Paul’s Soteriological Emphases in the Book of Acts – John Boruff

From the evidence found below, we can see from the speeches, sermons, and testimonies of Paul in the Book of Acts, that the “Gospel of Jesus Christ” according to Paul probably followed an order of salvation (ordo salutis) like this:

1. Creation of the World and Man (Teleological Argument)
2. Repentance (Conscience; The Moral Law; Judgment Day)
3. Faith (Penal Substitution and Resurrection)
4. Justification (The Forgiveness of Sins)
5. Regeneration (The Kingdom of God)
6. Sanctification (Good Works)

Notice: there are NO LENGTHY DISCOURSES, OR EVEN BRIEF REFERENCES TO GRACE, PREDESTINATION, AND FREE WILL! That suggests to me it barely fit into his order of salvation, if at all, or was just a set of concepts in the background of his mind. The whole monergism/synergism thing is completely periphery.

13:16-41: Sermon at a Synagogue Pisidian Antioch

  • Prophetic History: from Moses, Samuel, David, Jesus, John the Baptist (preached repentance and baptism) (13:16-25)
  • “This message of salvation (justification and sanctification—according to Wesley)” (13:26)
  • OT Prophecy fulfilled by the cross and resurrection (13:27-31)
  • “We tell you the good news” (13:32)
    • OT Prophecy fulfilled by the resurrection (13:32-36)
    • “through Jesus the forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you” (13:38)
    • Justification by faith in penal substitution, not works-justification of the moral law (13:39)

17:22-31: Sermon at the Areopagus in Athens

  • Idolatry (17:22-23)
  • Creation of the World and Man (17:24-28)
  • Idolatry (17:29)
  • “He commands all people everywhere to repent” (17:30)
  • Judgment Day; the resurrection of Christ (17:31)

22:1-21: Sermon to the Crowd in Jerusalem

  • His Testimony
    • He is a Jew trained in rabbinical school (22:3)
    • Persecution of Christians (22:4-5)
    • Vision of Light and Voice of Jesus at Damascus (22:6-11)
    • Ananias, a commandment keeper, heals Paul (22:12-13)
    • Paul is to Share His Vision Story with Others (22:14-15)
    • “Be baptized and wash your sins away (justification by faith in penal substitution), calling on His Name (Jesus)” (22:16)
    • Praying, fell into a trance, saw the Lord speaking (22:17-18)
    • Jesus commands Paul to go to the Gentiles (22:19-21)

23:1-6: Speech Before the Sanhedrin

  • I have a good conscience (23:1)
  • Paul Accidentally Rebukes the High Priest (23:2-5)
  • I am a Pharisee: I hope in the resurrection (23:6)

24:10-21: Speech Before Governor Felix

  • I came into Jerusalem to worship, and stirred up no crowds by arguing in the temple, any synagogue, or anywhere else in the city (24:10-12)
  • These men are falsely accusing me (24:13)
  • I am a Christian; and I hope for the final resurrection; and “I strive always to keep my conscience clear before God and man” (24:14-16)
  • I have broken no Jewish law that I know of (24:17-21)

25:8, 10-11: Speech Before Governor Festus

  • I have broken no Jewish law or Roman law (25:8)
  • I am being falsely accused; I appeal to Caesar’s court! (25:10-11)

26:2-23: Speech Before King Agrippa

  • Please listen to all the false accusations they make (26:2-3)
  • It is because I hope in resurrection they accuse me (26:4-8)
  • I used to zealously persecute Christians (26:9-11)
  • Vision of Light and Voice of Jesus at Damascus (26:12-16)
  • Jesus’ Word to Paul: I am sending you to the Jews and Gentiles to open their eyes (preaching the moral law), turn them from satan to God (repentance), so they may be forgiven of their sins (justification by faith in penal substitution), sanctified by faith in Jesus (sanctification) (26:17-18)
  • I obeyed the heavenly vision (26:19)
  • “I preached that they should repent and turn to God and prove their repentance by their deeds (good works)” (26:20)
  • The Jews have given me a hard time, but God has helped me through the whole journey (26:21-22)
  • OT Prophecy fulfilled by the death (penal substitution) and resurrection of Christ, and proclaiming light to the Gentiles (26:22-23)

28:17-28: Sermon to Jews in Rome with Security Guards

  • I appealed to Caesar because a “kangaroo court” was being set up for me in Jerusalem (28:17-20)
  • “From morning till evening he explained and declared to them the kingdom of God (regeneration) and tried to convince them about Jesus from the Law of Moses and from the Prophets (OT Prophecy of penal substitution and resurrection)” (28:23)
  • The prophecy of Isaiah 6:9-10 is fulfilled by many of you Jews who don’t believe the Gospel (28:24-27)
  • “God’s salvation (justification and sanctification—according to Wesley) has been sent to the Gentiles, and they will listen!” (28:28)
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About John Boruff

John Boruff is the founder of WesleyGospel.com, a husband, father, and sometimes an open air preacher. He graduated from UNC Pembroke in 2008 with a B.A. in Philosophy and Religion and views himself as a Baptistic Pentecostal. As a Christian, he feels connected with all members of the body of Christ, but can identify the most with churches like the Assemblies of God and the Vineyard. In 2015, he released "The Gospel of Jesus Christ," which is meant to be a Bible study for open air preaching. For his other writings, search articles on this site or see the E-Books section.
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