Persecution and Preaching (Acts 13:2-3)
Scripture: Acts 13:2-3
This class looks the nature of gospel preaching and how boldness about the true terms of the gospel is essential. First we discuss how the apostles claimed that the gospel must be “obeyed.” We look at various passages where rejection of the gospel happens by those “who do not obey the gospel of God” (1Peter 4:17). In 2 Thessalonians 1:8 Paul speaks of God “dealing out retribution to those who do not . . . obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus.” Obedience to the faith is also mentioned elsewhere in Acts. So the gospel is not an “invitation” for a happier life as is often portrayed by the seeker movement but a call to repent and believe.
We discuss how repentance and turning from darkness to light are synonymous ideas as seen in Acts 26:18. The hostile reception that faced the apostles reveals how the gospel confronts sinners and those who do not believe often react violently. The word translated “speaking boldly” in verse 3 is used 9 times in the NT with 7 of them being in Acts. This shows that bold preaching is thematic in Acts. We also discuss the fact that God “grants” signs as His testimony to the gospel. We distinguish between “signs of the apostles” and signs that God providentially does throughout church history to confirm the gospel. We also have a discussion about how God uses commands as law to show people their need for the gospel.