Responding to the Truth (Acts 13:42-52)

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Previously, we began to look at Paul’s first missionary journey. He and Barnabas were sent by the church at Antioch to make disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ in other regions. We saw that the missionaries put on their “travel face” and went about telling the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. They were two Christ-besotted believers intent on preaching the gospel to every creature (Mark 16:15). They had been faithful witnesses in Jerusalem and elsewhere, and now it was time to do so to the uttermost.

After sailing to Cyprus, they began to evangelise the city of Salamis. After some time there they departed for Paphos on the Western end of Cyprus. The Lord gave them marvellous success there, and a proconsul (“governor”) named Sergius Paulus was converted—despite great opposition from a demonised false prophet and sorcerer named Elymas.

From Paphos they set sail for Perga in Pamphylia (on southernmost tip of Galatia). Evidently, they did not remain there very long, for soon they departed for Antioch in Pisidia. This was the beginning of great gospel progress in Galatia.

They immediately went to the synagogue on the Sabbath and were invited to speak to the congregation. Paul plainly, powerfully, persuasively and passionately proclaimed the gospel from the whole counsel of God. By the use of the Historical Writings, the Psalms and the Prophets, Paul preached Jesus to them. He clearly understood that this message was the most important declaration that he could ever make, and he ended his discourse with a foreboding warning of judgement to come (vv. 40-41). The Jews failed to realise that judgement would come upon their generation; but Paul was aware of this and so he pleaded with them to respond to the Saviour whom he had just declared to them. (See Acts 2:14-21, where Peter likewise spoke of judgement and quoted from Joel 2.)

We left that passage on something of a cliff-hanger with reference to the people’s response to this declaration of truth. The natural question with which we were left is, how would Paul’s listeners respond?

Yes, at great personal risk, these men travelled through dangerous territory (2 Corinthians 11:26), intent on making their gospel arguments public, energised by the Holy Spirit to do so for the rest of their lives without ever sounding retreat. The net result was that they were a part of a major spiritual and cultural revolution that turned the world upside down (Acts 17:6). Some might have responded to their message and ministry with indifference, but the message and ministry could not simply be ignored. We see this in the response of those in Pisidian Antioch who had heard the truth from these men.

Paul had faithfully told the truth; how would they respond to the truth? The remainder of the chapter (vv. 42-52) reveals that answer to that question.

Now, what happened back then was certainly important to Paul and Barnabas, and of course it was vitally important for those in Pisidian Antioch. But of what import is it for us nearly twenty centuries later? I put it to you that it is intensely relevant to us. You see, we too are called to proclaim the truth of the gospel to those with whom we have contact. As our church recently heard from author Tony Payne, each of us is called to the ministry of proclamation of the Word. This primarily involves the proclamation of the gospel.

We, like Paul and Barnabas, are often provided by God with opportunities to preach the gospel to others. We are given providential opportunities to declare the truth of the saving work of the Lord Jesus Christ to other people. And I would dare say that the responses that we encounter are similar to the responses that this missionary duo experienced so long ago in a land so far away.

The message does not change (it cannot, for it is truth) and the responses do not change (they cannot, because man’s fundamental nature has not changed). Therefore, as we study the response to the truth of these hearers, we are equipped for what we can expect to encounter as we evangelise.

We who have experienced the truth of the gospel have the privilege and responsibility to tell this same truth to others. Maybe you be encouraged to do so through this study.

As an aside, I dare say that we can learn much from today’s church planting movement that is occurring in the East and in parts of sub-Saharan Africa. Believers there are multiplying at an incredible rate, and this is not though the ministry of “trained professionals.” Rather, believers are making disciples as they evangelise their family and friends, with the result that churches are being planted on a wide scale.

My point is simply to highlight that when believers take the necessary risk to evangelise—when they are willing to tell the truth to a lost and dying world about the sovereignty of God, the Son of God, and the salvation that comes alone from God, coupled with warning of the severity of God—then people are converted.

But of course that is not the whole story. Such evangelists also experience rejection. Not every gospel proclamation results in regeneration; rejection is also a very real experience. Conflict is often as much a result as conversion. And we see this in the record of the response to Paul’s preaching in our present text.

Basically, there are only a handful of possible responses to the gospel. We can probably narrow them down to three: (1) interest (displayed either in curiosity or in conversion), (2) indifference, and (3) indignation. In this study, we will look at these with a view to being equipped how to respond to such responses.

