Hello everyone. We’re continuing through Acts again in our study of the doctrine of the Trinity in the New Testament. We’re going to wrap up that book tonight in chapter 28 by looking at the last few verses. We’re going to emphasize the Trinitarian points and then we’re going to end with a message about the spread of the gospel in the book of Acts. To be sure I am getting the whole context, I will quote verses 23-31:
23They arranged to meet Paul on a certain day, and came in even larger numbers to the place where he was staying. From morning till evening he explained and declared to them the kingdom of God and tried to convince them about Jesus from the Law of Moses and from the Prophets. 24Some were convinced by what he said, but others would not believe. 25They disagreed among themselves and began to leave after Paul had made this final statement: “The Holy Spirit spoke the truth to your forefathers when he said through Isaiah the prophet:
26” ‘Go to this people and say,
“You will be ever hearing but never understanding;
you will be ever seeing but never perceiving.”
27For this people’s heart has become calloused;
they hardly hear with their ears,
and they have closed their eyes.
Otherwise they might see with their eyes,
hear with their ears,
understand with their hearts
and turn, and I would heal them.’
28“Therefore I want you to know that God’s salvation has been sent to the Gentiles, and they will listen!”
30For two whole years Paul stayed there in his own rented house and welcomed all who came to see him. 31Boldly and without hindrance he preached the kingdom of God and taught about the Lord Jesus Christ.
Note the 25th verse where we are told that the Holy Spirit spoke. This was the same passage referenced in John 12, which indicates that this was probably a favorite one amongst the early church in their evangelism and Paul used it here as the book closes with him preaching the gospel in Rome.
Our point that we wish to notice is that the Holy Spirit is the one who spoke. The Trinitarian dynamic is well under way as the Holy Spirit is seen as a person with authority. It’s also noteworthy that Paul is speaking to a Jewish audience who doesn’t seem to contradict any of his statements on the doctrine of the Holy Spirit. This is important to emphasize since in Trinitarian apologetics, we can be eager to defend the deity of Christ and sadly, the Holy Spirit is forgotten. His deity and personality are just as essential.
Notice when Paul quotes the first passage, he is very pointed and makes the pronouns into “you” as if to say “You are the ones spoken about in this passage.” This is a pesher kind of fulfillment of text where one event symbolizes another event. As the people were obstinate in Isaiah’s day, so they were in the day of Paul.
However, Luke does speak of the gospel going to the Gentiles and ends on a good note. The passage properly translated ends with the word for “unhindered.” Luke wants us to have one message as we close this book. The gospel was still going out and it wasn’t going to be stopped any time soon. In fact, about 1,950 years have gone since then and the gospel is STILL being spread and more than ever today.
Do we still have the obstinate people also? Yes. We do. Let us not have them stop the spread of the gospel however.
Tomorrow, we shall begin looking at Romans.