By REV. CHRIS SHELTON
Antioch is a town that ought to be etched in the minds and hearts of Christians. It was a important town in northern Syria. Here the first the vast majority Gentile church was planted, and Antioch became the springboard for missions throughout the Roman Empire. And it was right here believers have been first termed Christians (Acts 11:26). Luke tells us how the church there got began.
Christians who fled persecution in Jerusalem settled in Antioch. They did not just hide away they started to notify folks about Christ. At 1st it was only to the Jews in Antioch, but then some Christians with roots from Cyprus and Cyrene started talking to Greeks. They preached the Lord Jesus (verse 20).
To preach the Lord Jesus intended they spoke of his particular person and functions. That he was the Son of God, did mighty will work simply because God was with him, was crucified by men according to the intent of God to be an atoning sacrifice for sin, was raised from the dead, and will be the judge of all adult males. He phone calls on adult males without the need of distinction to think and flip to him for the remission of their sins.
We see that a great number of persons considered and turned to the Lord (verse 21). The church in Jerusalem read the news and sent Barnabas (a blessed decision) to minister to the youthful and increasing church. When he arrived, he rejoiced at the grace of God and commenced to exhort them to continue to be trustworthy (verse 21). The church continued to grow, so Barnabas traveled to Tarsus to solicit the help of Saul (Paul), and alongside one another they taught the saints at Antioch for the up coming year (verse 26).
We find out right here how excellent grace is to “believe and change to the Lord.” It usually means leaving dying for existence, darkness for light-weight, guilt for forgiveness. And it means an everlasting inheritance in the kingdom of God. By faith you develop into a baby of God eternally. These Greeks turned absent from idolatry, immorality, Caesar, and other points they had regarded all their times to the Lord Jesus. That took religion.
You ought to make guaranteed you have considered and turned to the Lord. It is pride to refuse a command of the Lord to appear to him and reside. Religion is obedience, listening to and heeding the term of the Lord. If you have read the gospel, you have been summoned by him. Christ arrived from heaven to mend sinners. He is equivalent to the will need you have. Be like the individuals in Antioch and lay maintain of Christ.
We also see that Barnabas exhorted the Christians to continue to be devoted with steadfast purpose. He realized they have been becoming tested and would be tested further. Satan loathes seeing people flip to Christ, and the earth under his ability is versus the truth of the matter of God.
Coming to Christ does not suggest an effortless journey via this world. Instead, the Lord tells his people that it is by many tribulations we enter the kingdom of God, and that if the world hated him, do not be stunned that it hates you. The saints in Antioch would have to depend the value of pursuing Christ as we all do.
Having steadfast intent is linked to being pure in heart. In other words and phrases, to place away a divided heart, put your hand on the plow and not seem absent. Hold your eyes on the Lord, search for to do his will and bear in mind your identify is created in heaven.
Samuel Rutherford wrote, “How soon a number of yrs will pass and this life’s lease be expired. O joyful soul eternally! Who can rightly compare this lifestyle with its vanity and the lasting lifetime to occur with its body weight of glory? Do not permit the Lord’s dealings appear to be harsh, tough, or unfatherly due to the fact they are disagreeable. When his blessed will blows throughout your desires, it is greatest to strike sail in humility, and deny by yourself so you have no will of your personal. Give yourself as a reward to God to make use of for his will. Just about every day make extra and much more of Christ, and examination your growth in the grace of God.”
Luke tells us in verses 27 that Agabus the prophet foretold of a famine that would be difficult on the men and women in Judea. So the saints in Antioch decided to get up an featuring to send relief to the Christians there. Generosity is fruit of the Christian religion.
The motive that Paul presents to the church in Corinth to give generously is enough: “For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that even though he was abundant, however for your sake he turned lousy, so that you by his poverty may possibly develop into loaded.”