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To Hear the Word of God (Part A)

Cross Reference Radio / Pastor Rick Gaston
The Truth Network Radio
January 27, 2023 6:00 am

To Hear the Word of God (Part A)

Cross Reference Radio / Pastor Rick Gaston

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January 27, 2023 6:00 am

Pastor Rick teaches from the book of the Acts

Cross Reference Radio
Pastor Rick Gaston
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Gregory N. Barkman
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David McGee

He says that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name to all nations, which means all people. Beginning at Jerusalem, Luke 24 verse 47.

What kind of lesson is in that? People that shove me around and bully me, I still look to give them the gospel. I still look to offer the gospel.

I don't have to like them, but I have to love them. This is Cross-Reference Radio with our pastor and teacher Rick Gaston. Rick is the pastor of Calvary Chapel in 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 to hear the Word of God. We're in the Book of Acts chapter 13. If you have your Bibles, please turn to the 42nd verse of Acts chapter 13.

We'll take verses 42 through 52, and this message is entitled to hear the Word of God. So when the Jews went out of the synagogue, the Gentiles begged that these words might be preached to them the next Sabbath. Now when the congregation had broken up, many of the Jews and devout proselytes followed Paul and Barnabas who, speaking to them, persuaded them to continue in the grace of God. When the next Sabbath, almost the whole city came together to hear the Word of God. But when the Jews saw the multitudes, they were filled with envy.

And contradicting and blaspheming, they opposed the things spoken by Paul. Then Paul and Barnabas grew bold and said, It was necessary that the Word of God should be spoken to you first, but since you reject it and judge yourselves unworthy of everlasting life, behold, we turn to the Gentiles. For so the Lord has commanded us. I have set you as a light to the Gentiles that you should be for salvation to the ends of the earth. And when the Gentiles heard this, they were glad and glorified the Word of the Lord. And as many as had been appointed to eternal life believed, and the Word of the Lord was being spread throughout all the region. But the Jews stirred up the devout and prominent women, and the chief men of the city raised up persecution against Paul and Barnabas and expelled them from their region. But they shook off the dust from their feet against them and came to Iconium, and the disciples were filled with joy and with the Holy Spirit to hear the Word of God.

That title comes right out of our text, but before I get to this, I want to go over some things that I think are vital to remaining stable and balanced in our approach to the Scriptures, all of the Scriptures. Early on, the Jews were faced with this fact by God that they were sinners like everybody else. In spite of all that God invested into the Jewish people and their future as the people of God, they are still like everybody else. This comes right out of Deuteronomy 9. God says to them, Do not think in your heart after Yahweh your God has cast them out.

That would be the Canaanites. Cast them out before you, saying, Because of my righteousness Yahweh has brought me in to possess this land. But it is because of the wickedness of these nations that Yahweh is driving them out before you. So there the Lord is saying, Don't think you're so special.

I'm using you as an instrument of judgment. Later, of course, He will lay out for them that they would be judged likewise should they become wicked as the Canaanites. Well, even later in the New Testament, they would have to face the fact that they were invited to receive their Messiah in Christ Jesus and to believe Him, not as Jews, but really as sinners.

It comes down to mankind facing the fact that we are born in iniquity before a righteous and holy God, and they would have to face this fact just like everybody else. Paul, the apostle, a devout Jewish Pharisee, he was saved outside of the Jewish law. He knew the Jewish scripture, and yet it wasn't through reading of the scripture, hearing the sermons from the scripture, that he was saved. He saw the glorified Messiah.

He heard His voice and sat under His teaching. He went forward in the strength of the Holy Spirit, not in the strength of Moses. Now, that's not a slight against Moses. Moses is part of the process as God has designed it. And he went forward, Paul did, in the gospel, as I mentioned, entirely apart from the law of Moses, yet not without it.

There's a big however on this. Jesus rejected the Samaritan religion. He rejected every other religion when he told the woman at the well, salvation is of the Jews. And that's one of the reasons why Paul would first go to the synagogue, to the Jew first and then the Gentile.

