Summary: An example for every Christian, Barnabas is an often overlooked figure crucial to the early church effort. He led others to Christ and brought glory to His name, what better can be said of someone?
1. Barnabas is a wonderful character in the Bible
2. This study has been rewarding study and I pray it will benefit you
TRANSITION: To begin, let's examine:
I. Who is Barnabas?
A. According to Acts 4:36, his name was Joseph &he was a Levite, the priestly tribe
1. He was nicknamed Barnabas or son of exhortation or son of encouragement
2. He was an early Christian likely baptized following Peter's sermon
3. He sold some of his land & gave the money to help the poor
B. He was from Cyprus
1. Venus, goddess of fertility, is the center of pagan worship on Cyprus
2. Cyprus was immoral in its practices similar to Corinth
C. Barnabas was a Levite from an immoral pagan island who early on became a follower of Jesus and led in his efforts to live for Christ
TRANSITION: Let's examine
II. What we can learn from Barnabas
A. He was generous
1. Paul teaches the importance of giving
a. 2 Corinthians 8-9 instructs us to give cheerfully so others do not lack
b. 2 Corinthians 9:9, "As it is written: "He has dispersed abroad, He has given to the poor; His righteousness endures forever."
2. Barnabas sols his own possessions and gave the money to the apostles for the assisting in the needs of others
3. He was under no obligation or compulsion, just responding in love
4. We can learn from him that earth's possessions are not the goal
a. Heaven is the ultimate prize and all fail who do not gain it
b. Charles Dutton did not decorate prison cell
B. He supported Saul
1. Acts 9:27, "But Barnabas took him and brought him to the apostles. And he declared to them how he had seen the Lord on the road, and that He had spoken to him, and how he had preached boldly at Damascus in the name of Jesus"
2. He "took him"
a. Literally he took Saul aside like what Aquila and Priscilla did for Apollos
b. He took Saul aside to get his side of the story
c. Saul had a nasty reputation that went before him and it appears as though Barnabas had every opportunity to hear of Saul's previous life
3. He brought him before the apostles
a. It appears the apostles were slow in accepting Saul at first
b. Ananias was, he did not want anything to do with Saul (Acts 9:10-16)
c. J.W. McGarvey believes Saul's fellowship was repelled by apostles
d. Barnabas staked his reputation and life on Saul's sincerity in conversion
e. And they listened to him
4. Be the type of person others can trust
a. This is the practical application of Matthew 5:37
b. "But let your 'Yes' be 'Yes,' and your 'No,' 'No.' For whatever is more than these is from the evil one"
c. Do not need to do more than speak to be believed
5. Be a source of encouragement to those who need it
a. We all need a hand getting up from time to time
b. Kicking a man when he is down is easy to do, helping him up is right
c. Stand with your struggling brother and help him get back on his feet
C. He was an envoy from Jerusalem to Antioch
1. Acts 11:19-30 lists his work there
2. He was familiar with the missionaries from Cyprus
3. He assessed the work and decided it was more than he could handle alone
a. So he solicited help from Saul who had been sent back to Tarsus
b. He saw the potential that was in Saul and helped turn it into action
4. Help our young folks and our new Christians grow in their new Christian skin
a. Stretch them, challenge them
b. It is easy for them to sit on the sidelines and watch others do the work
c. But it is necessary that each Christian grow and proper Christian growth does not happen on the sofa watching TV
d. Spur one another to love and good works and encourage one another all the more as you see the day approaching (Hebrews 10:24-25)
5. Because of his example word spread of Saul's work
a. Galatians 1:23-24, "But they were hearing only, "He who formerly persecuted us now preaches the faith which he once tried to destroy." And they glorified God in me"
b. What better thing can be said of someone than God is glorified in you
c. Be that type of encouragement
D. He taught them the truth
1. Acts 11:23, "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"
a. Teach the simple truth of God's word
b. His simple teaching led to a marvelous thing