BIBLE STUDY: READ ACTS 12--13
Chapter 12 describes the close of Peter's ministry as far as the leadership of the early believers is concerned. We do not read of Peter again until he gives his testimony, in support of Paul, in chapter 15.
In chapter 12 we see the power of Satan (verses 1-4); the power of prayer (verses 5-19); the power of God's wrath (verses 20-23); and the power of God's Word (verses 24,25). It is significant to note in this chapter that God delivered Peter, while James was permitted to die. God works in different ways His own. This should be a lesson to us to never question the judgments of our Lord. He was glorified in James' death, just as He was in Peter's deliverance. Isaiah 55:8 tells us, "For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord." We should never question the sovereign will of God in our lives.
Chapters 13--28 cover a period in which the Gospel of the grace of God is preached to the Roman world, and local churches are established through the ministry of Paul. Chapter 13 covers somewhat of a new beginning of a new ministry from a new spiritual center--Antioch in Syria. This chapter also covers Paul's first missionary journey and his first missionary sermon. In verse 39 we read, for the first time in Acts, the wonderful word JUSTIFIED. Justified means, "Just as if I had never sinned," and it is the position of standing for everyone who has, by faith, received Jesus Christ. They stand "just as if they had never sinned" before God.
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