Be Realistic

As we evangelise, we must be realistic with reference to what to expect. The experience of Paul and Barnabas ought to be our expectation. Let’s briefly pinpoint in our text the three possible responses mentioned above.

Indifference

We begin with a negative response. Luke writes, “So when the Jews went out of the synagogue, the Gentiles begged that these words might be preached to them the next Sabbath. 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” (vv. 42-43).

Different translations render v. 42 in different ways. The translation I am using—the New King James Version—speaks to the fact that the Jews left the synagogue and the Gentiles stayed behind. Other translations speak more generically of the people leaving the synagogue of the Jews. Whichever translation you have, the significant statement is found in v. 43: “Many of the Jews and devout proselytes followed Paul and Barnabas.” No doubt, we should be thrilled that “many” followed Paul and Barnabas, but we cannot help notice that not all did so. Not everyone was interested in the message they had heard.

In v. 44 we read that “almost the whole city” returned the next week to hear the missionaries. Again, it was almost the whole city (and thank God for that!), but not quite the whole city. Some responded with complete indifference to the message they heard preached. I don’t wish to belabour this point, for it is not the emphasis of the text. Nevertheless, we need to take note that when we share the gospel, many people will be completely unfazed and indifferent. Our proclamation of the glorious gospel will, for many, be as water off a ducks back.

There is a man in our neighbourhood, with whom I regularly partner in neighbourhood watch, who is like this. For a long time, I have been sharing the gospel with him. He has not been unkind or defensive in his response. He has not sought to avoid me or actively persecute me in any way. But he has responded with complete indifference. As far as I can tell, the gospel really means nothing to him.

What lies behind such apparent indifference? Why are people indifferent about the truth of the gospel? I think there may be several reasons. Some simply don’t see the gospel as truth. Others fail to see their condition and thus their need for the gospel. Still others simply don’t want to see their condition and their need. For some, it is an issue of arrogance: They insist that they don’t need the gospel. Others suffer from ignorance: They don’t know the truth. In short, many are sightless, senseless and Spiritless. They are spiritually dead.

We must come to grips with the biblical truth that, outside of Christ, men and women, boys and girls, are dead (Ephesians 2:1-6). And dead men are generally indifferent to what is happening around them!

By way of illustration, consider the story of Lazarus in John 11. Jesus received word that Lazarus was sick, and stayed where He was for two days before making His way to Bethany. The scene painted upon his arrival is one of grief. His sisters were deeply grieved at his death, and confused that the Lord had not come sooner. The customary grief squad was on scene, expressing their sympathies with the family. Meanwhile, Lazarus was completely indifferent. He did not share the heartache of his sisters. He was oblivious to their please to Jesus. In fact, he was indifferent to his very condition. It mattered not to him that he was dead. He only actively responded when Jesus powerfully spoke.

Such is the condition of unbelievers. They are indifferent because fundamentally it all seems so irrelevant to them. Perhaps this was your testimony at one point in your life. Perhaps it still is. If so, beg God to remove your indifference and to show you the glorious relevance of the gospel.

How do we overcome this response of indifference?

First, be willing to engage in conversation. You simply never know when the indifferent may suddenly become interested.

Second, try to make connections with what is happening in their world to the gospel. During a recent week-long visit to my parents in the United States, I read Decision Points, the autobiography of George W. Bush, in which Bush recalls the events leading up to his own conversion. He writes,

Religion had always been a part of my life, but I really wasn’t a believer. I was baptized in Yale’s nondenominational Dwight Hall Chapel. When I was young my parents took me to First Presbyterian Church in Midland (Texas), St Martin’s Episcopal Church in Houston, and St Ann’s Episcopal Church in Kennebunkport (Maine).

I went to church at Andover (Prep College) because it was mandatory. I never went to church when I was at Yale. I did go when I visited my parents, but my primary mission was to avoid irritating Mother. Laura and I were married at First United Methodist in Midland. We started going regularly after the girls were born, because we felt a responsibility to expose them to faith. I liked spending time with friends in the congregation. I enjoyed the opportunity for reflection. Once in a while, I heard a sermon that inspired me. I read the Bible occasionally and saw it as a kind of self-improvement course. I knew I could use some self-improvement. But for the most part, religion was more a tradition than a spiritual experience. I was listening but not hearing.