It was a natural fit. We went over that in earlier chapters. But I want to read just that section again from John 4. Jesus told the woman at the well, straight out, you worship what you do not know.

I mean, that's like right there. He's saying your religion is a mess. And he went on to say, we know what we worship, for salvation is of the Jews.

Christianity fulfills this with greater authority. Again, this is God's design, not the destruction, but the fulfillment of the law. Still, the Old Testament is vital to us as God's word, equal authority as the New Testament.

It is one revelation unfolding before us. I would not know my New Testament without my Old Testament. For example, how would I know mankind's origins and the beginning of sin were it not for Genesis 1 and Genesis chapter 3? How would I know how to approach God were it not for Exodus chapter 3, where God tells Moses, take the sandals off your feet. The ground you stand upon is holy ground.

How would I know what was meant by idolatry without such chapters as Leviticus 26? How would I know the woe of disbelieving the promises of God without Numbers 14? They were promised to go into the land of flowing with milk and honey, but they didn't believe it because there were giants in the land.

And for that, they paid. How would I know that God's people are not intrinsically better than everybody else were it not for the verse I just read you from Deuteronomy chapter 9? And it goes on. It just goes on and on about the authority of God, the love of God. How would I know not to reject his appointed authority without Numbers 16, where Datham and his gang rejected the authority of Moses and Aaron and the ground swallowed them up for it? The Old Testament is vital to us, but it is the New Testament that is primary, and it is a good lesson to learn. To really be touched with God's love for sinners and the purpose of the Old Testament prophecies and rituals and ceremonies and types, you have to come to the New Testament. There you come face to face with the Son of God died for sinners. You have to come to the place of death known as Golgotha in the Hebrew, Calvary in the Latin. Revelation 22 16. I, Jesus, have sent my angel to testify to you these things in the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, the bright and morning star.

It is all about him. This is how the Father wants it, and this is how the Holy Spirit upholds it. One falls in love with the truth when you fall out of love with lies, and the world loves lies. They would not say it that way, not at all, but they just conduct themselves that way. Until Pentecost, when the church was born, if God had anything to say, he said it primarily through a Jew.

There are a few exceptions to that. For 2,000 years, if God had anything to say, he said it in the Hebrew language, with few exceptions. For 2,000 years, if a Gentile wanted to know God, he had to go through a Jew. Now, for the last 2,000 years, if a sinner wants to know God and how to be forgiven of their sins, it is through the Bible and the Christian, the New Testament church built on the foundation of the apostles and the prophets.

All of this just dovetails right together, fits perfectly. This is the Christianity we love and adore. In Acts chapter 18, there was a Jewish preacher who preached to Messiah, but he had only limited knowledge of John the Baptist and that baptism. And Priscilla and Aquila, two Christians, pulled him aside and said, listen, you've got a lot of facts right in your Old Testament, but you haven't gone far enough. And they schooled him, and then he took that and the Jews could not refute his preaching about Messiah. Vital point for us, to love and to understand and to use and to be used with the New Testament and the Old Testament together.

This is what Paul was facing. Everything I just said was what he was putting into motion, God using him to do this and the other believers also. We resume the story of Paul's preaching in a synagogue at the end of the service. What was the result of his preaching? When he stood up and said, let me tell you about the Moses and the Jewish people and our Messiah and what the prophets have said and that Jesus Christ has fulfilled all of this. Well, then what happened?

Well, that's what we're getting here. He preached from the Scriptures that Jesus is Messiah. He mentions Jesus by name in verse 23. But now we skip to verse 24, having addressed the previous verses in the last session. Verse 42, so when the Jews went out of the synagogue, the Gentiles begged that these words might be preached to them the next Sabbath. The gospel of Jesus Christ is offered to everyone who comes into range. There's no, well, you know, that person doesn't get it there in Amorite. They're a Philistine.

Those two peoples don't exist, but you could put any name there and you'd be wrong. The gospel is offered to everybody. Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. Mark 16, 15. It is a commandment of Jesus Christ to preach the gospel, to offer it to whoever would receive the offer. These two men, Saul or Paul at this point, and Barnabas, they're making this announcement. They are announcing that the Messiah has come.

