Acts 13:26-31

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.

27 For those who dwell in Jerusalem, and their rulers, because they did not know Him, nor even the voices of the Prophets which are read every Sabbath, have fulfilled them in condemning Him.

28 And though they found no cause for death in Him, they asked Pilate that He should be put to death.

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.

30 But God raised Him from the dead.

31 He was seen for many days by those who came up with Him from Galilee to Jerusalem, who are His witnesses to the people.

rulers (v.27) — the chief priest and the Sanhedrin (Acts 3:17; 6:15)

Now Paul says not only to the Jews but also to the God-fearing Gentiles in his audience: “To you is the word of this salvation sent” (v.26). Does this mean that Paul, like John the Baptist and Peter, also preached “the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins,” offering Christ as King? Not at all. Nowhere, ever, do we find Paul proclaiming repentance and baptism for the remission of sins and in this sermon in Pisidian Antioch he certainly did not do so if verses 38 and 39 mean anything at all.

Careful note should be taken as to how and why salvation was now being sent to these Jews of the dispersion and the God-fearing Gentiles among them.

“To YOU is the word of this salvation sent,” says Paul, “for THEY that dwell at Jerusalem, and their rulers … condemned Him.” It was not, then, because Jerusalem and Israel’s rulers had accepted Christ and therefore the kingdom could now be proclaimed in the regions beyond. The very fact that Paul, rather than one of the twelve, is the preacher here would refute this idea. It was rather because Jerusalem and Israel’s rulers had rejected Christ. They had rejected Christ, so now Paul offers Him to these dispersed Jews and God-fearing Gentiles.

(At first, according to Acts 10:36, the Word of God was “sent unto the children of Israel.” Here in Acts 13:26 “the word of this salvation” is “sent” to the “children of the stock of Abraham” and Gentiles among them who “feared God.” In Acts 28:28 “the salvation of God is sent unto the Gentiles.”)

The reason he could thus offer salvation to his hearers apart from Israel’s conversion was because though those at Jerusalem neither knew Christ nor understood the prophets, they had nevertheless fulfilled the prophetic Scriptures in condemning Christ! — Stam, pages 199-200.

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