Bible Verse Explanations and Resources


Acts 13:39

Adam Clarke
Bible Commentary

And by him - On his account, and through him, all that believe in his Divine mission, and the end for which he has been manifested, namely, to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself, are justified from all things, from the guilt of all transgressions committed against God; from which ye could not be justified by the law of Moses; because it is impossible that the blood of bulls and goats, and the ashes of a heifer sprinkling the unclean, or any other rite or service of this kind, could take away sin from the soul, cancel its guilt in the conscience, or make an atonement to the Divine justice; but this is the sacrifice which God has required; this is every way suited to the end for which it has been instituted; and this is the sacrifice alone which God can accept. Your law says, "Do this, and ye shall live;" and, "Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things that are written in the book of the law to do them." Ye have not done these things required; ye have not continued in any good thing; ye have not only not done all things commanded, but ye have done none, none as they ought to be done; and therefore ye are under the curse. The Gospel says, Believe on the Lord Jesus; credit his Divine mission; consider his death an atonement for sin; believe in his resurrection, as a proof that the atonement is made, believe that he suffered, died, and rose again for your justification; and that for his sake God, though he be infinitely just, can be the justifier of all who believe in him. By the law of Moses there is neither justification nor salvation: in Jesus Christ there are both, and all the sure mercies of David. Therefore, believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and ye shall be justified from all things, from which ye could not be justified by the law of Moses.

Albert Barnes
Notes on the Whole Bible

And by him - By means of him; by his sufferings and death.

All that believe - See the notes on Mark 16:16.

Are justified - Are regarded and treated as if they were righteous. They are pardoned, and admitted to the favor of God, and treated as if they had not offended. See this point explained in the notes on Romans 1:17; Romans 3:24-25; Romans 4:1-8.

From all things - From the guilt of all offences.

From which ye could not … - The Law of Moses commanded what was to be done. It appointed sacrifices and offerings as typical of a greater sacrifice. But those sacrifices could not take away sin. See the notes on Hebrews 9:7-14; Hebrews 10:1-4, Hebrews 10:11. The design of the Law was not to reveal a way of pardon. That was reserved to be the unique purpose of the gospel.

The law of Moses - The commands and institutions which he, under the direction of God, established.

Matthew Henry
Concise Bible Commentary
Let all that hear the gospel of Christ, know these two things: 1. That through this Man, who died and rose again, is preached unto you the forgiveness of sins. Your sins, though many and great, may be forgiven, and they may be so without any injury to God's honour. 2. It is by Christ only that those who believe in him, and none else, are justified from all things; from all the guilt and stain of sin, from which they could not be justified by the law of Moses. The great concern of convinced sinners is, to be justified, to be acquitted from all their guilt, and accepted as righteous in God's sight, for if any is left charged upon the sinner, he is undone. By Jesus Christ we obtain a complete justification; for by him a complete atonement was made for sin. We are justified, not only by him as our Judge but by him as the Lord our Righteousness. What the law could not do for us, in that it was weak, the gospel of Christ does. This is the most needful blessing, bringing in every other. The threatenings are warnings; what we are told will come upon impenitent sinners, is designed to awaken us to beware lest it come upon us. It ruins many, that they despise religion. Those that will not wonder and be saved, shall wonder and perish.
Ellen G. White
The Acts of the Apostles, 170-6

This desertion caused Paul to judge Mark unfavorably, and even severely, for a time. Barnabas, on the other hand, was inclined to excuse him because of his inexperience. He felt anxious that Mark should not abandon the ministry, for he saw in him qualifications that would fit him to be a useful worker for Christ. In after years his solicitude in Mark's behalf was richly rewarded, for the young man gave himself unreservedly to the Lord and to the work of proclaiming the gospel message in difficult fields. Under the blessing of God, and the wise training of Barnabas, he developed into a valuable worker. AA 170.1

Paul was afterward reconciled to Mark and received him as a fellow laborer. He also recommended him to the Colossians as one who was a fellow worker “unto the kingdom of God,” and “a comfort unto me.” Colossians 4:11. Again, not long before his own death, he spoke of Mark as “profitable” to him “for the ministry.” 2 Timothy 4:11. AA 170.2

After the departure of Mark, Paul and Barnabas visited Antioch in Pisidia and on the Sabbath day went into the Jewish synagogue and sat down. “After the reading of the law and the prophets the rulers of the synagogue sent unto them, saying, Ye men and brethren, if ye have any word of exhortation for the people, say on.” Being thus invited to speak, “Paul stood up, and beckoning with his hand said, Men of Israel, and ye that fear God, give audience.” Then followed a wonderful discourse. He proceeded to give a history of the manner in which the Lord had dealt with the Jews from the time of their deliverance from Egyptian bondage, and how a Saviour had been promised, of the seed of David, and he boldly declared that “of this man's seed hath God according to His promise raised unto Israel a Saviour, Jesus: when John had first preached before His coming the baptism of repentance to all the people of Israel. And as John fulfilled his course, he said, Whom think ye that I am? I am not He. But, behold, there cometh One after me, whose shoes of His feet I am not worthy to loose.” Thus with power he preached Jesus as the Saviour of men, the Messiah of prophecy. AA 170.3

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