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10:00am

 
If you plan to visit, calling ahead is advised due to the obscurity of our location.

Christ Church—Radford

6226 University Park Drive

Radford, VA 24141

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A Sending Church & A Saving Christ (Acts 13:1-43)

A Sending Church & A Saving Christ (Acts 13:1-43)
Sermon Link

I. Setting the Stage (verses 1-12)

Mission endeavors and efforts are the responsibility of the church. They are not to be reserved solely for the “mission-minded” or only those who sense a particular calling. All Christians, because they worship God, will be concerned for God’s worship in the world. Worship leads to a real recognition that others should know God, which then drives us to prayer that God would send the gospel to the nations through His ministers. Through their prayers, the Holy Spirit led the church in Antioch to set apart Paul and Barnabas for the work of missions. There’s no doubt that Barnabas and Paul had a desire and call to serve as ministers of the gospel, but even their inward call was not enough. Instead, their inward desire must be confirmed by the outward call from their local church. They had no freedom to be “lone-ranger” preachers or self-appointed ministers. God’s design for ministry is that the church prayerfully recognize and confirm the call of those the Lord is raising up for ministry.

Paul and Barnabas began by speaking in Jewish synagogues (v5). Though Paul was the apostle to the Gentiles, and though it had been made clear that Gentiles were to be included in the church through the gospel, it in no way meant the exclusion of the Jews. There was no distinction or specific target of Antioch’s evangelistic efforts. Jews in the synagogue and Gentiles on the street were equally in the crosshairs of gospel proclamation. Whether in proclaiming the gospel to a Jewish false prophet (v6) or a proconsul (v7), Paul was versatile in his ability to deal with people who are at different places spiritually. 

When the magician was made blind for a time, the power of God was shown to be superior to that of the magicians. When the proconsul saw it, Luke doesn’t say that he was amazed by the “power of God,” but rather by “the teaching of the Lord” (v12). Whereas the magician was judged for unbelief, the proconsul believed the Word of the Lord.

II. Old Testament Overview (verses 13-25)

When asked to give a word of exhortation, Paul gives a sermon similar to that of Stephen in Acts 7, outlining an overview of Old Testament history. One thing is made clear in Paul’s summary of Israel’s history: God is the subject of al the activity. God chose Israel’s fathers, made them great, delivered them, put up with them in the wilderness, destroyed their enemies, gave them the land, gave them judges, gave them Saul, removed Saul and raised up David. And it was God, too, who brought forth Jesus from the descendants of David.

IV. Concerning Christ as Promised by the Prophets (verses 26-41)

Just as had been promised through the prophets, God brought salvation to us through the Savior. Though Jesus was put to death and buried, God raised Him from the dead and the message of salvation, the same message promised in the Old Testament, is now proclaimed in His name (Ps 2:7, Isaiah 55:3, 2 Samuel 7:8-16). Paul explains salvation as both forgiveness of sins and freedom (vv38-39). Freedom is not attained through a long process carried out by us,  but it is given instantly in Christ the moment we are justified and declared righteous by God (Romans 5:1). On the other hand, failure to respond to God’s offer of the gospel will mean judgment (vv40-41). Though many were undecided after Paul’s sermon and uncommitted to following Christ, there is indication that others responded to the message of hope that was proclaimed (vv42-43). In fact, Paul’s preaching won him an invitation to come back next week.

- What does it mean that missions is the "responsibility of the church"? What are the dangers of viewing missions as an individual endeavor separate from the local church? In what sense are ministers of the gospel sent both by the Holy Spirit and the church?

- What is the central theme of Paul’s sermon in the synagogue? What does His sermon tell us about the sovereignty of God? What does it tell us about the work that Christ accomplished according to God’s plan of redemption?

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