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Acts 13:4-12

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acts 13
Acts 13:4–12 HCSB
4 Being sent out by the Holy Spirit, they came down to Seleucia, and from there they sailed to Cyprus. 5 Arriving in Salamis, they proclaimed God’s message in the Jewish synagogues. They also had John as their assistant. 6 When they had gone through the whole island as far as Paphos, they came across a sorcerer, a Jewish false prophet named Bar-Jesus. 7 He was with the proconsul, Sergius Paulus, an intelligent man. This man summoned Barnabas and Saul and desired to hear God’s message. 8 But Elymas the sorcerer (this is the meaning of his name) opposed them and tried to turn the proconsul away from the faith. 9 Then Saul—also called Paul—filled with the Holy Spirit, stared straight at the sorcerer 10 and said, “You son of the Devil, full of all deceit and all fraud, enemy of all righteousness! Won’t you ever stop perverting the straight paths of the Lord? 11 Now, look! The Lord’s hand is against you. You are going to be blind, and will not see the sun for a time.” Suddenly a mist and darkness fell on him, and he went around seeking someone to lead him by the hand. 12 Then the proconsul, seeing what happened, believed and was astonished at the teaching about the Lord.

Sub:

Intro:

The Book of Acts is given in chronological and geographical sequence. This sequence is introduced in .

Jerusalem (1:1-8:3). The spread of the Christian faith in Jerusalem.

The spread of the Christian faith in Jerusalem. Samaria (8:4-12:25). Also notice here the effect of scattering the Christians that was caused by persecution. When you interpret the text, you see this as a literary device used by Luke to tell us about the sovereign hand of God in evangelism.

Samaria (8:4-12:25). Also notice here the effect of scattering the Christians that was caused by persecution. When you interpret the text, you see this as a literary device used by Luke to tell us about the sovereign hand of God in evangelism.

The remotest part of the earth (13:1-28:31).

When we left this text, the Holy Spirit had Called Barnabas and Paul, Commissioned Barnabas and Paul, and the church Cooperated.

The prayer meetings were over. The church at Antioch had made the supreme sacrifice and commended its two best men for the great work of reaching the lost world. The time for waiting, debating, fasting, and praying was over, and the time had come for action. The church in Antioch gave up to the mission field two of the best men the church has ever known. Despite these two men being sent out by the Holy Spirit, Satan did not allow the gospel to spread and the church to grow without some opposition. Satan always stands willing and ready to try to hinder all that God seeks to do in saving and blessing the lost, the least, and the last. I want us to watch Barnabas and Saul as they left Antioch at the command of the Holy Spirit.

This text in Acts demonstrate a basic plan for missionary ministry in the New Testament. Basically three things emerge in verse 5:

demonstrate a basic plan for missionary ministry in the New Testament. Basically three things emerge in this short verse

1. Go to the cities.

2. Go to the synagogues first (); but if they don’t listen, proclaim the gospel to the Gentiles.

3. Carry out all ministry as a team

I. Obedience—vv. 4-5.

I. Obedience—vv. 4-5.

They preached in the Jewish synagogue.

The ancient world regarded Cyprus very much like we regard Hawaii or the Bahamas. William Barclay says it was called the “Happy Isle” because its climate was so perfect and its resources so abundant. For some it was a place in the sun or a “Fantasy Island.” But it was also a needy place, the crossroads of the Mediterranean, and a natural place to go to first because Barnabas was from Cyprus. Upon arrival, their method was simple—travel the island from east to west, from Salamis to Paphos, a distance of about ninety miles, preaching the gospel first in the Jewish synagogues but also to the Gentiles.

II. Opposition—vv. 6-8.

The ancient world regarded Cyprus very much like we regard Hawaii or the Bahamas. William Barclay says it was called Markaria or “Happy Isle” because its climate was so perfect and its resources so abundant. For some it was a place in the sun or a “Fantasy Island.” But it was also a needy place, the crossroads of the Mediterranean, and a natural place to go to first because Barnabas was a Cypriot himself. Upon arrival, their method was simple—travel the island from east to west, from Salamis to Paphos, a distance of about ninety miles, preaching the gospel first in the Jewish synagogues but also to the Gentiles.II. Opposition—vv. 6-8.

II. Opposition—vv. 6-8.

The primary work of missions is clearly seen in these two verses.

