Daily Devotional Thursday 23rd April 2020

by William Moody

Acts 13:38–43

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 freed1 from everything from which you could not be freed by the law of Moses. 40 Beware, therefore, lest what is said in the Prophets should come about:

41   “‘Look, you scoffers,
    be astounded and perish;
  for I am doing a work in your days,
    a work that you will not believe, even if one tells it to you.’”

42 As they went out, the people begged that these things might be told them the next Sabbath. 43 And after the meeting of the synagogue broke up, many Jews and devout converts to Judaism followed Paul and Barnabas, who, as they spoke with them, urged them to continue in the grace of God.


[1] 13:39 Greek justified; twice in this verse


Paul ends his sermon with clear teaching on justification through faith (v38-39). To be justified means being declared righteous in God’s sight. This does not come, Paul says, through keeping the law. We are made right with God through Jesus and we receive this righteousness through faith in Jesus.

These Jews would have been brought up with a message of being accepted by God through keeping the law. This message about Christ and being justified through Him would have been something new and strange. Paul teaches that just because something is new they need to be careful not to scoff at it (v41, quoting Habakkuk 1 v5).

Each of us has a personal belief system which has built up over the years from what we have heard. The danger is that when we hear anything, even from scripture that goes against that belief system, we’re not comfortable with it and reject it. Paul is warning the Jews not to let their traditional beliefs hinder them from embracing something new that God is teaching.

Many who heard Paul and Barnabas wanted to investigate things further (v42-43). When we hear something new from God’s word and do not totally understand or accept it, we need to study more and wrestle with this truth until it becomes part of us. We must embrace all truth to be fully balanced.

Scripture quotations are from the ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®),
copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.
Used by permission. All rights reserved.