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Summary: Antioch is a wonderful example of a church being used by God. It has 5 important elements of kingdom growth.

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Awesome Antioch

Acts 11:19-30

Introduction:

For the next few weeks we are going to be talking about qualities and principles of a Growing church. We are taking these concepts not from some populous book but from the word of God. I would like us to turn to Acts 11:19 and lets look at the characteristics we find in the church at Antioch.

A. Acts 11:19-30 Now those who had been scattered by the persecution in connection with Stephen traveled as far as Phoenicia, Cyprus and Antioch, telling the message only to Jews.

God really use a “bad thing” for the Jerusalem church to be a good thing for the kingdom. Steven and others were killed and persecuted by Saul and others this caused the dispersion of the church and they began sharing Christ through out the world. The Jerusalem church had become an ingrown church and the Lord used the persecution of the Jews to spread them across the world.

In the south you see First Baptist, Second Baptist, New Hope, Little Hope and No Hope Baptist all started by church splits. I know that God would rather use a strategic strategy to reach the world but he will use a rock when there is no hammer available.

20Some of them, however, men from Cyprus and Cyrene, went to Antioch and began to speak to Greeks also, telling them the good news about the Lord Jesus. 21The Lord's hand was with them, and a great number of people believed and turned to the Lord.

This is awesome. Not only are they reaching Jews in Antioch but they are reaching Gentiles.

(22-30) News of this reached the ears of the church at Jerusalem, and they sent Barnabas to Antioch. 23When he arrived and saw the evidence of the grace of God, he was glad and encouraged them all to remain true to the Lord with all their hearts. 24He was a good man, full of the Holy Spirit and faith, and a great number of people were brought to the Lord.

25Then Barnabas went to Tarsus to look for Saul, 26and when he found him, he brought him to Antioch. So for a whole year Barnabas and Saul met with the church and taught great numbers of people. The disciples were called Christians first at Antioch.

27During this time some prophets came down from Jerusalem to Antioch. 28One of them, named Agabus, stood up and through the Spirit predicted that a severe famine would spread over the entire Roman world. (This happened during the reign of Claudius.) 29The disciples, each according to his ability, decided to provide help for the brothers living in Judea. 30This they did, sending their gift to the elders by Barnabas and Saul.

Acts 13:1-2 In the church at Antioch there were prophets and teachers:... 2While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, "Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them." 3So after they had fasted and prayed, they placed their hands on them and sent them off.

What were the characteristics of this awesome church?

It was a Incarnation-al Church-Evangelistic

20Some of them, however, men from Cyprus and Cyrene, went to Antioch and began to speak to Greeks also, telling them the good news about the Lord Jesus. 21The Lord's hand was with them, and a great number of people believed and turned to the Lord.


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