Summary: The Word of God is pre-eminent. It has the power to change your life and bring down God’s blessings.
The church at Antioch (N of Jerusalem), sent off their first missionaries – read Acts 13:1-4.
• There were five pastors (teachers) and they sent Paul and Barnabas out.
• They moved to Seleucia, sailed to Salamis, crossed the island to Paphos, and sailed to Perga and then North to Antioch (Pisidia). [SEE MAP]
Paul goes to the synagogue on the Sabbath. They saw visiting teachers and invited them to speak. Read Acts 13:14-16.
• At the end, Paul concluded with these words – Acts 13:38-41.
• Don’t be a sceptic. Put your trust in Jesus and your sin will be forgiven.
[Read Acts 13:42-52]
• We see here the power of the Word of God.
The people were hungry for the truth of God’s Word.
• They were moved by what they heard and wanted to know more, so they invited Paul to come back again.
• Isn’t that wonderful? You preached and the people are dying to hear more?
Many of them followed them after the service.
• They had questions to ask. They wanted to understand more. They couldn’t wait for another week.
• The Word of God is a priority now in their lives. They wanted to know what God has to say; what is God’s will for their lives. There is a thirst and hunger for the truth of God’s Word.
• Have you come to this point in your life? Do you see the Word of God in the same light today? Pray and ask the Spirit of God to moves you, and grant you that thirst in your spirit for His Word.
• Paul urged them to continue in the grace of God - put their trust in Christ, receive the forgiveness of their sin, and live rely upon God’s grace.
So Paul and Barnabas returned on the next Sabbath, and almost the whole city gathered to hear the Word of God.
• Wow, isn’t that exciting? You preached a sermon and the next week the whole town turned up, standing room only.
• If this happens, I think my whole head will swell and I will float right up here. I’ve just become famous overnight. My popularity just shot up. The temptation will be to think that I am the attraction.
But that wasn’t what happens here. It would make these missionaries feels good and proud, but they weren’t tempted to be so.
• One thing stands out here, and that’s not them. It is the Word of God.
The Word of God was pre-eminent.
• The Word of God was under the spotlight, it was the thing that was shining.
• The spotlight was not on Paul, it was not on Barnabas. The spotlight was on the Word. The truth shines and touches the hearts of men.
The Word of God moves us; it convicts, it comforts, it encourages, and it inspires faith.
• The Holy Spirit does that – he convicts us of “guilt in regard to sin and righteousness and judgement.” (John 16:8).
• I believe we can all say YES to this, because we have at one time or another, been moved by the very Word of God.
• It is not the environment, it is not the preacher, it is not the music, it is about His Word. God’s Word has the power to convict you.
It was good that Paul and Barnabas brought the whole city out.
• But it was not their personality, it was not their preaching, it was not their actions that captivated the people. They did not come for them.
• Paul and Barnabas did not broadcast their crusade or advertising it through the media, they did not use any marketing gimmicks, or try something new, they did not have free giveaway. There was nothing like that at all.
• They just preach the Word of God and the whole city turned out. People were hungry for the Word of God.
And that was the only thing that attracted the people of Antioch and make them come back and hear the sermon again the second week.
• 44 On the next Sabbath almost the whole city gathered to hear the word of the Lord.
• 46 Then Paul and Barnabas answered them boldly: "We had to speak the word of God to you first…
• 48 When the Gentiles heard this, they were glad and honoured the word of the Lord…
• 49 The word of the Lord spread through the whole region.
Did you see what the centre is, where the spotlight is?
• They came back for one reason; they wanted to hear the Word of God, nothing else.
• While the people appreciated Paul and Barnabas, the people honoured the Word. They were glad to hear the Word.
There is power in the Word of God.