Acts

Acts 13:36-41 Forgiveness, Justification, And Victory Over Death.

Paul, in quoting David as he did, makes the point that he must have been speaking for someone else, because David “fell asleep, was buried with his fathers, and saw corruption” (v. 36b). David was someone who could be trusted, as he “served his own generation by the will of God” (v. 36a). There was no question as to the veracity of the words quoted, nor as to who was the human author. Furthermore, though he saw corruption or physical decay, the expression that he “fell asleep,” affirms that we as believers do not believe that the grave is the end. The only person, who was in any way connected with David, that fit the description of seeing no corruption or decay, was the Lord Jesus Christ. His resurrection and life thereafter was witnessed by many people, including Paul himself (v. 31 Cf. 2:29-33).

What determines our destiny after we die is based on our situation while we live, and what is necessary for us to enjoy a life of eternal bliss, is knowing that we are forgiven. “Therefore let it be known to you, brethren, that through this Man is preached to you the forgiveness of sins; and by Him everyone who believes is justified from all things from which you could not be justified by the law of Moses” (vv. 38-39). Justification is possible only through the forgiveness that comes through the finished work and shed blood of Christ, the One whose offering was accepted when He rose victorious over death. Rejecting this message is what the prophets warned against (vv. 40-41 Cf. Jer. 31:34; Is. 53:11; Hab. 1:5). Justification is possible because Christ made forgiveness possible.

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