11 November 18, 2012 Acts 13 & 14 Engage In Kingdom Building


Published on

Published in: Spiritual
  • Be the first to comment

  • Be the first to like this

No Downloads
Total views
On SlideShare
From Embeds
Number of Embeds
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide

11 November 18, 2012 Acts 13 & 14 Engage In Kingdom Building

  2. 2. Focal Passages:*Go Where God Sends Acts 13:1-4*Grow People ThroughTeaching Acts 14:21-22*Connect to the Kingdom Acts 14:23-28
  3. 3. This Lesson Is About:The focused activities oftransformational churchesis to build the kingdom ofGod by making disciples.
  4. 4. This lesson will help torefocus your priorities onbuilding the kingdom ofGod through being adisciple and a disciplemaker.
  5. 5. In A.D. 405, a sixteen yearold boy named Patrickwas kidnapped from hiswell- to-do home in GreatBritain and transported toIreland where he was soldto a farmer and given
  6. 6. the responsibility oftaking care of the man’ssheep.*As a shepherd, heencountered the GreatShepherd and purposedto follow Him.
  7. 7. *After six years of slaveryhe escaped and returnedhome only to be called byGod to the priesthood &to an unlikely mission ofreturning to the land ofhis servitude.
  8. 8. *But Patrick was a slave toChrist now, and the Lordgave him a sense ofcompassion for the Irish.
  9. 9. Patrick returned to paganIreland, determined tobring the Gospel to peopleenslaved by superstitionand Celtic religion.*Traveling throughout theland, he baptized
  10. 10. thousands of newconverts, discipled newbelievers, trained churchleaders, ordained pastors,exerted discipline onunrepentant churchmembers, and
  11. 11. commissioned moreevangelists.*He started scores ofchurches and witnessed tokings and their courts,farmers and peasants.
  12. 12. *He also forcefullyprotested injusticesagainst the commonpeople.*By the time he died,about A.D. 461, he hadstarted a church
  13. 13. movement thattransformed ancientIreland.*Saint Patrick onlymimicked what had beendone at the inception ofthe Christian movement.
  14. 14. *The early church inAntioch launched theChristian faith outside itsgeographical and culturalcontext, sending Barnabasand Paul on their firstmissionary journey to
  15. 15. Asia Minor to build God’skingdom by makingdisciples and establishingchurches.*It was a dangerous yetglorious time for theinfant movement.
  16. 16. *They rode the winds ofthe Spirit to farawayplaces to build God’skingdom.
  17. 17. Go Where God SendsActs 13:1-4 HCSB1 “In the church that wasat Antioch there wereprophets and teachers:Barnabas, Simeon whowas called Niger, Lucius
  18. 18. the Cyrenian, Manaen, aclose friend of Herod thetetrarch, and Saul.2 As they wereministering to the Lordand fasting, the HolySpirit said,
  19. 19. “Set apart for MeBarnabas and Saul forthe work I have calledthem to.”3 Then after they hadfasted, prayed, and laidhands on them, they sent
  20. 20. them off.4 Being sent out by theHoly Spirit, they camedown to Seleucia, andfrom there they sailed toCyprus.” Acts 13:1-4
  21. 21. These five men broughttogether a racial, cultural,and ethnic diversity,evident in the Antiochchurch.Barnabas was a Levitefrom Cyprus.
  22. 22. Simeon, whosecomplexion wasapparently darker thanmost Syrians hence thenickname Niger [NIGHguhr] (Latin for black),probably came from
  23. 23. Cyrene or somewhere elsein North Africa (Libya).
  24. 24. Tradition states that thesons of Simon, Rufus andAlexander, became missionaries; the inclusionof their names in theGospel of Mark suggeststhat they were of some
  25. 25. standing in the earlyChristian community atRome.*It has even beensuggested that the Rufusmentioned by Paulin Romans 16:13 is the son
  26. 26. of Simon of Cyrene.Some also link Simonhimself with the "men ofCyrene" who preachedthe Gospel to the Greeksin Acts 11:20. 
  27. 27. Lucius [LYOO shuhs],mentioned here in ourpassage was also fromCyrene.*He possibly was one ofthe founders of theAntioch church.
  28. 28. Manaen [MAN uh en](meaning comforter), aclose friend of Herod thetetrarch, apparentlyreared with this Herod.*Herod the tetrarch ruledGalilee and Peraea from
  29. 29. 4 B.C. to A.D. 39, and hadJohn the Baptist executed.*Thus Manaen came froma high social status.*Saul (his Jewish name)or Paul (his Latin orRoman name) was the
  30. 30. converted Pharisee fromTarsus in Cilicia.*Raised in Greek culture,trained in rabbinicJudaism, but nowpassionate about Jesus,Saul was listed last but
  31. 31. would soon become firstamong the group.*These five mencomprised a worldfellowship, initiating aworld movement.
