Act of the Apostles is important for every Christian to know the beginnings of the Church.
1: Ascension of Lord Jesus Christ
2: Pentecost – Holy Spirit upon the disciples - Peters long sermon
3: Apostle Paul’s encounter with Jesus and conversion experience
4: All those who believed in the message were baptized – an important factor
Baptism is like placing a stamp on them for the Lord – An envelope with postage
The first gentile converts to Christianity were Cornelius and friends.
Today’s focus is on Antioch where the disciples of the Lord Jesus were called Christians.
We notice 4 things in this verse as a result of Stephen’s death.
• scattered - dispersed
• persecuted - hunted
• traveled – run for their life
• Spreading – preaching the Gospel only to Jews
Lord Jesus commanded the Church to take the gospel to all people – but the early Christians were hesitant to do so.
Stephen’s death triggered the momentum for the movement
Anonymous people such as men from Cyprus and Cyrene came to Antioch a Greek town to share the good news of Jesus.
No human intellect or wisdom or vocabulary or oratory can describe the Gospel – because it is a very simple message.
The good news is the Gospel of Jesus Christ – that Jesus Christ died for their sins – paid the penalty for human sin on the cross as one payment – raised from the dead – the first to be raised from the dead – now living in heaven as well as in the heart of every believer – HE is coming back for every believer to be with HIM forever in heaven.
The same unadulterated message of the Gospel is being transforming the lives millions around the world today – That is the power of the Gospel at work today.
Great gentile Church was born at Antioch - +500 thousand city
An obedient life with faith and the Holy Spirit provide the power needed to begin any new evangelistic movement.
We have seen many humble ordinary men and women traveled across the globe to serve the Lord all over the world.
Sent by the Church at Jerusalem, Barnabas saw something wonderful here at Antioch - Grace in action.
God’s love for sinful human is grace – HE came down to redeem the sinner – Everyone born to a woman is a sinner – we cannot save ourselves from sin no matter what we do.
The salvation of Gentiles was clear evidence of the grace of God then and now.
Because of his obedient faith and burden for the Gospel, many people came to the faith.
In every age we have people like Barnabas to extend their life in the work of Gospel.
The disciples of Lord Jesus Christ were called Christians first at Antioch.
It is purely the work of the Holy Spirit and the grace of God that bring people to Christ.
The people with obedient faith preached the Gospel and taught the Word.
I may add the church that preaches different gospel as Apostle Paul says is not part of the Church universal of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Always grace of God is in action in those who believe, put their faith in Jesus and trust HIM only for the forgiveness of their sins.
There is no other way left.
It is by faith in Lord Jesus Christ and through grace of God we are saved from our sins.