In 1985 . . . Dad invited the great evangelical preacher Billy Graham to our home in Maine. . . . I was captivated by Billy. He had a powerful presence, full of kindness, grace and a keen mind. The next day he asked me to go for a walk around the property. I shared my thought that reading the Bible could make me a better person. In his gentle, loving way, Billy began to deepen my shallow understanding of faith. He told me that self-improvement is not really the point of the Bible. The center of Christianity is not the self. It is Christ.

Billy explained that we are all sinners, and that we cannot earn God’s love through good deeds. He made clear that the path to salvation is through the grace of God. And the way to find that grace is to embrace Christ as the risen Lord—the Son of a God so powerful and loving that He gave His only Son to conquer death and defeat sin.

These were profound concepts, and I did not fully grasp them that day. But Billy had planted a seed. His thoughtful explanation had made the soil less firm and the brambles less thick.1

By his own testimony, Bush was for a long time indifferent to the gospel. But then he met Billy Graham and God began to work. A short while after the above encounter, Graham sent Bush a Bible and encouraged him to study it. Bush began to attend a Bible study, and this eventually resulted in him coming to repentance and faith. Indifference turned to genuine interest by the grace of God.

Third, try to give information. Persevere in witnessing. Answer questions. Apply the gospel as often as opportunity arises.

Fourth, be patient—and prayerfully so. Pray much and persevere always.

Interest

While there were some who were indifferent to the gospel, there were also clearly a great many who showed interest. We read of “the Gentiles” who “begged that these words might be preached to them the next Sabbath” (v. 42). We read of “many of the Jews and devout proselytes” who “followed Paul and Barnabas” (v. 43). We are told that “on the next Sabbath almost the whole city came together to hear the word of God” (v. 44). We are informed that, “when the Gentiles heard” the gospel, “they were glad and glorified the word of the Lord” (v. 48). It is added that “the word of the Lord was being spread throughout all the region” (v. 49). Finally, we read that “the disciples were filled with joy and with the Holy Spirit” (v. 52). Clearly, there was a great deal of real interest in the message that the missionaries preached.

But notice that interest manifests itself in two ways, as no doubt it did here.

Curiosity

First, some, quite simply, are curious about Jesus, albeit cluelessly so. One of my daughters told me that she recently engaged an eight-year-old from the community at our Friday night children’s ministry. She asked, “What do you know about Jesus?” This eight-year-old thought for a moment, and then replied, “Well, He was a friendly guy, He loved children, and He made the world.” This child displayed a sense of curiosity about Jesus, but showed no deeper interest in Him.

There are countless examples of such a curious interest in the Gospels. Take just one example: After Jesus had fed five thousand with just five loaves and two fishes, a large crowd followed Him around. Never one to pander to popularity, Jesus kindly rebuked them: “Most assuredly, I say to you, you seek Me, not because you saw the signs, but because you ate of the loaves and were filled. Do not labour for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to everlasting life, which the Son of Man will give you, because God the Father has set His seal on Him” (John 6:26-27). In the end, only the Twelve remained with Him—and even one of those was the betrayer!

Much of this curiosity is born of self-centredness—utilitarianism. Sadly, when such curiosity does not lead to conviction, it often leads to indignation. In the case of the multitude in John 6, “many of His disciples, when they heard this, said, ‘This is a hard saying; who can understand it?’” Later, “they went back and walked with Him no more” (vv. 60-66). They were indignant because Jesus did not offer them what they ultimately wanted.

Some curiosity is merely curiosity about religion. There are people who simply like to talk about religion and philosophy. We read of such individuals in Acts 17:21: “For all the Athenians and the foreigners who were there spent their time in nothing else but either to tell or to hear some new thing.”

How do we respond to the curious?

First, we must respond with patience. Part of that means that, while we want to always offer a judgement of charity concerning professions of faith, we must be careful of drawing definite conclusions too soon.

Some years ago I had opportunity to meet with a young couple in my study at home and share the gospel with them. We spent a couple of hours talking, and as I spoke I could see something happening in their minds. At one point, the husband told me that he had never heard these things before, but they made so much sense. The wife verbalised her agreement. They promised that they would be at church that Sunday and that we could then make another appointment for further discussion.

When they left that night, I went to my wife and told her excitedly that I was sure I had just seen regeneration take place before my very eyes. I never saw them again.

We don’t want to be cynical of those who profess faith, but neither should we be too quick to lay our hands on them, so to speak.

