Writings on Christianity

Acts 11:19-30 SERMON OUTLINE

Here’s the outline for my sermon on Acts 11:19-30, preached at Cross of Christ Fellowship in Naperville.

Acts 11:19-30 “The Church at Antioch”

INTRO: Kingdom of God=God’s people, in God’s place, under God’s rule.
     -This was promised in the OTàJesus brought it to Earth
                  -Book of Acts shows how this kingdom’s initial establishment and expansion
                              -Act 1:8: Starts in Jerusalem and is meant to spread to the end of the Earth.
     QUESTION? How does the kingdom of God spread?
     ANSWER: As God’s people, filled with the Holy Spirit, share the gospel and intentionally disciple new Christians.

*M.S.: God brings about the expansion of his kingdom as Christians share the gospel and disciple new believers.

-We are reminded of this today as we see the kingdom of God expand to the city of Antioch
     -Antioch was a urban city, 300 miles north of Jerusalem, 500,000 people—3rd largest in Rome (like Chicago)
                 -Became on of the most important centers for Christianity in 1st century (Sending church for missionaries)

                       WHY DOES IT MATTER? 1. We marvel at God; 2. We learn from the faithful Christians in this chapter.
God brings about the expansion of his kingdom as Christians share the gospel and disciple new believers.
                             1. Share the gospel; 2. Disciple new Christians

I. God brings about the expansion of his kingdom as Christians share the gospel (19-21)
– ‘Share the gospel at all times, use words when necessary
     -This is a very misguided sentiment. Why? Because sharing the gospel requires some kind of verbal communication.
           -The gospel is good news about Jesus Christ, and it requires words to be communicated!
                 -In our passage we see God’s kingdom reach a new city as Christians share the gospel.-Unplanned and Unexpected Start to the Church at Antioch (19-20)
     -Did the Christians mentioned in Acts 11 leave Jerusalem with the purpose of being missionaries at Antioch?                                    -NO, they were “scattered because of the persecution that arose over Stephen” (see Acts 8:2,4)
     -Was it unusual at this point for followers of Jesus to speak to non-Jews about Jesus?
                 -YES, they were “speaking the word to no one except Jews.
     -IN SPITE OF THIS, Gospel preached to Gentiles: “coming to Antioch spoke to the Hellenists also, preaching the Lord Jesus
                                         -“Hellenists” = non-Jews, Gentile
                             –NOTE: PREACHING CONTENT: “preaching the Lord Jesus
                                         -It was a Christ-centered gospel proclamation, which heralded the Lord Jesus.
      *ASIDE: It is important you too know how to share the gospel.
                  -QUESTION: Can you give a basic clear gospel explanation to a non-Christian?
                              GOSPEL IN 4 POINTS: GOD, SIN, CHRIST, RESPONSE.
     -Another unusual aspect of this story: do we know the names of these Christians who founded church at Antioch?                           -NO: “some of them”=unnamed evangelists. We don’t know their names!
-IMPORTANT OBSERVATION: GOD ultimately brought about the expansion of his kingdom in Antioch (21)
     -God blessed the gospel proclamation: “And the hand of the Lord was with them
                 –CONVERSION!: “a great number who believed turned to the Lord.

                             -To become a Christian involves “believing” and “turning” to the Lord
                                         -God must bring it about!
-Our task: faithfully share the gospel as God provides the opportunities before us.
     -Bill Bright: Faithful evangelism is ‘sharing the gospel in the power of the Holy Spirit and leaves the results to God.’

*QUESTION: When is the last time you shared the gospel with someone?
     -What is hindering you from sharing gospel? (Fear of man? Busyness? Idols of Suburbia? Losing sight of good news)
                 APPLICATION: May the Lord give us grace to faithfully share the gospel as these unnamed evangelists did.

                             God brings about the expansion of his kingdom on Earth as Christians share the gospel

II. God brings about the expansion of his kingdom on Earth as Christians disciple new believers (22-26)
-For 2 years or so I participated in a high intensity workout group called ‘crossfit’
     -When you begin crossfit you start with several weeks of class to orient you: how to lift weights, form, etc.
                 -Wisdom shows us this: we need other people to help us grow in areas we don’t know (car, cooking, classes)
                             -As Christians, we need other Christians to teach us, correct us, encourage us: DISCIPLESHIP!
                                   -To disciple a person is to intentionally come alongside someone to help them grow as a Christian.
-The apostles learn about the situation in Antioch and do something about it (22)
                 -“report of this came to ears of the church in Jerusalem and sent Barnabas to Antioch
                             -Barnabas was a faithful Christian who a leader in the church.
                                         -The apostles recognized that he would be a good person to help new Christians grow.

