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From Outsider to Insider – Day 4 – Acts 11.19-30 & 12.24-25

The church at Antioch was one of the most important churches in history.  It was the first church where significant numbers of non-Jews began to follow Jesus and come into the church.  It was the first place where followers of Jesus were called “Christians”, and it was the first church to commission an international mission team to go and plant churches.  God was breaking down some significant barriers through His work in Antioch.  So it is no surprise that when Barnabas saw what was going on there, he decided to go find Paul and bring him to Antioch to help teach them about their new faith.  God wanted to bring new people into the church and that is precisely what He called Paul to do.  But it is important to look at what Paul and his good friend Barnabas actually did at the church in Antioch.  They gathered with the church there and they “taught a great many people.” (v. 26)  They collected a relief package for struggling believers in Jerusalem, and they went and delivered it to those people.  I think it is important to absorb just how normal this all sounds.  Paul had to teach people about their faith, and he had to look after the needs of his brothers and sisters.  If we aren’t careful, we can become obsessed with finding some new technique that will build the church.  Here we see the church taking the gospel to people who needed it, teaching those who had received it, and caring for the needs of those who had believed it.  That will always be what those who are called “Christians” do.

From Outsider to Insider – Day 5 – Acts 13.1-4

From Outsider to Insider – Day 3 – Acts 9.20-30