Jesus Christ didn’t commit the gospel to an advertising agency; He commissioned disciples. And He didn’t command them to put up signs and pass out tracts; He said that they would be His witnesses. (Lou Nicholes - Missionary/Author). … More
Chapter 13 marks a major division in the book of Acts. The first twelve chapters have recorded the events concerning the spread of Christianity in Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria. Now we find where the Gospel is taken to the uttermost part of the earth. At least forty cities are mentioned.
Up to this point, Jerusalem had been the center of ministry, and Peter had been the key apostle. Now we see everything shifting to Antioch as the new center, and Paul becomes the new leader. God had already called Paul to minister to the Gentiles, and now He summoned Barnabas to labor with him. They were what we today call foreign missionaries. The church confirmed their calling, commissioned them, and sent them forth (vv. 2-3). The Church was now poised to take the greatest of all steps. They had decided, quite deliberately, to take the Gospel out to all the world. It was a decision taken under the direct guidance of the Holy Spirit. The men of the early Church never did what they wanted to do, but always what God wanted them to do.
In addition to Paul and Barnabas, the church at Antioch was blessed with a number of outstanding leaders (v. 1). Perhaps you would be surprised to know that one of them (Manaen) was a foster brother of the wicked king Herod who had put John the Baptist to death. This means that he was raised with the prince in his court. Antipas (Herod) and Manaen went to school together, played together, and studied together. Manaen became a believer, and Herod became a beast. Then there was Niger (quite possibly the man who carried the cross for Christ), who was probably a black man. No doubt the Antioch church was a racially integrated church. There seems to have been little delay in Paul and Barnabas getting started on their missionary journey. They didn’t even have to do deputation work first to raise their support. The Holy Spirit was sending them out, and the Holy Spirit would see to it that their needs were met.
If the Lord should ask me to be a missionary in a foreign country I don’t particularly like, am I willing to go? If God asks me to do something, I can be sure that He will enable me in every way to do it.
Now there were in the church at Antioch prophets and teachers, Barnabas, Simeon who was called Niger, Lucius of Cyrene, Manaen a member of the court of Herod the tetrarch, and Saul. While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, "Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them." Then after fasting and praying they laid their hands on them and sent them off.
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Acts 10:1-8Cornelius–A Religious Man on a Mission for God
Acts 10:9-22God’s "Gentile” Message to Peter through Visions
Acts 10:23-33Peter Meets Corneilius
Acts 10:34-48Peter Preaches to Cornelius Household
Acts 11:1-18Peter’s Defense to the Legalists
Acts 11:19-26Barnabas Seeks Saul to Help with Discipleship
Acts 11:27-30Antioch Believers Send Encouragement to Jerusalem
Acts 12:1-11Continual Prayer Brings Results
Acts 12:12-17Prayers Answered – Oh We of Little Faith!
Acts 12:18-25God’s Judgment on King Herod (Agrippa I)
Acts 13:1-3Barnabas and Saul Commissioned for Missionary Service
Acts 13:4-12Saul (Paul) Confronts a Sorcerer at Cyprus
Acts 13:13-31Paul and Barnabas Say Farewell to John Mark
Acts 13:32-41Paul Preaches the Gospel Including Christ’s Resurrection
Acts 13:42-52Gentiles Receptive to Paul’s Message – Jews Become Envious
Acts 14:1-7Opposition/Rejection From the Iconium Crowd
Acts 14:8-12Paul and Barnabas Refute People’s Worship
Acts 14:13-20From "God” to "Stoning” – Paul Still Committed to Preach
Acts 14:21-28Paul and Barnabas Share their Ministry with Supporters
Acts 15:1-5Jerusalem Council–Divisions Re: Circumcision
Acts 15:6-11Jerusalem Council–Discussion Re: Moses’ Law
Acts 15:12-18Jerusalem Council–Decisions Based on God’s Word
Acts 15:19-29Jerusalem Council–Decisions for Unity
Acts 15:30-41Paul and Barnabas Disagree About John Mark
Acts 16:1-5Paul & Timothy – New Ministry Duo
Acts 16:6-10Paul – Flexibility in the Itinerary
Acts 16:11-15Lydia–Conversion to Christ and Hospitality Offered
Acts 16:16-34Paul & Silas – Praising God While In Prison
Acts 16:35-40Paul’s Ministry Produces "People” Change