Summary: Dr Wood uses this text to show four things that will happen when God is at work in the lives of people.
Hellenist – Greek Speaking Jews
The Hellenist were the ones who killed Stephen and attempted to kill Saul
Now they are being converted to Jesus in Antioch
Antioch is located in the Northeast tip of the Mediterranean Sea
What is now the northern part of Syria.
This Antioch should not be confused with the Antioch of Pisidian which is located on Northern Turkey and mentioned in Acts chapter 13:14
Antioch was the third largest city in the world at this time. The population was around 500,000 people.
Its main street was some four miles long
Rome – the largest
Alexandria in Egypt the second largest.
Antioch was one of the most corrupt and wicked cities of the day.
Ritual Prostitution was common. Prostitutes were offered upon the altar of Daphne.
Antioch was located 20 miles up the Orontes River.
It served as a port City for the Mediterranean sea
Many people traveled through this city from many different countries
It was the New York City of its day.
This city is where God chose to launch Saul – soon to be Paul’s ministry.
Four things will happen when God is at work in the lives of people
1. The Witness will make an impact on the people V24
a. Latter v24 “A great many were added because of the witness of Barnabas”
i. Barnabas lived Jesus in front of the people
1. Note how he was described in the first part of the verse
a. He was “full of the Holy Spirit
b. Being filled with the Holy Spirit means to be able to defeat satan.
c. He was full of faith
Adrian Rogers once said
A faith that hasn’t been tested can’t be trusted
Barnabas’ witness of his faith was evidence to those in Antioch.
The church Grew
2. Growth will mean adding gifts and talents to the church v24
a. Barnabas went to get Saul in Tarsus
b. Barnabas remembered Sauls cal to go to the Gentiles and preach the Gospel.
i. Barnabas never forgot the purpose of Saul’s ministry
ii. We must never forget the purpose of our ministry.
To bring people to Jesus Christ and fellowship
in His church help them grow in Christ and
further their ministry in the church and to
go throughout the world exalting His Name.
c. Every member of this church needs a task.
i. Each person can do something
ii. Every person is given talents and gift in order to expand the church
DL Moody had a policy that he practiced in his church and that was to give every new Christian a job in the church.
It may start out as a small task but it will grow.
Moody once said “It is better to put ten men to work than to do the work of ten men”
d. Barnabas sent for Saul and saul put people to work for the Lord.
i. The church is not a retirement center for those attempting to escape hell.
3. People will walk the walk and talk the talk Verse 26
a. The people were saved by grace through faith
i. By grace verse 23
ii. By faith verse 21
b. It was here in Antioch where the word Christian was first used
i. People used it as a derogatory term.
ii. The term was not given by church people.
iii. However they saw evidence of people following Christ.
iv. The word Christian of course uses the word “Christ”
v. The suffix “IAN”
1. Is a Latin suffix which means “belonging to the party of”
2. The word Christian is only used 3 time in the new Testament
a. Acts 11:26
b. Acts 26:28
c. 1 Peter 4:16
Each time it is used people are convicted of following Christ.
David Fuller once asked the question that is worthy of repeat.
“If you were arrested for being a Christian, would there be enough evidence to convict you?”
c. God often uses tough times to accomplish His will
i. God used the persecution to spread the gospel
ii. If you are not persecuted ---- simply you are not doing much
iii. Those that endure persecution will receive a greater reward
Does your walk match your talk. Are you a Christ follower to the death.
4. The church will give back when it cannot afford to give Verses 19-21
a. Agabus – A preacher - a prophet
b. Famine – Whole world
i. Even those in Antioch were held captive by the drought.
1. This was an important event and Luke wanted to nail down the exact time
a. He named the ruler during the drought – Claudius Caesar
Giving out of ability is giving above the tithe. We must keep our ears open for when and where God needs us to give.