Paul’s Christ-Centred Preaching – Acts 13:13-52

By John Bellingham on September 8, 2013
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Paul’s Christ-Centred Preaching

Acts 13:13-52


– Although Paul had previously ministered the gospel in Arabia and Syria, his first recorded sermon in Acts 13 unveils the centrality of Jesus Christ in his preaching and enables us today, even as then, to see and savour Jesus as the Lord of History, the Lord of Prophecy, and the Lord of the Nations.


I. Jesus is the Lord of History (vv. 13-23)

1.  God is the main Actor on the stage of history

  • He elects (chooses) His people (v. 17)
  • He redeems His people from slavery (v. 17)
  • He is patient with His people (v. 18)
  • He defends His people (v. 19)
  • He leads His people (vv. 20-22)

2.  Jesus Christ is the centerpiece of history

  • Old Testament Saints looked forward to His coming with great anticipation
  • New Testament Saints look back on His finished work with thanksgiving and joy


II. Jesus is the Lord of Prophecy (vv. 24-41)

1.  The Promise of His Coming (vv. 24-26)

2.  The Promise of His Condemnation (vv. 27-29)

3.  The Promise of His Resurrection (vv. 30-37)

4.  The Promise of a New Covenant (vv. 38-39)

5.  The Promise of God’s Judgment (vv. 40-41)


III. Jesus is the Lord of Nations (vv. 42-52)

1.  Gospel went first to the Jews

  • Result:  jealousy, contradiction, reviling, persecution, blasphemy
  • The missionaries shake the dust from their feet as a shocking and dramatic sign of God’s judgment
  • The Jews living in Antioch of Pisidia failed to fulfill their prophetic missionary mandate

2.  Gospel went next to the Gentiles (‘God fearers’)

  • Result:  rejoicing, glorifying God, true conversion, evangelism, presence and power of the Spirit
  • The Jewish missionaries fulfill the prophecy of Isaiah to be a “light for the Gentiles’
  • God’s sovereign purpose of predestination and humanity’s responsibility to repent come together in this passage – to deny or downplay either doctrine is to depart from the clear teaching of God’s Inspired Word.



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