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A man called Barnabas

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Barnabas was a good man, full of the Holy Spirit and faith

Barnabas was a good man, full of the Holy Spirit and faith

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  • A Man Called Barnabas Text: Acts 11:19-24 Dr Alex Tang Sunday Sermon Holy Light Church (English) 9 Sept 2012 Sermon Statement Barnabas was a good man, full of the Holy Spirit and faith.
  • Who are the heroes of our faith?
  • Hebrews 13:7 says, "Remember your leaders, those who spoke to you the word of God; consider the outcome of their life, and imitate their faith." Hebrews 6:12 says, "Do not be sluggish, but imitators of those who through faith and patience inherit the promises." And of course Hebrews 11 is a collection of excerpts from the lives of great men and women of faith. All these examples are for our inspiration and encouragement.
  • Heroes of the Faith Reading Christian biographies is inspirational and encouraging. It shows us how other Christians struggle in their faith to remain true to God. It also exposes to new perspective of God we may not be aware of and new spiritual experiences we have not encountered before.
  • One of my favourite hero of the faith is Sadhu Sundar Singh (September 3, 1889, Patiala State, India). He is believed to have died in the foothills of the Himalayas in 1929. Sundar felt that his religious pursuits in Sikhism and the questioning of Christian and Hindu priests left him without ultimate meaning. Sundar resolved to kill himself by throwing himself upon a railroad track. That very night he had a vision of Jesus who opened Sundar's soul to the truth. Sundar announced to his father, Sher Singh, that henceforth he would follow Christ. His father denounced him, and his brother Rajender Singh attempted to poison him. Sundar's life was saved by the help of a nearby Christian community (Wiki).
  • Another is William Franklin "Billy" Graham, Jr. (born November 7, 1918) is an American Christian evangelist who is an ordained Southern Baptist minister. According to his staff, more than 3.2 million people have responded to the invitation at Billy Graham Crusades to accept Jesus Christ as their personal Savior. As of 2008, Graham's estimated lifetime audience, including radio and television broadcasts, topped 2.2 billion. During the civil rights movement, he began to support integrated seating for his revivals and crusades; in 1957 he invited Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. to preach jointly at a huge revival in New York City, where they appeared together at Madison Square Garden, and bailed the minister out of jail in the 1960s when he was arrested in demonstrations.
  • There are many biographical persons in Acts which was recorded for us by Luke. Luke a doctor was very precise in his use of language and gives us good glimpses of the personalities involved. One of them is Joses or Joseph of Cyprus. Most of we know him by his nickname Barnabas (Acts 4:36).
  • AC 11:19 Now those who had been scattered by the persecution in connection with Stephen traveled as far as Phoenicia, Cyprus and Antioch, telling the message only to Jews. 20 Some of them, however, men from Cyprus and Cyrene, went to Antioch and began to speak to Greeks also, telling them the good news about the Lord Jesus. 21 The Lord's hand was with them, and a great number of people believed and turned to the Lord. Cyrene   / saɪˈriːni ː / ( Greek : Κυρήνη, Kyrēnē ) was an ancient Greek colony and then a Roman city in present-day Shahhat , Libya , the oldest and most important of the five Greek cities in the region. It gave eastern Libya the classical name Cyrenaica that it has retained to modern times.
  • Who is Barnabas? Barnabas is interpreted by Luke as huios paraklēseōs in Acts 4:36 and variously translated as “son of consolation” (KJV), “son of exhortation” or “son of encouragement” (RSV, JB, NIV). Barnabas had originally come from Cyprus (Acts 4:36) and settled in Jerusalem. His strong Jewish roots as a Levite (Acts 4:36) and his Hellenistic background in the Jewish diaspora gave him a background similar to Paul’s and their conservative training as respectively Pharisee and Levite.
  • AC 12:5 So Peter was kept in prison, but the church was earnestly praying to God for him. AC 12:6 The night before Herod was to bring him to trial, Peter was sleeping between two soldiers, bound with two chains, and sentries stood guard at the entrance. 7 Suddenly an angel of the Lord appeared and a light shone in the cell. He struck Peter on the side and woke him up. "Quick, get up!" he said, and the chains fell off Peter's wrists. AC 12:8 Then the angel said to him, "Put on your clothes and sandals." And Peter did so. "Wrap your cloak around you and follow me," the angel told him. 9 Peter followed him out of the prison, but he had no idea that what the angel was doing was really happening; he thought he was seeing a vision. 10 They passed the first and second guards and came to the iron gate leading to the city. It opened for them by itself, and they went through it. When they had walked the length of one street, suddenly the angel left him. AC 12:11 Then Peter came to himself and said, "Now I know without a doubt that the Lord sent his angel and rescued me from Herod's clutches and from everything the Jewish people were anticipating." AC 12:12 When this had dawned on him, he went to the house of Mary the mother of John, also called Mark, where many people had gathered and were praying.
