Summary: The missionary journey begins.
Paul’s Pisidian Proclamation
Acts 13:14 – 13:41
Jeff Hughes – September 7, 2003
Calvary Chapel Aggieland
a. The Apostle Paul made three missionary journeys recorded in scripture. We last looked at Paul and Barnabas on the island of Cyprus, and we followed them to the mainland, with John Mark splitting from them and returning to Jerusalem. The year was about 46 A.D., and as we have seen in previous weeks, the early church had begun to expand and grow.
b. We have been looking at Paul’s second missionary journey, and that is where we are today. After leaving Cyprus, Paul and Barnabas traveled over 180 miles of water to the city of Perga, in the Roman province of Pamphilia. The area north of Pamphilia was a region known as Galatia, and Paul and Barnabas ministered there for a time, and it is in this region that we pick up the story today. A few months after leaving, he would write a letter to the churches there, and we have that letter in our Bibles today, as the book of Galatians.
c. Now Paul is a servant who takes every opportunity to share the gospel when he gets the chance, and his time in Pisidian Antioch will not be an exception as we will see today.
d. But first, let’s pray and ask the Lord’s blessing on our study today.
a. In his book Facing Loneliness, J. Oswald Sanders writes, “The round of pleasure or the amassing of wealth are but vain attempts to escape from the persistent ache...The millionaire is usually a lonely man and the comedian is often more unhappy than his audience.” Sanders goes on the emphasize that being successful often fails to produce satisfaction.
b. Then he refers to Henry Martyn, a distinguished scholar, as an example of what he is talking about. Martyn, a Cambridge University student, was honored at only 20 years of age for his achievements in mathematics. In fact, he was given the highest recognition possible in that field. And yet he felt an emptiness inside. He said that instead of finding fulfillment in his achievements, he had “only grasped a shadow.” He became interested in the writings about William Carey, the cobbler-turned evangelist doing missions work in India.
c. After evaluating his life’s goals, Martyn sailed to India as a missionary at the age of 24. When he arrived, he prayed, “Lord, let me burn out for You.” In the next 7 years, he translated the New Testament into three difficult Eastern languages. Henry Martyn then died at the age of 31. These notable achievements were certainly not passing “shadows.”
d. Jesus said everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife or children or lands, for My name’s sake, shall receive a hundredfold, and inherit eternal life.
e. Henry Martyn was a man who received this blessing. Paul and Barnabas did too. Today we are going to look at the gospel – the good news about Jesus Christ as explained by the Apostle Paul one Sabbath day in Antioch.
f. This morning, we are going to look at Paul’s message to this synagogue in its entirety, and for the sake of time, we are not going to read all the way through the passage, but we are going to read the passages as we get to them.
g. Our study this morning comes from Acts, chapter 13, verses 14 through 40. We will look five points from our passage today – The invitation, the introduction, the Israelite nation, the intermediary, the Incarnate Deity, and last, the instruction.
h. There’s a place for you to take notes in your bulletin, and I would encourage you to do that, so that you can look back over the lesson later on, and do some personal study on the passage.
i. Let’s read starting in verse 14 as we look at the invitation.
b. The Invitation (Acts 13:14 - 15)
i. 14 But when they departed from Perga, they came to Antioch in Pisidia, and went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day and sat down. 15 And after the reading of the Law and the Prophets, the rulers of the synagogue sent to them, saying, "Men and brethren, if you have any word of exhortation for the people, say on."
ii. The city of Perga was a Greek city with a large temple to Artemis, along with a theater and a stadium. As we see here, we aren’t told if there was any missionary activity there. But, our small band of missionaries depart from there to Antioch.
iii. This is not to be confused with the Antioch that they left, which is in modern day Syria. As we have covered before, there were several citied called Antioch in the ancient world.