Shake The Dust From Your Feet And Move On
INTRO: Good morning. We are continuing in our study of the Book of Acts. The last time we were together we left Paul and Barnabus in Antioch preaching in the synagogue after being invited to do so. Paul did what we all should be ready to do, and that is—seize the moment.
Before we get started with our text today let me tell you a story I heard from some years ago. It’s about a professor of European history at Oxford University. Pressure of advanced learning combined with the freedom of being away from home and finding oneself living among others of the same age, can produce an environment that is difficult for a young person to manage. When faced with writing a paper, which is a lengthy process, sometimes the student is tempted to find time saving methods, and in this case the professor spotted a plagiarized term paper.
He called the student into his office and said, "This isn't your work. Someone typed it for you straight out of an encyclopedia."
The student glared at the professor and said, "You can't prove that!"
The professor showed the student the paper and on the last page, he had circled the final sentence.
It read: "Also see article on communism."
Plagiarism is considered a serious matter in the academic world. But quoting words and ideas that are not your own is only plagiarism if you do not correctly cite the source. When teaching from scripture we most often quote book, chapter, and verse, (cite the reference) so that the listener can verify what is being said.
We left Paul in the middle of his sermon where he shared with those in the synagogue a Jewish history lesson.
I. We catch up with Paul’s sermon in Acts 13:26-29 – “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 they had fulfilled all that was written concerning Him, they took Him down from the tree and laid Him in a tomb.” [NKJV]
A. Luke tells us that Paul proclaimed that the message of salvation brought by the Messiah, was being delivered to them.
1. I don’t know about you, but I find it difficult to admit to something I didn’t know I had done. I remember one time I said something in a sermon which upset someone, but I wasn’t aware of it until a few weeks later. Thankfully, they approached me, and we talked about it. I assured them that I wasn’t even aware that I had upset them. Fortunately, it was a misunderstanding of the point under discussion, we cleared it up and I apologized for not being clear and upsetting them.
2. Luke says that the Jewish leaders and other people fulfilled the prophecies about Christ's death because they did not recognize the Messiah.
3. Paul tells them that they didn’t understand what the prophets had foretold. Just like I was unaware I upset someone until they told me, the people listening to Paul’s sermon were clueless as well.
4. Paul tells them that they had crucified an innocent man named Jesus, but they had also fulfilled all the other prophecies concerning His rejection, death, and burial.
B. Remember a few months ago we had a sermon called, ‘But God’? We saw how we may have many plans for our lives ‘But God’ may have different plans for us. I love those two little words and while Paul is talking about the rejection, death, and burial of Jesus Christ, he continues now at verse 30 using those same two little words.
C. Acts 13:30-38 – “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, in that He has raised up Jesus. As it is also written in the second Psalm: 'You are My Son, today I have begotten You.' "And that He raised Him from the dead, no more to return to corruption, He has spoken thus: 'I will give you the sure mercies of David.' "Therefore He also says in another Psalm: 'You will not allow Your Holy One to see corruption.' "For David, after he had served his own generation by the will of God, fell asleep, was buried with his fathers, and saw corruption; "but He whom God raised up saw no corruption. "Therefore let it be known to you, brethren, that through this Man is preached to you the forgiveness of sins;”
1. Paul says that the Jews rejected the Christ, ‘But God.’
2. Paul says they murdered the innocent Christ, ‘But God’.
3. Paul says they buried Him in a tomb, ‘But God’.
4. All the events which happened concerning the Christ were prophesied many years before they happened.
5. Paul says, ‘But God’ did not abandon Jesus, but raised Him up from the grave.
6. Paul asks, do you want proof? He says there are many witnesses who could tell you how they personally saw the resurrected Lord.
D. Paul quotes two Old Testament passages to prove his case.
1. The first one is from Isaiah 55:3 – “Incline your ear, and come to Me. Hear, and your soul shall live; and I will make an everlasting covenant with you the sure mercies of David.”[NKJV]
2. The second one is from Psalm 16:10 – “For thou wilt not leave my soul in hell; neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption.”[KJV]
3. Paul tells them this is what the Old Testament prophets were saying. They told the people that the Holy One promised by God was coming and Paul says His Name is Jesus.