Second, we ought to engage them with probing questions and truthful answers. One of the most beneficial ministries in our church over the years has been our one-on-one discipleship ministry. When someone expresses interest in church membership, we pair them up with an existing, mature church member in a discipleship relationship. In that relationship, opportunity is provided for pointed questions and for difficult issues to be tackled head on. Such an approach is vital.

Third, we must respond to the curious with perseverance. What begins as curiosity may well end in conversion. Who knows? Believe the gospel and keep at it!

Fourth, we must respond with encouragement for them to persevere. Paul and Barnabas “persuaded” those following them “to continue in the grace of God” (v. 43; cf. Acts 11:23). “The very interest being shown was indicative to the missionaries that ‘the grace of God’ was working in many hearts. They urged them to foster it by continued inquiry and obedience to the truth as it was received.”2 Ultimately, if, by God’s grace, curiosity turns into conversion, perseverance is a promise (see John 15:1-8; Luke 8:15), and so we should be encouraged to exhort perseverance in those who show interest.

Fifth, we should respond with prayer. The curious may prove to be more than simply curious. They may prove to be among the chosen.

Chosen

Even as some no doubt responded with simple curiosity, “as many as had been appointed to eternal life believed” (v. 48). The gospel truth always finds a glad reception in the soil of souls for whom Christ died.

The word “appointed” was used in ancient documents in the sense of “to inscribe” or “to enrol.”3 In terms of eternal salvation, the names of the elect are inscribed or enrolled in the Book of Life (see Psalm 69:28; Philippians 4:3; Revelation 3:5; 13:8; 17:8; 20:12, 15; 21:27; 22:19.]

This brief sentence is one of the clearest in all Scripture regarding God’s sovereignty in salvation. “Scripture affirms that that those who go to hell do so because they judge themselves unworthy of eternal life (v. 46). Conversely, the elect are saved because God appointed them for eternal life’ (v. 48).”4

Those who are among the chosen will eventually—at some point—show interest. This interest will culminate, of course, in conversion. They will have an interest in Christ because by God’s grace they do have an interest in Christ!

This is the message of v. 48.

But note that those who are chosen and therefore converted are also called to call others. Once the chosen were converted, “the word of the Lord was being spread throughout all the region” (v. 49). Those who, by God’s grace, responded to the truth of the gospel shared the same gospel truth with others.

We must never lose sight of both sides of the equations: sovereignty and responsibility.

Before we consider the final response to the gospel message, let’s briefly note some practical observations from what we have seen so far.

First, let us note that our involvement in evangelism is emboldened by the knowledge that those “appointed to eternal life” will believe the gospel. The chosen will be converted (John 6:37-45, 64-66; 17:1-2, 6, 9, 11, 12; Acts 2:39; Romans 8:29-30; Ephesians 1:3-4). A biblical grasp of God’s sovereignty in salvation is crucial to perseverance in evangelism. This doctrine matters. It points us to the truth we must know and tell.

Second, the chosen will be identified as you persevere in gospel ministry to all. I once heard a man describe evangelism in the following way. Suppose you have a large circuit board with numerous electrical light sockets attached to it. How will you know if those sockets are properly connected to the board? You will do so, no doubt, by screwing light bulbs into the sockets. As you screw each light bulb in, those who are connected will light up.

Evangelism is something like that. We “screw people into the gospel” and then watch to see who lights up. Some light up immediately. Others take time to light up. Still others don’t light up at all. Our job is not to first figure out which sockets are connected and only screw bulbs into those ones. Our task is to screw bulbs into every socket, and trust God to light up those that are connected. This is clearly what the New Testament calls us to do (see Romans 10:9-17; 1 Thessalonians 1:3-6; 2:13).

Are you committed to witnessing to people and spreading the Word? Are you willing to invite people to church? Are you patient as you witness, trusting God to grant life where the soil has been properly prepared?

Third, let us know that the chosen are all over the globe. Let us therefore be committed to reaching them wherever they are found. As Paul preached, “I have set you as a light to the Gentiles, that you should be for salvation to the ends of the earth” (v. 47). We would do well to perhaps partner with other churches in this regard, but ultimately we must know that we are partnering with Christ.

Fourth, understand that the chosen are those who look foolish to the world—especially the religious world. Paul, Barnabas and these new converts certainly did. As Paul would later write,

Where is the wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the disputer of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of this world? For since, in the wisdom of God, the world through wisdom did not know God, it pleased God through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe. For Jews request a sign, and Greeks seek after wisdom; but we preach Christ crucified, to the Jews a stumbling block and to the Greeks foolishness, but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men.

