Summary: As believers, we are called to have a common purpose in everything we do. The Disciples understood the importance of working together by following a unified vision, and we must do the same to bring others into a life of freedom through Jesus Christ.
How Does a Christ-Follower Respond?
The Christian brothers and sisters at Antioch had good reason to rejoice
-- They had been at the center of a great controversy; and stood firm in it
-- The controversy? Answering, “What must we do to be saved?”
The “church” wanted to set standards for Gentiles who accepted Jesus
-- But after debate, discussion, and prayer, they came to the right conclusion
-- They were made free ONLY because of Jesus Christ and His redemption
-- Jesus died on the cross. Jesus was raised from the God. Jesus is Savior!
Last week: We will not ALWAYS agree on EVERTHING – it is impossible
-- Anyone who thinks this way is really one who is out of touch with reality
-- The Disciples were humans and disagreed – and we will experience this as well
As believers, we are called to have a common purpose in what we do
-- The purpose is to worship, to love, and to celebrate Christ and share Him always
-- That is our challenge, mission, and it is where we find ourselves today
Title is, “How Does a Christ-Follower Respond?”
Read Acts 16:1-12
We’ve got four areas to cover this morning …
Point 1 – A follower pays it forward (1-3)
- Christ-followers are willing and able to share the good news with others
-- Paul was willing to take Timothy under his wing to train him further
-- Timothy knew the Lord, but admittedly needed more training in discipleship
-What do we know about Timothy?
-- Timothy was Jewish through his mother, but had never been circumcised, probably because his Gentile father did not believe it served any good purpose.
-- Paul had him circumcised so would be able to minister without offense
-- IMP: Paul knew that Timothy would get grief, so he took care of the issue
-- What we LEARN from Timothy is he’s willing to do whatever it takes
Last week we talked about John Mark, who appeared to lack commitment
-- By contrast, Timothy was willing to do whatever was necessary
-- He traveled with Paul, ministered in various places, and eventually became the Pastor (also referred to as an elder) at the church in Ephesus
Even though Paul was carrying a letter regarding circumcision’s non-value
-- Timothy was willing to do whatever it took to reach people at any level
THREE WEEKS AGO: You get on their boat, they WILL get on yours!
-Well, Paul invested in Timothy and trained him to be an effective Christ-follower. He encouraged him to boldly share the good news about Jesus.
He wrote to Timothy in 2 Timothy 1:7-8, “For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline. So do not be ashamed to testify about our Lord, or ashamed of me his prisoner. But join with me in suffering for the gospel, by the power of God.”
-Furthermore, Paul trained Timothy to keep investing in others so that more and more people would learn to teach others about Jesus: 2 Timothy 2:2, “And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable men who will also be qualified to teach others.”
-Trans: When you pay it forward, you strive to work towards the same mission
Point 2 – A follower works as a team (4-5)
Paul knew that he wasn't the only one with a gift to teach, he deferred to others
-- Paul knew that these were men also called to lead, so he respected them
-- He may disagree with them later, but they were still qualified to teach
- Paul though, understood that the message must be one of unity and agreement
-- Galatians 2:11, “When Peter came to Antioch, I opposed him to his face, because he was clearly in the wrong.”
-- Paul did not undermine Peter or discredit his calling as an apostle of Christ
He was willing to face problems and work them out
-- He was loyal to the other apostles and leaders, and as we see in v.4-5
-- He carried their decisions to many churches
-- He knew he was no one-man show, but part of a team
- Even as a leader here I don’t (and will NEVER) seek blind allegiance
-- But, we should look to work together, following and serving in unity to Christ
-- I openly admit that I don’t have all the answers; but together WE have it all
Trans: Every believer can hear from the Holy Spirit, and we must listen
Point 3 – A follower listens to the Holy Spirit (6-8)
Do you regularly hear from God? (Deeper: Do you regularly LISTEN for Him?)
-- Have you developed your spiritual listening skills? (Listening … not talking)