They are heralds. They are delivering, they are publishing the message. They did not stop to argue, just to deliver.

And this is what they are doing. There is no message of Christ's gospel without the cross of Christ. They go together and there's no speaking of the cross of Christ without the resurrection of Christ that he overcomes death.

That there is life after this life. Then the Gentiles, it says here in verse 42, beg that these words might be preached to them the next Sabbath. Primary function of the church is to assemble to hear the word of God. That is the primary function of the assembly.

Not to sit home and hear it on your own, but to assemble. This is the primary. There are secondaries, but this is the main thing. And this is what the scripture teaches us. Other things are not as important. Though the other things are often made primary by people of God, and the word of God is made secondary. That's upside down. That's backwards.

It should not be that way. Why would any Christian disagree with this? Why would any Christian stand up and say, no, no, the Bible's not all that. Programs, community service, other things are more important than the word of God and the house of God.

That would be a lie. Paul, teaching the pastors how to pastor, preached the word, he said, be ready in season and out of season. That's all the time. That's without exception. Convince, rebuke, exhort with all long suffering and teaching. I'm not fully worked out the long suffering part voluntarily, but involuntarily I have. You have to, all of us have to put up with each other to some degree at some point.

Just make sure you're not the guilty one, should there be guilt. These Gentiles knew that the religions of the world outside of Judaism, that they were born and raised with, that they were exposed to everywhere, they knew it was false. That can't be right. There's no evidence for this. There's nothing to substantiate it. There really are no spiritual features of true prophecies.

These oracles that they talk about are so lame and they're so general that they really don't count. And so when they were exposed to Judaism, they said, this is creation. This is how man became a sinner. This makes sense. This has a spiritual feature of prophecies and there were many prophecies already fulfilled in the Old Testament concerning various things.

The Gentiles attending the synagogue knew that Judaism was much closer to the truth than anything that ever came out of paganism. Hosea, when he writes, for I desire mercy, not sacrifice. There are bigger things than ceremonies and rituals that belong to religion and those things are the practice of what those things represent and every sacrifice, every blood sacrifice, every grain sacrifice is God saying to man, I can be approached on my terms.

You can come to me and I will receive you. It's going to cost something, but not too much because I desire mercy, not sacrifice and the knowledge of God more than burnt offerings. This is profound.

We shouldn't forget it. Christ has fulfilled all of this for us. He is our sacrifice.

He offered himself in our place, took our judgment upon himself. This is real religion and not man's religion. Hearing the words of God, that's not enough. It's not enough to hear the word of God. It's not enough to hear the word of God just to fall in love with him, but falling in love with him comes only from hearing his word or else what are you hearing?

There's no other way. Faith comes by hearing. That is a fact and that's why the Bible has recorded and preserved that scripture verse. Faith comes by hearing and hearing the word of God.

And we love that it's so. We are here to hear the word of God so that we can hear from God. That's the purpose. Whatever junk I may have going on, God knows how to sort it out and bring it to my attention. Maybe it's something I wasn't even thinking of. Maybe it's something I don't really want to hear.

Maybe it's something I was hoping somebody would say to me. Whatever is going on on the inside, God knows. Preacher doesn't know. He just tried to listen to the Lord. He's the messenger. He is the angel of the church. He goes up and tries to deliver that message. He is the messenger, not the angelic messenger, but the word angel means messenger.

And so that is true and it is proper. Those who killed Christ, they heard his sermons. They saw his miracles.

Still, not all of them remained hostile to him. Judas Iscariot traded on him. Mark 14, Jesus said, I was daily with you in the temple teaching. You had all your chances to arrest me then.

Why are you doing it now? And of course, you know, he held everything under his control. But the point that I am making is not enough to hear the word of God, yet without hearing the word of God, how do you know anything about him? You're left in a position where you just start making stuff up and of course that is idolatry. It is something God detests. As hostile as they were, as hostile as they were to Jesus Christ in the crucifixion of Jesus Christ, he never gave up on them. He never gave up on Jerusalem. Oh Jerusalem, the one that kills the prophets and stones those who were sent to her. After his crucifixion, a violent death, that public death, then his resurrection, this is what he tells his disciples about Jerusalem. He says that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name to all nations, which means all peoples, beginning at Jerusalem, Luke 24 verse 47.

