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Acts 14_1-28 Quality Products

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Acts 14:1-28

Quality Products

Secular:

  •  When you are baking bread…
    • You need good yeast
    • You need good flour
    • Good ingredients make a good product!
  • Okay fellas… translation
    • It takes a reliable engine
    • It takes a reliable transmission
    • Good parts make a good vehicle
  • When we look at the ministry of Paul and Barnabas… we see that they had some wonderful characteristics…
    • Other than Spirit-Giftedness… most of the character traits are ones that we can all employ…

Biblical: NAU Acts 14:1 In Iconium they entered the synagogue of the Jews together, and spoke in such a manner that a large number of people believed, both of Jews and of Greeks. 2 But the Jews who disbelieved stirred up the minds of the Gentiles and embittered them against the brethren. 3 Therefore they spent a long time there speaking boldly with reliance upon the Lord, who was testifying to the word of His grace, granting that signs and wonders be done by their hands. 4 But the people of the city were divided; and some sided with the Jews, and some with the apostles. 5 And when an attempt was made by both the Gentiles and the Jews with their rulers, to mistreat and to stone them, 6 they became aware of it and fled to the cities of Lycaonia, Lystra and Derbe, and the surrounding region; 7 and there they continued to preach the gospel. 8 At Lystra a man was sitting who had no strength in his feet, lame from his mother's womb, who had never walked. 9 This man was listening to Paul as he spoke, who, when he had fixed his gaze on him and had seen that he had faith to be made well, 10 said with a loud voice, "Stand upright on your feet." And he leaped up and began to walk. 11 When the crowds saw what Paul had done, they raised their voice, saying in the Lycaonian language, "The gods have become like men and have come down to us." 12 And they began calling Barnabas, Zeus, and Paul, Hermes, because he was the chief speaker. 13 The priest of Zeus, whose temple was just outside the city, brought oxen and garlands to the gates, and wanted to offer sacrifice with the crowds. 14 But when the apostles Barnabas and Paul heard of it, they tore their robes and rushed out into the crowd, crying out 15 and saying, "Men, why are you doing these things? We are also men of the same nature as you, and preach the gospel to you that you should turn from these vain things to a living God, WHO MADE THE HEAVEN AND THE EARTH AND THE SEA AND ALL THAT IS IN THEM. 16 "In the generations gone by He permitted all the nations to go their own ways; 17 and yet He did not leave Himself without witness, in that He did good and gave you rains from heaven and fruitful seasons, satisfying your hearts with food and gladness." 18 Even saying these things, with difficulty they restrained the crowds from offering sacrifice to them. 19 But Jews came from Antioch and Iconium, and having won over the crowds, they stoned Paul and dragged him out of the city, supposing him to be dead. 20 But while the disciples stood around him, he got up and entered the city. The next day he went away with Barnabas to Derbe. 21 After they had preached the gospel to that city and had made many disciples, they returned to Lystra and to Iconium and to Antioch, 22 strengthening the souls of the disciples, encouraging them to continue in the faith, and saying, "Through many tribulations we must enter the kingdom of God." 23 When they had appointed elders for them in every church, having prayed with fasting, they commended them to the Lord in whom they had believed. 24 They passed through Pisidia and came into Pamphylia. 25 When they had spoken the word in Perga, they went down to Attalia. 26 From there they sailed to Antioch, from which they had been commended to the grace of God for the work that they had accomplished. 27 When they had arrived and gathered the church together, they began to report all things that God had done with them and how He had opened a door of faith to the Gentiles. 28 And they spent a long time with the disciples.

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Body:

Spirit-Giftedness (for ministry)

  • Teaching - strengthening the souls of the disciples v. 22
  •  Exhortation - encouraging them to continue in the faith v.22
  • Leadership - When they had appointed elders for them in every church, having prayed with fasting, they commended them to the Lord in whom they had believed. V.23
  • Romans 12:7 if service, in his serving; or he who teaches, in his teaching; 8 or he who exhorts, in his exhortation; he who gives, with liberality; he who leads, with diligence; he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness.
  •  NAU 1 Peter 4:10 As each one has received a special gift, employ it in serving one another as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.

  • Paul and Barnabas set apart for Ministry…
  •  Spiritual – Giftedness….