  32. 32. *Barnabas exemplified aman who lived in thisworld, but lived foranother kingdom. *Hisencouraging model for aChrist-centered life servesas a pattern for us today.
  33. 33. Taken together,ministering to the Lordand fasting indicated aperiod of focused,dedicated devotion toGod, foregoing food orother needs or comforts in
  34. 34. order to hear from Godand sense His direction.*Sincere worship alwaysinvolves listening.*In fact, the heart is mostsensitive to the Spirit’sleading in the worshiping
  35. 35. context.*As we worship God, lookfor His direction.*His calling and sendinghas not changed.*He needs the likes of youand me to communicate
  36. 36. His message to the world.*This church was expectant,sensitive to the Spirit’sleadership.*They were not strategizingor planning; they wereseeking God’s direction.
  37. 37. These words come froman old verb meaning tomark off by boundariesand communicates that
  38. 38. the church was to markoff or put a boundaryaround Barnabas and Paulto serve elsewhere as ledby the Holy Spirit.
  39. 39. *In this case, they wouldtravel as missionaries tonew frontiers to share theGospel story.
  40. 40. Antioch provided theprimitive church a Gentilepolitical, cultural, andeconomic center beyondJerusalem to serve asheadquarters for itsexpanding work and has
  41. 41. become a symbol of thedevelopment of theChristian movement froma sect of Judaism to auniversal faith.*Both in Galatians and inActs, the message is quite
  42. 42. clear: the Gospel is for allpeople; Jesus Christ is theSavior of all mankind!*At Antioch, the missionto all the world began.
  43. 43. For the church to expandand God’s kingdom togrow, Christianity had toventure outside the wallsof the church.
  44. 44. We would not beevangelized if these menhad not stepped out oftheir comfort zones andembarked on a greatmissionary adventure.
  45. 45. *They dared to beobedient.*Who in your world needsto know Jesus and iswaiting on you to step outto tell them about Him?
  46. 46. *Are you willing to stepoutside of your world andtell others about Christand build His kingdom?*Are you makingdisciples?
  47. 47. Grow People ThroughTeachingActs 14:21-22 21 “After they hadevangelized that townand made manydisciples, they returned
  48. 48. to Lystra, to Iconium, andto Antioch,22 strengthening thedisciples by encouragingthem to continue in thefaith and by telling them,“It is necessary to pass
  49. 49. through many troubleson our way into thekingdom of God.” Acts 14:21-22
  50. 50. Barnabas and Paulestablished churches bysharing the Good Newsand making manydisciples.
  51. 51. *The word disciple comesfrom the word meaning tolearn, but means morethan just a pupil or astudent.
  52. 52. *It means one who learnsfrom the Master to theextent of becoming likethe Master, Jesus.
  53. 53. They could have taken ashorter route and easierjourney.*Instead, they risked theirlives to return to thechurches they hadestablished in these towns.
  54. 54. *Paul was stoned and leftto die in Lystra.*There were plots to stonethem in Iconium.*They had been drivenout of Antioch.
  55. 55. Yet they repeatedly,courageously risked theirlives to proclaim theGospel in an effort to winnew converts and nurturethose with new-foundfaith.
  56. 56. In spite of Jewish hostilityand painful experiences,they stayed at the taskgiven by Jesus to makedisciples.
  57. 57. *They demonstrated thatevangelism anddiscipleship go together.
  58. 58. *The last thing theywanted was unnurtured,untaught, andundeveloped spiritualinfants.
  59. 59. “In fact, though by this timeyou ought to be teachers, youneed someone to teach you theelementary truths of God’sword all over again. You needmilk, not solid food!” Hebrews 5:12
  60. 60. *Their responsibilityincluded not only leadingnew believers to faith, butgrowing them in the faith.
  61. 61. Sergius Paulus becamePaul’s first named convertin Scripture.(Acts 13:4-12)
  62. 62. What began as “Barnabasand Saul” became “Pauland his companions” bythe time they left theisland. (Acts 13:13)
  63. 63. Paul and Barnabas wererecognized as visitors inthe synagogue of PisidianAntioch and were invitedto share a word with thepeople. (Acts 13:14-15)
  64. 64. With an open invitation topreach, Paul’s firstrecorded sermon in Actsemphasized the theme ofGod’s grace.(Acts 13:16-42)
  65. 65. Paul had been left fordead but when heregained consciousness,he went back into the citywhere he had almost beenkilled. (Acts 14:8-20)
  66. 66. *The missionaries wereconcerned as to thereception of the Gospel bythe people.*If the last thing thepeople of Lystra saw ofthese itinerant preachers
  67. 67. was one of them beingdragged out of townassumed dead, then thatwould have been theirfinal image of the Gospel.
