to God and is acceptable to Him.
“The forgiveness of sin” in v.38 is the negative salvation and “being justified” in this verse is the positive salvation.
Enlightenment in the Word:
1) If we live by the Law------“by the law of Moses”, and obey the written regulations that “you should not do this or that” or the unwritten traditions, we must offend the procedures of God and “cannot be justified”. However, if we live by Christ------“by Him”, we tally with the principle of God and “could be justified”.
2) Christ did not know sin and He was made to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him (2Cor. 5:21). Christ was delivered up because of our offenses, and was raised because of our justification (Rom. 4:25).
Acts. 13:40 “Beware therefore, lest what has been spoken in the prophets come upon you:”
YLT: “see, therefore, it may not come upon you that hath been spoken in the prophets:”
Literal Meaning: “lest what has been spoken in the prophets come upon you” The plural word “the prophets” refers to the twelve minor prophets; “what has been spoken” refers to the words in the following verse.
Acts. 13:41 “‘Behold, you despisers, Marvel and perish! For I work a work in your days, A work which you will by no means believe, Though one were to declare it to you.’”
YLT: “See, ye despisers, and wonder, and perish, because a work I -- I do work in your days, a work in which ye may not believe, though any one may declare [it] to you.'”
Literal Meaning: the words in this verse are quoted from Hag. 1:5.
Enlightenment in the Word: God has given us “so great a salvation” and shall we escape if we neglect it (Heb. 2:3)?
Acts. 13:42 “So when the Jews went out of the synagogue, the Gentiles begged that these words might be preached to them the next Sabbath.”
YLT: “And having gone forth out of the synagogue of the Jews, the nations were calling upon [them] that on the next sabbath these sayings may be spoken to them,”
Literal Meaning: “the Gentiles begged that these words might be preached to them the next Sabbath” “The Gentiles” should refer to those who were greatly interested in the words of Paul among the listeners.
Acts. 13:43 “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.”
YLT: “and the synagogue having been dismissed, many of the Jews and of the devout proselytes did follow Paul and Barnabas, who, speaking to them, were persuading them to remain in the grace of God.”
Literal Meaning: “persuaded them to continue in the grace of God” Paul asked them to seek what cannot be gained by obeying the Law (See v.39) and what the Jews lacked, i.e. relying on the grace of God.
Acts. 13:44 “On the next Sabbath almost the whole city came together to hear the word of God.”
YLT: “And on the coming sabbath, almost all the city was gathered together to hear the word of God,”
Literal Meaning: “the whole city” refers to many local residents. It shows that the words that Paul had said on the previous Sabbath indeed had been passed on and had made a furor in the whole city.
Acts. 13:45 “But when the Jews saw the multitudes, they were filled with envy; and contradicting and blaspheming, they opposed the things spoken by Paul.”
YLT: “and the Jews having seen the multitudes, were filled with zeal, and did contradict the things spoken by Paul -- contradicting and speaking evil.”
Literal Meaning: “they were filled with envy” because the crowd gathered together not for the Judaic doctrines but for the new doctrine concerning Jesus Christ. And therefore the leaders of the Jews were quite unhappy.
Enlightenment in the Word: from this verse, we could see the reaction and way of people in the circle of religion towards those who do not go the same way with them: 1) “being filled with envy” They envied the success of others; 2) “and contradicting” They lost their marbles and did not divide the word of God rightly; 3) “blaspheming” They said the counterparts were the heretical ones.
Acts. 13:46 “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.”
YLT: “And speaking boldly, Paul and Barnabas said, `To you it was necessary that first the word of God be spoken, and seeing ye do thrust it away, and do not judge yourselves worthy of the life age-during, lo, we do turn to the nations;”
Literal Meaning: “It was necessary that the word of God should be spoken to you first” “first” shows that according to God’s counsel, the gospel should be preached to the Jews first (Rom. 1:16; 3:1-2; 9:4-5).
Enlightenment in the Word: if men reject the word of God again and again, it is proved that they judge themselves unworthy of everlasting life.
Acts. 13:47 “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.’”
YLT: “for so hath the Lord commanded us: I have set thee for a light of nations -- for thy being for salvation unto the end of the earth.'”
Literal Meaning: “For so the Lord has commanded us” the following words are quoted from Is. 49:6.
“I have set you as a light to the Gentiles” The words of Isaiah once predicted that the Lord Jesus was the servant whom God has appointed and He not only would make the people of Israel turn to God but also would be the light of the Gentiles to save all humans. Because Paul was rejected by the Jewish fellow citizens and had to turn to the Gentiles, here he applied this prophesy to himself to show that he will be the apostle towards the Gentiles (Gal. 2:8-9).
Acts. 13:48 “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.”
YLT: “And the nations hearing were glad, and were glorifying the word of the Lord, and did believe -- as many as were appointed to life age-during;”
Literal Meaning: here Luke the author contrasted the reaction of the Gentiles towards the gospel sharply with that of the Jews (See v.45).