(1 Corinthians 1:20-25)

The “foolish” do not glorify themselves, but God (1 Corinthians 1:26-31).

Sixth, if we are not as conversant about the gospel as we used to be, then perhaps we are suffering from a confidence problem. Perhaps we are not as confident in the gospel as we ought to be. Thabiti Anyabwile recently preached a sermon titled, “Will Your Gospel Transform a Terrorist?”5 If we really believe that the gospel is the power of God for salvation (Romans 1:16), then surely we must be confident that it can save terrorists? We must likewise be confident that it can save our spouse, our children, our friends and our colleagues. We must never lose confidence in the power of the gospel to save.

Indignation

The third response to the gospel that is evident in this text is that of indignation.

But when the Jews saw the multitudes, they were filled with envy; and contradicting and blaspheming, they opposed the things spoken by Paul. 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. For so the Lord has commanded us:

‘I have set you as a light to the Gentiles,
That you should be for salvation to the ends of the earth.’”

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. And the word of the Lord was being spread throughout all the region. 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. But they shook off the dust from their feet against them, and came to Iconium.

(Acts 13:45-51)

Indignation is the response of many to the gospel truth. Erdman observes, “Even the apparent popularity of the missionaries was but temporary. . . . Opposition and persecution are the continual experiences of missionaries, but the Lord is with them, and they rejoice that sinners are being saved.”6 Paul and Barnabas faced hostility for at least two reasons.

Insecurity

The first cause of the hostility was pure insecurity. Their comfort zone of the listeners was being challenged. And when a person’s comfort zone is challenged, hostility is often the response. As Barclay observes, “That which is meant for good news and which was designed as good news is in fact bad news for another kind of people. . . . That which is a gift of love to those who take it is a condemnation to those who refuse it.”7

Not only was their comfort zone being threatened, but so was their self-righteousness. Many of the hearers assumed that they were already right with God by virtue of their adherence to Judaism, but the gospel preached by the missionaries showed that this was not the case. Their adherence to the law was wholly incapable of saving them. And this really got up their nose.

Martin Luther wrote, “It should be noted that by this book St Luke teaches the whole of Christendom . . . that the true and chief article of Christian doctrine is this: We must all be justified alone by faith in Jesus Christ, without any contribution from the law or help from our works. This doctrine is the chief intention of the book and the author’s principal reason for writing it.”8 This teaching is not popular, and those confronted by it often respond with hostility.

Furthermore, their ethnocentrism was being challenged. Paul and Barnabas were preaching in the synagogue to those who were either Jewish by birth or who had wholeheartedly embraced and proselytised to the Jewish faith. Now they were being told that Jewishness contributed nothing to salvation. And their response was hostility.

The Jews persuaded these women to incite their husbands, who were often magistrates and men in influential positions, to take steps against the Christian preachers. . . . The Jews were intent on keeping their privileges to themselves. From the beginning the Christians saw that a privilege is granted only to be shared. . . . As has been said, ‘The Jews saw the heathen as chaff to be burned; Jesus saw them as a harvest to be reaped for God.’ And His Church must have a like vision of a world for Christ.9

Sometimes, people respond with hostility when the gospel threatens their ethnocentrism. I have experienced that in my time in South Africa, and there are no doubt countless others who can share that testimony.

These are the dangers of lurking behind externalism and nominalism.

Enmity

The second, and foundational, cause of the hostility faced by the missionaries was enmity. The simple truth is that unbelievers are at enmity with God (Romans 8:5-8; 5:10; Colossians 1:21; James 4:4). When push comes to shove, the fundamental, characteristic response of God’s enemies is hostility.

This is why the Bible speaks to the need of “reconciliation.” We need to be reconciled to the one whom we consider our enemy. We are not victims of anything; we are culprits. We are guilty of sin and enmity, and God has taken the initiative to restore peace. As Fortner has noted, “A person’s rejection of the gospel, the rejection of Christ, is a decided, deliberate act of his own will. The unbelieving heart is so obstinately proud that it chooses destruction before it will bow to the rule of Christ.”10

How should we respond to those who are indignant over the gospel? I offer my reply with three remaining applications.

