Sunday, July 20, 2014

Sunday´s Sermon Notes

2014. 07.20                             Acts 11: 21- 30
         Barnabas and Paul in Antioch
Good morning!...
It´s great to see you here this morning… As many of you know we teach through the Bible verse by verse…… We want to see the big picture and understand our great God and our Savior  Jesus Christ…. We are studying the birth of the church in the book of Acts….. Today we will pick up where we left off last week…… Let´s back up a couple verses for the context…. I´ll read from Acts 11….v 21….
Acts 11: 21-                  NKJV   NeÜ
21 And the hand of the Lord was with them, and a great number believed and turned to the Lord.
22 Then news of these things came to the ears of the church in Jerusalem, and they sent out Barnabas to go as far as Antioch. 23 When he came and had seen the grace of God, he was glad, and encouraged them all that with purpose of heart they should continue with the Lord.
Acts 11: 21-23                 NeÜ
21 Und die Hand des Herrn war mit ihnen, und eine große Zahl wurde gläubig und bekehrte sich zum Herrn.
22 Es kam aber die Kunde von ihnen zu den Ohren der Gemeinde in Jerusalem, und sie sandten Barnabas, dass er hingehe nach Antiochia.
23 Und als er ankam und die Gnade Gottes sah, freute er sich und ermahnte alle, mit festem Herzen bei dem Herrn zu bleiben;
Stay close to Jesus…..  
He says. "Hold on to the Lord with all your strength."
How do you hold on? How do you hold on to Jesus in the hard times…. Big Problem…
This was obviously real a problem in the early church…. Because Paul writes about it often.... Turn with me to Acts Chapter 13….v42…
Acts 13: 42,43                          NKJV  
42 So when the Jews went out of the synagogue,[j] the Gentiles begged that these words might be preached to them the next Sabbath. 43 Now when the congregation had broken up, many of the Jews and devout proselytes followed Paul and Barnabas, who, speaking to them, persuaded them to continue in the grace of God.
Acts 13: 42,43                             NeÜ
42 Als Paulus und Barnabas die Synagoge verließen, wurden sie gebeten, am nächsten Sabbat weiter über diese Dinge zu reden.
43 Und als die Versammlung sich aufgelöst hatte, kamen viele mit Paulus und Barnabas mit, Juden und Nichtjuden, die sich zur Synagoge gehalten hatten. Die beiden sprachen lange mit ihnen und ermahnten sie, sich immer ganz auf die Gnade Gottes zu verlassen.
He says, "Hang in there....... Continue in the Grace of God....... No matter what… Turn to Acts 14…. V22…
Acts 14….v22…
Acts 14: 22     NKJV    NeÜ
22 strengthening the souls of the disciples, exhorting them to continue in the faith, and saying, “We must through many tribulations enter the kingdom of God.”
22 Überall ermutigten sie die Jünger und ermahnten sie, im Glauben standhaft zu bleiben. "Wir müssen durch manche Bedrängnis hindurch", sagten sie, "bevor wir in Gottes Reich einkehren."
Listen…. you're going to have trouble….. Tribulations and hard times go with the Christian life….   Don´t you give up…. Don´t be discouraged….  hold on to the Lord Jesus….
Paul says……. Listen you are going to have hard times…. But remember….. Jesus suffered for us….. And He will never leave us!  
This realistic form of encouragement and warnings became a part of their ministry….. Every time they ministered to a new group of believers they exhorted them to  Continue….. hang on in the hard times…..  cling to Christ….. Most of the leaders of the early church died badly… They suffered for the Gospel…..
How do you do that? How do you cling to the Lord when everything goes bad…? You remind yourselves of the promises of God…. We need to remember what the Lord has already done for us…. Everything we need for life and Godliness is in this book…. Turn to Psalm 119…v…11…
Psalm 119: 11,12                               NKJV   
11 Your word I have hidden in my heart,That I might not sin against You.
12 Blessed are You, O Lord! Teach me Your statutes.
Psalm 119: 11,12                                  NeÜ
11 Dein Wort trag ich im Herzen, / weil ich nicht gegen dich sündigen will. -
12 Ich will dich loben, Jahwe! / Bring mir deine Ordnungen bei!
Take hold of the Word of God…. Hide it in your hearts….. Meditate on it…. Day and night….
That's the key…… What's the thing you always tell a new believer to do? Read your Bible….. David writes over and over about treasuring the Word of God….
Psalm 119:105-107                            NKJV 
105 Your word is a lamp to my feet And a light to my path.
106 I have sworn and confirmed That I will keep Your righteous judgments.
107 I am afflicted very much; Revive me, O Lord, according to Your word.

