ACTS 11

7 Outlines

 

 

Acts 11:1-18

PETER'S DEFENSE

 

In Acts 10 Peter, under God's direction, conducted the first official witness of the church to the Gentiles.  This caused quite a stir in the Jerusalem Church.  Peter is forced to defend himself.

 

PETER CRITICIZED - Vss. 1-3

The Jews would not eat a meal with Gentiles.  Those believers in Christ who were still zealous about the Law immediately found fault with Peter.

 

PETER'S COMMENTARY - Vss. 4-15

Peter tells what happened, explaining the call of God to go, the presentation of the Gospel, and the work of the Holy Spirit on those who believed the Gospel.

 

PETER'S CONCLUSION - Vss. 16-17

Peter concluded that the Gentiles were truly saved needed to be baptized.

He also concluded that he should not stand in the way of those who professed Christ.

 

PETER CONFIRMED - Vs. 18

There was great rejoicing at the church of Jerusalem.  They accepted Peter's explanation.

 

 

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Acts 11:1-18

VICTORY OVER PREJUDICE

 

PUBLICATION OF THE NEWS Vs. 1

  Peter had ministered to the House of Cornelius (a gentile).  There was                                                                                                                                                                                         salvation. See chapter 10.

CONFRONTATION BY THE CIRCUMCISION Vss, 2-3

EXPLANATION BY PETER Vss. 4-17

  VISION FROM GOD Vss. 4-10

  VISIT FOR GOD Vss.11-14

  VICTORY THROUGH GOD Vss. 15-17

JUBILATION AMONG CHRISTIANS Vs. 18

 

 

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Acts 11:19-26

BIRTH OF A CHURCH

 

CONVERSIONS IN ANTIOCH – Vss. 19-21

 

COMMISSION OF BARNABAS – Vs. 22

 

CHALLENGES TO GROW – Vss. 23, 25-26

Barnabas encouraged them all to cling to the Lord.

Barnabas recruited Paul to help teach the new converts.

 

CHARACTER OF THE LEADER – Vs. 24

A Good Man

Full of the Holy Ghost and Faith

 

 

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Acts 11:19-30

JOY IN EVANGELISM

 

 

Evangelism is the communication of the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ to those who need it. We also call it witnessing or sharing our faith.

 

This text is where we find the story of a new church founded in Antioch-Syria.

In it we find that there is joy in evangelism for several reasons.

 

 

THE GOSPEL WAS EXPOUNDED – Vss. 19-20

 

Jesus had told his disciples to spread the Gospel.

 

Mark 16:15 - And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.

 

Back when Stephen, the first Christian martyr was stoned to death, a persecution arose that caused Christians to scatter. Acts 8:1-4

 

Vs. 19 – As Christians scattered they took the Gospel with them sharing the Gospel. The Gospel is the Good News.  1 Corinthians 15:3-4, 1 John 5:11-12

 

As these refugees fled they shared the Gospel, going as far as Antioch in Syria, the third largest city in the Roman Empire, smaller only than the cities of Rome and Alexandria in Egypt.

As these Jewish Christians fled, they preached only to other Jews.   

The incident of Peter visiting a Centurion and discovering that the Gospel was for the Gentile as well as the Jew did not occur until after the Jewish Christians began to scatter.

 

Vs. 20 – Some of the Jewish Christians that scattered were Hellenistic Jews, that is, they grew up outside of Israel. These men of Cyprus and Cyrene started sharing with the Gentiles.

 

Have you ever stopped to think why there is joy in sharing the Gospel with others? 

1.     Our lives have been changed by the Lord Jesus and we want others to experience that same change.

2.     The Lord Jesus has given us the joys of peace with God, forgiveness of sin, eternal life and the presence of God in our lives.  We want others to have those same joys.

3.     We realize that those without Jesus are condemned to an eternity in hell. It is a joy to tell them that they need not do that if they trust Christ.

