Summary: Dr. Wood shows his listeners four things the Church at Antioch had that the church desperately needs today.
The church at Antioch became the model distribution center of its day.
That is what churches are to be A distribution center for the Gospel.
Not just for its local area but focused on the world
God gives the routes in Acts 1:8
But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”
The church at Antioch had the power of God on their side because they were distributing the gospel around the world
Four things the Church at Antioch had
1. Diversity in Ministry Verse 1
a. The Gospel had reached a lot of different people groups while in Antioch
i. Antioch was their Jerusalem
ii. Gantt is our Jerusalem
b. Note the diversity of the people in this church
i. Simeon with a latin nickname – Niger
1. Niger probably meant – “Black- skinned”
2. There is speculation that this could have been Simon of cyrene who carried Jesus’ cross however this is not proven.
ii. Lucius – From cyrene
1. cyrene was located in Northern Africa
iii. Manaen – his name means comforter
1. He worked for the government
a. Not just the government but Herod’s government
2. He was either best Friends with or an adopted brother of Herod antipas
a. This Herod is who killed John the Baptist
c. There is a diversity of gifts in every church God dwells in.
And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, 12 for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, 13 till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ;
d. Today pastors and teachers are often made one in the same.
i. By context of the Greek the Granville Sharpe rules plays here
1. Two or more nouns equal one article
e. Take note of the reason for the diversity of ministry in Ephesians 4:11-13
2. They had God’s ear Verse 2
a. The holy Spirit spoke in Verse 2
i. Two way they understood the Holy Spirit?
1. They Ministered to the lord
a. But no – the Lord is to minister to us
b. We are to be ministered to and not minister
c. This is the common thought
d. We enter church today to minister to the Lord
The word minister – Greek ëåéôïõñãÝù [leitourgeo /li•toorg•eh•o/- Christians serving Christ, whether by prayer, or by instructing others concerning the way of salvation, or in some other way
ii. When we minister to each other God accepts that ministry as be directed straight at Him
b. Fasting – The idea of fasting was to dedicate one totally to not only bending the ear of God but to have your ear bent toward Him
i. The saints in Antioch were not looking for a blessing to themselves
1. They were looking to bless God
“Moreover, when you fast, do not be like the hypocrites, with a sad countenance. For they disfigure their faces that they may appear to men to be fasting. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward. 17 But you, when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face, 18 so that you do not appear to men to be fasting, but to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly.
c. Separate to me - Because God set them apart they had His blessing from the beginning.
3. They had a Kingdom Mindset Verse 3
a. Laying on of hands was their way of affirming the mission God has set forth for not only those being sent out but by the church as well
i. Laying on of hands is saying “we unite with you my brother”
b. Their prayers and fastings did not stop
i. An offering greater than money is our prayers for missionaries around the world
c. Take note the spirit spoke in verse 2 – The prayers and fasting continued after God spoke
i. They were praying not only for those who they sent to -- but those who they were sent to
4. They had results from their mission activity Verses 4-12
a. We see the results of their ministry – why? – God had sent them
i. Sergius Paulus The first Gentile ruler to accept the Gospel of Jesus Christ
1. Cyprus was Roman Controlled
2. This man was intelligent
a. He was somewhat like a governor in the state of cypress within the country of Rome