  68. 68. *Paul seemingly wantedto show the people that heand the Gospel were stillalive!
  69. 69. *The next town on theroad southeast of Derbewas Tarsus – Paul’s home.
  70. 70. *This would have been apossible choice for themissionaries to bring anend to their initial effort attaking the Gospel to theMediterranean world.
  71. 71. *Earlier efforts in Antiochof Syria (the next city eastof Tarsus) had beenfruitful.
  72. 72. *How fruitful the effortshad been in thoseGalatian cities wasdebatable.
  73. 73. In an understated fashion,Acts 14:21-22 indicatedthat Paul and Barnabasdecided to return to thosethree cities where theyhad experiencedpersecutions.
  74. 74. Paul’s exhortation that“through many tribulationswe must enter the kingdomof God” reflected hisseriousness about the realityof the Gospel message inone’s life.
  75. 75. *After discipling the newbelievers, the missionariesretraced their steps backto Perga and then set sailto return again to theplace of their departure,Antioch of Syria.
  76. 76. *What has often beentermed as “Paul’s firstmissionary journey”established the paradigmfor later missionaryendeavors.
  77. 77. Typically, ministry wouldbegin in the synagogue onthe Sabbath and then goto the marketplace duringthe week.With this method theGospel reached a large
  78. 78. and diverse audience.The Acts 13-14 descriptionof this “journey” portrayeda missionary team ofhuman and divinepartners.
  79. 79. *Leading the missionarygroup was the Holy SpiritWho gave the words tospeak, protection, andguidance.*Paul and Barnabas’brilliance was in their
  80. 80. committed obedience tothe Holy Spirit’sleadership.
  81. 81. They accomplished theirdisciple-making through athreefold process.*First, the believers werestrengthened orinstructed.
  82. 82. *Teaching God’s Wordbuilds up believers.*God’s Word throughGod’s Spirit shapes God’schildren to become likeGod’s Son.
  83. 83. Second, the believers wereencouraged (exhorted orurged) to remain true tothe faith.*The faith here indicatesthe core collection ofdoctrine or beliefs central
  84. 84. to following Jesus.*They knew thatbeginners not yetestablished in the faithcould fall away.*Conversion must pass onto continuation.
  85. 85. *Third, the believers werewarned of persecution.*They would passthrough many troubles.
  86. 86. *The word troublesindicates the pressure thatcomes when one ispainfully squeezed.*Barnabas and Paul’shardships in Lystra,Iconium, and Antioch
  87. 87. served as compellingexamples of suffering andhardship, experienced atevery turn on theirmissionary journey.
  88. 88. *But, adversity andharassment because oftheir faith was the pathinto the kingdom of God.*Tribulations develop andstrengthen the believers’faith (John 16:33).
  89. 89. We will encounterdifficulties from worldlyopposition as we engagein kingdom-buildingwork.
  90. 90. *Opposition is a normalpart of the Christian walkand witness.*When we embark onkingdom-building activitywe are entering hostileterritory.
  91. 91. *The world hates God’swork.*And, when believers aresnatched from the Devil, itangers him all the more.*But we must grow peoplethrough teaching
  92. 92. them anyway.
  93. 93. Connect to the KingdomActs 14:23-2823 “When they hadappointed elders in everychurch and prayed withfasting, they committedthem to the Lord in
  94. 94. whom they had believed.24 Then they passedthrough Pisidia and cameto Pamphylia.25 After they spoke themessage in Perga, theywent down to Attalia.
  95. 95. 26 From there they sailedback to Antioch wherethey had been entrustedto the grace of God forthe work they had nowcompleted.
  96. 96. 27 After they arrived andgathered the churchtogether, they reportedeverything God had donewith them and that Hehad opened the door offaith to the Gentiles.
  97. 97. 28 And they spent aconsiderable time withthe disciples.” Acts 14:23-28
  98. 98. Not only did Paul andBarnabas establish newchurches, they, also,organized the churcheswith a leadershipstructure.
  99. 99. They appointed elders.The word elder was oftenused for older persons,but here it referred tomature believers,overseeing acongregation’s spiritual
  100. 100. health.*Elder, from a Jewish term,and bishop, from a Greekone, designate the sameoffice.*No professional clergyexisted at that time.