Psalm 119:105-107                               NeÜ
105 Dein Wort ist eine Leuchte vor meinem Fuß / und ein Licht auf meinem Weg.
106 Ich habe geschworen und halte es ein, / ich tue, was du festgelegt hast. -
107 Wie bin ich so niedergeschlagen, Jahwe! / Belebe mich nach deinem Wort!
I light to keep me on the right path….. Lord I will obey you…. And when I am suffering….. Revive me….. Raise me up….. According to your word…. Help me back up as you have promised that you would do….
How precious is the Word of God…Do we really treasure it…. Is it a comfort to us as we read all about God´s Grace and mercy….. Do we find comfort in the fact that even those who suffered for the sake of the Gospel were ultimately serving and Glorifying God…… He sustained them in their sufferings….. and He delivered them from the power of the evil one…..
Let´s turn  back to Acts  Chapter 11….. v24…
Acts 11: 24                               NKJV    NeÜ
24 For he was a good man, full of the Holy Spirit and of faith. And a great many people were added to the Lord.
24 Denn er war ein vortrefflicher Mann, erfüllt mit dem Heiligen Geist und festem Glauben. Viele Menschen kamen damals zum Glauben an den Herrn.
Look at verse 24……   Barnabas was a Good man…. a righteous man full of the Spirit and faith….. and many people were added unto the Lord……. This greek word for many (hikanos ochlos)…. Can be translated…. A great multitude…   Lot´s of People were getting saved……  He needed help to disciple them….. He remembered Saul…. V25…

Acts 11: 25,26                       NKJV    NeÜ
25 Then Barnabas departed for Tarsus to seek Saul. 26 And when he had found him, he brought him to Antioch. So it was that for a whole year they assembled with the church and taught a great many people. And the disciples were first called Christians in Antioch.
25 Barnabas reiste dann nach Tarsus, um Saulus zu suchen.
26 Als er ihn gefunden hatte, nahm er ihn mit nach Antiochia. Ein ganzes Jahr lang waren sie mit der Gemeinde zusammen und unterwiesen viele Menschen im Glauben. In Antiochia wurden die Jünger übrigens zuerst Christen genannt.
He knew the man he wanted to come and help…… He went to seek Saul…. The Greek word here (anazēteōis) is helpful for us to understand that it was not easy to find Paul….. It means to search diligently…. Barabas had to track him down…. Paul kept moving….
In the meantime several years had passed since he was with Paul in Jerusalem… They kicked Saul out of Jerusalem quite a while ago because he was stirring up more trouble than they could handle….. They sent him back home to Tarsus….. You know what he did during this time?
He went all over the area starting churches…… According to II Corinthians 11…. he was being beaten over and over again…. 
During that time he had been working hard for the Lord…. He was not easy to find….. The English word seek doesn't help much….  In  the Greek It means “ to search for something with difficulty”….  He couldn't find him at first….. 
v 26….. Barnabas finally found Paul and brought Him back to Antioch…..
Now watch what they did……  we've got a massive multitude of believers here…… and we've got them trying to cling to the Lord……. and we got a church established in this big city…… we've got a city to reach with the Good News…. What are we going to do? They gather in a big place….. They Teach them the Word of God…. so that they can grow in grace…..   for a whole year they assembled themselves together with the church….. You want to know what the church is for?
It's for teaching and equipping the saints….. Preparing you to do the work of the ministry…. ……  Teach. Teach. Teach…… At all times and in all ways….. Teach the Word of God…..
Back in Acts 6….. The apostles said….. "We will give ourselves continually to the ministry of the Word and prayer." For one year Barnabas and Saul taught and encouraged the people…..
Look at Acts 13…v…1….
Acts 13:1                                        NKJV   NeÜ
1 Now in the church that was at Antioch there were certain prophets and teachers: Barnabas, Simeon who was called Niger, Lucius of Cyrene, Manaen who had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch, and Saul.
1 In der Gemeinde von Antiochia gab es damals folgende Propheten und Lehrer: Barnabas und Simeon, genannt Niger1, Luzius von Zyrene und Manaën, der zusammen mit dem Vierfürsten Herodes aufgewachsen war, und Saulus.
You know what they did? They made teachers out of some of the disciples….….. Barnabas and Simeon called Niger…. Lucius…. Manaen…. and so on…. They taught men who became teachers of other men…… That's what the church is all about…… What wonderful fruit they had….. Listen friends, the calling of this church….. the calling of every  church….   is to teach and make disciples…… not to entertain the saints…..  Teaching the Word of God is the goal….. It is God´s design for the church…..

