January 24, 2023 6:00 am
Pastor Rick teaches from the book of the Acts
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You know, when we're faced with struggles, we want to get away from the problem.
That makes perfect sense many times. But sometimes that's not what God wants. Sometimes God wants us to face the problems. Abraham, at the time he was a Braum, before God had revised his name, he did what we're all prone to do.
And that is seek relief from difficulties rather than profit from the trial, from the things that are bothering us. This is Cross-Reference Radio with our pastor and teacher Rick Gaston. Rick is the pastor of Calvary Chapel Mechanicsville. Pastor Rick is currently teaching through the Book of Acts. Please stay with us after today's message to hear more information about Cross-Reference Radio, specifically how you can get a free copy of this teaching. But for now, let's join Pastor Rick in the Book of Acts chapter 13 as he begins his message, Prophecy Has a Point. Acts chapter 13. 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 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 and though they found no cause for death in him they asked Pilate that he should be put to death now when he had fulfilled when they had fulfilled all that was written concerning him they took him down from the tree and laid him in a tomb but God raised him from the dead he was seen for many days by those who came up with him from Galilee to Jerusalem who are his witnesses to the people and we declare to you glad tidings that promise which was made to the fathers God has fulfilled this for us their children and that he has raised up Jesus as it is also written in the second Psalm you are my son today I have begotten you prophecy has a point first well at least my intended meaning first is it's not to be a hobby I mean it can have qualities about it that match having a whole hobby you like to do it you try to do it as often as you can but prophecy is not meant to be a hobby it is supposed to penetrate the life it has a point to it and it is it has a point on it it is to tell us things that God wants us to hear so that we could be more Christ-like and more usable for the kingdom and unfortunately I think a lot of folks have turned prophecy just into that a hobby you can avoid a lot of conviction by just talking about what's going to happen one day and sort of neglect the things that you need to hear right now to hear the prophecies that Paul is preaching to these his Jewish audience and some Gentiles also he was saying to them it's time to act on these prophecies these things about the coming Messiah have been fulfilled many of them and you had to do something with it it's not enough to just read the hear the scripture read and and go ooh and ah and and it doesn't get into the life Paul said this that there were those who are always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth they had just made themselves lifetime students and not servants just always learning but never getting the point you cannot or it's not advisable to just read the Bible study the Bible be around sermons of the Bible and not digest any of it you have to digest it you have to give it time you have to think it through meditate on these things I have enjoyed this about getting older in the faith maturing in the faith study has its time for sure but to ponder what you've just studied to think about it through the day to meditate on it a very special part of our faith and there is a lot of fruit to be had and so again prophecy has a point and and this is what Paul is is doing before us with his congregation listening to him preach he's saying crisis come the prophets have spoken about this very thing now what are you gonna do with it and so we look now at verse 13 now when Paul and his party set sail from Paphos they came to Perga in Pamphylia and John departing from them returned to Jerusalem well from the island of Cyprus 170 mile trip with ship and on foot rough traveling in fact by the time Paul gets to the region of Galatia he's likely very sick physically and we're not we're not told that he mentioned ministered in Perga he does on the way back we get that in Acts chapter 14 and because he was sick that might have been part of it mark who it is said here in verse 13 departed from them well he's 430 miles from home he's a young man likely in his latter 20s and early 30s Luke is careful to protect mark in that he omits the reasons why mark left we can deduce from the argument that will take place later between Paul and Barnabas that Paul did not feel his reasons for abandoning them were justifiable was it the food it would have been for me like I can't eat this stuff I'm going home maybe it was the peril of bandits or of travel again the seas and those riggity boats that they traveled in at least from from our perspective maybe it was the climate maybe the customs just got to him combination of all of them just being away from home or maybe he too was unhealthy because of maybe the water that they were drinking or something like that unlike Demas who does leave Paul later on in Paul's ministry we know that mark will be restored so he leaves them and he departs ministry is too hard for him at this point and he heads home but Demas he leaves and we never hear of him again and this John mark he had three dynamos in his life three men that invested in him Barnabas Paul and Peter imagine having that a part of your faith in the early years of my ministry I spent a lot of time ministering to some men and it just you know wasn't rewarding it was at the time but then how things turned out it was disappointing and you can't let that get to you here mark he made the most out of it and as I think about you know when we're faced with struggles and we want to get away from the problem that makes perfect sense many times but sometimes that's not what God wants sometimes God wants us to face the problems Abraham at the time he was a brom before God had revised his name he did what we're all prone to do and that is secretly from difficulties rather than profit from the trial from the things that are bothering us Genesis chapter 12 now there was a famine in the land and a brom went down to Egypt to dwell there for the famine was severe in the land well God never told him to go down to Egypt and Abraham was a man that we know to be led by God Abraham depart from your father's house and get away from your people to a land that I will show you and he went out going now he knew not where because he's being led by the spirit but in this case to get away from the famine he decides to go to Egypt he went to Egypt in his own strength and