  • How do they relate to each other? Probably fullness of the Holy Spirit and faith is the root or source of Barnabas' goodness. Paul unpacks this relationship in Galatians. He says in Galatians 5:22 that goodness is a fruit of the Holy Spirit. You don't get the Holy Spirit because you are good. The Holy Spirit takes over your life and starts to make you good. But what do we do in that process? We are not passive in this affair of becoming good. That's why Luke doesn't just say that Barnabas was full of the Holy Spirit. He is full of the Holy Spirit and faith. Faith is what we do. Now what does faith have to do with the work of the Holy Spirit? Galatians 3:2 tells us: "Did you receive the Spirit by works of the law, or by hearing with faith?" The assumed answer is that we received the Spirit by faith in the Word of God. Then verse 5 says, "Does he who supplies the Spirit to you and works miracles among you do so by works of the law, or by hearing with faith?" And again the assumed answer is FAITH! The Spirit is received by faith and goes on being supplied through faith.
  • Putting It All Together So let's put it all together: At the very beginning of the Christian life we receive the Holy Spirit by trusting in the truth of the gospel (Galatians 3:2). Then as the Christian life goes on and there is need again and again to be strengthened and filled with the Spirit, this too happens by faith in the word of God's promise (Galatians 3:5). One of the practical fruits or products of this Spirit-filled faith is goodness (Galatians 5:22). So when Luke says that Barnabas was "a good man, full of the Holy Spirit and faith," my understanding is that Barnabas had a great faith in God, and that by this faith the Holy Spirit became powerful in his heart, and that the result was a lot of practical goodness in Barnabas' life.
  • T he church was growing rapidly, especially among the Greeks and Hellenistic Jews, and soon a Christian church was thriving in the city of Syrian Antioch (about 400 miles north of Jerusalem). Initially it was mainly Jewish. Then increasingly more and more Gentiles joined the church especially in Antioch, influenced by men from Cyprus and Cyrene. The church in Jerusalem which consisted mainly of Jews was in a dilemma. Who to send to this Gentile church? Someone who can do cross cultural ministry. The apostles dispatched Barnabas to travel to Antioch and to pastor the fellowship there (Acts 11:22). Under his guidance the church grew even more, with Barnabas respected “as a good man, full of the Holy Spirit and faith” (Acts 11:24). Barnabas is able to see God’s grace in making outsider insider.
  • Many of us see the world through the lens of ‘them and us.’ This reminds me of a Helen Reddy’s song “You and Me against the World.” I believe the early church in Jerusalem also suffered from this. Now we have Gentiles in the church! What are we to do? They found in Barnabas a man able to make outsider insiders, strangers to be friends. Such a person will be perfect to be sent to pastor the new and growing church of Gentiles in Antioch.
  • Barnabas’s ability to include others is also reflected in his acceptance of Paul. When Paul returned to Jerusalem after his conversion and lengthy stay in Arabia, the apostles were understandably cautious about him. But as Ananias had brought Paul into the Christian fellowship at Damascus, so Barnabas trusted the integrity of Paul’s conversion and became his advocate among the Jerusalem leaders (Acts 9:27-28). With the help of Barnabas Paul was invited into the center of the church’s life.
  • Antioch was the third-largest city in the Roman Empire (next to Rome and Alexandria) and its church, no doubt the wealthiest yet, determined to share its riches with the poorer Christians of Judea. Following the famine visit, Acts 13 tells us that the leadership at Antioch had grown (now to include Simeon, Lucius and Manaen, Acts 13:1). Barnabas and Paul were commissioned to travel west as missionaries in what will be known as the First Missionary Journey. The decision to sail to Cyprus may have been influenced by Barnabas since it was his home and he would have known the island well.