Boldness

  • Acts 14:1 In Iconium they entered the synagogue of the Jews together, and spoke in such a manner that a large number of people believed, both of Jews and of Greeks. 2 But the Jews who disbelieved stirred up the minds of the Gentiles and embittered them against the brethren. 3 Therefore they spent a long time there speaking boldly with reliance upon the Lord, who was testifying to the word of His grace, granting that signs and wonders be done by their hands. 4 But the people of the city were divided; and some sided with the Jews, and some with the apostles. 5 And when an attempt was made by both the Gentiles and the Jews with their rulers, to mistreat and to stone them, 6 they became aware of it and fled to the cities of Lycaonia, Lystra and Derbe, and the surrounding region; 7 and there they continued to preach the gospel.
  •  Met opposition…
    • Synagogue first (Jewish Protocol)
  •  Jews and Greeks responded…
    • OT Promise to NT Fulfillment
  •  …response to opposition
    • v. 3Therefore they spent a long time there speaking boldly with reliance upon the Lord
      • Stay (acts of boldness)
      • Speak (acts of boldness)
      • God confirms the message
  • NAU Acts 4:19 But Peter and John answered and said to them, "Whether it is right in the sight of God to give heed to you rather than to God, you be the judge; 20 for we cannot stop speaking about what we have seen and heard."

  • See the Word of God divides…
  •  As success continues… opposition smoulders… leaps into flame!!
  •  BOLDNESS

Humility

8 At Lystra a man was sitting who had no strength in his feet, lame from his mother's womb, who had never walked. 9 This man was listening to Paul as he spoke, who, when he had fixed his gaze on him and had seen that he had faith to be made well, 10 said with a loud voice, "Stand upright on your feet." And he leaped up and began to walk. 11 When the crowds saw what Paul had done, they raised their voice, saying in the Lycaonian language, "The gods have become like men and have come down to us." 12 And they began calling Barnabas, Zeus, and Paul, Hermes, because he was the chief speaker. 13 The priest of Zeus, whose temple was just outside the city, brought oxen and garlands to the gates, and wanted to offer sacrifice with the crowds. 14 But when the apostles Barnabas and Paul heard of it, they tore their robes and rushed out into the crowd, crying out 15 and saying, "Men, why are you doing these things? We are also men of the same nature as you, and preach the gospel to you that you should turn from these vain things to a living God, WHO MADE THE HEAVEN AND THE EARTH AND THE SEA AND ALL THAT IS IN THEM. 16 "In the generations gone by He permitted all the nations to go their own ways; 17 and yet He did not leave Himself without witness, in that He did good and gave you rains from heaven and fruitful seasons, satisfying your hearts with food and gladness." 18 Even saying these things, with difficulty they restrained the crowds from offering sacrifice to them.

  • Wonderful things happen (when the Gospel msg is boldy declared!!)…
    •  Ministry Success
    • Demonstrations of God’s Power
    • Warning… SPIRITUAL PRIDE!!
  •  We have been warned!!
    • NAU 1 Peter 5:5 You younger men, likewise, be subject to your elders; and all of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, for GOD IS OPPOSED TO THE PROUD, BUT GIVES GRACE TO THE HUMBLE. 6 Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time,
    • NAU James 4:6 But He gives a greater grace. Therefore it says, "GOD IS OPPOSED TO THE PROUD, BUT GIVES GRACE TO THE HUMBLE."
    • NAU James 4:10 Humble yourselves in the presence of the Lord, and He will exalt you.
  • Paul demonstrates the reality of humility…
    • NAU 2 Corinthians 12:9 And He has said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness." Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me. 10 Therefore I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ's sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong.
  •   Roman Poet Ovid – tells of the story of Zeus and Hermes coming to the people incognito
  • A Priest of Zeus… responds… wants to praise and honour them…
    • Their Reaction… Tore robes… (Jewish sign of Horror and blasephemy!!)
  •  PAUL and BARNABAS know Religion apart from GOD is Vain!!
    • PEOPLE
    • IDOLS
    • Anything / anyone apart from God… and God has made it clear to all!!
  • NAU Romans 1:18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, 19 because that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them. 20 For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse.

  • The High Honour Sought and Bestowed by society is revolting to a servant of God!! We are not people worshippers… WE ARE GOD WORSHIPPERS!!

