Sunday, August 26, 2012

From Acts to Revelation Part 41 – Paul and Barnabas Disagree

From Acts to Revelation
Part 41 – Paul and Barnabas Disagree
Pastor Bruce A. Shields
House of Faith Church | |

This week, we will look at Paul and Barnabas preparing for their second missionary trip to confirm the churches they have established throughout the land.

It has been approximately one year since the Jerusalem Council had sent Paul and Barnabas back to Antioch with Judas and Silas, with a letter explaining that circumcision and obedience to the Law was not required of gentiles to receive Salvation.

Judas had returned to Jerusalem, but Silas stayed. We will see why the Holy Spirit prompted him to stay in Antioch and train along side Paul for a year in the scripture reading today.

The Holy Spirit calls Paul and Barnabas to a second missionary trip, to return the churches they had established, and confirm that they were still preaching and teaching the Word of the Lord.

Barnabas wants to take Mark, whom they took a previous time, but Paul says no, because he abandoned them last time, and did not complete the mission trip.

An argument breaks out, and Paul and Barnabas part ways.

In today’s scripture, we shall see;

1.      How important obedience is.
2.      How we should not alter what God tells us.
3.      How even good people can stray.
4.      And how God will provide a plan B to fulfill His will


Acts 15:36-41
36 Some time later Paul said to Barnabas, “Let us go back and visit the believers in all the towns where we preached the word of the Lord and see how they are doing.” 37 Barnabas wanted to take John, also called Mark, with them, 38 but Paul did not think it wise to take him, because he had deserted them in Pamphylia and had not continued with them in the work. 39 They had such a sharp disagreement that they parted company. Barnabas took Mark and sailed for Cyprus, 40 but Paul chose Silas and left, commended by the believers to the grace of the Lord. 41 He went through Syria and Cilicia, strengthening the churches.

a.      The Holy Spirit said at the beginning of the first missionary trip in the Jerusalem Church; “Set apart for me Paul and Barnabas for the work I have called them to...”
i.       The Holy Spirit did not mention Mark.

ii.    The Holy Spirit did not give them permission to chose whom “they” wanted.

iii. When God gives instruction, His blessings, His protection, His guidance is within the boundaries of obedience.

b.     Barnabas 'insisted' on taking Mark
i.       Paul tried to explain to Barnabas that it was not a good idea.

ii.    Paul reminded Barnabas of what happened the last time they took Mark.
a.      “he had deserted them in Pamphylia and had not continued with them in the work.”

b.     Mark was not “called” for this work, and therefore, was not prepared

c.      Any time we do something outside of God's will, we should not expect God's blessing, protection, guidance, or success.

d.     Because Mark was not called, he could not perform as needed.

iii. Barnabas would not let it go, he wanted mark to go.

c.      Verse 39 tells us that they argued to the point of anger, and left each others presence angry about taking Mark.
i.       Barnabas continued in his own will, taking Mark, and sailed to Cyprus.

ii.    Paul continued in God's will.

iii. Barnabas will not be mentioned again in the Book of Acts, but we should not forget all of the Godliness and great things he accomplished when he was working with Paul in the first mission trip, and obeying God's will.

a.      God, in His great omniscience, knew that Barnabas would part from Paul
i.       This is why in verse 34, we see that after the Jerusalem Council sent Judas and Silas with Paul and Barnabas to Antioch with the Jerusalem Letter explaining Circumcision and the laws were not necessary for a Gentile to receive Salvation, Judas returned to Jerusalem, but Silas stayed.

ii.    God was preparing Silas to take Barnabas' place with Paul on the second missionary trip.

iii. Since the arrival of Silas, and the parting of Barnabas, it has been about one year, so Silas has been with Paul long enough to learn the ways of the Lord, and teach them.

b.     When God sets His will in motion, he always has a backup plan
i.       God knows our shortcomings, and weaknesses.

ii.    He always has back up plans for when we fail.

iii. If God wants someone to hear the message of the Cross, and I fail to give that person the message God called me to, then God's back up plan kicks into effect, and the message of the Cross will still be given.

c.      However, I have still failed to be obedient
i.       Just because God has a back up, does not relieve us from our responsibility.

ii.    God calls us to be obedient
iii. When we do not do what He has called us to, we are disobedient

iv.   Just because He has a backup plan, does not free us from responsibility.

a.      Although Barnabas parted from Paul, Paul continued
i.       Paul was going to be obedient, regardless of others actions

ii.    Paul knew what the holy Spirit had called him to do, and he would do it

b.     We cannot allow outward circumstances to change our obedience
i.       When God calls us, He prepares us

ii.    When God tells us to do something, He will enable us to do it

iii. If others fail, God will provide a backup plan

iv.   All we need to do is trust in Him

c.      Paul took Silas, and continued to the Churches
i.       Confirming Syria, Cilicia, teaching in each church to ensure they were preaching and teaching the Word.


In today's scripture, we see;

1.      How important obedience is. - Barnabas and Paul followed the Holy Spirit.
2.      How we should not alter what God tells us. - Barnabas wanted to do things his way.
3.      How even good people can stray. - Barnabas refused to obey.
4.      And How God will provide a plan B to fulfill His will – God prepared Silas for Paul.

