The Gospel Relevant for All People
· Example: Kenya missionary work
o John Shepherd
o Bob Calvert – creator of the storycloth
o Older tried and true methods were not working.
o Newer method that spoke more to the people and communicated the ideas in a unique way to a basically illiterate culture
· Paul’s first missionary journey:
o Travel log to Galatia and Asia Minor (near Paul’s home region)
· Pisidian Antioch – was about 90 miles north
o Roman Colony founded by Seleucus 1 Nicator about 281 B.C. in honor of Antiochus, either his father or son.
o Rugged terrain over the Taursus mountains
o It was 3600 ft. above sea level, with very limited access but through a riverbed that could rich the plateau area.
o Perhaps this is why Paul came down with a sickness ()
o It was later incorporated into the larger province of Galatia in 25 B.C. by Augustus, who posted a large regime of 3,000 veteran soldiers and their families from Italy.
o On the Galatian Plateau the city was positioned near the Via Sabaste, which was a large Roman road that connected Ephesus to the Euphrates.
o This area was highly influential both politically and economically.
o It was the governing and military center for the southern half of the province of Galatia.
o Perhaps this is why Paul chose to go to this city: Strategic church planting helped in the further spread of the Gospel (think missionaries that traveled along known trading routes)
MIT: The Gospel Message transcends time, culture and ethnic barriers and is for All People.
· More than taking a look at why the Gospel is for all people, which I believe is clearly communicated in Christ’s call to go make disciples from every tribe, tongue and nation; I want us to look at Paul’s Sermon to see how we can communicate the Gospel in such a way that this main idea becomes true.
· And by way of application, how we can become better communicators of the Gospel in any situation or context that is outside of our comfort zone.
1. Travel Log Beginning of the Paul’s 1st Missionary Journey: Movement from Paphos to Perga in Pamphylia – to Antioch in Pisidia (Asia Minor or Galatia) (vs. 13-14)
· The issue of John Mark: leaves the company to return to Jerusalem.
· Not sure the reasons why but it was enough of an offense that Paul and Barnabas had a heated discussion: ()
· Continuing the mission work does not mean that things are always going to be easy.
· Sometimes strife can come from within the camp.
· But this is not the end of the story for John Mark. Near the end of Paul’s life here is what he has to say about John Mark. “11 Only Luke is with me. Bring Mark with you, for he is useful to me in the ministry.” ()
· John Mark was restored and would go on to write the Gospel which bears His name.
· Application: No matter if you have failed in your Gospel witness in the past or are failing currently in proclaiming this good news, God is always willing to use His vessels for His glory if they would but repent and turn to Him for support.
· John Mark was fully restored and so can we.
· Why does Paul seek to minister to the Jews first, if there was a synagogue in the area?
1. He loved his brothers and sisters that were lost: “9 I speak the truth in Christ—I am not lying; my conscience testifies to me through the Holy Spirit— 2 that I have great sorrow and unceasing anguish in my heart. 3 For I could wish that I myself were cursed and cut off from Christ for the benefit of my brothers and sisters, my own flesh and blood. 4 They are Israelites, and to them belong the adoption, the glory, the covenants, the giving of the law, the temple service, and the promises. 5 The ancestors are theirs, and from them, by physical descent, came the Christ, who is God over all, praised forever. Amen.” ()
2. He recognized that God is ultimately for the Jews and is not finished with them:
“16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, first to the Jew, and also to the Greek.” ()
“11 I ask, then, have they stumbled so as to fall? Absolutely not! On the contrary, by their transgression, salvation has come to the Gentiles to make Israel jealous. 12 Now if their transgression brings riches for the world, and their failure riches for the Gentiles, how much more will their fullness bring!” ()
Abrahamic Promise: “I will make you into a great nation, I will bless you, I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing. 3 I will bless those who bless you, I will curse anyone who treats you with contempt, and all the peoples on earth will be blessed through you. ()
· Application: If Paul would seek to love his brothers and sisters in their rebellion, how much should we have a desire to reach those that are closest to us whether that be in our family, our neighbors, our co-workers, the places we frequent.
2. The Gospel is given for all to hear and respond. (vs. 15-41)
· Paul’s sermon tracts closely with Peters Sermons recorded in at Pentecost and after the healing of the lame beggar.
