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Summary: Paul accepted by the Apostles. (Powerpoint slides to accompany this talk are available on request – email: gcurley@gcurley.info)

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SERMON OUTLINE

(1). Meet the cast:

• Paul.

• Barnabus.

• Titus.

• Peter, John & James.

• ‘False believers’.

(2). Drama in three parts:

Act 1: Paul’s Coming (vs 1-2a).

Act 2: Paul’s Companion(s) (vs 3-5).

Act 3: Personal Confirmation (vs 6-10).

SERMON BODY:

Ill:

• A reporter was interviewing an old man on his 100th birthday, he asked him:

• “What are you most proud of?”

• “Well”, said the man, “I am proud that I don’t have an enemy in the world.”

• The reporter replied. “What a beautiful thought! How inspirational!”

• Then the centenarian said with a smile on his face:

• “Yep, I have outlived every last one of them.”

TRANSITION:

• The apostle Paul had enemies,

• They were the bane of his life and ministry.

• Wherever he went, it was only a matter of time before these enemies showed up!

• Whenever he planted a Church in some locality,

• Sooner rather than later false teachers blended in and started distorting it.

• At first they tried to discredit Paul’s message;

• And then they challenged Paul’s authority.

• One of the ways they challenged Paul’s authority;

• Was to hint that Paul’s gospel (the message he preached) was different to Peter’s;

• And that Paul’s gospel was also different to the other apostles back in Jerusalem.

Quote: John Stott:

• “They were trying to disrupt the unity of the apostolic circle.

• They were openly alleging that the apostles contradicted one another.

• Their game, we might say, was not “robbing Peter to pay Paul,”

• But exalting Peter to spite Paul!”

(1). Meet the cast:

• Before we try and make sense of these verses;

• Let’s take a few moments to ‘meet the cast’,

• To look briefly at the people mentioned in these verses.

FIRST: WE HAVE THE APOSTLE PAUL.

• He has previously in chapter 1 told us about his dramatic conversion to Christ,

• He has also told us a little bit regarding his calling into the ministry.

• Remember he did not choose to become a Christian preacher;

• He started out as a persecutor of Christians;

• But one day all that changed when God converted him!

• And God commissioned him with a particular calling, a particular vocation.

• He was to take the message of Jesus Christ to the Gentiles.

Now don’t skip over that last word ‘Gentiles’ (non-Jews);

• It might not sound very radical to you and me;

• But at this time and in this culture it was very radical!

• We might say it was a real ‘hot potato’.

• Had that apostle Paul just preached this message to other Jews,

• Then he would not be fighting these enemies,

• In fact he would be ‘flavour of the month’ with them.

• But because he shared the message of Christ with Gentiles (non-Jews);

• He was in big trouble with these enemies;

• These Judaizers (meaning: "to live according to Jewish customs").

SECOND WE HAVE BARNABUS:

• Barnabas, he was a devout Jewish Christian,

• He was a well-known respected man of God.

• He was very important to the apostle Paul in particular;

• Because when Paul got converted not everyone believed it was genuine.

• Many Christians thought Paul's conversion was just a trap;

• He would mix with them, find out who they were and then capture them.

• It was Barnabus who accepted Paul and stood by him,

• And then became his first partner in the ministry (Acts chapter 11 verses 22-30).

• The name Barnabus means ‘Son of Encouragement’;

• And you always find him living up to his name – encouraging someone.

Ill:

• A man said to evangelist Billy Graham on one occasion;

• “That God had given him the gift of criticism”.

• Billy replied: “You may have the gift but it did not come from God!”

• Question: When was the last time you encouraged someone?

• Do it! It is such a neglected ministry!

Barnabus is often linked with Gentiles:

• i.e. It was Barnabus who enlisted Paul to help minister at the Church in Antioch;

• Acts chapter 11 verses 25-26.

• i.e. Barnabus who also accompanied Paul on his first missionary trip.

• Acts chapter 13 verse 1 to chapter 14 verse 28.

THIRD: WE HAVE TITUS:

• Titus was a Gentile, a non-Jew who got converted and became a Christian.

• Titus chapter 1 verse 4 tells us that Titus was actually converted through Paul’s ministry.

• And that is one of the reasons Paul will take him with him;

• When he goes up to visit the Church at Jerusalem.

Ill:

• We might say Titus was exhibit A.

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