Want to learn more about Salvation and Getting Saved?    CLICK HERE!

Sunday, August 12, 2012

From Acts to Revelation Part 40 – The Council's Letter

From Acts to Revelation
Part 40 – The Council's Letter
Pastor Bruce A. Shields
House of Faith Church | |

Last week, we began looking at Acts 15. Some men came to the church in Antioch, where Paul and Barnabas had been preaching and teaching the Word of the Lord for a couple years, and they began to tell the Gentile believer's that they also needed to be circumcised and obey the Law's of Moses to receive salvation.

Although Paul and Barnabas corrected the church, they members were confused, and demanded that Paul and Barnabas return to the mother church in Jerusalem, and confer with the Apostles and Elders there about this question.

They did so, stopping in a few other towns along the way, continuing to spread the Gospel.

Paul and Barnabas originally traveled from the church in Jerusalem on the first mission trip, at the prompting of the Holy Spirit. They moved and stayed here and there, spreading the Gospel of the Lord as the Holy Spirit led.

This time, they were moving because of man's instruction.

Today we will see from the scripture, that the Holy Spirit is at work in the church in Antioch, and working through Paul and Barnabas. There was no need for them to confer with the church in Jerusalem, no need for them to risk their lives traveling at the command of men, and that the church should have trusted the Elder's that God had brought them, who had been faithfully preaching and teaching the Word of the Lord for two years now.

The scriptures show us, that there is no need for “denominations”, or church “hierarchy”, where man has placed themselves once again in charge over others, making themselves leaders above leaders.

The church order is given in scripture as follows, Christ as the head, Elder's preaching and teaching the Word of the Lord to the leader's of the households, who then teach and instruct in their homes and to their children.

There are no churches overseeing other churches, and small churches paying tithe to bigger churches.

The only thing denominations, and hierarchy has achieved, is creating modern day Sadducee and Pharisees, who think more of themselves than they aught.

We will see where we have an advantage over the church in Antioch.

We have the Holy Bible that we can read for ourselves, and measure what we are being taught in our home church. We can pray to the Holy Spirit, and seek understanding, searching the Word of God, and ensuring we understand what is being preached, and that it is in line with what the lord teaches.


Acts 15:22-35
22 Then the apostles and elders, with the whole church, decided to choose some of their own men and send them to Antioch with Paul and Barnabas. They chose Judas (called Barsabbas) and Silas, men who were leaders among the believers. 23 With them they sent the following letter:
The apostles and elders, your brothers,
To the Gentile believers in Antioch, Syria and Cilicia:
24 We have heard that some went out from us without our authorization and disturbed you, troubling your minds by what they said. 25 So we all agreed to choose some men and send them to you with our dear friends Barnabas and Paul— 26 men who have risked their lives for the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. 27 Therefore we are sending Judas and Silas to confirm by word of mouth what we are writing. 28 It seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us not to burden you with anything beyond the following requirements: 29 You are to abstain from food sacrificed to idols, from blood, from the meat of strangled animals and from sexual immorality. You will do well to avoid these things.
30 So the men were sent off and went down to Antioch, where they gathered the church together and delivered the letter. 31 The people read it and were glad for its encouraging message. 32 Judas and Silas, who themselves were prophets, said much to encourage and strengthen the believers. 33 After spending some time there, they were sent off by the believers with the blessing of peace to return to those who had sent them. [34] (Some manuscripts include here) But Silas decided to remain there.  35 But Paul and Barnabas remained in Antioch, where they and many others taught and preached the word of the Lord.

a.      The question brought to the Jerusalem council by Paul and Barnabas, was whether or not it was required of the Gentile believer's to be circumcised, and obey the Law's of Moses.

b.     After discussions, the council decided that it was not good to place burdens on the gentile believer's, that no one else, including their ancestor’s,  were able to keep.
i.       vs. 22 tells us it was a unanimous agreement
ii.    vs. 26 tells us, "men who have risked their lives..."
iii. This was a very dangerous, and unnecessary journey Paul and Barnabas had been sent on, not by the Holy Spirit, but by the church congregation.

c.      The council chose to send a letter back with Paul and Barnabas, telling the Gentile believer’s this, along with Silas and Judas, to confirm what was in the letter.

a.      The letter simply said;
i.       Abstain from eating sacrificed animals
ii.    Abstain from eating blood
iii. Abstain from eating strangled animals
iv.   Abstain from fornication (All Immorality)

b.     The letter then says, “You will do well to avoid these.”

a.      Once in Antioch, Paul, Barnabas, Silas and Judas, gathered the church together and delivered the letter from the Council in Jerusalem.

b.     The people were glad, and encouraged when they heard it.

c.      Judas and Silas (both prophets), encouraged and strengthened the church
i.       Exactly what we are supposed to do with each other, through the Holy Spirit.

d.     Some manuscripts say in vs. 34 that Silas chose to stay, some don't.

e.      Paul and Barnabas stayed though
i.       They taught and preached the Word of the Lord with many others.

Want to learn more about Salvation and Getting Saved?    CLICK HERE!