Posted by: Bill Hornbeck | November 1, 2019

“to us the message of this salvation has been sent”

Today’s devotion comes from Acts 13:26-35.

“Brethren, sons of Abraham’s family, and those among you who fear God, to us the message of this salvation has been sent.  For those who live in Jerusalem, and their rulers, recognizing neither Him nor the utterances of the prophets which are read every Sabbath, fulfilled these by condemning Him.  And though they found no ground for putting Him to death, they asked Pilate that He be executed.  When they had carried out all that was written concerning Him, they took Him down from the cross and laid Him in a tomb.  But God raised Him from the dead;  and for many days He appeared to those who came up with Him from Galilee to Jerusalem, the very ones who are now His witnesses to the people.  And we preach to you the good news of the promise made to the fathers, that God has fulfilled this promise to our children in that He raised up Jesus, as it is also written in the second Psalm, ‘YOU ARE MY SON;  TODAY I HAVE BEGOTTEN YOU.’  As for the fact that He raised Him up from the dead, no longer to return to decay, He has spoken in this way:  ‘I WILL GIVE YOU THE HOLY and SURE blessings OF DAVID.’  Therefore He also says in another Psalm, ‘YOU WILL NOT ALLOW YOUR HOLY ONE TO UNDERGO DECAY.’”  Acts 13:26-35.


For those who fear God, they sit up straight and play close attention to the message of salvation.

We read two basic elements in today’s Scripture in this message of salvation.  First, we read the emphasis that God raised Jesus from the dead to present Jesus as His only begotten Son, the long-awaited Savior Who came from the line of David and Who was the heir of “the holy and sure blessings of David”, and the immortal Lord and Savior.  Second, in sharpest contrast, we read that “the best of the best” of man, so to speak, “those who live in Jerusalem, and their rulers”, not only did not fulfill the Law, they showed the extent of their wickedness by temporarily putting to death this innocent and perfect Jesus Who is exalted to the highest as God’s “HOLY ONE”.

Does this message of salvation seem more consistent with other doctrine which preaches and teaches that man is basically good who performs good works and has good free-will?

Or, does this message of salvation seem more consistent with Reformed Doctrine which preaches and teaches the “Total Depravity” of man and which exalts Jesus as truly a Savior Who obtained all that is necessary for the salvation of God’s elect through His sacrificial death?

Article 8.  For this was the sovereign counsel, and most gracious will and purpose of God the Father, that the quickening and saving efficacy of the most precious death of his Son should extend to all the elect, for bestowing upon them alone the gift of justifying faith, thereby to bring them infallibly to salvation:  that is, it was the will of God, that Christ by the blood of the cross, whereby he confirmed the new covenant, should effectually redeem out of every people, tribe, nation, and language, all those, and those only, who were from eternity chosen to salvation, and given to him by the Father;  that he should confer upon them faith, which together with all the other saving gifts of the Holy Spirit, he purchased for them by his death;  should purge them from all sin, both original and actual, whether committed before or after believing;  and having faithfully preserved them even to the end, should at last bring them free from every spot and blemish to the enjoyment of glory in his own presence forever.  SECOND HEAD OF DOCTRINE Of the Death of Christ, and the Redemption of Men Thereby of Canons of Dordt.

“For if we go on sinning willfully after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a certain terrifying expectation of judgment, and THE FURY OF A FIRE WHICH WILL CONSUME THE ADVERSARIES.  Anyone who has set aside the Law of Moses dies without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses.  How much severer punishment do you think he will deserve who has trampled under foot the Son of God, and has regarded as unclean the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified, and has insulted the Spirit of grace?  For we know Him who said: “VENGEANCE IS MINE, I WILL REPAY.”  And again, THE LORD WILL JUDGE HIS PEOPLE.”  It is a terrifying thing to fall into the hands of the living God.”  Hebrews 10:26-31.

“10 Now therefore, O kings, show discernment;
Take warning, O judges of the earth.
11 Worship the LORD with reverence
And rejoice with trembling.
12 Do homage to the Son, that He not become angry, and you perish in the way,
For His wrath may soon be kindled.
How blessed are all who take refuge in Him!”  Psalm 2:10-12.


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