 

BELIEF WAS EXPRESSED – Vs. 21

 

Vs. 21 – The Christians shared their faith.

               God was them. He enabled them

               Many placed their faith in Christ.

 

Please note that when we witness with the right motive and in reliance upon God that God is with us.

Acts 1:8

 

I am impressed with the story of another Bible character in the Book of Acts.  Her name was Lydia.   

Acts 16:14

Lydia came to believe on the Lord because the Lord opened her heart.  When people come to faith in Christ it is because God is at work.  He uses us to share the Gospel but it is God who opens the heart to faith.   

 

Anytime a person comes to faith in Christ there is joy!

 

«    There is the joy of the person who has been saved, when they realize that he or she has forgiveness of sin and eternal life.

«    There is the joy of the person who led the person to faith in Christ.

«    There is the joy of friends, loved ones and hopefully church people when they realize that they have a new brother of sister in Christ.

«    And there is joy in Heaven.

Jesus told the story of a man who had 100 sheep.

One was lost, so the shepherd went out to find him. Luke 15:5-7

 

PEOPLE WERE ENCOURAGED – Vss. 22-24

 

Vs. 22Antioch was the first church that was primarily made up of Gentiles.  This was a new thing. 

So, when the news of what had happened in Antioch reached the mother church in Jerusalem, they decided to check it out.

They ended up sending a man named Barnabas.

 

Barnabas was also a Hellenistic Jew who had come to Christ as his Savior.

Barnabas was actually a nick name given to him by the Apostles.  His name means “Son of Consolation”, or “Son of comfort”, or “Son of Encouragement.”

Barnabas was Mr. Encouragement.

 

Of course, when there are new converts to Christ around, it always helps to have encouraging people around.  When a person truly becomes a Christian, the old devil likes to attack and make the person miserable.  A new Christian needs someone to encourage Him when things are going badly or just so he knows that what he has done is a right decision.

 

Vs. 23 – Guess who was the first person that got encouraged when Barnabas arrived at Antioch?

 

IT WAS BARNABAS HIMSELF

He was glad.

«    He was probably encouraged because the reports that had come to the Jerusalem church were true.

«    He was probably encouraged because so many gentiles, those who would have had little or no exposure to the true and living God, were now believers.

«    He was probably encouraged because there were more people going to Heaven.

«    He was probably encouraged because someone had the concern and compassion to share the Gospel with those who had never heard the Gospel.

 

Not only was Barnabas encouraged but he encouraged the new believers.

He exhorted or urged them to stick with it.

He exhorted them to cleave to the Lord.

There are many things that a new believer in Christ needs to learn. One of them is faithfulness.

The more a new Christian learns to be faithful to the Lord and to following His word, the more he or she will grow. John 8:31-32

 

Encouraging Christians both old and new is the job of every other Christian.  We should make it a point to encourage all Christians in their walk with God. Hebrews 3:12-13, Hebrews 10:24-25

So how can you and I become good encouragers?

The answer is found right here in Verse 24.

 

We should follow the example of Barnabas!   

 

Acts 11:24 - For he was a good man, and full of the Holy Ghost and of faith: and much people was added unto the Lord.

 

Barnabas was a good man.

Barnabas was not a sinless man, but he was a man who been changed through his own faith in Christ.

A good man is a man who has a heart for God and for the things of God.

Jesus told the story of the sower and the different types of soil.  The different soils are different people.  Listen to what says about the word sown into a good heart. Luke 8:15

A good man has an honest and good heart that hears the Word of God and keeps it or obeys it!    

 

Barnabas was also full of the Holy Spirit.

That means he was under the control of the Holy Spirit.

That means he would have produced the fruit of the Holy Spirit. Galatians 5:22-23

 

You can’t be more encouraging than a person who shows the fruit of the spirit.   

 

Barnabas was also full of faith.

Barnabas trusted God.

Barnabas relied on God.

Barnabas would have the positive attitude that faith gives.