E. I like to watch mystery shows. The shows set in modern times often use forensics to solve cases. Occasionally they must dig up an old grave to take samples from the body buried there. Most of the time they get a court order, go to the cemetery, dig up the grave, and find the remains they need to examine.
F. Most folks today can go to the cemetery and visit the grave of a loved one who is buried there. There is an organization on the web, BillionGraves.com, who has made a project of collecting pictures of grave markers from volunteers. These pictures are indexed by name and graveyard and are used by people researching their heritage.
1. If the Jews in Paul’s time wanted to visit a grave of a loved one, they could simply go down to the graveyard and visit the tomb.
2. Paul tells them, if they wanted to go down to the graveyard they could still see the tomb of King David. If they opened it up, they would still see the remains of David’s body, but Paul goes on to say that the fact that Jesus' body was raised and did not stay in the tomb, set Him apart from David as God's promised Messiah. In other words, that’s why Jesus was different from King David.
II. Why is the resurrection of Christ so important to Christians? Is the fact that Jesus rose from the grave about 2,000 years ago really all that important to a Christian’s faith? Have you ever wondered what would happen if Jesus had never risen from the tomb in which He was buried? What if you could go and see His remains in a grave today? Could we still be Christians if Jesus had never arisen?
A. I would like us to look at what Paul told the Christians at Corinth about the resurrection of Christ.
1. In a passage where Paul was writing about the reality of the resurrection of the dead at the end of time, he also mentioned Christ’s resurrection. He says in 1 Corinthians 15:14 – “And if Christ is not risen, then our preaching is vain and your faith is also vain.” [NKJV]
2. If we go to verse 17 of the same passage, Paul says, “And if Christ is not risen, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins!”
3. What Paul is saying here is that without Jesus’ resurrection, no one would have any hope of going to heaven. Romans 3:10 – “... There is none righteous, no, not one”
4. Paul also wrote in Romans 1:4 that “... He was shown to be the Son of God when He was raised from the dead by the power of the Holy Spirit. He is Jesus Christ our Lord.” [para]
B. As we’ve already seen with our study of Acts, the early church multiplied quickly in just a few short years. The church grew by “leaps and bounds.” People were obeying the Gospel by the thousands. One central message lay at the heart of their decision.
1. 1 Corinthians 15:1-4 – “1. Moreover, brethren, I declare to you the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received and in which you stand, 2. by which also you are saved, if you hold fast that word which I preached to you unless you believed in vain. 3. For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4. and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures,”
2. Paul says the central message of the gospel is the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ. In other words, if Jesus had never been raised from the grave, the Gospel never could have been preached. You see, folks, the Gospel is not about a “lifeless hero,” it’s about a “risen Redeemer.” Jesus’ resurrection gives meaning to a Christian’s faith. Think about it.
C. It’s because of His resurrection that we meet every Sunday to partake of the Lord’s Supper. Think of 1 Corinthians 11:26 – “For as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord's death till He comes.” We are to remember the Lord’s death “until He comes”.
1. If Jesus were not risen however, we would have no hope of His coming again, and Paul’s statement here regarding the Lord’s Supper would be meaningless.
2. Every time Christians pray “in Jesus name,” we are relying on our risen Savior, to mediate on our behalf according to 1 Timothy 2:5. If Jesus were not risen, our prayers would not be heard, and our petitions to have our sins forgiven could not be granted.
D. The only reason that the preaching and baptizing we read about in Matthew 28:19-20 and Mark 16:15-16 are of any importance at all, is because Jesus is not dead, but alive.
1. When a person is baptized “for the remission of sins” as we saw happening in Acts 2:38, they are “... buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, they too may have a new life”. [para] Romans 6:4.
2. Folks, Christians always need to keep in mind how important Jesus’ resurrection is to our faith.
3. And we must not let the fact that Jesus’ resurrection occurred nearly 2,000 years ago lessen the importance of His victory over death.
