The Open Door (Acts 13-14)

27 And when they arrived and gathered the church together, they declared all that God had done with them, and how he had opened a door of faith to the Gentiles. Acts 14:27

In his commentary on the book of Romans, author Tim Keller makes a statement that truly challenges our minds. Here is what Tim stated: “The gospel is both boundless and bound.”

When I first read this statement, I felt the weight of the paradox. How could it be possible for the gospel to be both bound and boundless?

According to Scripture the gospel is boundless when it is correctly proclaimed and correctly believed.

In Acts 13 we see an example of this as Paul preached the boundless gospel in Antioch of Pisidia. Luke gives us Paul’s conclusion of his message in Acts 13:38-39

38 Let it be known to you therefore, brothers, that through this man forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you, 39 and by him everyone who believes is freed from everything from which you could not be freed by the law of Moses. 

This gospel was boundless:

48 And when the Gentiles heard this, they began rejoicing and glorifying the word of the Lord, and as many as were appointed to eternal life believed.

But at the same time it was bound because there were those who refused to believe:

45 But when the Jews saw the crowds, they were filled with jealousy and began to contradict what was spoken by Paul, reviling him.

Brothers and sisters, according to Luke’s account of Acts 13-14, the gospel truly is boundless and bound at the same time. In this moment in time, can I get up-close and personal with you?

In your personal life is the gospel boundless or bound?

In Paul and Barnabas lives the gospel was boundless. I think it’s important that I share this footnote with you: A boundless gospel is very costly.

For these first two missionaries of the church it was very costly. It cost them their freedom to live for themselves. It cost them a live of ease. They were often run out of cities for preaching the gospel. In Acts 14 Paul was stoned and left for dead. Daily both men faced the threat of terrorism. But the boundless gospel did its work and these men loved the Lord with boundless love.

You and I must know the boundless gospel could lead to our personally be bound. “We will enter the Kingdom through many tribulations.” Acts 14:22.

Brothers and sisters, I believe it is worth the cost.

Here was my prayer from my journal this morning:

“Father, I want to speak boldly for the Lord. I want to bear witness to the Word of His grace. I know people will be divided in their response. Please open hearts and minds for salvation. I know the gospel cannot be bound, so I am waiting for the lid to be removed.”

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