The Christians of Antioch

The Christians of Antioch

The Christians of Antioch

William Stout / General

Acting out Acts

 

 

Acts 11:19–21 NKJV

19 Now those who were scattered after the persecution that arose over Stephen traveled as far as Phoenicia, Cyprus, and Antioch, preaching the word to no one but the Jews only.

20 But some of them were men from Cyprus and Cyrene, who, when they had come to Antioch, spoke to the Hellenists, preaching the Lord Jesus.

21 And the hand of the Lord was with them, and a great number believed and turned to the Lord.

  • Those who were scattered – Phoenicia, Cypress, and Antioch
  • Map
  • Phoenicia – Northern Syria, Lebanon
  • Cypress – Mediterranean Island North of Isreal
  • Antioch – City in Syria
  • Cyrene – Capital of Cyrenaica (Libya)
  • 1st those who were scattered from Jerusalem came to these parts preaching Jesus
  • But now we see men who were from Cypress and Cyrene (Libya) Getting saved and preaching the WORD!
  • These were men who were not already Jews
  • They had no Jewish or religious background – They were pagans
  • Not only did they get saved, they began to lead others to Jesus
  • This is what all Christians are called to do
  • Is there something in you that wants all men to be saved?
  • Do you get excited when someone turns from their sins and becomes a Christian? (James 5:20)
  • These men began a mission to other people there in Antioch, to the “Hellenists” – Greek speaking people
  • And the Lord was with them, and “ a great number believed and turned to the Lord”!
  • This is good news!

 

 

Acts 11:22–26 NKJV

22 Then news of these things came to the ears of the church in Jerusalem, and they sent out Barnabas to go as far as Antioch.

23 When he came and had seen the grace of God, he was glad, and encouraged them all that with purpose of heart they should continue with the Lord.

24 For he was a good man, full of the Holy Spirit and of faith. And a great many people were added to the Lord.

25 Then Barnabas departed for Tarsus to seek Saul.

26 And when he had found him, he brought him to Antioch. So it was that for a whole year they assembled with the church and taught a great many people. And the disciples were first called Christians in Antioch.

  • When the Christians in Jerusalem heard, they sent Barnabas to Antioch
  • Someone should go and teach them, and help them make disciples
  • When he got there he was glad
  • Praise the Lord – are we glad when people preach Jesus?
  • He encouraged them – Barnabas was an encourager
  • That with “purpose of heart”
  • Think about this word “purpose” of heart –
  • Intentional, with effort, fervency, not random or accidental
  • Do we have “purpose of heart” in our faith today?
  • In what way do you continue with the Lord “with purpose of heart”
  • for some of us that could mean refraining from certain temptations
  • for others that could mean separating ourselves from certain people and influenced
  • Some need to break of certain relationships with” Purpose”
  • For others that could mean giving with “purpose of heart”
  • (Joe Quick, mission to interpret bibles)
  • Some that could mean serving with “purpose of heart” (Paul with our Youth)
  • (and others serve in Sound, and behind the scenes)
  • For all of us that should include praying with “purpose of heart”
  • When you pray today, let it be with “purpose” and fervency, not ritualistic
  • what do you intend to accomplish in your prayers?
  • I encourage you to let your faith, and your service, and your worship and your Love, be with “purpose of heart”, both today and every day.
  • Because of this, many people were added to the Lord, for Barnabas was a good man, full of the Holy Spirit
  • Then he left to go to Tarsus to seek Saul

Acts 11:26 NKJV

26 And when he had found him, he brought him to Antioch. So it was that for a whole year they assembled with the church and taught a great many people. And the disciples were first called Christians in Antioch.

  • He brought Saul to Antioch, there they began their missionary journeys
  • They stayed a whole year and assembled the church and taught a great many people
  • Structure – order
  • And the disciples were first called Christians at Antioch
  • This was an amazing development
  • the term Christian is only used three times in New Testament
  • Generally used by outsiders referring to followers of Jesus
  • The Christians themselves usually referred to themselves as “believers” or “Disciples” or “Brethren”
  • So the term “Christian” was probably invented by the non Christians of the time as a way to identify, or describe this group of people, undoubtedly because of their imitating the life of Jesus Christ
  • Wouldn’t it be wonderful if people recognized us as Christians by the way we acted?
  • And if we truly thought of each other as “brethren” not just fellow members of a group?

 

 

Acts 11:27–30 NKJV

27 And in these days prophets came from Jerusalem to Antioch.

28 Then one of them, named Agabus, stood up and showed by the Spirit that there was going to be a great famine throughout all the world, which also happened in the days of Claudius Caesar.

29 Then the disciples, each according to his ability, determined to send relief to the brethren dwelling in Judea.

30 This they also did, and sent it to the elders by the hands of Barnabas and Saul.

 

  • Prophets came to Antioch from Jerusalem
  • the gift of prophecy was active and the early church, as it still is today
  • Agabus (first appears here), proclaimed a great famine would come
  • this was probably a year or so before it came
  • Luke tells us that it did come in the days of Claudius Caesar
  • This is an historical fact as well
  • The Disciples sent relief –
  • this is another Christian characteristic we see in the early church – and today
  • Christians give –
  • not only to the Church – (for we are the church)
  • they provide relief for those in need
  • Here we see these new believers from Antioch and surrounding areas sending relief to those in Jerusalem
  • Each person, according to his ability
  • God will not ask you to do what you are not able to do
  • Some people think they don’t have anything to give
  • Everyone has something to give, “according to his ability”
  • Perhaps you don’t have any money but you can sing
  • maybe you can’t sing, but you can clean
  • Maybe you can cook a meal
  • maybe someone else has done the cleaning, but you can greet people
  • Maybe you can preach, or prophesy, or heal, or pray…
  • Forget about what you are not able to do….
  • What do you have the ability to do today?
  • where are you “brethren” in need of relief?

 

 

 

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