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Acts 13_1-13 The Winning Team

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The Winning Team

Acts 13:1-13

Secular: Some People make things happen, other watch things happen and there are those who are left wondering what happened….

  • It shouldn’t be about flash… and we delight when it isn’t!
    • Highest payroll in hockey NYR (Vancouver)
    • Settled situation in Baseball Yankees (Montreal)

We love it when the right attitude and heart prevail!!

n      Then we want to be apart of the winning team….

Biblical: NAU Acts 13:1 Now there were at Antioch, in the church that was there, prophets and teachers: Barnabas, and Simeon who was called Niger, and Lucius of Cyrene, and Manaen who had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch, and Saul. 2 While they were ministering to the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, "Set apart for Me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them." 3 Then, when they had fasted and prayed and laid their hands on them, they sent them away. 4 So, being sent out by the Holy Spirit, they went down to Seleucia and from there they sailed to Cyprus. 5 When they reached Salamis, they began to proclaim the word of God in the synagogues of the Jews; and they also had John as their helper. 6 When they had gone through the whole island as far as Paphos, they found a magician, a Jewish false prophet whose name was Bar-Jesus, 7 who was with the proconsul, Sergius Paulus, a man of intelligence. This man summoned Barnabas and Saul and sought to hear the word of God. 8 But Elymas the magician (for so his name is translated) was opposing them, seeking to turn the proconsul away from the faith. 9 But Saul, who was also known as Paul, filled with the Holy Spirit, fixed his gaze on him, 10 and said, "You who are full of all deceit and fraud, you son of the devil, you enemy of all righteousness, will you not cease to make crooked the straight ways of the Lord? 11 "Now, behold, the hand of the Lord is upon you, and you will be blind and not see the sun for a time." And immediately a mist and a darkness fell upon him, and he went about seeking those who would lead him by the hand. 12 Then the proconsul believed when he saw what had happened, being amazed at the teaching of the Lord. 13 Now Paul and his companions put out to sea from Paphos and came to Perga in Pamphylia; but John left them and returned to Jerusalem.

Personal:

  •  Antioch was a great place to be!!
  •  It was a beachhead for the faith in the gentile world
  •  Sent money back to support the Jerusalem church
  •  Acts 11:21… says a large number had come to faith…
  •  Why was this place grooving…
  •  fancy leaders, with fancy ideas, new-fangled of the wall… might work in the secular world…
  • No… committed to Great Commission… committed to  Acts 2:42 - continually devoting themselves to the apostles' teaching and to fellowship, to bthe breaking of bread and to prayer

Bridge:

  •  Spiritual Leadership
  •  Spiritual Ministry / Mission
  •  Spiritual Opposition
  •  Spiritual Victory

Body:

1) Spiritual Leadership

NAU Acts 13:1 Now there were at Antioch, in the church that was there, prophets and teachers: Barnabas, and Simeon who was called Niger, and Lucius of Cyrene, and Manaen who had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch, and Saul.

  •  Winning Team… is a team that accomplishes its goal… is effective… Just like a a good coach makes a big difference to a swimmer or figure skater… most professional teams…
  •  This watershed church had 5 key men…
    • Barnabas
    • Simeon
    • Lucius
    • Manaen
    • Saul / Paul
  •  Prophets and teachers
    • Prophets – “Proclaimers
    • Teachers – Instructors… above proclamation
    • (we see as NT history unfolds… becomes Pastor / Teacher [traditional Elder])
  • Nature of leadership
    • Barnabas – Son of Encouragement
      • Interceded w/ Believers Re: Saul
      • Acts 9:27 But Barnabas took hold of him and brought him to the apostles and described to them how he had seen the Lord on the road, and that He had talked to him, and how at Damascus he had spoken out boldly in the name of Jesus.
      • Tough spot… tough leadership
      • Barnabas took collection to Jerusalem
        • No animosity (contest)
        • Acts 11:30
    • Lucius in Herod household (gk. foster-child)
      • Again tough to support…
  •  Shepherds of effectiveness and impact!!
  •  Spiritual Leadership

2) Spiritual Ministry and Mission

2 While they were ministering to the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, "Set apart for Me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them." 3 Then, when they had fasted and prayed and laid their hands on them, they sent them away. 4 So, being sent out by the Holy Spirit, they went down to Seleucia and from there they sailed to Cyprus. 5 When they reached Salamis, they began to proclaim the word of God in the synagogues of the Jews; and they also had John as their helper.