back to Acts 11…v…26…
Look at the end of verse 26….. "And the disciples were called Christians first in Antioch.
They had never been called Christians before…..
Peter says in I Peter 4, "If any of you suffer for being a Christian don't be ashamed."
If you're a Christian and you wear the name of Christ…… wear it well….. Serve the Lord Jesus with your whole heart… 
So the church grew….. the church not only needed to be sound in doctrine…… but they needed to have lots of love…… These two things make a solid church…… sound doctrine and God´s love….. Love that reaches out to meet the needs of others…. This is what we see here in Antioch…… Turn back to Acts11….v 27-30   
Acts 11: 27- 30                                 NKJV   
27 And in these days prophets came from Jerusalem to Antioch. 28 Then one of them, named Agabus, stood up and showed by the Spirit that there was going to be a great famine throughout all the world, which also happened in the days of Claudius Caesar. 29 Then the disciples, each according to his ability, determined to send relief to the brethren dwelling in Judea. 30 This they also did, and sent it to the elders by the hands of Barnabas and Saul.
Acts 11: 27- 30                                 NeÜ
27 Während dieser Zeit kamen einige Propheten von Jerusalem nach Antiochia.
28 Einer von ihnen hieß Agabus. Er stand in einer Gemeindeversammlung auf und sagte - vom Geist Gottes geführt - eine schwere Hungersnot über die ganze Welt voraus, die dann auch unter Kaiser Klaudius eintrat.
29 Da beschlossen die Jünger, den Geschwistern in Judäa eine Unterstützung zukommen zu lassen; jeder von ihnen sollte nach seinen finanziellen Möglichkeiten dazu beitragen.
30 Das taten sie dann auch und schickten Barnabas und Saulus mit dem Geld zu den Ältesten.
V28… Agabus   signified by the Spirit that there should be great famine throughout all the world……. which came to pass in the days of Claudius Caesar……. History says Claudius Caesar ruled from 41 to 54 and during the year 45 and 46 there were great famines in Israel…...  
V 29….Then the disciples    determined to send relief unto the brethren who dwelt in Judea……  Here are Gentiles showing their love to those who thought that they were not even worthy to be saved…. What a beautiful picture of love…… Each one gave according to the potential that he had……
Antioch wasn't just solidly grounded in the Word of God…… It affected the way they lived….. They were loving and giving….. Turn with me to 1 John 3:16….
1 John 3: 16-18                               NKJV    
16 By this we know love, because He laid down His life for us. And we also ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. 17 But whoever has this world’s goods, and sees his brother in need, and shuts up his heart from him, how does the love of God abide in him?
18 My little children, let us not love in word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth.

1 John 3: 16-18                                    NeÜ
16 Die Liebe haben wir ja daran erkannt, dass Christus sein Leben für uns hergegeben hat. So müssen auch wir bereit sein, das Leben für unsere Geschwister herzugeben.
17 Stellt euch vor, da ist jemand, der seinen Lebensunterhalt gut verdienen kann, und er sieht einen von den Gläubigen in Not; aber er verschließt sein Herz vor ihm und hat kein Mitleid. Wie kann da Gottes Liebe in ihm bleiben?
18 Meine Kinder, unsere Liebe darf nicht nur in schönen Worten bestehen; unser Tun muss ein glaubwürdiger Beweis dafür sein.
v17….. But whoever has this world’s goods, and sees his brother in need, and shuts up his heart from him, how does the love of God abide in him?
Our relationship with our savior must affect the way we live….. The presence of the Lord Jesus in our lives…… Changes the way we respond to the needs of others….. If we have truly been converted…. If we have been given a new heart by the LORD Jesus…. We will be kind and generous with others…… We will reflect our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ….
These people showed real love because they gave according to their ability to give….. If they had a lot, they gave a lot….. If they had little they still gave a little….. The   Word of God changed these new believers.….. The love, the encouragement affected them…..  
As Barnabas and Saul taught them the word of God…. they began to be transformed from the inside…. They became more and more like Jesus….. These baby Christians began to grow and mature as believers…….  We have here in the church in Antioch…… The perfect Biblical Church growth program…. Teach the Word of God …. Love and encourage those who come….. The Lord sent the right people to Antioch…… Today He Himself continues to send men and women to serve and edify the church….. It´s His church…. It´s His plan…. Paul got it…. Paul gave his life to disciple the gentile believers….. He was used by God to teach them the Word of God…. To build them up in the Lord….. He used the Word of God to prepare them to do the work of the ministry…. He wrote powerfully to the early believers….. and these words of Life…… continue to reach down through the centuries to speak to us today….. I would like to let his words of encouragement and warning to ring in our ears as we close this morning….  
Turn with me to Ephesians ch4…. V11…
Ephesians 4: 11- 32                          NKJV  
11 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;

14 that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, 15 but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ—
16 from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.