· “Luke is evidently anxious to demonstrate that Paul’s message to the Jews was substantially the same as Peter’s; that Paul did not turn to the Gentiles until after he had offered the Gospel to the Jews and been rebuffed; and that, far from being an innovator, Paul was declaring only what God had promised in scripture and had now fulfilled in Jesus.” (BST, p. 222)
· Paul’s framework for How to share the good news of the Gospel:
1. Gain a common ground: (Vs. 16-25) – Recounting of the history of Israel from the Patriarchs to the Monarchs. Emphasis is on God’s Grace.
§ God is the subject of almost all the verbs. (read those verses)
§ Paul is building an argument that God is the orchestrater of all of these events that would culminate in the personal life and ministry of Jesus.
§ You see, “Every Pious Jew knew that the Messiah would come from David’s family, and that a prophet would announce His coming beforehand. John the Baptist was that prophet.” (Wiersbe, pg. 457)
§ In any Gospel presentation, the objective is to make much of God.
§ Where we tend to go wrong is to focus too much on the person or on ourselves and never get around to lifting up God as the primary reason for all of life.
· Application: What are some ways that we can find common ground when are trying to engage someone with the Gospel?
a. You must first get to know them. (For all my salesmen out there this is called building rapport). Ask questions about them and truly desire to hear their answers.
- ex. Our 4 hour talk in Pigeon Forge at a “not” a timeshare presentation
b. Find similar areas of interest to break the ice in the conversation.
c. Realize that you may not be the one to present the Gospel but just plant the seed, therefore leave a good impression.
- ex. of going out door to door with Dr. Reid at SEBTS and talking with the Muslim man.
d. Move to the Gospel and do not just talk with people.
2. Get to the main point: (Vs. 26-37) – the heart of the Gospel: false accusation of our Lord, condemnation to death, resurrection, testimony
§ Notice how closely Paul’s presentation fits to that which was given to the Corinthian church.
§ “15 Now I want to make clear for you, brothers and sisters, the gospel I preached to you, which you received, on which you have taken your stand 2 and by which you are being saved, if you hold to the message I preached to you—unless you believed in vain. 3 For I passed on to you as most important what I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4 that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, 5 and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the Twelve. 6 Then he appeared to over five hundred brothers and sisters at one time; most of them are still alive, but some have fallen asleep. 7 Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles. 8 Last of all, as to one born at the wrong time, he also appeared to me.” (1 cor. 15:1-8)
§ Luther “It should be noted that by this book St. Luke teachers the whole of Christendom . . . that the true and chief article of Christian doctrine is this: We must all be justified alone by faith in Jesus Christ, without any contribution from the law or help from our works. This doctrine is the chief intention of the book and the author’s principal reasons for writing it.” (Preface to the Acts of the Apostles, p. 226)
3. Give a Call to Respond: (Vs. 38-41) – warning and call to response
§ “therefore” – shifts the idea now to application
§ Vs. 39 – “Freed” also translated justified – declared righteous in the sight of God, through Jesus
§ Justification through Christ not our own works – “10 For all who rely on the works of the law are under a curse, because it is written, Everyone who does not do everything written in the book of the law is cursed. 11 Now it is clear that no one is justified before God by the law, because the righteous will live by faith. 12 But the law is not based on faith; instead, the one who does these things will live by them.13 Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us, because it is written, Cursed is everyone who is hung on a tree. 14 The purpose was that the blessing of Abraham would come to the Gentiles by Christ Jesus, so that we could receive the promised Spirit through faith.” (gal. 3:10-14)
§ How to be justified “16 and yet because we know that a person is not justified by the works of the law but by faith in Jesus Christ, even we ourselves have believed in Christ Jesus. This was so that we might be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the law, because by the works of the law no human being will be justified.” ()
§ , – “to the Jew first”
3. The reaction of the people. (vs. 42-48)
· “light to the gentiles” - he says, “It is not enough for you to be my servant raising up the tribes of Jacob and restoring the protected ones of Israel. I will also make you a light for the nations, to be my salvation to the ends of the earth.” ()
4. The Word of the Lord continues to spread. (vs. 49-52)
· The Gospel continues to move outward in a similar pattern that Luke has been using to show the forward march of the Gospel to all the nations
· Notice the link once again to suffering and Christian joy.
1. Join us tonight for our prayer journey.
· Fill out Outreach Questionnaire, if you did not already from Sunday School
2. Talk to a friend this week and share your testimony with them and ask for helpful critique and honing.
· Still uncomfortable about sharing your faith, then pick up “Sharing Jesus without freaking out”
3. Pray and seek to share the Gospel this week in a different context than you are used too.