Summary: Church leaders were not settled with what the Lord had done there at Antioch, because they believed the Lord had greater things for them and the Antioch church to do.
TITLE: COMMUNION, CONSECRATION, AND COMMISSION
SCRIPTURE: ACTS 13:1-4
It is a distinct honor and privilege to be here this afternoon to celebrate the Marriage of Church and its new Under Shepard, my brother and friend, Pastor Bernie Kidd and the St. Paul Baptist Church of Binger, OK. I don’t believe the Church could have called a more dedicated Man of God. I am also excited that Pastor Kidd will move into the ranks of a full time Pastor. Pastoring two churches in two locations, with that comes many great responsibilities. I look forward to a rewarding relationship between this Church and the PPWC Church family where we are located in Bethany, OK.
I want to get right into our text this afternoon and hear what God has to say to us. In our text, those at Antioch were men and women who did not mind being in the service of the Lord. The text gave the names of those who were there at that particular, time at that little Church found at Antioch. The Bible identifies them as - BARNABAS – SIMEON – LUCIUS – MANAEN - SAUL - they were all Prophets and Teachers that gave structure to the Church at Antioch. They continued in fellowship at Antioch seeing the move of God and being used of God. They were not settled with what the Lord had done there at Antioch, because they believed the Lord had greater things for them and the Antioch church to do. So they continued to exhibit Christian fellowship and worship.
There is no structure if a Church does not have God ordained leaders in their proper place. Many churches fail today because of a lack of structure in God’s house.
• Structure does not begin in the Pews
• Structure does not begin with the Deacons
• Structure does not begin with Financial Ministry
• Structure begins with the Spiritual Leaders God calls and equips being in place
Can I footnote early on in this message? Oftentimes we don’t fully digest the message because we don’t pay attention to the details found in the text. God does not use words aimlessly. Five men mentioned – BARNABAS – SIMEON – LUCIUS – MANAEN – SAUL. What do we glean from these brothers mentioned in the text? Sadly most Churches can be put in a category as:
• White Church
• Black Church
• Spanish Church
• Rich Church
• Poor Church
• Country Church
• Southern Church
• Shouting Church
• Quite Church
Too often churches will:
• Support a Missionary serving in Africa – but don’t welcome black people to their church
• They will send money to Missionaries in Mexico, but want all Hispanics deported
• Will send Textbooks to Haiti – but won’t hire a Haitian to teach in our Public Schools
• This is the Height of Hypocrisy
But that was not the case with the Church found in Antioch. Can I prove by identifying characteristics of these Five men named early on in the text?
• Barnabus – He was a Levite who was born in Cyprus who would have understood the Greek culture
• Simeon who was called Niger – His name meant “black” this may have been the same one mentioned in the Crucifixion account
• Lucius – Who was born in Cyrene which was located in Northern Africa
• Manaen – which had been brought up with Jeord the Tetrarch
• Saul – a leader in the Jewish religion and was from Tarsus
• You want to talk about a multi-cultural Church just study the Church in Antioch
Because of the welcoming spirit of the Church, they reaped the benefits:
• Barnabus was a kind and generous man who was responsible of good works
• Simeon who probably carried the cross of the Lord was a man who had been to Calvary
• Every Church needs people who have been to Calvary, and who have not gotten over the experience
• Lucious, some think was won to Christ by Simeon when he returned home to Cyrene
• Manaen knew the importance of compassion because of the deeds of Herod
• Saul, they all understood that God makes new creatures and did not hold his past against him and he became one of the greatest Christians and servants
• If a Church says it has a welcoming spirit, I would simply ask – “What’s Your Story?”
• The Proof Ought to be in the Pudding
Ok, let’s move through the text. There are some Key Principles that we can extract from our text in an effort to hear what God is saying to us this afternoon. Let’s firstly, put our text in proper perspective. I want you to observe three sets of statements in our text. The first set of statements is found in VS.2 that says, “AS THEY MINISTERED TO THE LORD, AND FASTED...” and in VS.3 that says, “AND WHEN THEY HAD FASTED AND PRAYED....” These two statements describe the first requirement for this Installation that we shall call COMMUNION. We will come back to this in more detail momentarily.