 

THE SAINTS WERE EDIFIED – Vss. 25-26

 

Vss. 25-26 – Encouragement was needed, but Barnabas

                     realized that teaching was also needed.

New Christians need to be taught.

There is joy when new Christians start to learn, and grow and mature in the things of Christ.

 

There is an interesting point found here.

Barnabas went and got Paul.  Paul had been saved but was back home, waiting for God to open up the door of ministry that was promised to him. And that was a ministry to the Gentiles.

Barnabas realized that Paul had teaching gifts that perhaps he didn’t have.

Barnabas was a gifted encourager, Paul a gifted teacher.

The two working together would make a great team.

 

Remember that no church is to be a “one man show”.

No pastor has all the Spiritual gifts.

 

And remember also that just as new Christians need to be taught, so do older Christians.  That means you and I never outgrown our need to learn as Christians. Philippians 3:130-14

 

THE MINISTRY WAS EXTENDED – Vss. 27-30

 Vss. 27-30 – These new believers were mostly gentiles.

                       The church in Jerusalem was mostly Jewish.

However when a prophet named Agabus announced a famine, the church in Antioch was quick to respond.  

 

These new Christians did not isolate themselves from other Christians. They extended themselves to other Christians.

 

One of the signs of a true conversion is when a new Christian cares about and responds to the needs of others. 1 John 3:16-18

 

THE GOSPEL WAS EXPOUNDED – Vss. 19-20

BELIEF WAS EXPRESSED – Vs. 21

PEOPLE WERE ENCOURAGED – Vss. 22-24

THE SAINTS WERE EDIFIED – Vss. 25-26

THE MINISTRY WAS EXTENDED – Vss. 27-30, 13:1-4

 

There are several things that bring joy to Evangelism.

But it all begins with evangelism.

We must reach out.

 

 

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Acts 11:19-26

WHAT A GUY!

 

We can learn from all the characters found in the Bible.  One special man that was greatly used of God was Barnabas. We could call Barnabas "Mr. Encouragement" (Acts 4:36-37). Let us learn from his story.

 

INTRODUCTION - Vss. 19-21 - As a result of the persecution that had resulted from Stephen's Martyrdom, many Gentiles, especially in Antioch, came to Christ.

 

AVAILABILITY OF BARNABAS - Vs. 22

The leaders at the church in Jerusalem heard about the new believers in Antioch, and dispatched Barnabas to help them. Barnabas was available to go.  When God calls us to service, wherever it is, we need to be available to go as well. Matthew 28:19-20, Romans 12:1, Isaiah 6:8

 

ACTIVITY OF BARNABAS - Vss. 23, 25-26

He was able to recognize the grace of God. Vs. 23

He encouraged the new believers. Vs. 23

He recruited Saul (Paul) to help teach the new believers. Vss. 25-26

 

ATTRIBUTES OF BARNABAS - Vs. 24

A Good Man

Full of the Holy Ghost

Full of Faith

 

The end result of Barnabas' ministry was that even more people were saved.

 

 

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Acts 11:19-30

CHURCH PLANTING!

 

Church planting took place in Antioch.  If these steps are taken in areas around the world, many wonderful churches will spring up!

 

EXPLANATION - The Gospel is preached and believed. - Vss. 19-21

EXHORTATION - New believers are encouraged. - Vss. 22-24

EDUCATION - New believers are instructed. - Vss. 25-26

EXTENSION - New believers reach out to help other Christians. - Vss. 27-30

 

 

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ACTS 11:24 etc.

 A GOOD MAN

 

I want us to consider what it means to be a good man or a good woman according to the Scriptures.

 

A GOOD MAN IS FILLED - Acts 11:24

For he was a good man, and full of the Holy Ghost and of faith: and much people was added unto the Lord.

 

In the early church, Barnabas was Mr. Encouragement.

We meet him first in Acts 4:36-37

 

It was Barnabas who helped Paul get established in the church at Jerusalem. Acts 9:27

 

When Gentiles started to get saved, it was Barnabas, Mr. Encouragement that was sent to investigate.

