The Apostle Paul: The Holy Spirit was Right.

25 “And disagreeing among themselves, they departed after Paul had made one statement: “The Holy Spirit was right in saying to your fathers through Isaiah the prophet: 26 “‘Go to this people, and say, “You will indeed hear but never understand, and you will indeed see but never receive.” 27 For this people’s heart has grown dull, and with their ears they can barely hear, and their eyes they have closed; lest they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears and understand with their heart and turn, and I would heal them.’ 28 Therefore let it be known to you that this salvation of God has been sent to the Gentiles; they will listen.” (Acts 28:25–28 (ESV)

The Jews’ reaction to Paul’s preaching the Gospel was not anything new. Some were convinced of the Gospel’s truthfulness concerning Jesus Christ while others were not. Those who did not believe not only continually disagreed with Paul, they also persistently argued with their fellow Jews. Things have not changed in 2,000 years.

Paul’s response to the Jews’ unbelief was biblical and truthful. He quoted from the Prophet Isaiah: “26 ‘Go to this people, and say, “You will indeed hear but never understand, and you will indeed see but never receive.” 27 For this people’s heart has grown dull, and with their ears they can barely hear, and their eyes they have closed; lest they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears and understand with their heart and turn, and I would heal them.’ The quotation was taken from Isaiah 6:9-10.

Isaiah’s prophecy concerned Israel’s unconverted and spiritually dull hearts, deaf ears and blind eyes (John 9).Therefore, God would send His salvation by grace alone, through faith alone in the person and work of Jesus Christ alone to the Gentiles. They would heed the truth of the Gospel.

Dr. R. C. Sproul writes, “These Jews continue to fulfill the prophecy of Israel’s hardening that began in Isaiah’s own time and continued up until the time of Christ (Matthew 13:14) and even up until Paul’s own day.”   

Paul’s declarative statement is the final one which Luke records. He said, “Therefore let it be known to you that this salvation of God has been sent to the Gentiles; they will listen.”

Paul’s words take the form of a strong command when he said, “Let it be known.” His audience are the unbelieving Jews. He stated that salvation, the deliverance from the penalty, power and eventual presence of sin, originated with and is sourced in God alone. He is personally and completely sending this message of divine deliverance to the Gentiles.

Paul then prophecies: “They (the Gentiles) will listen.” In other words, the unconverted Gentiles will hear, pay attention to, and receive the good news in Jesus Christ. Two millennia of church history has proven Paul’s concluding recorded words as accurate and truthful.

Soli deo Gloria!

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