What kind of lesson is in that? People that shove me around and bully me, I still look to give them the gospel. I still look to offer the gospel. I don't have to like them, but I have to love them.

And that love is a deeper thing than liking them. It means that I am ready to share with them the way out of hell and the way into heaven we know is the good news, the gospel of Jesus Christ. Jerusalem is where his killers were in power and they were to start there. And he's not finished with Jerusalem.

The Bible makes this very clear. He's not finished with the Jewish people. He's not finished with those who have not heard the gospel and there are many in this world, though I fear there aren't many in this country.

There are many in this country who have heard the gospel and reject it nonetheless. Zechariah the prophet said, chapter 1 verse 16, therefore thus says Yahweh, I am returning to Jerusalem with mercy. My house shall be built in it, says Yahweh of hosts, and a surveyor's line shall be stretched over Jerusalem.

That has a near and a far fulfillment. This was said, Zechariah and the prophet Haggai, they were there in Jerusalem to get the temple rebuilt, the temple that was destroyed because of the people's faithlessness. It was a judgment and yet God wanted that temple rebuilt and he sends these two prophets to light a fire under the people and they got it done and that prophecy is the temple will be built. But it is also the millennial temple that is in mind.

That temple will be built too. The world that Paul preached in was subject to Roman government, Grecian philosophy and Hebrew religion. This is the audience that Paul is dealing with in this synagogue in Antioch of Pisidia and this Antioch of Pisidia will be responsible for following Paul to Iconium and then on to Lystra and stirring up the crowd and they stoned him to death. But he got up. Very serious stuff, religion.

We know this. None of this, the Roman law, the Grecian philosophies, the Hebrew religion as it was at the time, not because of the scripture but because of how the people administered the scripture, none of it satisfied the soul. Not like the gospel. Philosophy asks more questions than it answers.

Listen to the philosophers of human history and they just have all these, and a lot of them, that's just crazy. That is wrong. That is not right. Still don't have the answers.

They may get one or two right. That's not enough to pass the test. Government. The government of Rome allowed as much corruption as they looked to stop. In fact, even more because they certainly were corrupt against the smaller people to help the bigger people.

That's a pyramid scheme you could say. Religion, the Jewish religion, it was incomplete and it was unwelcoming. The Jews, they made the Gentiles feel like outsiders the whole time. And hopefully we Christians, we're firm that if you have not received Jesus Christ, you're not a Christian. The communion table is not for you, but you're still welcomed and you are still offered the gospel. We don't want to make you feel like we are enemies of each other, though our outlook may be enemies and there are some that are blatant sinners and we have to treat them like enemies. They'll come into our churches, they'll snatch our kids up, and they'll do them eternal harm if they can. It's getting now, especially our little girls, so targeted by sexual perversity, the mutilation of infants and people in the name of sexual perversion. It's getting so it's another one bites the dust.

Don't that be you? If you are a young believer in Christ, don't you be another one that bites the dust to the world's violent attack on God's truth. When Christ was crucified, they nailed to the cross that he was the king of the Jews. It was not divisive, it was inclusive. That's why it was in the three most dominant cultures and influences of the time in Jerusalem. It was written in the Greek language, again the world's philosophies, which the Romans embraced.

The Romans embraced the Grecian religion. They took their gods and made them change their names with the same gods. It was written in the Latin, the language of human authority. That authority signed off on the execution of God the Son.

It was written in the Hebrew language. Of all the religions in the world, the Hebrews had the only revealed religion that was maintained, because before them there was revealed religion in Noah and Enoch. But that had all been washed away. It had all evaporated. It had all been assimilated into idolatry, but not the religion of the Jews at this time. The whole world is the point.

Written in the Greek, the Latin, the Hebrew, the whole world endorsed the crime of Calvary and killing the Son of God. 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 That's 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 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 / 2023-01-27 06:28:05 / 2023-01-27 06:36:57 / 9

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