“From Paul’s day to the present time, God by His Holy Spirit has been calling after the Jew as well as the Gentile. ‘There is no respect of persons with God,’ declared Paul. The apostle regarded himself as ‘debtor both to the Greeks, and to the barbarians,’ as well as to the Jews; but he never lost sight of the decided advantages possessed by the Jews over others, ‘chiefly, because that unto them were committed the oracles of God.’ ‘The gospel,’ he declared, ‘is the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. . . .’ ”-Ellen G. White, The Acts of the Apostles, p. 380.
“In preaching to the Thessalonians, Paul appealed to the Old Testament prophecies concerning the Messiah.. . . By the inspired testimony of Moses and the prophets he clearly proved the identity of Jesus of Nazareth with the Messiah and showed that from the days of Adam it was the voice of Christ which had been speaking through patriarchs and prophets.”- Acts of the Apostles, pp. 221, 222. (Also see the extensive collection of Old Testament texts included in this chapter on pages 222-229.)
“In the closing proclamation of the gospel, when special work is to be done for classes of people hitherto neglected, God expects His messengers to take particular interest in the Jewish people whom they find in all parts of the earth. . . . As they see the Christ of the gospel dispensation portrayed in the pages of the Old Testament Scriptures, and perceive how clearly the New Testament explains the Old, their slumbering faculties will be aroused, and they will recognize Christ as the Saviour of the world. Many will by faith receive Christ as their Redeemer.”-Acts of the Apostles, p. 381.
- Paul approached the Jews of his day on the basis of the Messianic prophecies of the Old Testament. To what degree is such an approach useful today with Jews, especially secular Jews who might not even be familiar with the Old Testament prophecies? What other kinds of approaches should be considered for secular Jews, as well as for any groups of unreached people today?
- How can the prophecies of the Bible be made to connect more effectively with your friends and neighbors? What approaches should you use with people who don’t believe in the authority of the Bible? For instance, how could Daniel 2 help someone from a secular or nonbiblical perspective start to trust the Bible as the Word of God?
A number of important points have been made in this opening week. What we should come away with, more than anything else, is just how important the Word of God is to our lives, our mission, and our witness. We need to be grounded in the Bible and the truths that it teaches, not only for ourselves but in order to be the most effective witnesses possible.