“And as many as had been appointed to eternal life believed” The word “appoint” was the military term and it means “to arrange in an orderly manner” to prepare for moving on. Some Bible exegetes commented on this sentence that “it does not mean that all those who have been appointed by God there believed in the Lord at that time but that some of them were attracted to join the army (the military term) because of the influence of the Jews and they got ready to move on towards the realm of salvation under the calling of the gospel.”
Enlightenment in the Word:
1) “Glorified the word of the Lord” Not only God Himself but also His word is worthy of praise because not only God Himself but also His word is glorious. God’s word is the word of salvation (v.26), faith (v.8) and straight ways (v.10). His word is with God’s authority and once it is spoken, it shows its wonderful works that make men be astonished and believe (v.10-12). His word is the glad tidings and the promised words of God and it is full of the power of resurrection (v.32-33). His word is also the forgiveness of sins (v.38).
2) “And as many as had been appointed to eternal life believed.” It shows that believers had been appointed by God to eternal life before the foundation of the world. Contrarily, those who reject the Lord prove that they are unworthy of everlasting life (See v.46).
Acts. 13:49 “And the word of the Lord was being spread throughout all the region.”
YLT: “and the word of the Lord was spread abroad through all the region.”
Literal Meaning: “throughout all the
region” “All the region” refers to Pisidia and
Enlightenment in the Word: what the apostles valued was not one place but “all the region”. If we are sent out by the Lord to preach, we should not reside in one place or keep a certain flock of sheep all the time and we should try our best to preach the word of God throughout the wider region.
Acts. 13:50 “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.”
YLT: “And the Jews stirred up the devout and honourable women, and the first men of the city, and did raise persecution against Paul and Barnabas, and did put them out from their borders;”
The Background: “But the Jews stirred up the devout and prominent women” Patriarchy was supreme in the Roman Empire at that time and the common women did not have any social position so that men with power and authority could have many love affairs and would not bring about the opposition of the public. Only the Judaism held the teaching of the Old Testament: they stressed on monogamy and forbade the adultery. Their noble moral standard was greatly welcomed by the women in Roman high society and many devout and prominent women were convicted to Judaism.
Literal Meaning: “and the chief men of the city” may be the husbands of the previous “prominent women”.
Acts. 13:51 “But they shook off the dust from their feet against them, and came to Iconium.”
YLT: “and they having shaken off the dust of their feet against them, came to Iconium,”
The Background: “they shook off the dust from their feet” When the Jews departed from one Gentile place, they always did the symbolic action to show that they had neither part nor lot in the “uncleanness” of the Gentiles.
Literal Meaning: “they shook off the dust from their feet” It means that they showed to men who rejected Christ that they suffered from their own actions and their end in future had nothing to do with them.
Enlightenment in the Word: all those who have been sent out by the Lord have a feature that they have dust on their feet. Whenever they do not have dust on their feet, they lose the feature of preachers. Preachers are not those who sit at home or those who stay in the local place and keep the flock of sheep. They are those who walk on the way.
Acts. 13:52 “And the disciples were filled with joy and with the Holy Spirit.”
YLT: “and the disciples were filled with joy and the Holy Spirit.”
Literal Meaning: “were filled with joy” “Being filled with” in the original refers to the inward fullness (pleroo, See Acts. 2:2).
Enlightenment in the Word:
1) These disciples did not see the apostles (v.51) who led them just after they had been saved, however, they were still “filled with joy”. It shows that the joy of the disciples does not lie in men or things but the Savior and the salvation that we receive.
2) They were filled not only with joy but also “with the Holy Spirit”. The apostles departed from them, however, the Holy Spirit stayed there. Many times, the Lord’s workers have worked in one place too long and the authority of men takes the place of that of the Holy Spirit so that many believers are not joyful. If there is too much men’s restraint, the Lord’s hand will stop. Today in many places, the Saints cannot be filled with the Holy Spirit because preachers are there and the work of the Holy Spirit is restrained. As a result they cannot be filled with the Holy Spirit.
3) After believers have been saved, we should not look upon those who lead us and we should look steadfastly on Jesus the leader and completer of faith (Heb. 12:2).
4) The initiative of the work is that “the Holy Spirit…separate” (v.2), the beginning of the work is that “they are sent by the Holy Spirit” (v.4), the action of the work is that “they are filled with the Holy Spirit” (v.9, the outward bathing) and the end of the work is that “they are filled with the Holy Spirit” (the inward fullness).
5) “And the disciples were filled with joy and with the Holy Spirit” Innumerable words are included in this sentence. The life of Christians is in it------“being filled with joy and with the Holy Spirit”.
6) The joy of the disciples is received because the Lord’s workers suffered humiliation and suffering (See v.50). The more we suffer tribulation for the sake of the Lord, the more joy of the salvation will be received by others.
III. Outlines of the Spiritual Lessons
The Conditions and Essential Factors for A Preacher to Be Called
I. In the church that was at
II. Barnabas, Simeon who was called Niger, Lucius of Cyrene, Manaen who had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch, and Saul (v.1b)------though they have different background, they are able to cooperate with each other (it shows that none of them has the individualism).
