SERIES: The Book of Acts
TEXT: Acts 13:26-41
MESSAGE: Experiencing God’s Promises
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“Promises are only as strong as the person who gives them …” ― Stephen Richards

“God is not man, that he should lie, or a son of man, that he should change his mind. Has he said, and will he not do it? Or has he spoken, and will he not fulfill it?” — Numbers 23:19

Q: How does God keep His promises through Jesus? 
 
TEXT: Acts 13:26-41
What can we learn today about God’s promises? 
His promises are built upon…(1. A weighty sacrifice 2. A tangible reality 3. A better hero)
  1. A Weighty Sacrifice (v. 26-29)
“Brothers, sons of the family of Abraham, and those among you who fear God, to us has been sent the message of this salvation. 27 For those who live in Jerusalem and their rulers, because they did not recognize him nor understand the utterances of the prophets, which are read every Sabbath, fulfilled them by condemning him. 28 And though they found in him no guilt worthy of death, they asked Pilate to have him executed. 29 And when they had carried out all that was written of him, they took him down from the tree and laid him in a tomb.”
“The real sting of suffering is not misfortune itself, nor even the pain of it or the injustice of it, but the apparent God-forsakenness of it. Pain is endurable, but the seeming indifference of God is not…We think of Him as an armchair spectator, almost gloating over the world’s suffering, and enjoying His own insulation from it. It is this terrible caricature of God that the cross smashes to smithereens.” — John Stott
 
“For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are–yet he did not sin.” — Hebrews 4:15
 
“If Christ has died for me, I cannot trifle with the evil that killed my best Friend.” — Charles Spurgeon
  1. A Tangible Reality (v. 31-33a)
But God raised him from the dead31 and for many days he appeared to those who had come up with him from Galilee to Jerusalem, who are now his witnesses to the people. 32 And we bring you the good news that what God promised to the fathers, 33 this he has fulfilled to us their children by raising Jesus…”
“The people actually thought Jesus was the opposite of who he really was, so they had him executed. Further, the fact that Jesus was crucified was proof to his opponents that the was an imposter since the Scriptures teach that God sets a curse on any who hang on a tree. But Paul tells his audience that such a view of Jesus is a man-centered judgment. In raising Jesus from the dead, God confirmed Jesus’ identity as the Messiah. Resurrection is verification. The resurrection proved that Jesus’ work on the cross was sufficient.” — Tony Merida
 
“Thomas was more of a skeptic than a doubter—which is quite reasonable considering the situation. The resurrected Jesus had appeared to the other disciples. When they told Thomas about it, he replied, “Unless I see in his hands the mark of the nails, and place my finger into the mark of the nails, and place my hand into his side, I will never believe” (John 20:25). Like today, resurrections weren’t everyday occurrences in the ancient world. If they were, they wouldn’t be considered miracles. It was perfectly rational and intelligent for Thomas to ask for evidence to back up the claim of his fellow disciples. When Jesus finally appeared to Thomas, he didn’t shame him for his skepticism. Instead, Jesus said, “Put your finger here, and see my hands; and put out your hand, and place it in my side. Do not disbelieve, but believe” (John 20:27). It was only after offering evidence that Jesus instructed Thomas to believe. Thomas asked for evidence, and Jesus delivered it.” — Alisa Childers
  1. A Better Hero (v. 36-39)
“For David, after he had served the purpose of God in his own generation, fell asleep and was laid with his fathers and saw corruption, 37 but he whom God raised up did not see corruption. 38 Let it be known to you therefore, brothers, that through this man forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you, 39 and by him everyone who believes is freed from everything from which you could not be freed by the law of Moses.
 
“Jesus is the true and better Adam who passed the test in the garden and whose obedience is imputed to us…Jesus is the true and better Moses who stands in the gap between the people and the Lord and who mediates a new covenant…Jesus is the true and better Rock of Moses who, struck with the rod of God’s justice, now gives us water in the desert…Jesus is the true and better David whose victory becomes his people’s victory, though they never lifted a stone to accomplish it themselves…Jesus is the real Rock of Moses, the real Passover Lamb, innocent, perfect, helpless, slain so the angel of death will pass over us. He’s the true temple, the true prophet, the true priest, the true king, the true sacrifice, the true lamb, the true light, the true bread.The Bible’s really not about you – it’s about him.” — Timothy Keller
 
TAKEAWAYS: How can we experience God’s promises?
  • Know what God’s promises are
    • He promises to give us wisdom if we ask (James 1:5).
    • He promises to provide a way out of temptation (1 Cor. 10:13).
    • He promises that our salvation is secure, no matter what (John 10:28–29).
    • He promises to never leave us nor forsake us (Heb. 13:5).
    • He promises to finish the good work he has begun in us (Phil. 1:6).
    • He promises to come back (Luke 12:40 List created by Jen Wilken
  • Meditate upon how much it cost
  • Evaluate life through the lens of eternity
“For David, after he had served the purpose of God in his own generation, fell asleep and was laid with his fathers and saw corruption…” — Acts 13:36
GOSPEL: 
“For all the promises of God find their Yes in him. That is why it is through him that we utter our Amen to God for his glory.” — 1 Corinthians 1:20