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.

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