Summary: A brief look at the work of a great pastor at a great church.
BARNABAS AT ANTIOCH
Acts 11:19-24 (vs.23)
INTRO. Antioch was about 280 miles from Jerusalem. It was a city of some importance in the New Testament. It was here that the author of Acts, Dr. Luke was born as well as his friend Theophilus. It was to Antioch that many Christians fled after the murder of the deacon Stephen. It was in Antioch that the disciples of Jesus were first called "Christian". Those who fled the persecution in Jerusalem established a prosperous and evangelistic church and word of the great work soon reached Jerusalem. (vs. 22-23)
I. BARNABAS SAW.
" when he came, and had seen the grace of God"
A. Where the grace of God exists, it will be seen. What is meant here is the influence and effect grace had on the members of the church at Antioch.
B. The grace of God will be seen in the marvelous changes it produces in the soul.
1. The sinner is converted. "For by grace are ye saved"
2. From darkness to light; from enemy of God to child of God; from hate to love; from sin to spirituality; from unbelief and pride to confidence and humility; from the image of Satan to the image of God; from putrid to purity and from hell to heaven.
3. (II Cor. 5:17) -- "Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature; old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new."
C. The grace of God will be seen in the influence it exerts on the body.
1. The body and soul are closely connected with one being the vehicle of action for the other. Both are redeemed and God requires both and God’s grace operates in both.
2. In the process of salvation, the Holy Spirit makes His abode in the soul. a. Rom. 12:1
b. I Cor. 6:19-20
3. Eyes to survey His works and read His Word. Ears to hear His truth and commands, feet to walk in His paths, hands to obey His will...the body presented a living sacrifice.
D. God’s grace is evident in the life of the converted sinner.
1. When converted by God’s grace a person wants to spread the good news and win other. Changes are made. Action, temper, conversation, desires are all changed.
2. What else can so change people as the grace of God?
II. BARNABAS REJOICED (text)
A. There are many reasons why God’s people should be happy.
B. Barnabas was happy for his own sake.
1. He had heard in Jerusalem of the work in Antioch and had come to investigate. He saw the gospel being preached and souls being won to Christ.
2. He saw Christians working and winning together. He was glad that he had the chance to be part of this great and wonderful work.
3. When our hearts are right we will rejoice at the effects of the grace of God produced on others.
C. He rejoiced for their sakes.
1. We can not wish better for our fellow man than that they be partakers of God’s grace. For what greater reason to rejoice than that a soul is saved?
2. There is reason to rejoice that a soul, doomed to the devil’s hell is turned to God’s heaven and to rejoice that Satan is robbed of one precious soul.
D. He rejoiced for the church’s sake. The church is the Bride of Christ and every sincere Christian wants to see her prosper and grow.
E. He rejoiced for Christ’s sake.
1. Paul said, The love of Christ constraineth us.
2. The greatest joy in all the world should be to see Christ’s name glorified and souls won to Him who died for us.
III. BARNABAS EXHORTED. (text)
A. The word "exhortation" means to encourage through preaching. Notice the subject of his sermon, that they would cleave unto the Lord.
1. Barnabas knew that there are many enemies in the world, he knew, as did Peter, that your adversary the devil as a roaring lion goeth about seeking whom he may devour.
2. He knew of the snare Satan sets for the unwary Christian to trap and lead them astray as he did Samson, David, and Solomon many years earlier.
B. Thus should all Christians cleave to the Lord:
1. To HIS merits as the only ground of our salvation,
2. To HIS Word as our only guide,
3. To HIS Spirit as our comforter,
4. To HIS People as our friends and companions.
C. Barnabas exhorted them "to cleave unto the Lord with purpose of heart." This means to be fully devoted to Christ, to make his cause our cause to make Him all in all in our life and our church.
D. Finally, Barnabas did not omit anyone but he exhorted them all.