So Paul stood, lifted his hand to quiet them, and started speaking. "People of Israel," he said, "and you devout Gentiles who fear the God of Israel, listen to me.
"The God of this nation of Israel chose our ancestors and made them prosper in Egypt. Then he powerfully led them out of their slavery.
He put up with them a through forty years of wandering around in the wilderness.
Then he destroyed seven nations in Canaan and gave their land to Israel as an inheritance.
All this took about 450 years. After that, judges ruled until the time of Samuel the prophet.
Then the people begged for a king, and God gave them Saul son of Kish, a man of the tribe of Benjamin, who reigned for forty years.
But God removed him from the kingship and replaced him with David, a man about whom God said, 'David son of Jesse is a man after my own heart, for he will do everything I want him to.' b23
"And it is one of King David's descendants, Jesus, who is God's promised Savior of Israel!
But before he came, John the Baptist preached the need for everyone in Israel to turn from sin and turn to God and be baptized.
As John was finishing his ministry he asked, 'Do you think I am the Messiah? No! But he is coming soon -- and I am not even worthy to be his slave. c '
"Brothers -- you sons of Abraham, and also all of you devout Gentiles who fear the God of Israel -- this salvation is for us!
The people in Jerusalem and their leaders fulfilled prophecy by condemning Jesus to death. They didn't recognize him or realize that he is the one the prophets had written about, though they hear the prophets' words read every Sabbath.
They found no just cause to execute him, but they asked Pilate to have him killed anyway.
"When they had fulfilled all the prophecies concerning his death, they took him down from the cross and placed him in a tomb.
But God raised him from the dead!
And he appeared over a period of many days to those who had gone with him from Galilee to Jerusalem -- these are his witnesses to the people of Israel.
"And now Barnabas and I are here to bring you this Good News. God's promise to our ancestors has come true in our own time,
in that God raised Jesus. This is what the second psalm is talking about when it says concerning Jesus, 'You are my Son. Today I have become your Father. d '
For God had promised to raise him from the dead, never again to die. This is stated in the Scripture that says, 'I will give you the sacred blessings I promised to David.' e35
Another psalm explains more fully, saying, 'You will not allow your Holy One to rot in the grave.' f36
Now this is not a reference to David, for after David had served his generation according to the will of God, he died and was buried, and his body decayed.
No, it was a reference to someone else -- someone whom God raised and whose body did not decay.
"Brothers, listen! In this man Jesus there is forgiveness for your sins.
Everyone who believes in him is freed from all guilt and declared right with God -- something the Jewish law could never do.
Be careful! Don't let the prophets' words apply to you. For they said,
'Look, you mockers, be amazed and die! For I am doing something in your own day, something you wouldn't believe even if someone told you about it.' g "
Scripture quotations marked NLT are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright 1996. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois 60189. All rights reserved. (New Living Translation - The Bible Online)