  • HUMILITY

Persistence

  • 19 But Jews came from Antioch and Iconium, and having won over the crowds, they stoned Paul and dragged him out of the city, supposing him to be dead. 20 But while the disciples stood around him, he got up and entered the city. The next day he went away with Barnabas to Derbe. 21 After they had preached the gospel to that city and had made many disciples, they returned to Lystra and to Iconium and to Antioch
  •  I saw a soldier in a fire-fight on TV. He already had a Purple-Heart from the Gulf War… He was shot in an ambush on a Baghdad bridge… as the medic patched up his leg… he continued to fight leaning the edge of his APC. He was persistent… focus on his task…
  •  The Jews from Antioch and Iconium won over some of the crowd… and they stoned Paul (this wasn’t a hail of pea gravel… this was a serious attempt to take his life…
  •  Bloodied and battered they dragged his limp body out of the city…
  •   It was the ultimate “Dust off of Sandals move” Not even your blaspheming corpse is welcome here…
  • And as the shocked, saddened and scared disciples (faithful) stood around… he arose… though left for dead God had other plans…
  •  Paul did not stand up scratch his head and say… “I don’t feel God is blessing my ministry!”
  •  He carried on! He had a Great Commission to live!!
  • Timothy was probably witness to all of this…
    • It says he “he went away with Barnabas to Derbe. 21 After they had preached the gospel to that city and had made many disciples”
    • Talk about keeping you eye on the ball
      • Baseball
      • Golf    
    • NAU Ephesians 5:16 making the most of your time, because the days are evil.
  • Persistence

Caring

21 After they had preached the gospel to that city and had made many disciples, they returned to Lystra and to Iconium and to Antioch, 22 strengthening the souls of the disciples, encouraging them to continue in the faith, and saying, "Through many tribulations we must enter the kingdom of God." 23 When they had appointed elders for them in every church, having prayed with fasting, they commended them to the Lord in whom they had believed.

  •  Beaten and Battered… their concern was for the people of Lystra, Iconium & Antioch
    • “not about licking wounds”
    • or to declare personal victory
    • but to minister… to strengthen and encourage
      • Our tough times… Are our ministry times
  •  When we stand firm on the Rock
    • we can show great caring
      • teaching (strengthening souls)
      • encouraging (fellowship, exhorting, building up, challenging)
    • NAU John 8:31 So Jesus was saying to those Jews who had believed Him, "If you continue in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine;
    • NAU Hebrews 3:6 but Christ was faithful as a Son over His house-- whose house we are, if we hold fast our confidence and the boast of our hope firm until the end.
  •   These guys appointed leadership – caring includes building up people and systems of care
  • They prayed for them
  • They fasted…
  • They commended them to the Lord…
  • THIS is REAL CARING!!

Commitment

24 They passed through Pisidia and came into Pamphylia. 25 When they had spoken the word in Perga, they went down to Attalia.

  •  Beaten and Battered… they carried on their mission… showed commitment… showed belief… showed that they believed in their Saviour and his promise of hope!
  •  Continued on their mission… stopped in Perga on their way home…
    • Ministry was their priority
    • Only after finishing their task (sharing the Gospel, making disciples and baptizing)… then  they headed to the Seaport of Attalia… to sail home.
  •  They truly counted the cost…
  • Luke 14: 28 "For which one of you, when he wants to build a tower, does not first sit down and calculate the cost to see if he has enough to complete it?

 29 "Otherwise, when he has laid a foundation and is not able to finish, all who observe it begin to ridicule him,

 30 saying, 'This man began to build and was not able to finish.'

 31 "Or what king, when he sets out to meet another king in battle, will not first sit down and consider whether he is strong enough with ten thousand men to encounter the one coming against him with twenty thousand?

 32 "Or else, while the other is still far away, he sends a delegation and asks for terms of peace.

  • Then when the task is complete they can head home…
  • That is real… Commitment   

Reverence

26 From there they sailed to Antioch, from which they had been commended to the grace of God for the work that they had accomplished. 27 When they had arrived and gathered the church together, they began to report all things that God had done with them and how He had opened a door of faith to the Gentiles. 28 And they spent a long time with the disciples.

  • Throughout this journey they maintained a proper relationship with God!!
  •  As they recount the trip… the preaching, the stonings, Baptisms… etc. they don’t declare it to their own glory…
  • … they began to report all things that God had done with them and how He had opened a door of faith to the Gentiles
  •  It is all about Jesus… his hope, his sacrifice, his Gospel
  • It is all about the Father… his perfect plan, his sovereign plan
  • It is all about the Holy Spirit… his transforming power, his promise of comfort and rebirth
  • It is all about our glorious God… Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen.

Conclusion:

  •  Spirit-Giftedness
  •  Boldness
  • Humility
  • Persistence
  • Caring
  • Commitment
  • Reverence 

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