III. Paul goes on to say in Acts 13, let me tell you something else which is different about these two great men, David and Jesus. Acts 13:39-41 – “39. and by Him everyone who believes is justified from all things from which you could not be justified by the law of Moses. 40. "Beware therefore, lest what has been spoken in the prophets come upon you: 41. "Behold, you despisers, marvel and perish; for I work a work in your days, a work which you will by no means believe, though one were to declare it to you.””” What Paul is saying "Therefore, I want you to know that through Jesus the forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you. Through Him everyone who believes is justified from everything you could not be justified from by the law of Moses. Take care that what the prophets have said does not happen to you: 'Look, you scoffers, wonder and perish, for I am going to do something in your days that you would never believe, even if someone told you.'"
A. Paul reminds them of an Old Testament passage. This time it was the words of the prophet Habakkuk. Habakkuk 1:5 – “Look among the nations and watch be utterly astounded! For I will work a work in your days which you would not believe, though it were told you.”
1. Paul says Habakkuk foretold that some people would reject the one who God had clearly approved by great signs. What he was really saying to them at this point was, don’t be the ones to fulfill this prophecy.
2. Then he says “I’ll tell you why. It is because of Jesus and only through Jesus, that the forgiveness of sins is made available to all who would obey.”
IV. I have heard it said that the sign of a good visiting preacher is that he gets asked back to speak again.
A. Let’s looks at what happened with Paul and Barnabas. Acts 13:42-45 – “42. And when the Jews went out of the synagogue, the Gentiles begged that these words might be preached to them the next Sabbath. 43. 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. 44. And the next Sabbath almost the whole city came together to hear the word of God. 45. But when the Jews saw the multitudes, they were filled with envy; and contradicting and blaspheming, they opposed the things spoken by Paul.”
1. Luke tells us that as Paul and Barnabus went out of the synagogue, some people were moved to ask Paul and Barnabas to return the following week to speak again. We are told these people consisted of Gentiles, Jews and devout proselytes. Paul's great sermon had fully captured the attention of many who were inclined to accept Christianity, and the conversations regarding this apparently continued. An appointment was made for Paul to speak again in that same synagogue on the Sabbath day a week later.
2. It seems from our text that on the next Sabbath day a crowd of people came to hear them preach. In fact, Luke tells us that nearly the whole city gathered to hear God's word proclaimed. In the meantime, however, Satan would stir up opposition to the truth.
3. Some in the audience who were Jews, were jealous upon seeing the large gathering, and contradicted the message Paul delivered and spoke against God.
B. Paul did what he did the prior week, he seized the moment. Have you ever tried to share the gospel with someone, but you know they are just not interested? I suspect that many reject the gospel at least once.
1. Do you recall in the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 7 where Jesus is talking about judging? Remember that Jesus does not teach never to judge, but what He does teach is to judge wisely and righteously.
2. To illustrate that point about judging He says in Matthew 7:6 – “Do not give what is holy to the dogs; nor cast your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you in pieces.”
3. Jesus tells us we possess something which is unbelievably valuable, the word of God. He also says there comes a time when you will need to judge whether or not you’re wasting your time trying to share it with some people.
4. He teaches the same principle over in Mark 6 when He’s speaking to His disciples. Mark 6:10-11 – “10. Also He said to them, "In whatever place you enter a house, stay there till you depart from that place. 11. "And whoever will not receive you nor hear you, when you depart from there, shake off the dust under your feet as a testimony against them. Assuredly, I say to you, it will be more tolerable for Sodom and Gomorrah in the day of judgment than for that city!''”
C. I think this is important for us to understand because there are a lot of people out there who really do want to know the word of God and they are the people we should be focusing on.
D. Jesus is saying that if you feel that you’re wasting your time with this person then just move on to someone else who is interested.
1. You see folks, what’s happening here in Acts 13 is that very thing. Acts 13:46-49 – “46. 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. 47. "For so the Lord has commanded us: 'I have set you to be a light to the Gentiles, that you should be for salvation to the ends of the earth.' '' 48. Now 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. 49. And the word of the Lord was being spread throughout all the region.”
2. The apostles immediately let them know that they were required to preach to the Jews first, but if the Jews were determined to reject the gospel, then they would preach to the Gentiles.
