By Louisiana Baptist Executive Director Steve Horn
ALEXANDRIA, La. – Acts 13 is a pivotal moment in the Book of Acts. Acts 13 is the place where we see the transition from Peter’s ministry to Paul’s ministry. Starting in Acts 13, the rest of the book focuses on the ministry of Paul.
As I read Acts 13 this morning, two things struck me most. First, in the telling of the first missionaries sent from the church, we read, “Then after they had fasted, prayed, and laid hands on them, they sent them off.” (Acts 13:3) The next verse reads, “So being sent by the Holy Spirit . . .” Not a bad combination—being sent by the church and being sent by the Holy Spirit. May we pray that churches are doing the same today.
Second, Paul and Barnabas were invited at Pisidian Antioch to speak in the Synagogue with the words, “Brothers, if you have any word of encouragement for the people you can speak.” Paul took that invitation and starting with the Israelites being in bondage in Egypt shared the message of Jesus. This Gospel appeal finds its climax in verses 38-39, “Therefore, let it be known to you, brothers and sisters, that through this man forgiveness of sins is being proclaimed to you. Everyone who believes is justified through him from everything that you could not be justified from through the law of Moses.”
This is the WORD of ENCOURAGEMENT!
I am mindful of these words as I seek to write to you a word of encouragement. There is no better word of encouragement than the reminder that through Jesus is the forgiveness of sins.