  • because he knows the expansion of the work of God’s grace depends on Godly leadership
  • Barnabas' ministry in Antioch had been so successful that the converts were everywhere. Many of us would say at this point: I am now a respected leader. I have earned a good reputation for my work. It is now time to consolidate my gains and establish myself as a prominent preacher in this part of Syria. Instead Barnabas went to look for Paul. I believe Barnabas sees the great potential in Paul. Leadership succession plan
  • The Jerusalem Council. Following the first missionary journey west, Barnabas accompanied Paul to Jerusalem in order to settle the now divisive issue of the Law and circumcision. Barnabas is given equal respect with Paul (Acts 15:12) and perhaps his word, as that of a convert and leader prior to Paul, carried important weight. Barnabas was a disciple of the Jerusalem church who was now reporting to his mentors.
  • John Mark’s presence in Acts 12:25 and 13:5 implies that he had been in and around Antioch all along and had teamed up with Barnabas and Saul. But when Barnabas and Paul, after their arrival in Pamphylia, decided to leave Perga and climb the mountains toward Antioch of Pisidia, John Mark turned back. Barnabas’s later defense of John Mark would prove to be the decision that would separate Barnabas from Paul on subsequent journeys. This happened when they have been working together for at least 15 years!
  • Who is right and who is wrong? Barnabas wants to give John Mark a second chance but not Paul. Later Paul will work with John Mark and John Mark will write the Gospel of Mark. Without Barnabas, we may only have three gospels rather than four!
  • Peter came to Antioch and mixed freely with the Gentile Christians; but he withdrew from having fellowship with them when a conservative delegation from Jerusalem appeared (Gal 2:11–13). Worse yet, Barnabas was, in the words of Paul, “carried away by their insincerity” (Gal 2:13).
  • Luke uses discretion when he writes, “And there was a sharp disagreement ( paroxysmos ), so that they separated from each other” (Acts 15:39). I believe the mistake here is not the difference in opinions. There will always be difference in opinions when people work together. The important point is how to resolve these differences. Barnabas and Paul by now would have worked and served together for 15 years. Could their different opinions be resolved by setting up different teams without the bitterness and break in friendship?
  • In Acts 13:1–3 the Holy Spirit sets Barnabas and Saul apart for a missionary journey to the unreached cities of Cyprus and Galatia. Notice the order of the names in verse 2: it is still Barnabas first and Saul second, the way it has been back in Acts 11:30 and 12:25.
  • When they get to the city of Paphos on the island of Cyprus, the proconsul invites them to speak to him, and in Acts 13:7 Barnabas still has the honor of first place: "he summoned Barnabas and Saul and sought to hear the word of God." But when Elymas the magician tried to turn the proconsul away from the faith, it was Saul who exploded with the Holy Spirit in verse 10: You son of the devil, you enemy of all righteousness, full of all deceit and villainy, will you not stop making crooked the straight paths of the Lord? But from this point on, Saul (now called Paul for the first time in verse 9) is in charge. We see this immediately in verse 13. Luke says, "Now Paul and his company set sail from Paphos." Barnabas is not even mentioned. In verse 16 it is Paul not Barnabas who delivers the sermon in Antioch of Pisidia. When both of them are mentioned, it is now "Paul and Barnabas" not "Barnabas and Paul" (13:43, 46, 50; 15:2, 22, 35; except in Jerusalem where Barnabas is on his home turf, 15:12, 25; and in Lystra where Barnabas is called Zeus and Paul Hermes).
  • It seems clear that Paul, Barnabas and John Mark shared a longer working relationship than Acts implies. Paul’s reference to Barnabas in 1 Corinthians 9:6 shows not only that the Corinthians knew Barnabas but that Paul continued to respect him. Paul refers to Barnabas as a fellow worker who shares his mission and work. They are friends again.
  • Transcript

    • 1. A Man Called BarnabasActs 11:19-24Dr Alex Tang
    • 2. Why read biographies aboutChristians or heroes of faith? • Hebrews 13:7 "Remember your leaders, those who spoke to you the word of God; consider the outcome of their life, and imitate their faith." • Hebrews 6:12 "Do not be sluggish, but imitators of those who through faith and patience inherit the promises." • Hebrews 11 is a collection of excerpts from the lives of great men and women of faith.
    • 3. Why read biographies aboutChristians or heroes of faith?
    • 4. Who are the heroes offaith in the book of Acts?
    • 5. Acts 11:19-21 AC 11:19 Now those who had been scattered by the persecution in connection with Stephentraveled as far as Phoenicia, Cyprus and Antioch, telling the message only to Jews. 20 Some of them, however, men from Cyprus and Cyrene, went to Antioch and began to speak to Greeks also, telling them the good news about the Lord Jesus. 21 The Lords hand was with them, and a great number of people believed and turned to the Lord.