3. As you can imagine that statement alone led to great rejoicing among the Gentiles. Because of such bold preaching all who willingly obeyed the word of God were added to the kingdom by the Lord and so the truth was spread throughout the country.
E. In Dale’s sermon on the Parable of the Seed he reminds us “there's no harvest without a seed being sown”. We are to plant the seed, God’s word. The power to save is in the seed, but the seed cannot do any good if it's not received by the hearer.
Do you remember the old story about a man and his son taking their donkey to the fair to sell him? They came across a group of women at a well who called them silly for walking when they had a donkey. So the old man had his son mount the Donkey, and continued to walk along merrily by his side.
Next they came up to a group of old men and one said “Do you see that idle lad riding while his old father has to walk?” The old man had his son dismount and he got on the donkey himself.
In a little while they met a company of women and children. A woman yelled at the old man accusing him of riding while his son had to run along side to keep up. The good-natured old man immediately took up his son behind him.
They had almost reached the fair when a man coming the other way said; “How can you overload that poor beast? You two are better able to carry the donkey than he is you.”
The old man said; “We can try.” So they got down and with some rope and a pole they endeavored to carry the donkey on their shoulders. As they reached a bridge near the fair they attracted a crowd who broke out in laughter, frightening the donkey, who proceeded to struggle out of the rope and fall off the pole into the river. The old man and his son trudged home again, convinced that by endeavoring to please everyone they had pleased no one, and lost the donkey in the bargain.
Folks, as Christians we are not in the business of pleasing people. If I wanted to please people, I would preach lessons only on the love of God. If wanted to please people I would preach that it doesn’t matter what ‘church’ you belong to as long as you’re happy. If I wanted to please people, I would preach that it doesn’t matter how you live your life because God’s grace will overlook your sinful lifestyle.
I don’t want to please people. We don’t want to please people.
We want to please God.
Yes, God is a God of love, but He is also a God who demands justice and obedience.
Yes, God wants you to belong to a ‘church’—not just any ‘church’ but His church.
Yes, by God’s grace we are saved but that grace isn’t a license to go out and live your life however ‘you’ think is right and sin every day.
Remember back in Acts 5 when Peter is preaching to the Sanhedrin and they are trying to stop the apostles preaching in the name of Christ? In Acts 5:29 we read the apostle’s response to them, they said, “We ought to obey God rather than men.”
The apostles were not in the business of pleasing people, they wanted to please God.
Paul and Barnabas were not in the business of pleasing people. They wanted to please God.
Like we have seen time and time again throughout the Book of Acts some people will humbly accept the message while others will find it offensive. Acts 13:50-52 – “50. 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. 51. But they shook off the dust from their feet against them, and came to Iconium. 52. And the disciples were filled with joy and with the Holy Spirit.”
Luke tells us that while all this rejoicing was going on, the Jews stirred up the prominent women of the city and those in authority. It was because of those people who were highly offended with the message they had Paul and Barnabas persecuted and finally, cast outside the city.
Look how both Paul and Barnabas reacted to their persecution.
They put into practice the words of their master, Jesus.
Just like we looked at earlier, because these people had so rejected the message, Paul and Barnabas shook the dust off their feet and went on to Iconium.
Despite all the opposition, those who had believed God's word rejoiced and were filled with the Holy Spirit. The message is simple today, never forget or undermine the resurrection of Christ.
It’s the center of our beliefs and hope.
In faith we share the message, we sow the seed. If people won’t accept the message that you’re trying to share with them, then simply shake the dust from your feet and move on to someone else who will humbly accept it.
We learn from the New Testament how to be saved. We need to hear the word; believe in Jesus; repent of our sins; we must confess our belief that Jesus is the Son of God, and be baptized for the remission of our sins... If we follow these steps, the Lord adds us to His church.
Perhaps there is someone in the assembly today with the need to be buried with Christ in baptism. If you have never done these things, we urge you to do so today. If anyone has this need or desires the prayers of faithful Christians on their behalf, we encourage them to come forward while we stand and sing.
Reference Sermon: Mike Glover
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