  •  Audience for ministry… the Lord!
    • Focus for ministry
    • Theo-centric
    • Not Anthropocentric
  • Fasted for focus… Spiritual Discipline
    • Obviously take focus of self!
  •  Set-apart… from those already active in ministry
    • Didn’t dust off idle Christians…
    • Saul and Barnabas already active!
  •  We are called to be used!
    • We need to be focused as we enter ministry
    • Take time to fast… focus
    • Take time to pray… seek God
  •  After seeking and focusing… praying… before God
    • They committed their BEST (Barnabas and Saul)
  • The church stood behind those they committed…
    • Laid Hands…
    • Public Support
    • Visually demonstrated what they sought prayer for!
  •  Released to ministry…
  • To engage the Mission… Gospel of Hope to a needy world.
  • Recognized the need afar (Cyprus)… faithful to Great Commission!
  • Recognized the need afar (Jerusalem)… faithful to Great Commandment!
  •  Spiritual Ministry and Mission

With Spiritual Leadership guiding the church into their Spiritual Ministry and Mission… we will face Spiritual Opposition

3) Spiritual Opposition

6 When they had gone through the whole island as far as Paphos, they found a magician, a Jewish false prophet whose name was Bar-Jesus, 7 who was with the proconsul, Sergius Paulus, a man of intelligence. This man summoned Barnabas and Saul and sought to hear the word of God. 8 But Elymas the magician (for so his name is translated) was opposing them, seeking to turn the proconsul away from the faith. ((…13 Now Paul and his companions put out to sea from Paphos and came to Perga in Pamphylia; but John left them and returned to Jerusalem.))

  • We have talked about Spiritual Opposition
  • If you are on the radar (making an impact) you will draw attention…
  •  When you challenge The Prince of Darkness on his turf… you can expect a fight!!
  • Magician (Magi) wise man, mathematician, astrologer
    • NAMED Son of Joshua
    • Advisor to pro-consul (who was a learned fellow)
    • Intrigued by the powerful message
    • Elymas (Bar-Jesus)… was sensitive to job security
    • No E.I. or Welfare… good job to hang around pro-consul
    • Get the threat out…
      • Faith challenge
      • Moral Challenge
      • Societal Challenge (not Politically Correct)
      • Job Challenge
  • Even Christians are turned against one-another… when we loose focus…
  • Man-Centred versus… God-Centred… Theo-centric John… left them and returned to Jerusalem.
    • John… afraid of robbers in mountains of Pamphylia… (2 Cor 11:26)
    • Or maybe… displeased with Saul taking ascendancy over Barnabas….
    • But he was used as a wedge between the dynamic duo of Paul and Barnabas
  • Internal dissension, division, and disunity continue to disrupt works of God that have stood fast against the storms of external opposition…
  • Spiritual Opposition… is inevitable…
  • Spiritual Opposition… is a threat we need to prepare for…
  • Pray together, worship together, have humility…
  • Spiritual Opposition…

4) Spiritual Victory

9 But Saul, who was also known as Paul, filled with the Holy Spirit, fixed his gaze on him, 10 and said, "You who are full of all deceit and fraud, you son of the devil, you enemy of all righteousness, will you not cease to make crooked the straight ways of the Lord? 11 "Now, behold, the hand of the Lord is upon you, and you will be blind and not see the sun for a time." And immediately a mist and a darkness fell upon him, and he went about seeking those who would lead him by the hand. 12 Then the proconsul believed when he saw what had happened, being amazed at the teaching of the Lord.

  • We turn back to the pro-consul…
    • Paul focuses on Bar-Jesus (the Magician)
    • Opens up on him…
    • Didn’t toy… a soul (souls) is at Stake…
  • Paul said… “every faith is equal”… there are many paths to God…
  •  No Paul said… You who are full of all deceit and fraud, you son of the devil, you enemy of all righteousness, will you not cease to make crooked the straight ways of the Lord?
  •  Deceit = gk. To snare…
  • A Cult is a faith that twists enough of the faith to make crooked the paths of the Lord…
  • … JW’s Bible sounds similar… disbelief in the Deity of Christ
  •  … Mormon’s and there belief in a second revelation… (denial of the Virgin Birth)
  • Muslim… Disregard for Scripture… denial of deity of Christ… Works based faith…

  • When we reveal the power of God…
    • God’s Word
    • Sovereign God           
    • God’s Holy Spirit
    • Gospel of Christ
  • Spiritual Victory in the POWER OF GOD
  • God softened is heart… and the Pro-consul believed
  • We entered into a relationship with God…
  • In that relationship we are gaurenteed to have Spiritual Vitcory… to be part of the Winning Team - -  an Effective Church

Conclusion:

1)      Spiritual Leadership

  • Training…
  •  Identifying… Timothy and Titus… (church)
    • as well as ministries
    • (Elders) accountable to standard that all are to attain
  •  Praying for…

2)      Spiritual Ministry and Mission

  • Theo-centric…
    • Not about desire
    • Not about favourites
    • Not about a mall… about God…
  •  BE active…
  • Be ready…
  • Be focused…
  • Be praying!!

3)      Spiritual Opposition

  •  Be prepared
  • Maintain focus…
  •  Remember…
    • Externally is bad
    • Internally is worse…
    • DO NOT LOOSE THE MISSION
  •  It is all about Christ!!

4)      Spiritual Victory

  •  Spiritual Victory is in the POWER OF GOD
  • Good Spiritual Leadership
  • Good Spiritual Ministry and a Spiritual Mission
  •  Lead to Spiriutal Opposition…
  •  But when we embrace the Power, Presence and Message of God… we overcome… with Spiritual Victory…
  • Matthew 16:18 "I also say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock (true FAITH) I will build My church; and the gates of Hades will not overpower it.
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