East London Version

“Antioch, Barnabas and the Spirit” Acts 11.19-26

  1. The Spirit moves the church, Acts 2-11

A. Uncomfortable, Unexpected, Unprecedented experiences
Review the Spirit’s work so far in Acts. What he caused or allowed.
Messiness not neatness is the more likely evidence of the Spirit at work.

B. Initiative, 11.20
The men of Cyprus and Cyrene did not ask for permission.
They were not maverick, but in community.
Our aim: “your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.” Matt 6:10 i.e. not just about saving souls, but healing that which was broken, damaged, corrupted by the events in Eden.

C. Impact
Antioch – Asia – Europe – the world
What ‘kingdom-minded’ project gets your spiritual blood pumping?
What do you need to sustain your initiative & develop the Spirit’s work?

  1. Barnabas as a model, Acts 11.22-26
    Jerusalem – curious, not controlling

A. Who was he?
Cypriot; bridge-builder; observer of God’s hand at work; encourager.
Poured petrol on the fire of their zeal, not the wet blanket of suspicion.
“What can I do to help?”

B. What did he do to take things further?
Recruited others – Paul.
We need the ‘odd’ people more than we might think. Perhaps you are one of them!
You might need a Barnabas before you can be really useful to God.
Barnabas today
Older generation – be a Barnabas
Younger generation – get a Barnabas

C. Impact
Great numbers
Helping the Judean poor
Developed a team (Acts 13:1)
Sent church planters (Acts 13.2-3)

Conclusion, v26
“The followers of Jesus were thinking and speaking in such a way that they were thought of as ‘the king’s people’, ‘Messianists’, Christians.” Wright, N.T. Acts for Everyone
How might you, moved by the Spirit, be a light to King Jesus for the people around you?

Please add your comments on this week’s topic. We learn best when we learn in community.

Do you have a question about teaching the Bible? Is it theological, technical, practical? Send me your questions or suggestions. Here’s the email: malcolm@malcolmcox.org.

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“Worship the LORD with gladness; come before him with joyful songs.” (Psalms 100:2 NIV11)

God bless, Malcolm

PS: You might also be interested in my book: “An elephant’s swimming pool”, a devotional look at the Gospel of John