Summary: Barnabas had an effective ministry in Antioch and surrounding areas. He had an amazing impact on people's lives. This sermon examines why?
We Need Barnabas Christians!
February 7, 2016
NOTE: A PowerPoint presentation is available for this sermon by request at firstname.lastname@example.org.
TEXT: Acts 11:21-24 – “And the hand of the Lord was with them: and a great number believed, and turned unto the Lord. 22 Then tidings of these things came unto the ears of the church which was in Jerusalem: and they sent forth Barnabas, that he should go as far as Antioch. 23 Who, when he came, and had seen the grace of God, was glad, and exhorted them all, that with purpose of heart they would cleave unto the Lord. 24 For he was a good man, and full of the Holy Ghost and of faith: and much people was added unto the Lord.”
Nothing hurts the cause of Christ more than Christians who are hypocrites. More harm has been done to the name of Christ by hypocrites than all the persecutors in history combined A Christian with a good testimony, an intense love for God and a loving, Christlike spirit may not always be popular, but he will be respected and listened to.
The Bible is tragically filled with the stories men and women with sullied testimonies. Yes, we remember DAVID for his victories and his beautiful psalms, but rarely do we think of David that we don’t also recall his adulterous sin with Bathsheba. We remember PETER in the book of Acts who boldly proclaimed the name of Christ. – Yet his denial of Jesus before Calvary is indelibly imprinted in our minds.
But today’s text tells us of a man who had an unsullied testimony throughout the book of Acts. His name is BARNABAS.
This is not the first time we’re introduced to Barnabas in the book of Acts. We first heard of him in chapter 4 which we examined several months ago. When persecution arose in the church in Jerusalem, Barnabas sold his land and gave it to the church to be distributed to help other believers in their distress. So he had a generous heart.
We saw him again in chapter 9. There, Saul had just been converted and when he came to Jerusalem, the disciples feared him greatly. They avoided him out of fear that his conversion might be a ruse to get intelligence about the leaders of the Jerusalem church so they could be captured and killed. But Barnabas stepped forward and befriended Saul when no one else would, and introduced him to the believers in Jerusalem—a crucial step in Saul’s spiritual development.
Now in chapter 11, we see that Barnabas had a very successful and effective ministry. You may never be a preacher like Barnabas, but surely, if you’re truly born again into God’s family, you want to serve God, and want to make a difference in people’s lives—to influence them to come to faith in Christ, or to turn back to God if they are away from Him.
What was Barnabas’s secret? Why was he able to make a difference in people’s lives spiritually? Today let’s put the spotlight on Barnabas and see what his life and ministry can teach us.