The First Missionary Journey
Acts Chapter 13-14
Acts # 16
In these chapters we will find the starting of the first foreign mission broad. The church at Antioch was getting ready to send out missionaries through out the world. They were taking the great commission very seriously.
The Missionaries they were sending were Paul and Barnabas. John Mark went along as a helper to them. Antioch was the Richmond of the First Century Church. (Richmond being where the SBC International headquarters area located.) They were going to send these men out to reach the world for Christ.
Here we can see if a church is going to grow it needs to get into the world with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. A Church that has ceased to do Missions has ceased being a Church. A missionary that has ceased preaching the Gospel has ceased being a missionary. We need to set apart people to do missionary work, just as we set apart people to be Deacons and Pastors. That is just what the church at Antioch did.
I. The setting apart of the Servants:
A. There were many servants to choose from.
NOTE: These were the leaders of the church in Antioch. Prophets were people that could 1) tell of a future event. 2) Speaking an inspired word from God for the edification and direction of the community. These were the main function of a prophet in the times of the church.
B. The names of the leaders:
1. Barnabas: we know a lot about him.
2. Simon called Niger: We do not know much about Simeon, we do know that he was probably Black because the Niger is the Latin word for Black.
3. Lucius of Cyrene:
NOTE: Some say that this is Luke the companion of Paul but there is not enough evidence to support this. And the name Luke and Lucius are different. The Greek for Luke and the Latin for lucius are different. We do not know anything about Lucius.
NOTE: We know from the text that he was brought up with Herod the tetrarch: This Herod is the Herod of Luke 3:1 He was the ruler of Galilee and of Acts 4:27. The term brought up together literal means someone suckled by the same nurse as a baby, after it came to mean someone "reared together". If this was the case with Manaen he was of considerable social standing, a courtier and childhood companion of the king.
NOTE: This means that he church was reaching into all facets of life.
5. Saul: Saul we know about.
C. The Command of the Holy Spirit:
1. The time of the command:
a. They were ministering to the Lord. This means they were Worshiping the Lord.
b. They were fasting.
NOTE: Fasting is something that is not done as it should be in our times
2. The command given: Set apart Barnabas and Saul for the work his I have given them.
NOTE: See Acts 9:15. God had set apart Saul from all eternity to proclaim His message to the Gentiles. This tells me that God has a purpose for every one and a job for every one to do, if we submit to him.
D. The commissioning of the two.
1. They fasted.
2. They prayed.
3. They laid on hands.
4. They sent them away.
II. The Missionary Journey.
A. They went to Seleucia.
B. They went to Cyprus.
C. They went to Salamis. It was here they began to preach.
1. They preached first in the Synagogues.
2. We see that John was their helper or servant.
NOTE: Salamis is on the Island of Cyprus and had a very large Jewish population.
D. They went to Paphos:
NOTE: Paphos was a new city ninety miles west of Salamis. It was the seat of the Roman government for the Island.
1. The introduction of a false prophet: Bar-Jesus
a. He was an attendant of the Proconsul. The proconsul was Sergius Paulas.
b. He opposed Paul and Barnabas.
c. His name was Elymas.
d. He was a Magician.
NOTE: This word magos was used most commonly as one that was a charlatan, a trickster, a claimant to false powers. Romans were intrigued by these types of people and most of them were very educated people that could fool many.
e. His fate was blindness:
NOTE: Paul as we see here for the first time. Saul also known as Paul told him he was full of deceit and fraud and that he was the son of the Devil, enemy of righteousness. And that he was going to not stop trying to harm the spreading of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Paul told him he was going to be blind and have to be led around for some time.
2. The introduction and salvation of the Proconsul.
a. Sergius Paulis.
b. A man of Intelligence.
c. He summoned Paul and Barnabas.
d. He was being persuaded by Bar-Jesus, the false prophet, to keep away from the Faith.
e. He came to faith because of the wonder Paul did to the false prophet.
f. He was amazed at the teaching of the Lord.
NOTE: When we quit being amazed at what God does then there is serious trouble with in our lives. When we are not in amazement of God then there is something wrong.
E. They went to Perga in Pamphylia.
NOTE: This is where John left them and returned home to Jerusalem. This event is what later leads to a division of Paul and Barnabas.
F. They went on to Pisidan Antioch.
1. There they went into the Synagogue to proclaim Jesus.
2. He preached to them the same way as most times.
NOTE: He recapped the OT and related it to the NT and Jesus.
3. When finished they were begged to speak of these things on the next Sabbath.
4. Many of the God fearing Jews and Jewish converts followed Paul and Barnabas. Paul and Barnabas exhorted them to continue in God Grace.
5. The crowd that gathered to hear them teach.
6. The jealousy of the Jews.
NOTE: This brought opposition.
7. The response of the Apostles was that we will go to the Gentiles since you rejected us.
8. The response of the Gentiles was joy. They were going to have eternal life if they believed. Before this was not possible
9. The Word of God spread.
10. There was a conspiracy to persecute the two preachers.
a. It was brought by the Jews.
b. It was by women of High-Standing God fearing women.
c. Leading men of the City.
11. The result was the Apostles were expelled from the City.
12. The response of the Apostles
a. The shook the dust from their feet.
b. They were filled with joy.
c. They were filled with the Holy Spirit.
NOTE: This was a positive and a negative because there were many that believed and there were many that did not believe. Paul and Barnabas shaking the dust from their feet said they were not responsible for the Jews that rejected the message of Jesus Christ.
G. They went to Iconium. 14:1-6
1. They preached in the Synagogue.
2. Many believed both Jews and Greeks.
3. Jews brought opposition by corrupting the minds of the gentiles.
4. They spent along time there preaching and teaching.
5. They were bearing witness to Christ.
6. They were doing great signs and wonders.
7. The city was divided
8. There was a plan to stone he Apostles
9. The Apostles left.
H. The Apostles went to the area of Lystra.
NOTE: This included Lycaonia, Derbe and the surrounding region.
1. In Lystra they healed a man that had been lame since his birth.
2. The result of that healing was the people wanted to make them gods and sacrifice to them.
a. Zeus Barnabas
b. Hermes Paul.
3. The response of the Apostles.
a. They tore their robes.
b. They rushed out to plea with them.
c. They told them that they were just men.
d. They said the reason we came was to keep you from doing these evil things.
4. They had difficulty keeping them from sacrificing.
5. The persecution that arose.
a. Jews from Antioch and Iconuim.
NOTE: It was from someone out side.
b. They had a multitude with them.
c. They stoned Paul and left him for dead.
6. Paul was not dead. He went to the city.
I. They went to Derbe. There they made many disciples.
III. The return trip.
They went back to all the places that they had preached.
B. Encouraging them to continue in the faith. (There must have been persecution)
C. They Appointed Elders for the Churches.
D. They prayed and fasted with them.
NOTE: On the way back to the church in Antioch they stopped in other towns and cities and preached until they arrived back home.
IV. The arrival back home. (They came home on furlough)
A. They gathered the church together.
B. They reported on their activities.
C. They reported on what God had done on their journey. Such as opening a door to the gentiles
D. They stayed in Antioch a long time with the other Disciples.
This is the end of the first Missionary journey. They went out to preach the gospel and that is just what they did. They started churches every where they went. When a church does not do missions it has ceased to be a church. When we stop sending people out into the world to preach the gospel we have stopped being a church. FOR A CHURCH TO GROW THEY HAVE TO GO.