Acts 11: 19-23
Intro: Saw a little girl this week with new shoes… Back to School
• A week of Orientation for many… teachers; parents; children; middle schoolers changing classes…
• Where; Who; What; How; When….
• QSBC beginning a new season… small groups, etc…
We will be talking about When; How; Who…
Why We Do What We Do (Motive and Purpose)
T/S – Focus on a church I have been reading about while away.
• founded by accident. A few people, untrained, without any real plan stumbled into a major city and began to speak about Jesus to anyone who would listen.
• A considerable number were saved!
• Old barriers of race, ethnicity, politics came crashing down.
• Marked by prayer; passion for Jesus/lost; generosity; Word
• Stood firm in the Truth of Gospel and carried Jesus to the nations. For over 300 years, this church was the center of world-wide Christian influence… Church at Antioch
Ask Antioch to remind us --- Why We Do What We Do
Acts 11: 19-23 We Gather to Display to Grace of God.
Exp – Vs. 23 – “…witnessed the grace of God…” (Saw)
App – When you dress and drive this direction… Why?
We Gather to Display the Grace of God.
“Glory” = His manifest character… Grace, power, faithfulness
ILL – Imagine a conversation with a small child…
Where are we going? (Church)… Why?
To see our friends; To learn about Jesus; To sing His songs;
To give our offering; To pray; … Why? Why? Why?
We Gather to Display to Grace of God.
t/s –What did Barnabas see?
Answer: He saw People!
ILL – “here’s the church; here’s the steeple;…People!
“My teacher was a heretic!”
The church is People… not an institution; a building…
People Transformed by Jesus.
Exp – Vs. 20-21 – Antioch was a dark, dark city… deception, immorality, idolatry, greed, godlessness…
• Spoke to the people… euangelidzo…sharing good news.
Not “preaching” a sermon… Good Newsing!
• Response === Believe and Turn to the Lord!
“Repent” == Life Change… Transformation…
Barnabas Saw people whose lives had been changed by Jesus.
He witnessed the grace of God!
ILL – One night at Falls Creek… Mike Pickens and family…
I spoke the Good News to him 25 years ago… Accident.
* The Holy Spirit whispered to me as a walked back to my room at that place where he called me 31 years before
Learned greek and Hebrew; graduated three degrees;
Traveled world training pastors; preach to 5,000; led churches to build Buildings; chairman of trustees of
both alma maters; pastor of a great church…
All that is wood, hay and stubble…
When you spoke the Gospel to that man, you did something that really matters!
You helped display my Grace and Glory!
App – We pursue our Purpose… we remember the Why… when
We consistently speak the Good News to anyone who will
Listen… Live Transformed Display His Grace!
Exp – Vs. 23 – “…he rejoiced; and began to encourage them ALL…”
“All” = The people who were Jewish AND the Gentiles…
Antioch, for the first time, Displayed the Divide Crossed!!
People with the worst sort of division, Living, eating, worshipping and serving Together!
Context: Jesus, “All Nations”; Acts 8-11…
Ethiopian; Romans soldier Cornelius; Church
Formally affirmed…. Gentiles can be saved!
Yet, refused to Cross the Barrier!
At Antioch… something only the Grace of God could explain!
People Together… cultural; racial; ethic; barriers crossed.
Ephesians 3: 8-10 (Read Slowly)
ν Manifold = rare word for NT… Many-colored
OT translated into greek… Joseph’s coat
Many-shaded; Multi-colored; multi-racial; multi-cultural… Beauty and Diversity
ν Manifest (displayed) through the Church to People… and the powers that be in the Heavenlies!
When people who would not normally be together; are together --- worship, service, fellowship --- God’s grace is on Display!
ILL – Rodeo Bull Rider (I not always been a sophisticated, urban)
• Each rider draws a bull… Easiest…old, tired, weak, tame; no! the Rider wants the toughest…Display his skill!
App – It is not easy for Different Kinds of people to Live Together.
Easier for a church to gather up a homogenous group ---
--- Same race; same age; same background; same preferences
Where’s the Glory in that?!
We Gather to Display to Grace of God.
Notice: “And the hand of the Lord was with them….”
We want to force people to make that confession