1. Barnabas and Saul preached the Word.

2. Barnabas and Saul made disciples. They took John Mark with them. The word "minister" (hupēretēn PWS: 2599) means attendant, assistant, helper. Mark was ministering under Barnabas and Paul, being discipled by them—helping, serving, ministering right with them, learning all he could. Apparently he was somewhat younger.

Note the word "also": this could be saying Mark was doing some preaching as well as helping in other areas. Making disciples of young men was one of the major ministries of Paul. He was usually seen with at least several disciples accompanying him. Even on this mission, he seemed to have several whom he was discipling, although they were not named ( "his company," ). Just how Paul went about making disciples of others can be seen in the words of the great commission: "Go ye...and teach [make disciples of] all nations...." (). The word "teach" (metheteusate) means to make disciples. Thus the verse accurately reads, "Go ye therefore and 'make disciples' of all nations...." The point to note is this: our Lord is not only telling us to go and evangelize; He is telling us how to go and how to evangelize. He is not only giving His ultimate objective and overriding purpose; He is giving the method to use in evangelizing the world. Think about the word "metheteusate" (make disciples). What does our Lord mean by make disciples? Is He not telling us to do exactly as He did? What did He do? Christ "came to seek and save that which was lost" (). He sought the lost, those who were willing to commit their lives to Him. And when He found such a person, He saved that person. When Christ found a person who was willing to commit his life, Christ attached Himself to that person. Christ began to mold and make that person into His image. The word attach is the key word. It is probably the word that best describes discipleship. Christ made disciples of men by attaching Himself to them; and through this personal attachment, they were able to observe His life and conversation; and in seeing and hearing, they began to absorb and assimilate His very character and behavior. They began to follow Him and to serve Him more and more closely. In simple terms this is what Paul did. This is the way he made disciples. This was his mission and his method, his obsession. There is another way to describe what Paul did. Paul envisioned something beyond himself, and beyond his day and time. He envisioned an extension of himself, an extension of his very being, and an extension of his mission and method. The way he chose to extend himself was discipling; he attached himself to committed persons, and through attachment, the persons absorbed and assimilated the Lord's very character and mission. Then they in turn attached themselves to others and discipled them. They, too, expected their disciples to make disciples of others who were willing to commit their lives to Christ. They preached throughout the whole area. The governor wanted to hear the message; the sorcerer hinders them.

III. Overcoming—vv. 9-12

A major battle was inevitable. Spiritual warfare is not a fantasy of over-imaginative theologians or novelists. It happens today, and it happened to Paul, Barnabas, and John Mark then—a bare-knuckle, heart-thumping confrontation. The truth is, life is difficult, and sometimes even more so when you choose to follow Christ.

There is a cost to sincere service for Christ.

Never share your faith and you will never look like a fool.

Never stand for righteousness on a social issue and you will never be rejected.

Never walk out of a theater because a movie or play is offensive and you will never be called a prig.

Never practice consistent honesty in business and you will not lose a business associate.

Never reach out to the needy and you will never be taken advantage of. Never give your heart and it will never be broken. Never go to Cyprus and you will never be subjected to confrontation with Satan.

III. Overcoming—vv. 9-12

Rebuke—vv. 9-11. Paul rebukes Ely mas. He becomes blind.

Reception—v. 12. The governor believes. God's power creates faith.

This does not sound Christian. How could Paul talk that way to anyone? He was “filled with the Holy Spirit” (v. 9). It was through the discernment that the Spirit gives that Paul saw the state of Elymas’ heart. The Holy Spirit also fills his children with love. Paul loved God, and he loved Paulus, but “The spirit of love is a Spirit of fire.”

Reception—v. 12. The governor believes. God's power creates faith.

George T. Brooks, George Brooks Preaching Commentary – Expositions from the Book of Acts: Volume 2, (Austin, TX: WORDsearch, 2014), WORDsearch CROSS e-book, Under: "The Church Growing and Satan Challenging".
Croft M. Pentz, Sermon Outline Series – Sermon Outlines from Mark and Acts, (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House Company, 1975), WORDsearch CROSS e-book, 48.
John Phillips, The John Phillips Commentary Series – Exploring Acts: An Expository Commentary, (Grand Rapids, MI: Kregel Publications, 1986), WORDsearch CROSS e-book, 251.
, The Preacher's Outline & Sermon Bible – Acts, (Chattanooga: Leadership Ministries Worldwide, 1991), WORDsearch CROSS e-book, Under: "B. Cyprus, the Island: The Beginning of Missions and Evangelism, 13:4-13".
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