    • 6. Acts 11:22-24 AC 11:22 News of this reached the ears of the church at Jerusalem, and they sent Barnabas toAntioch. 23 When he arrived and saw the evidenceof the grace of God, he was glad and encouraged them all to remain true to the Lord with all their hearts. 24 He was a good man, full of the HolySpirit and faith, and a great number of people were brought to the Lord.
    • 7. Who was Barnabas?• Joses or Joseph from Cyprus• Nicknamed ‘Barnabas’ • huios paraklēseōs in Acts 4:36 • son of consolation (KJV) • son of exhortation (RSV, NIV) • son of encouragement (RSV, NIV)
    • 8. More about Barnabas• from Cyprus (Acts 4:36) and settled in Jerusalem• a Levite (Acts 4:36)• owned land in Jerusalem -selling his land and giving the proceeds to the apostles (Acts 4:36)• John Mark was his cousin whose mother, Mary, lived in Jerusalem and hosted the church in her home (Acts 12:12)
    • 9. Even more about Barnabas Barnabas was a good man, full of the Holy Spirit and faith (11:24)
    • 10. Barnabas was a good man, full of the Holy Spirit and faith (11:24) Good Barnabas Holy Spirit Faith
    • 11. “@TozerAW: "Real faith notonly does something for us, butit also does something to us."AW Tozer (A Disruptive Faith)”
    • 12. Six Reflections from the Lifeof Barnabas
    • 13. Reflections from the life ofBarnabas1. He is open to the grace of God 11:22 News of this reached the ears of the church at Jerusalem, and they sent Barnabas to Antioch. 23 When he arrived and saw the evidence of the grace of God, he was glad and encouraged them all to remain true to the Lord with all their hearts.Barnabas was a good man, full of the Holy Spirit and faith (11:24)
    • 14. Barnabas is open to the grace of God• Why did they send Barnabas and not someone else?
    • 15. He drew a circle that shut me out — Heretic, rebel, a thing to flout. Charles MarkhamThe Shoes of Happiness, and Other Poems (1852 – 1940) (1913)
    • 16. He drew a circle thatshut me out —Heretic, rebel, a thingto flout.But Love and I had thewit to win:We drew a circle thattook him in.
    • 17. Barnabas is open to the grace of God• Barnabas extend this openness to Paul (Acts 9:27-28) 27 But Barnabas took him and brought him to the apostles. He told them how Saul on his journey had seen the Lord and that the Lord had spoken to him, and how in Damascus he had preached fearlessly in the name of Jesus. 28 So Saul stayed with them and moved about freely in Jerusalem, speaking boldly in the name of the Lord. Barnabas was a good man, full of the Holy Spirit and faith (11:24)
    • 18. Reflections from the life ofBarnabas1. He is open to the grace of God2. He is an encourager of men 23 When he arrived and saw the evidence of the grace of God, he was glad and encouraged them all to remain true to the Lord with all their hearts.Barnabas was a good man, full of the Holy Spirit and faith (11:24)
    • 19. Barnabas is an encourager of men he sees the potential where others see failure • Paul AC 11:25 Then Barnabas went to Tarsus to look for Saul, 26 and when he found him, he brought him to Antioch. So for a whole year Barnabas and Saul met with the church and taught great numbers of people. The disciples were called Christians first at Antioch.
    • 20. Barnabas is an encourager of men he sees the potential where others see failure • The Jerusalem Church AC 11:27 During this time some prophets came down from Jerusalem to Antioch. 28 One of them, named Agabus, stood up and through the Spirit predicted that a severe famine would spread over the entire Roman world. (This happened during the reign of Claudius.) 29 The disciples, each according to his ability, decided toprovide help for the brothers living in Judea. 30 This theydid, sending their gift to the elders by Barnabas and Saul.
