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Acts 15:13-14: A Divine Visitation

April 25, 2020 Preacher: Bob DeWaay Series: Acts

Scripture: Acts 15:13-14

After Peter and then Paul and Barnabas described God’s work of salvation among the Gentiles, James describes what they explained as a divine visitation. The theme of visitation begins early in Luke with a Holy Spirit inspired speech by Zacharias, the father of John the Baptist. Zacharias uses the Greek word for visitation twice (Luke 1:68, 78). Later, Jesus lamented the fact that Jerusalem “did not recognize the time of your visitation” (Luke 19:44). This sermon explains the concept of God visiting a people and the resultant salvation and/or judgment. Luke clearly makes it thematic in Luke/Acts. Visiting Gentiles happened when the gospel was preached, God did mighty deeds, and some believed can became committed to the Lord Jesus Christ. James interprets that as a visitation of God and will later conclude that the Gentiles should not be required to be circumcised as some were demanding. God made them a part of His people and accepted them based on faith in Christ alone.

We trace this theme back to the OT Exodus as a visitation that created a people for God’s name. God revealed His covenant name to Moses and they were to become a people for the Name. This relationship was not limited geographically. Likewise, in the NT, Jesus brings forth a people who will be His sheep and bear His name. He will love them, keep them, and protect them. God’s visitation made all who believe on Christ a “people for the Name”!