What the Law could never do Acts 13:38-43
(My pastor and friend of almost 45 yrs…David…uses the S.O.A.P method in his daily quiet time. Study, Observe, Apply, Pray. He shares each day’s S.O.A.P with some folks…I wanted to share this one with you. He is studying the book of Acts at this time. If you have asked Jesus Christ to be ‘your’ Savior…then the truth, joy, and thanksgiving that David proclaims in his prayer is yours as well.)
13:38 “Brothers, listen! We are here to proclaim that through this man Jesus there is forgiveness for your sins. 39 Everyone who believes in him is made right in God’s sight—something the law of Moses could never do. 40 Be careful! Don’t let the prophets’ words apply to you. For they said, 41‘Look, you mockers, be amazed and die! For I am doing something in your own day, something you wouldn’t believe even if someone told you about it.’” 42 As Paul and Barnabas left the synagogue that day, the people begged them to speak about these things again the next week. 43 Many Jews and devout converts to Judaism followed Paul and Barnabas, and the two men urged them to continue to rely on the grace of God. NLT
Paul is in Pisidian Antioch, speaking in the synagogue to convince Jews (and some Gentiles) that even though the Jewish leaders rejected Jesus as the Messiah, that God had raised Him from the dead to prove He was the Messiah and Savior. The Jews had the highest regard for the Law of Moses, but Paul tells them that the Law could not do for them what Jesus could. The Law showed God’s righteous standards, but it could not provide the will or power to keep those standards. So, the Law was designed to convict lawbreakers, but not to acquit them. It could never make anyone right in God’s sight. By paying the penalty for our sin, and by imparting His righteousness to us, only Jesus can deliver us from the judgment of God.
In :40-41 Paul quotes from Hab 1:6 warning the Jews that God promised to bring judgment on them if they did not repent. His point in using that warning here is the same as in Habakkuk -if they scoff, if they don’t believe in God’s Messiah they will face His judgment like Judah did in 586BC. So in :43 Paul encourages them to remain in the grace of God – not their confidence that they could be justified by keeping the Law.
Lord Jesus, Thank You that You lived a perfect and sinless life, keeping all the Law of Moses Your whole life, and that You were willing to be our substitute in death, and in life. I praise You for Your power in rising from the dead to prove the validity of Your claims and Your promises to do for us what the Law could never do. Help me make this message of righteousness by grace through faith in Messiah Jesus clear to people everywhere. It truly is the best news anyone has ever heard!!! Amen!