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Life-Study of Actsby Witness Lee

ISBN: 0-87083-188-7
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry

Currently in: Chapter 38 of 72 Section 1 of 4

LIFE-STUDY OF ACTS

MESSAGE THIRTY-EIGHT

THE PROPAGATION
IN ASIA MINOR AND EUROPE
THROUGH THE MINISTRY OF PAUL’S COMPANY

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Scripture Reading: Acts 13:13-52

In this message we shall continue to consider Acts 13. We have seen that Paul went to the synagogue to speak the word of God to both the Jews and the Gentile seekers after God. Paul’s speaking is focused on Christ. In 13:27-35 he speaks in particular concerning Christ’s death and resurrection. We have seen that resurrection was a birth to the Lord Jesus. Although He was the only begotten Son of God from eternity (John 1:18; 3:16), after incarnation and through resurrection He was begotten of God in His humanity to be God’s firstborn Son. As the only begotten Son Christ is the embodiment of the divine life, but as the firstborn Son He is the propagation of this life.

THE FAITHFUL AND HOLY THINGS OF DAVID

In 13:34 Paul speaks a further word regarding the resurrection of Christ: “And as to His having raised Him up from among the dead, no longer to return to corruption, He spoke in this way, I will give you the holy and faithful things of David.” The phrase “the holy and faithful things of David” has bothered translators of the New Testament. Verses 33 and 34 are concerned with the resurrected Christ. Verse 33 says, “That God has fully fulfilled this promise to us their children in raising up Jesus, as it is also written in the second psalm, You are My Son; today I have begotten You.” We have pointed out that Christ’s resurrection was His second birth to bring Him forth as the firstborn Son of God. God promised to give Him to His people, and this resurrected One is the holy and faithful things of David. The phrase “the holy and faithful things of David” indicates that Christ was of David, for it was out of David’s seed that God raised up such a One. To God, the resurrected Christ is the firstborn Son, but to us He is the Savior. Moreover, He is a great gift given by God to His chosen people, and this gift is entitled “the holy and faithful things.”

The Resurrected Christ

Literally, the Greek words rendered “the holy and faithful things” are the holy things (Gk. hosios, plural), the faithful or sure. The same word (hosios) is used for “Holy One” in the next verse, but in the singular. But it is not the regular word for holy, which is hagios. Hosios is a Greek equivalent of the Hebrew word chesed, which is translated “mercies” in Isaiah 55:3; 2 Chronicles 6:42; and Psalm 89:1, both in the Septuagint and in the King James Version. In Psalm 89 chesed in verse 1 for mercies in plural is the same word in verse 19 for Holy One in singular. This Holy One is Christ, the Son of David, in whom God’s mercies are centered and conveyed. Hence, the holy and faithful things of David refer to the resurrected Christ. This is fully proved by the context, especially by “Your Holy One” in the following verse (Acts 13:35), and by the verse following Isaiah 55:3.

Paul’s thought in 13:33 and 34 is very deep. The resurrected Christ, who is God’s firstborn Son brought forth through His second birth, His resurrection, is the holy and faithful things. In verse 34 the word “faithful” means trustworthy. The resurrected Christ is the holy and trustworthy things God gives to us. Here Paul indicates that the resurrected Christ is not only our Savior bringing us God’s salvation, and He is not only the firstborn Son of God. This resurrected One is also the holy and faithful things as a gift given to us by God.

It is easy for us to understand that Christ is our Savior. It is more difficult to understand that Christ is the firstborn Son of God. But it is very difficult to understand that the resurrected Christ is the holy and trustworthy things. Many of us have never been taught that the resurrected Christ is the holy and trustworthy things given to us by God. The holy and faithful things cover a wide span, a span much wider than that covered by the titles “Savior” and “firstborn Son.” The phrase “the holy and faithful things” is actually a divine title, a title of Christ. In these verses Christ is called the holy and trustworthy things. The Savior God raised up out of the seed of David has become the holy and trustworthy things.


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