Be Resolved

How did Paul and Barnabas respond to the attacks levelled against them by the enemies of God? “They shook off the dust from their feet against them, and came to Iconium” (vv. 51). There are consequences for those who refuse to believe, and this here is one of those consequences.

Traditionally, a Jew who entered the Promised Land after being in a Gentile country shook the dust from his shoes to shoe contempt for the pagans from whose land he had just come. As Furneaux writes, “As a protest against the injustice which cast them out. The sandal was taken off and the dust shaken out as a symbolic token that the very soil of the country was defiling.”11

These missionaries took seriously the words of Jesus: “He who is not with Me is against Me, and he who does not gather with Me scatters abroad” (Matthew 12:30). We should be careful here, but nonetheless when dealing with unbelievers—and particularly the nominal—we must be forthright. We ought not to waste our time by casting our pearls before swine. “But now, when they see Christ obstinately rejected by them, they excommunicate them and deprive them of the kingdom of God. And by this example we are taught that we must not use extreme severity, save only against those who are quite past hope. And the more bold the reprobate are to oppress the truth, the more courage ought we to take to ourselves.”12

Be Hopeful

Even as we are resolved not to waste our time by casting our pearls before swine, we should remain hopeful in our gospel proclamation. Luke concludes this chapter on a hopeful note: “And the disciples were filled with joy and with the Holy Spirit” (v. 52).

This is a wonderfully encouraging statement. In the midst of persecution, the new converts (local church) were filled with joy in their pursuit of Christ. The gospel was triumphing, even in spite of (or perhaps because of) persecution. “Persecution had precisely the opposite effect to the intention of the Jews for they “were filled with joy and the Holy Spirit.”13

Everett Harrison captures the spirit of this verse when he writes, “With such equipment they could be counted on to stand fast in case persecution should be directed at them also.”14 Once again, the record illustrates the truth of Matthew 16:18. Jesus Christ was building His church, and the gates of hell would not prevail against it.

Lange comments, “‘The disciples,’ that is, the Christians at Antioch, were not, however, depressed and discouraged by the departure of their teachers, but were, on the contrary, filled with joy and the Holy Ghost.”15 In other words, “their joy arose from a consciousness of the happiness which had become their portion as Christians.”16

Be Responsible

Finally, and in conclusion, let me exhort you to fulfil your responsibility to tell the truth, being well aware of the potential responses. It is our responsibility to evangelise this generation as we look towards future generations being evangelised.

“It is a long time from Paul to now, not to say from Isaiah to now, and not yet has the gospel been carried to half of the people of earth. God’s people are slow in carrying out God’s plans for salvation.”17

Show 17 footnotes

  1. George W. Bush, Decision Points (New York: Crown, 2010), Kindle edition.
  2. R. K. Harrison, Interpreting Acts: The Expanding Church (Grand Rapids: Academie Books, 1986), 227.
  3. John F. MacArthur, Jr., Acts: The MacArthur New Testament Commentary, 2 vols. (Chicago: Moody Press, 1994), 2:39.
  4. MacArthur, Acts, 2:39.
  5. Thabiti Anyabwile, “Will Your Gospel Transform a Terrorist,” http://goo.gl/y6EhE, retrieved 30 September 2012.
  6. Charles R. Erdman, The Acts: An Exposition (Philadelphia: The Westminster Press, 1966), 118-19.
  7. William Barclay, The Acts of the Apostles: The Daily Study Bible Series (Philadelphia: The Westminster Press, 1955), 113.
  8. John. R. W. Stott, The Message of Acts: The Bible Speaks Today (Leicester: Inter-Varsity Press, 1990), 226.
  9. Barclay, The Acts of the Apostles, 115.
  10. Donald S. Fortner, Life After Pentecost: A Guide to the Acts of the Apostles (Darlington: Evangelical Press, 1995), 161.
  11. A. T. Robertson, Word Pictures in the New Testament, 6 vols. (Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1930), 3:202.
  12. John Calvin, Calvin’s Commentaries, 22 vols. (Grand Rapids: Baker Books, 2005), 18.2:550.
  13. Robertson, Word Pictures in the New Testament, 3:203.
  14. Everett F. Harrison, Interpreting Acts: The Expanding Church (Grand Rapids: Academie Books, 1986), 229.
  15. John Peter Lange, Acts: Commentary on the Holy Scriptures (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, n.d.), 258.
  16. Lange, Acts, 258.
  17. Robertson, Word Pictures in the New Testament, 3:199.