III. As they ministered to the Lord and fasted (v.2a)------in the daily church life, they serve the Lord on one hand and on the other, they deny themselves.
IV. The Holy Spirit said, “Now separate to Me Barnabas and Saul…” (v.2b)------they receive the clear word of the Holy Spirit and are appointed to be separated to the Lord.
V. “For the work to which I have called them” (v.2c)------they have God’s clear commission and mission.
VI. Then, having fasted and prayed (v.3a)------they have Amen and intercession of the fellow-workers and the church.
VII. And laid hands on them (v.3b)------they have the union and blessings of the fellow-workers and the church.
VIII. They sent them away (v.3c)------they have the proof and sending of the fellow-workers and the church.
IX. So, being sent out by the Holy Spirit Seleucia (v.4a)------upon them there is the sovereignty and presence of the Holy Spirit.
X. They went down to…from…to…(v.4b)------they immediately keep the command and act.
The Service that the Church should Have
II. They ministered to the Lord and fasted (v.2a)------the service that men are willing to pay the price.
III. The Holy Spirit said…for the work to which I have called them (v.2b)------the service that the Holy Spirit reigns.
IV. Having fasted and prayed (v.3a)------the service of prayer.
V. Laying hands on them, they sent them away (v.3b)------the service of one mind.
The Work of the Holy Spirit
I. The Holy Spirit said (v.2b)------He speaks and reveals.
II. Separate to Me (v.2c)------He separates men.
III. Being sent out by the Holy Spirit (v.4)------He sends men out.
IV. Being filled with the Holy Spirit (v.9)------He pours upon men outwards and gives them the power of work.
V. Being filled with the Holy Spirit again (v.52)------He fills men inwardly and gives them the quality of life.
The Work and Circumstances of Preachers
II. Being called by men who sought to hear the word of God (v.7, 15).
III. Being withstood by men who attempted to turn the proconsul away from the faith (v.8).
IV. Blaming men for perverting the straight ways of the Lord directly (v.10)
V. Speaking in the authority of the Holy Spirit (v.11).
VI. Making men believe the word of the Lord (v.12).
VII. Sometimes seeing the drawing back and weakness of fellow-workers (v.13).
VIII. Concerning their preaching, there are people who believe the word and others who do not believe, people who praise it and those who do not praise it (v.41, 43, 46, 48).
IX. Making a furor in the whole city sometimes and many people come together to hear the word of God (v.44).
X. Being envied, opposed, blasphemed, persecuted and expelled by men sometimes (v.45, 50).
The Way that the Enemy made Men not Believe in Way of the Lord
II. Perverting the straight ways of the Lord (v.10)------perverting the way of the Lord.
How God Deals with Us from God’s Gracious Grace to His Elect
II. Exalting (v.17b)------predestination (Eph. 1:5) and calling (Rom. 8:30).
III. Bringing (v.17c)------salvation (2Cor. 1:10) and making us free (Gal. 5:1).
IV. Putting up with (v.18, “bearing” in the original)------providing the spiritual food and spiritual water (1Cor. 10:3-4).
V. Distributing the land (v.19)------He has blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places (Eph. 1:3).
VI. Giving judges (v.20)------He gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers to the church (Eph. 4:11).
VII. Raising up…as king (v.21-22)------in all things Christ might have the preeminence (Col. 1:18).
VIII. Raising up for
The Example of the Message of the Gospel
II. Quoting the words of the Bible (v.22, 33-35, 41).
III. Leading men to know Jesus the Savior:
A. He is the promised Savior of God in the Old Testament (v.23).
B. He is Christ whom John the Baptist introduced in the New Testament (v.24-25).
IV. Being full of kind goodwill in the words to listeners------brethren…brethren (v.26, 38).
V. Introducing the truth of the salvation:
A. He was sinless and was crucified on the tree------let men receive the forgiveness of sins (v.27-29, 38).
B. It is proved that He is the Son of God for He was raised from the dead------let men to be justified (v.30-37, 39).
VI. Showing two different kinds of results:
A. Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and you shall receive the forgiveness of sins and be justified (v.38-39).
B. Do not believe and you shall perish (v.40--41).
Men’s Two Kinds of Attitudes towards the Gospel
I. Receiving the gospel:
A. Yearning to hear the gospel again (v.42).
B. Following immediately (v.43).
C. Being attracted and coming together to hear the gospel (v.44).
D. Being glad and glorifying the word of the Lord (v.48a).
E. Believing and spreading the gospel (v.48b-49).
F. Being filled with joy and with the Holy Spirit (v.52).
II. Rejecting the gospel:
A. Being filled with envy (v.45a).
B. Contradicting the words of the gospel (v.45b).
C. Blaspheming (v.45c).
D. Rejecting the word (v.46).
E. Stirring up men to oppose the gospel (v.50a).
F. Persecution and expelling (v.50b).
── Caleb Huang《Christian Digest Bible Commentary Series》
Translated by Sharon Ren