-Barnabas’ Ministry to the Antioch Church (23-24)

     -Barnabas recognized that this was a work of God: “he came and saw the grace of God” (23a)
                 -Grace=God’s unearned favor toward sinners who deserve judgment
                             -Gospel is rooted in GRACE: Eph 2:8-9.
     -Exhorted the New Christians: “and he exhorted them all to remain faithful to the Lord with steadfast purpose” (23b)

                             -This is not easy, as we all face many temptations and go through many trials.
                                   *QUESTION: In what area of life do you need to hear this exhortation?
                                         -Difficult marriage? Parenting? Work? Discouragement?
                                                     -Don’t try to do this alone, you need other Christians to help you!
     -Barnabas’ Character “a good man, full of the Holy Spirit and of faith.” (24a)
                 -We can pray that this would be said of us.
     -MORE people become Christians: “And a great many people were added to the Lord.
                 -Church at Antioch is GROWING!
-Barnabas sees the need for help (25-26)
     -Barnabas goes to find Saul and bring him back to Antioch (25-26a)
                 -Together, Barnabas and Saul “met with the church and taught a great many people”
                             -They were present with the believers “met with them” and “TAUGHT”
-What we are seeing is DISCIPLESHIP!
APPLICATION: God calls us as Christians to disciple other people.
     -In the Church; in the home; in our school.
                 -Simple form of discipleship: intentionally meeting with a person to read Bible and prayer and ask questions.
                             -Discipleship in the Church: attending Sundays and CG; being part of discipleship group
-Interesting Detail (26b)
     -Origin of the name “Christian” explained: And in Antioch the disciples were first called Christians.
-“little Christs”: they were so marked by Jesus’ teaching that others referred to them in reference to Christ.

     *RECAP: God brings about the expansion of his kingdom on Earth as Christian disciple new believers

III. As God brings about the expansion of his kingdom, we see Christians lovingly care for each other (27-30)
-One the beautiful changes that happens when you become a Christian is you become more like God: loving & caring
     ­-John 13:35: “By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”
       -A Christian is given a new heart, new desires, and a call to be holy, and new power: through the Holy Spirit.
                 -Part of this change is dying to selfishness and seeking to loving care for each other
                             -We this happen in the Church at Antioch: Christians lovingly caring each other.
-Antioch Christians Supernaturally are INFORMED of a great need coming (27-28)
-“prophets” came from Jerusalem to Antioch (27)
                 -Prophets= God’s spokesman, speaking God’s Word to God’s people.
                             -OT prophets: Isaiah, Daniel, Ezekiel, Jeremiah
                             -NT prophet: Eph 2:20 “apostles and prophets”
                                         -Prophets were part of the initial foundation stage of the church (like apostles)
                                                     -We should expect to find what we see here, today.
                                                                 -Now, we have God’s written Word and His Holy Spirit to guide us.
     -Agabus ‘foretold by the Spirit’ that there would be a “great famine over all the world” (28)
                 -God made known to Agabus this event was coming.
                                         -Luke records that famine did take place during reign of Claudius
-Antioch Christians RESPOND in LOVE to the Christians most impacted by the coming famine (29-30)
                 -“send relief”=send money/food; “to the brothers living in Judea”=poorer Christians
                 -“did so, sending it…by the hand of Barnabas and Saul”=they were to carry the relief.APPLICATION: God calls us as Christians to loving, sacrificially, care for each other
     -Give of our time and money and resources to help others.
                 -How is God calling you to this? In the Church (babysitting, ESL, hospitality), Neighborhood, FMSC
     God brings about the expansion of his kingdom as Christians share the gospel and disciple new believers.
Are you part of God’s kingdom?
-If so, then let us be faithful in task of evangelism & discipleship.
-If you are not part of this kingdom, then place your faith in Jesus! It is a glorious kingdom with a glorious king!

By Tom Schmidt

Christian, husband of Rach, Church Planter,musician,

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