Hello everybody, and welcome in to episode 39 of the Bible 2021 podcast. We are reading Acts 13 today and our focus is on being declared righteous by faith. We are a daily 10 minute podcast, where we will dig in to the truth of the Word of God by reading one Bible chapter a day and discussing it. Welcome to new listeners in Northern Ireland, U.K., China, Kashmir, India, Nairobi, Kenya, Twin Falls, Idaho, Troy, New York, Knoxville, Tennessee, Salinas/Monterey, California and Evansville, Indiana.   Thanks for listening! Our goal is to encourage DAILY Bible reading, so you can jump in at any time and join with us. We want to invite as many people as possible to join us in daily Bible reading, so help spread the word and share the podcast Don’t forget about our new web-page, Bible2021.com – contact page, show notes, transcript and more – Click here for our reading plan!

Short commentary today, because our chapter is long and deep and rich! Let’s jump right into our focus verses:

38 Therefore, let it be known to you, brothers and sisters, that through this man forgiveness of sins is being proclaimed to you. 39 Everyone who believes is justified through him from everything that you could not be justified from through the law of Moses. Acts 13:38-39

Here we have one of those places where the good news is nutshelled for us – compressed into a very tight proclamation. Forgiveness of sins and justification comes from BELIEF in Jesus. What is justification? To make it as simple as possible, it is being declared righteous – not guilty. Imagine a court that convenes with the sole purpose of examining your life and finding out if you’ve ever done ANYTHING wrong at all. The case for the prosecution is formidable,  with hundreds of witnesses and mountains of  written evidence, thousands of social media posts, emails and texts in your own words, and days upon days of video footage of your life and interactions with people. They even have video of your actions and words AND THOUGHTS when you were absolutely alone. Who among us could get through such a trial unscathed if the prosecution only has to find ONE single bit of wrong-doing. Maybe a lie – even a white lie. Maybe one act of cheating, or petty theft, one breaking of the laws or rules – speeding, for instance. One word spoken meant to harm or be crude. One response of anger meant to hurt, not help. I suspect the evidence against any of us would be enough to convict us for millions upon millions of wrongs/transgressions. All of us would fail this court…but the gospel, as proclaimed by Paul, is that by BELIEF (or faith) in Jesus – we could have our record of wrongs wiped completely clean. When presented with evidence of millions of wrong-doings, our claim would simply be – I believe that Jesus died to save me, cleanse me and fit me for eternal life with Him – and if you truly believed that, the judge would bang His gavel and declare you not guilty – by faith…not by your works. This is justification – this is the good news – this is what Paul is preaching here. This is the gospel. ALL have sinned and cannot enter into eternal life in Heaven, because Heaven is ONLY for perfect people. There is no fine that we could possibly pay for our sins – it would be far beyond our ability to pay it. However, Jesus has paid the fine for all who have faith in Him and His death on the cross and promise of resurrection. We can be found NOT GUILTY by God’s Heavenly court (Himself as the judge) even though we are MOST CERTAINLY GUILTY. How can we be made not guilty? By faith, the ultimate payment made by Christ – who was not guilty, but paid the ultimate fine for the guilty – can be placed onto our account. He was not guilty, but paid an infinite price. We are guilty and owe an infinite price. That price has been paid by Jesus, and it can be credited to our account by faith in Jesus! Let’s read our passage and marvel at the good news!

End of the Show: Bible memory verse for FEBRUARY: Acts 9:31 So the church throughout all Judea, Galilee, and Samaria had peace and was strengthened. Living in the fear of the Lord and encouraged by the Holy Spirit, it increased in numbers.

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