  101. 101. Following the Jewishsynagogue’s leadershippattern, these men werechosen from within thecongregation to provideoversight and leadership.
  102. 102. They might not have beenideal candidates, but theywere available andwilling.*They would have knownthe people, the problems,and the environment.
  103. 103. The plural elderssuggested that this groupshared in the task ofleading the church.*The contemporarypractice of “one pastor,one church” seems
  104. 104. unknown in the earlychurch.
  105. 105. The elders wereappointed.The compound wordmeans to stretch the hand,implying a voting process.Possibly Paul andBarnabas chose the elders
  106. 106. and the congregationapproved the selectionwith a vote.The vote occurred inconjunction with thechurch praying withfasting.
  107. 107. Fasting aided praying, astime and attentionnormally given to cookingand eating was insteadgiven to devotion andconcentration on God’sleading.
  108. 108. The elder’s appointmentwas a serious matter,requiring God’s direction,accomplished in a publicmeeting.
  109. 109. Clearly Paul and Barnabasconcentrated on the majorcities, challenging thebelievers once discipled topresent the gospel messageto more remote areas.
  110. 110. The estimated length oftime of the the firstmissionary journey lastedanywhere between oneand two years.
  111. 111. *Assembled together, theygave God the credit forwhat He had done.*We too acknowledgeGod’s role in seeing peoplemove from spiritual deathto spiritual life.
  112. 112. They reported, first, whatGod had done with them.*God had held true to Hispromise.*While He had notinsulated them fromhardship, He had walked
  113. 113. with them through Hispresence and His power.*They reported, second,what God had done forkingdom expansion.*The Antioch experimentof sending out
  114. 114. missionaries proved atremendous success.*Using the language ofJesus, Who describedHimself as “the door” tosalvation (John 10:9), Godhad opened the door of
  115. 115. faith to the Gentiles.(This development wouldbe the subject of theJerusalem Conferencerecorded in Acts 15.)*The pathway into thesecular world had opened.
  116. 116. The people werereceptive.*Obedient disciples wereneeded to step throughthe opened … door.
  117. 117. The door still stands opento the whole world today.*Believers shouldrecognize that everyhuman being should havean opportunity to hear theGospel.
  118. 118. Willing and availabledisciples are still neededto step through the door,venturing outside ofcomfort zones to engage alost but receptive worldwith the Gospel message.
  119. 119. While in Antioch,however, word came toPaul of danger insouthern Galatia—Jewishbelievers more committedto the law than to gracehad begun to undermine
  120. 120. Paul’s teaching,emphasizing instead theJewish law.*What we know as theBook of Galatians wasPaul’s response, the firstof his contributions to
  121. 121. Scripture.
  122. 122. The study theme for thisfour-lesson study is “TheChurch: TransformingLives in a ChangingCulture.”*A church intent ontransforming society will
  123. 123. organize for effectiveministry with capable andgodly leaders, willdevelop disciples tomaturity in the faith, andwill deploy missionarieslocally and globally so
  124. 124. God’s kingdom expands.*In what ways can youand your class focus orrefocus on building thekingdom of God throughbuilding disciples?
  125. 125. *How are the members ofyour class developingtheir faith?*Let’s not wait for othersto model the normalChristian life; you can bethe example in
  126. 126. management, maturity,and missions. Considertoday what personal stepsyou can take and whatactivities your class canaccomplish to engage inkingdom building.
  127. 127. Biblical Truths• The Christian churchtoday needs to reflect theearly church: diversity ofcultures within anddeparture to communicatewithout.
  128. 128. • God’s call has alwaysbeen missional—off one’sseat and into the street.• A well-equippeddisciple is a well-taughtdisciple, focused on thefundamentals of the faith.
  129. 129. • Effective churches haveleaders who focus onbuilding the kingdom ofGod and correspondinglyhave members who wishto be used in that buildingprocess.
  130. 130. • When believers obey theGreat Commission, theywill have stories to tell ofGod’s powerful activity.
  131. 131. Ask God to help youfocus (or refocus) yourpriorities on building thekingdom of God throughbuilding disciples.
  132. 132. Matthew 28:18-20 KJV18 “And Jesus came andspake unto them, saying,All power is given unto mein heaven and in earth.19 Go ye therefore, andteach all nations,
  133. 133. baptizing them in thename of the Father, and ofthe Son, and of the HolyGhost:20 Teaching them toobserve all thingswhatsoever I have
  134. 134. commanded you: and, lo,I am with you always,even unto the end of theworld. Amen.” Matthew 28:18-20 KJV
  135. 135. Next week: Hit the Streets Acts 17:16-31