accomplished nothing in fact he picked up some baggage that he would have been better off without in the way of Hagar and other difficulties it was not a good trip and so yeah he wanted to get away from the troubles but he had no leading to do this and he should have remained where he were and these lessons exist for our edification here Paul he is being led by the spirit facing difficulties and Mark he says I'm out of this verse 14 but when they departed from Perga they came to Antioch in Pisidia and went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day and sat down well this is not the Antioch in Syria this is one that is further inland in Turkey and one of the Seleucus one of Alexander the Great's one of his generals Seleucus he built this city and there are no less than 16 cities named Antioch he named him after his father Antiochus and so you may come across that quite a bit in history if you look at the things that were taking place in those days but for us Galatians chapter 1 to the churches in Galatia because this is now the region of Galatia Galatia was a territory not a single church but there are no less than four churches that we read about in this Galatian region Antioch of Pisidia that where Paul and Barnabas have now arrived Iconium Lystra Derby Paul did a lot of ministry there in fact he was stoned in one of these cities and as I mentioned he may have been sick when he arrived here Galatians 4 13 writing to the churches in that region you know that because of my physical infirmity I preach the gospel to you at first and so he gets there and he's sick he makes a comment you would have you know taken out your eyes and give them to me and it was probably a figure of speech meaning you guys were just so loving so caring for me when I was there later when he gets back after this trip to this region that we're now considering in acts 13 he writes a letter addressing the corruption of the gospel message that had then followed his his time there he and Barnabas others had come behind to undo Paul's work and so in the Galatian letter he writes you pardon me Galatians 1 6 I marvel that you are turning away so soon from him who called you in the grace of Christ to a different gospel so there Paul does all this work in the region of Galatia and then Satan goes behind him and does his work too and that's why we have the Galatian letter and the Galatian letter is is not he is not making them feel comfortable he asked them who's bewitched you you foolish Galatians having begun in the spirit now being made perfect in the flesh it's such a rookie move that is carried out by seasoned Christians often they start out in the spirit of God and then they I didn't get tired of waiting for God tired of doing without and they begin to try to do things in their own strength they work in not at the spirit but the flesh and it's you get a lot of visible things done that way you just don't get much spiritual fruit from it well it says here in verse 14 and went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day and sat down well the Sabbath is Saturday for us is when the Jews would assemble he tried to always begin at the synagogues it makes perfect sense it was a rational decision it should have been an easy fit that's why it's so rational they had the scripture the Old Testament again no New Testament yet not in print but there was a New Testament being orally spoken but it just again was not assembled into what we know as the Bible as we have it today but given their knowledge of the prophets who foretold about Messiah and they told a lot about him it should have been a bit you know just a great success imagine going somewhere where there are a lot of Christians but there's no Bible teaching and you go there you say I'm going to start teaching verse by verse expository teaching and they're gonna love it and you get there and they don't they kind of turn on you for it because you start smashing their icons you start going against their habits that are outside of Scripture and often contrary to the will of God and Paul is facing that here in Romans chapter 1 he wrote to that church years later I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes for the Jew first and also the Greek for the Jew first it made again they were the custodians of the Old Testament scripture which the New Testament was built upon you know we talk about an imperfect imperfect translations all of them are Christ used an imperfect translation of the Old Testament I mean largely it was a Septuagint which was the Greek translation from the Hebrew and so this is not something that should unnerve you you should learn to understand how special it is to have the Word of God preserved over multiple cultures for thousands of years counting the Old Testament and still make its points all of them they're inescapable it is quite an accomplishment but here this logical step which in life in serving Christ logical steps do not always produce logical conclusions and it is because of people it just makes you scratch your head sometimes you don't want to become self-righteous and judgmental and harsh but you must you must face it you can't sweep it under the rug it is frustrating when things that make sense fail because of people and the people you're trying to help well you got to grow up and just focus on what God is doing and the fruit that is coming out of it I think that you know I for a long time I've been preaching when it's time to go to heaven and you turn your armor in it should have dents and scuffs and you burn marks sweat blood tears all of that should be on that armor it is certainly that kind of a life situation where we have the good news in the midst of a cursed world but I never thought ministry would beat you up so much and and yet and yet the joy of I'm still standing punk I mean so you know there's got to balance these things and it's okay it's okay to tell God I'm sick and tired of some of this stuff and God will say yeah and what because he's nice I don't know he he's always encouraged me but I don't remember him ever babying me I don't remember God once now now it'll be okay it's like well you know I never promised you a rose garden so anyway back to oh I'm sorry does anybody here think that ministry should be nothing but fun you who work in the children's ministry and you got that one little kid or maybe just you know somewhere else you serve in the church and it's just something that you know oh man I don't want to do this well that is ministry that's what it looks like rejoice in that now here's how I rejoice when when I'm faced with things I don't like thank you Lord thank you I'm not gonna lie to him I love