    • 21. Reflections from the life ofBarnabas1. He is ope n to the because he knows the expansion of the work of God’s grace depends on Godly leadership gra ce of God2. HeBarnabas was a good man, full of the Holy Spirit and faith (11:24)
    • 22. Barnabas is a mentor to leaders• Successful ministry in Antioch
    • 23. Barnabas is a mentor to leaders • Saul of Tarsus • Taking a risk by inviting him to join his ministry (Acts 11:25-26) • Going on a missionary journey (Acts 13) • Jerusalem Council (Acts 15:12) • Simeon, Lucius, Manaen (Acts 13:1) • John Mark Barnabas was a good man, full of the Holy Spirit and faith (11:24)
    • 24. Barnabas is a mentor to leaders
    • 25. Barnabas is a mentor to leaders • Patience with John Mark When a young missionary has forsaken the work on his first journey, should you shall give him a second chance after 18 months of penitent and faithful service? Barnabas was a good man, full of the Holy Spirit and faith (11:24)
    • 26. Reflections from the life ofBarnabas1. He is open to the grace of God2. He is an encourager of men3. He is a mentor to leaders4. He is fallibleBarnabas was a good man, full of the Holy Spirit and faith (11:24)
    • 27. Barnabas is fallible/makes mistakes• The incident with Peter in Antioch (Gal:11-13) GAL 2:11 When Peter came to Antioch, I opposed him to his face, because he was clearly in the wrong. 12 Before certain men came from James, he used to eat with the Gentiles. But when they arrived, he began to draw back and separate himself from the Gentiles because he was afraid of those who belonged to thecircumcision group. 13 The other Jews joined him in his hypocrisy, so that by their hypocrisy even Barnabas was led astray.
    • 28. Barnabas is fallible/makes mistakes• The incident with John Mark in Antioch (Acts 15: 37-41) 37 Barnabas wanted to take John, also called Mark,with them, 38 but Paul did not think it wise to take him, because he had deserted them in Pamphylia and had not continued with them in the work. 39 They hadsuch a sharp disagreement that they parted company. Barnabas took Mark and sailed for Cyprus, 40 butPaul chose Silas and left, commended by the brothersto the grace of the Lord. 41 He went through Syria and Cilicia, strengthening the churches.
    • 29. Barnabas broke fellowship with Paul
    • 30. Reflections from the life ofBarnabas1. He is open to the grace of God2. He is an encourager of men3. He is a mentor to leaders4. He is fallible5. He is a giverBarnabas was a good man, full of the Holy Spirit and faith (11:24)
    • 31. Barnabas is a giver/generous • Generous with his wealth • Sold his land (Acts 4:36-37) • Generous with his standing in ministry Barnabas was a good man, full of the Holy Spirit and faith (11:24)
    • 32. Barnabas is generous in ministryPaul and Barnabas atAntioch in Pisidia (Acts13:4-12)Paul and Barnabas atIconium (Acts 14:1-7)Paul and Barnabas atLystra and Derbe (Acts14:8-20)Paul and Barnabas Barnabas and Saul atseparate (Acts 15:36-41) Antioch (Acts 11:19-26) Barnabas and Saul appointed (Acts 12:25-13:3) Barnabas and Saul sent off (Acts 13:1-3) Barnabas and Saul on Cyrus (Acts 13:4-12)
    • 33. Reflections from the life ofBarnabas1. He is open to the grace of God2. He is an encourager of men3. He is a mentor to leaders4. He is fallible5. He is a giver6. He is highly respectedBarnabas was a good man, full of the Holy Spirit and faith (11:24)
    • 34. Barnabas is highly respected• Paul1CO 9:3 This is my defense to those who sit in judgment on me. 4 Dont we have the right to food and drink? 5Dont we have the right to take a believing wife along withus, as do the other apostles and the Lords brothers and Cephas? 6 Or is it only I and Barnabas who must work for a living? Barnabas was a good man, full of the Holy Spirit and faith (11:24)
    • 35. Reconciliation between Paul and Mark • 2 Tim 4:11 11 Only Luke is with me. Get Mark and bring him with you, because he is helpful to me in my ministry • Philemon 24 PHM 1:23 Epaphras, my fellow prisoner in Christ Jesus, sends you greetings. 24 And so do Mark, Aristarchus, Demas and Luke, my fellow workers. Barnabas was a good man, full of the Holy Spirit and faith (11:24)
    • 36. Barnabas is highly respected• Others Calvin and Luther were convinced that 2 Corinthians8:18–19 also referred to Barnabas: “With him (Titus) we are also sending the brother who is famous among all the churches for his preaching of the gospel.” Barnabas was a good man, full of the Holy Spirit and faith (11:24)
    • 37. Reflections on the life of Barnabas Barnabas was a good man, full of the Holy Spirit and faith (11:24)
    • 38. Are you a good person,full of the Holy Spirit andfaith?
    • 39. Reflections from the life ofBarnabas1. He is open to the grace of God2. He is an encourager of men3. He is a mentor to leaders4. He is fallible5. He is a giver6. He is highly respectedBarnabas was a good man, full of the Holy Spirit and faith (11:24)
    • 40. Transcript and mp3 of this sermon isavailable atwww.kairos2.com/barnabas.htm