Summary: This message is intended to help us realize what the Lord has given us (in both blessings and responsibilities) and encourage us to serve Him by reaching out to others.


Acts 11: 19-26


A. And the disciples were called Christians first at Antioch.

1. What a wonderful testimony!

2. Folks were seen to be following the way of a man named Christ.

3. But it might be interesting to know how it all came about.

B. It all began with a group of disciples on the move.

1. The account is given us in Acts 11:19-21, Now they which were scattered abroad upon the persecution that arose about Stephen travelled as far as Phenice, and Cyprus, and Antioch, preaching the word to none but unto the Jews only. [20] And some of them were men of Cyprus and Cyrene, which, when they were come to Antioch, spake unto the Grecians, preaching the Lord Jesus. [21] And the hand of the Lord was with them: and a great number believed, and turned unto the Lord.

2. These disciples proclaimed the gospel where ever they went

3. Some of them ended up in Antioch and there they gave the inhabitants of that city the gospel

4. And by the grace of God people turned to the Lord – they got saved!

C. The good news of the Grecians turning to the Lord reached the church in Jerusalem in a very short time and they decided to send someone down to help them in their new found faith.

1. That person was Barnabas

2. According to the testimony of Scripture, he was a good man, and full of the Holy Ghost and of faith:… Acts 11:24

3. And we can only assume that what took place there is what influenced those in the area to call the disciples of Jesus – “Christians.”

D. With that in mind, I would like to look at three actions, connected to Barnabas which may have had a great deal of influence in the label of “Christian”

1. Gladness

2. Exhortation

3. Discipleship

May God give us the inward strength to display our gladness concerning the grace of God and help us to exhort others to live in Christ, and disciple them in His ways.


Possibly one of the most obvious external indicators of a Christian ought to be

I. GLADNESS, Acts 11:23 Who, when he came, and had seen the grace of God, was glad,…

A. Barnabas, came into town and was able to be glad when he saw the grace of God in action even though he did not know the people personally.

1. The word “glad” is from the Greek word “chairo” meaning “to rejoice exceedingly; to be well, thrive”

- What he saw brought joy to his heart and we might even say, provided the environment in which the work he would be doing would do well – even thrive!

2. And the reason for this gladness? The “grace of God”

3. Though the “grace of God” cannot really be seen, its effects can be!

4. If you remember, the reason Barnabas was sent was because “a great number believed and turned to the Lord.”

5. The bottom line is this – salvation changes people, from the inside out and those who notice the change are “glad”

B. They were Christians fist at Antioch, but we have followed in their footsteps – we are Christians, and as such we ought to be glad when we see the grace of God at work.

1. It is the grace of God that is necessary for every aspect of our lives.

2. Think on these passages:

a. Titus 2:11 For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, - it is only by God’s grace that we can be saved

b. Ephes. 2:8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; - Its by grace we are saved

c. 1 Cor. 15:10 But by the grace of God I am what I am: - we are who we are by the grace of God

d. Ephes. 3:7 Whereof I was made a minister, according to the gift of the grace of God given unto me by the effectual working of his power. – we minister by the grace of God

e. 1 Cor. 1:4 I thank my God always on your behalf, for the grace of God which is given you by Jesus Christ; - It is a gift from our Lord!

3. This is important for us to remember – it takes away all pride, for all of life is but for the grace of God!

4. And for that we ought to be glad!

5. When we see God working in the life of an individual, a family, or a church what joy that ought to bring to our hearts!

C. And besides all that, we ought to be glad everyday because the grace of God is at work in us! This same Greek word is translated rejoice

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