this stuff I love it there are certain things I love about ministry and there are certain other things that I wish I didn't have to do but that's okay I know who I work for and I know he's always going to be with me because he always has been with me and you you and I are both encouraged anyway back to verse 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 I like how that's phrased well the Jews had a schedule of reading in the synagogue and still do many of them where they try to read through the Torah the first five books of the law every year and at the end of the year they repeats itself and the rulers of the synagogue were to keep this on on course maintain order and they would invite after someone read a passage of the law they would invite someone to come up and expound upon it to talk about it well here they've got two rabbis at least two learned men in the law Barnabas and Paul Paul certainly a rabbi their garb likely would have indicated this to them and they asked them to come up and share from what was just read and it was likely out of Exodus or Deuteronomy and we know that because of where Paul starts off with his exposition so now verse 16 then Paul stood up and motioning with his hand said men of Israel and you who fear God listen well I really like this a start from the bottom of the verse first you who fear God those were the Gentiles who feared God but did not go so far feared the God of the Jews Yahweh but did not go as far as becoming circumcised they were receptive to the truth that this was the creator they were sick of the idolatry and all of its junk and so they were looking for truth and these are the ones that are actually going to to get the point of the prophecies that Paul is going to bring up in his sermon Luke was not and here's what I find fascinating about this verse Luke was not present with them at this time he got this information second hand well in other words Paul may have told him Barnabas others there would have told him about this and what stands out is then Paul stood up and motioning with his hand why would he include that why is that important to put in the evidently this is an outstanding gesture some eyewitness retold this story to Luke someone recalled the moment someone was moved by all that took place and it began with this gesture of the hand they could still see Paul do this Luke is known for his careful research Luke's Gospel chapter 1 verses 1 through 3 he says look I looked into this stuff and I eyewitnesses and he you know he's a he's a physician he is a medical doctor and this little detail preserved by the Holy Spirit the snapshot in time has a point I'm not sure what that point is yet maybe you can meditate on it consider it and come up with something but I but it stands out to me because all of God's Word is vital and it is there for us to ponder so he begins this message with a gesture and verse 17 the God of this people Israel chose our fathers and exalted the people when they dwelt as strangers in the land of Egypt and with an uplifted arm he brought them out of it and so he's talking about the Exodus again we likely that was where the reading was in the synagogue that Saturday and he is emphasizing Israel's appointment as the people of God as the bringers of the light the custodians of the word why he starts at the synagogues whenever he can and the Gentiles of course they're listening to this they're not resisting this they're not saying what about us they want the truth of God and they're not protesting about how God does a thing because there was nothing to protest and so beginning with this history of the Jews he demonstrates Paul is demonstrating that the preaching of Christ is not just something they took out of thin air he's not a Johnny come lately he's not a self-appointed Messiah he's saying our Bible has talked about this man he's gonna lay it out more so that they understand why he is making this connection he is going on to say that this man Jesus Christ of Nazareth is the Messiah and he has fulfilled the things many of the things that the prophets have said well Jesus himself said do not think that I came to destroy the law or the prophets but to fulfill them and that he did and that he is still doing and so ensuring that they understood that he is introducing a individual that is qualified to follow unlike anybody else again their Messiah whom their forefathers and the prophets spoke about wrote about preached about and they knew those scriptures they knew those scriptures by heart they were a part of their entire lives from the time they were very small even to their to they left this life they knew these things and so he's gonna spell it out for them Jesus is the Christ that our scriptures prophesied about verse 18 now for a time about 40 years he put up with their ways in the wilderness I like how that's phrase to be put up with them because God puts up with us because he's merciful not because we're so special the funny thing about not being so special the funny thing about humility is that there be times where you won't feel so humble when you will feel better than others or at least tempted to and it's an ongoing work God's tolerance is God's grace in action and how about us we're supposed to be Christ like Christ is God the son how tolerant are we with others who need grace proverbs 19 the discretion of a man makes him slow to anger and his glory is to overlook a transgression yeah there's just things that just you know just leave it alone just take the hit it's okay and learn how to do that the right way I mean there are some transgressions you cannot overlook they have to be dealt with but then there are lesser ones and and their best oftentimes just dismissed the Jews they boasted about their rich spiritual spiritual heritage Abraham Isaac and Jacob and the prophets they boasted about these things you've been listening to cross reference radio the daily radio ministry of pastor Rick Gaston of Calvary Chapel in mechanicsville Virginia as we mentioned at the beginning of today's broadcast today's teaching is available free of charge at our website simply visit cross reference radio.com that's cross reference radio.com we'd also like to encourage you to subscribe to the cross reference radio podcast subscribing ensures that you stay current with all the latest teachings from pastor Rick you can subscribe at cross reference radio.com or simply search for cross reference radio in your favorite podcast app tune in next time as pastor Rick continues teaching through the book of Acts right here on cross reference radio.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-01-24 19:34:22 / 2023-01-24 19:42:52 / 9