Monthly Archives: August 2009
The Jerusalem Council
During Paul’s first missionary journey, He saw that God “opened a door of faith to the Gentiles” (Acts 14:27)
· Sergius Paulus Acts13:6-12
· Gentiles in Antioch of Pisidia Acts 13:42-49
· Greeks at Iconium Acts 14:1
It didn’t take long before questions arose about Gentiles in the church.
· Should they convert to Judaism first?
· Should they be circumcised?
· Should they keep the Law of Moses?
After two years at Antioch Paul and Barnabas were faced with a crisis!
The main thing we as Christians most remember is that the church is not ours. It belongs to and IS the bride of Jesus Christ! When you insult a biblical church you are saying “hey Jesus your wife is ugly.” Now back to the subject of church splits, The book of Acts tells us about the early church and how we should do church. Paul went from town to town planting churches.
When a church grew it sent members to start another church. Look at Romans 16. First Paul asks them to accept Phoebe from the church of Cenchrae. Next he greets Prisca and Aquila who were at the church in Corinth and now they are back in Rome. (Acts 18:1-2) This is just a couple of people who went to help grow a church. Before somebody says vs. 17 says to watch out for those who cause divisions it also says contrary to the doctrine you have been taught. The biblical example of a church is for it to grow and then split and start a new church.
Sometimes Christians resist change. We like our church why would we go to another one. Many think the bigger a church is the more it can reach out. The more “means” it has. The fact of the matter is New churches are good. there are many excellent books and lessons on churches that prove through data that new churches promote growth in the established church and the new church. Every church split I have heard or read about both churches wound up gaining members.
God wants us to grow and multiply, when we move to slow for him God finds His own way of speeding things up. I’ve heard the people use the excuse that the devil was at work in splitting “that” church. I agree, just like God used the devil to teach Job some lessons and how He used to the devil lead a bunch of Jewish people to crucify the very person that they had been waiting on to deliver them. That worked out pretty good for me in that through the crucifixion of Christ my sin was atoned for.
As Paul and Barnabas were leaving Pamphylia, A young man named John Mark decided instead of continuing with them he would go back to Jerusalem(Acts 13:13). Later Paul and Barnabas decided to go back and see how the churches they planted were doing.(Acts 15:36-40) Barnabas wanted to take John Mark, but Paul refused and they “Split”. Is that a bad thing? Paul gathered other people and went anyways. Silas and another young man named Timothy(Acts 16:1-5) learned under Paul’s tutelage. Barnabas and John Mark didn’t give up ministry either, they continued on and Paul himself felt that John Mark was a great help in Ministry(2 Titus 4:11).
God split two experienced church planters up to accomplish His will twice as fast. We are all one church the bride of Jesus we must come together and act like it! We should encourage one another, support one another, and pray for each other. I pray for both churches that split near me. I pray that God will bless both of them. I pray for the leaders of both and pray that they will again realize sometimes God’s will is not ours.
First Missionary Journey, And Residence In Antioch
So far we have looked at Paul’s life up until he starts his missonary Journeys
Paul has spent his life preparing for his calling by God
His education, heritage, his Jewish religous stnding and training all have prepared him
Since his conversion his preaching in Damascus, Arabia, and Tarsus have been getting him ready for what God had in mind for him..
Now Paul will begin his series of Journeys that will take the Gospel were it has never been heard Romans 15:20-21
So today we will look at Paul’s first missionary Journey Which begins in Syria.
I. THE CITY OF ANTIOCH IN SYRIA (45 A.D.)
A. THE CHURCH IN ANTIOCH…
In Acts 11:19-21 we see that the church in Antioch was started by men from Cyprus and Cyrene and when the Christians at Jerusalem heard about this church they sent Barnabas to help strengthen the church. Barnabas brought Paul to Antioch and for a year they met with the church. Here is where the term Christians came into existence. Acts 11:19-26
I based these on an outline I found that Mark Copeland had done. The original outlines can be found at Executable outlines.com
This is the lesson on the ten years after Paul’s conversion and before he began his first missionary Journey. All bible verses are from the HCSB
Paul’s Early Years Of Service
What do we know about Paul?
He persecuted the church
He was converted on the road to Damascus
He was a missionary and preacher.
But Paul became a Christian around 36 AD and it was almost 10 years later in 45 AD when he began his first missionary trip.
So What was Paul doing between his conversion and the time when the Spirit called him to begin
his missionary journeys?
He was preparing………How should we prepare for what God has planned for us?