Paul Shocks the Synagogue

This lesson looks at Paul’s shocking sermon given at the synagogue in Antioch, found recorded in Acts 13. We find Paul introducing the Jewish people to the new dispensation of grace, preaching that it is now through Jesus that we receive justification and the forgiveness of sins, and no longer through the law of Moses.


Follow along with the verses used in this lesson:

Romans 5:8-9

  1. For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
  2. Not of works, lest any man should boast.

Acts 13:14-43

  1. But when they departed from Perga, they came to Antioch in Pisidia, and went into the synagogue on the sabbath day, and sat down.
  2. And after the reading of the law and the prophets the rulers of the synagogue sent unto them, saying, Ye men and brethren, if ye have any word of exhortation for the people, say on.
  3. Then Paul stood up, and beckoning with his hand said, Men of Israel, and ye that fear God, give audience.
  4. The God of this people of Israel chose our fathers, and exalted the people when they dwelt as strangers in the land of Egypt, and with an high arm brought he them out of it.
  5. And about the time of forty years suffered he their manners in the wilderness.
  6. And when he had destroyed seven nations in the land of Chanaan, he divided their land to them by lot.
  7. And after that he gave unto them judges about the space of four hundred and fifty years, until Samuel the prophet.
  8. And afterward they desired a king: and God gave unto them Saul the son of Cis, a man of the tribe of Benjamin, by the space of forty years.
  9. And when he had removed him, he raised up unto them David to be their king; to whom also he gave their testimony, and said, I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after mine own heart, which shall fulfil all my will.
  10. Of this man’s seed hath God according to his promise raised unto Israel a Saviour, Jesus:
  11. When John had first preached before his coming the baptism of repentance to all the people of Israel.
  12. And as John fulfilled his course, he said, Whom think ye that I am? I am not he. But, behold, there cometh one after me, whose shoes of his feet I am not worthy to loose.
  13. Men and brethren, children of the stock of Abraham, and whosoever among you feareth God, to you is the word of this salvation sent.
  14. For they that dwell at Jerusalem, and their rulers, because they knew him not, nor yet the voices of the prophets which are read every sabbath day, they have fulfilled them in condemning him.
  15. And though they found no cause of death in him, yet desired they Pilate that he should be slain.
  16. And when they had fulfilled all that was written of him, they took him down from the tree, and laid him in a sepulchre.
  17. But God raised him from the dead:
  18. And he was seen many days of them which came up with him from Galilee to Jerusalem, who are his witnesses unto the people.
  19. And we declare unto you glad tidings, how that the promise which was made unto the fathers,
  20. God hath fulfilled the same unto us their children, in that he hath raised up Jesus again; as it is also written in the second psalm, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee.
  21. And as concerning that he raised him up from the dead, now no more to return to corruption, he said on this wise, I will give you the sure mercies of David.
  22. Wherefore he saith also in another psalm, Thou shalt not suffer thine Holy One to see corruption.
  23. For David, after he had served his own generation by the will of God, fell on sleep, and was laid unto his fathers, and saw corruption:
  24. But he, whom God raised again, saw no corruption.
  25. Be it known unto you therefore, men and brethren, that through this man is preached unto you the forgiveness of sins:
  26. And by him all that believe are justified from all things, from which ye could not be justified by the law of Moses.
  27. Beware therefore, lest that come upon you, which is spoken of in the prophets;
  28. Behold, ye despisers, and wonder, and perish: for I work a work in your days, a work which ye shall in no wise believe, though a man declare it unto you.
  29. And when the Jews were gone out of the synagogue, the Gentiles besought that these words might be preached to them the next sabbath.
  30. Now when the congregation was broken up, many of the Jews and religious proselytes followed Paul and Barnabas: who, speaking to them, persuaded them to continue in the grace of God.

Colossians 2:11-16

  1. In whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ:
  2. Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead.
  3. And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses;
  4. Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross;
  5. And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it.
  6. Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days:

A Successful Church

In our day, it’s easy to be wrongly programmed to equate numbers with a church being successful. Certainly, we want to grow. However, the Lord has a far different standard for success that we need to embrace as our standard.

Paul said, “… it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful” (I Cor. 4:2). Faithfulness to the truth of the word, rightly divided, is paramount, as is faithfulness in service and worship. The church at Thessalonica was known for two things. They had a genuine love for one another which the Lord wanted to see “increase and abound” still more (I Thes. 3:12). They also had a regular, consistent, aggressive outreach to the lost with the gospel (I Thes. 1:8).

Before the Lord, may we strive to have this kind of a successful church.

-Brother Jerry