Acts 11:19-23 

 

It was also Barnabas, realizing that these new Christians needed a teacher, who recruited Paul into a teaching ministry. Acts 11:25-26

 

It was also Barnabas who went with Paul on the first missionary journey, and it was Barnabas who helped rehabilitate Mark, after Mark's initial failure in ministry.

   

Barnabas was indeed a good man, and in Acts 11:24, we see two things that helped make him a good man.  Barnabas was a good man because, first of all, He was filled with the Holy Ghost.

 

The Holy Ghost was promised by the Lord Jesus. John 14:16-18, John 16:12-14

 

The Holy Spirit lives inside of every Christian. Romans 8:9

 

When Barnabas was filled with the Spirit, he was simply doing what God wants every Christian to do.  God wants every Christian to be under the influence of the Spirit. See Ephesians 5:18-21 and Galatians 5:22-23

 

A person who is filled with the Holy Spirit can not help being a good man or woman.

May I recommend to you that to be filled with the Spirit you should:

1.     Confess your sin

2.     Submit to God's will

3.     Ask to be filled

 

And being filled with the Spirit is a continual process.

Barnabas was filled with the Spirit and He was a good man.

 

Barnabas was also filled with faith. Hebrews 3:12-13, 11:1-2, 6, 12:1-2

 

A GOOD MAN FOLLOWS - Psalm 37:23

The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord: and he delighteth in his way.

 

How we spend our time is of the utmost importance. Psalm 90:12, Ephesians 5:15-17

 

A GOOD MAN IS FAITHFUL - Micah 6:8

He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the Lord require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?

 

From the beginning God has wanted the things mentioned in this verse to be true of his followers.  These are good things that make a good man or woman.  They don't save a person, only faith in Christ does that.  But these things found in a believer will please God.  And notice each one of these things is not something to be done sporadically, but continually and consistently over a lifetime.

 

·        DO JUSTLY

The believer should do whatever is right.

If it's in business or work, a believer should have ethics that all his business dealings are above board.

 

If it's in the neighborhood, a believer should have the reputation of doing what's right, even if it hurts financially.

 

If it's in the home, Mom or Dad should have the reputation with their kids of doing what is right.  In fact it is better for a parent to change his or her mind, rather than not do what is right.

 

·        LOVE MERCY

 

Some of the toughest people in the world can show mercy once in awhile.  And some can show mercy in a grudging sort of way.

However we are to love mercy.  And to love mercy means that we want to show kindness to people who may or may not deserve it.

 

In Psalm 136 there is a phrase referring to God is repeated in every verse, and his mercy endureth forever. If this is the character of our God, let us endeavor to show mercy to people whenever we can.

 

·        WALK HUMBLY WITH GOD

 

There are many great men in the Bible, but two that stick out in my mind are Enoch and Noah.  They had something in common.

They walked with God.

 

To me, walking humbly with God means that I know that I need God's guidance.

Walking humbly with God means that I know that I need God's help.

Walking humbly with God means that I know that I need God's fellowship.

 

A GOOD MAN IS FRUITFUL - Luke 6:45

A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh.

 

The words that come out a person's mouth are fruit of sorts.

It can be good fruit or bad.

 

A good person has good words proceeding out his mouth. Proverbs 10:19, 15:1-2, 25:11-12, Ephesians 4:29

 

What comes out of the mouth is an indication of what is in the heart.  So if we are going to have fruitful coming out of the mouth we must watch the heart!

 

Proverbs 4:23 - Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.

 

The good news is as I keep my heart under the control of the Holy Spirit what is coming out of lips will be fruitful.

   

A GOOD MAN IS FILLED - Acts 11:24

A GOOD MAN FOLLOWS - Psalm 37:23

A GOOD MAN IS FAITHFUL - Micah 6:8

A GOOD MAN IS FRUITFUL - Luke 6:45

 

 

 

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