17 This I say, therefore, and testify in the Lord, that you should no longer walk as the rest of the Gentiles walk, in the futility of their mind, 18 having their understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God, because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart;
19 who, being past feeling, have given themselves over to lewdness, to work all uncleanness with greediness. 20 But you have not so learned Christ, 21 if indeed you have heard Him and have been taught by Him, as the truth is in Jesus: 22 that you put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts,
23 and be renewed in the spirit of your mind, 24 and that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness.
25 Therefore, putting away lying, “Let each one of you speak truth with his neighbor,”[e] for we are members of one another.
26 “Be angry, and do not sin”:[f] do not let the sun go down on your wrath, 27 nor give place to the devil. 28 Let him who stole steal no longer, but rather let him labor, working with his hands what is good, that he may have something to give him who has need.
29 Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers. 30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.
31 Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice. 32 And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.
Ephesians 4: 11- 32                            NeÜ
11 Und er hat die einen als Apostel gegeben und andere als Propheten. Er gab Evangelisten, Hirten und Lehrer,
12 damit sie die, die Gott geheiligt hat, zum Dienst ausrüsten und so der Leib des Christus aufgebaut wird
13 mit dem Ziel, dass wir alle die Einheit im Glauben und in der Erkenntnis des Sohnes Gottes erreichen; dass wir zu mündigen Christen heranreifen und in die ganze Fülle hineinwachsen, die Christus in sich trägt.
14 Dann sind wir keine unmündigen Kinder mehr, die sich vom Wind aller möglichen Lehren umtreiben lassen und wie Wellen hin- und hergeworfen werden. Dann fallen wir nicht mehr auf das falsche Spiel von Menschen herein, die andere hinterlistig in die Irre führen.
15 Lasst uns deshalb fest zur Wahrheit und zur Liebe stehen und in jeder Hinsicht zu Christus, unserem Haupt, hinwachsen.
16 Von ihm her wird der ganze Leib zusammengefügt und durch verbindende Glieder zusammengehalten. Das geschieht in der Kraft, die jedem der einzelnen Teile zugemessen ist. So bewirkt Christus das Wachstum seines Leibes: Er baut sich auf durch Liebe.
17 Ich muss euch nun Folgendes sagen und ermahne euch im Auftrag des Herrn: Ihr dürft nicht mehr so leben wie die Menschen, die Gott nicht kennen. Ihr Leben und Denken ist von Nichtigkeiten bestimmt,
18 und in ihrem Verstand ist es finster, weil sie vom Leben mit Gott ausgeschlossen sind. Das kommt von der Unwissenheit, in der sie befangen sind, und von ihrem verstockten Herzen.
19 So sind sie in ihrem Gewissen abgestumpft und haben sich ungezügelten Lüsten hingegeben, sind unersättlich in sexueller Unmoral und Habgier.
20 Aber ihr habt gelernt, dass so etwas mit Christus nichts zu tun hat.
21 Ihr habt von ihm gehört und auch verstanden, was in Jesus Wirklichkeit ist;
22 dass ihr in Hinsicht auf euer früheres Leben den alten Menschen abgelegt habt. Denn der richtet sich in Verblendung und Begierden zugrunde.
23 Ihr dagegen werdet in Geist und Sinn erneuert,
24 da ihr ja den neuen Menschen angezogen habt, den Gott nach seinem Bild erschuf und der von wirklicher Gerechtigkeit und Heiligkeit bestimmt ist.
25 Als Menschen, die das Lügen abgelegt haben, müsst ihr einander die Wahrheit sagen. Wir sind doch als Glieder miteinander verbunden.
26 Versündigt euch nicht, wenn ihr zornig werdet! Die Sonne darf über eurem Zorn nicht untergehen!
27 Gebt dem Teufel keinen Raum in euch!
28 Wer ein Dieb war, soll nicht mehr stehlen, sondern hart arbeiten und mit eigenen Händen seinen Lebensunterhalt verdienen, damit er Notleidenden davon abgeben kann.
29 Lasst kein hässliches Wort über eure Lippen kommen, sondern habt da, wo es nötig ist, ein gutes Wort, das weiterhilft und allen wohl tut.
30 Sonst kränkt ihr den Heiligen Geist, den Gott euch als Siegel aufgeprägt hat und der euch die volle Erlösung garantiert.
31 Fort also mit aller Bitterkeit, mit Wut, Zorn und gehässigem Gerede. Schreit euch nicht gegenseitig an und verbannt jede Bosheit aus eurer Mitte.
32 Seid vielmehr umgänglich und hilfsbereit. Vergebt euch gegenseitig, weil auch Gott euch durch Christus vergeben hat.

We have a solid foundation for ministry in the Word of God….     
I pray God we'll send missionaries and church planters out into the harvest fields……. Send out our very best to serve and minister…..
I pray   that we will follow the pattern of the early church in Antioch….. I pray that we will be Generous and Gracious to all of the people that God puts in our lives….
I pray that our neighbors and co-workers will see Jesus in us…… Let us work and pray that we will make a greater and greater difference in our lost and dying world…..

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