SERIES: 44 Acts - 2017
MESSAGE: Acts 13:1-41
SPEAKER: Skip Heitzig
SCRIPTURE: Acts 13:1-41

God is a missionary God. Even back in the Old Testament, He often sent people out to do various things. Much of the book of Acts details how members of the early church were sent out to spread the gospel. In this message, we learn how Paul and his team set out on their first missionary journey.


  1. Introduction
    1. Acts 13-28 has been referred to as the Acts of Paul the Apostle
      1. Focus shifts from the Jerusalem apostles to Saul of Tarsus
      2. The first time he was referred to as Paul
    2. Natural spiritual growth
      1. Person becomes a saved person
      2. Becomes a serving person
      3. Becomes a sensitized person
      4. Becomes a saturated person
      5. Becomes a sent person
    3. Jesus anticipated the spreading of the gospel (see Acts 1:8)
      1. Jerusalem became saturated in the gospel
      2. Peter went to Judea
      3. Philip went to Samaria
      4. Paul went out into Gentile territory
    4. The chapter opens in Antioch and closes in a different Antioch
      1. Antioch in Syria
      2. Antioch in Pisidia (southern Turkey)
  2. Acts 13:1-3
    1. Paul was not sent from Jerusalem; he was sent from Antioch
      1. Jerusalem was the mother church, but Antioch was the mission church
      2. Persecution in Jerusalem reached a fever pitch
    2. The church at Antioch
      1. Ekklésia = an assembly, congregation, church; the whole body of Christian believers
        1. Originally, the idea of a church was a group of citizens who were called out of their homes to meet in a public setting
        2. A church is not a place; it is a people
      2. Prophets and teachers
        1. The gifts that were dominant at first in the early church
        2. Because the New Testament had not been written yet
    3. The prophets and teachers at Antioch
      1. Barnabas
        1. Son of Encouragement
        2. Jew from Cyprus
      2. Simeon
        1. Assumed that he was a black African
        2. Some believe he was the Simon of Cyrene who carried the cross for Jesus
      3. Lucius of Cyrene
      4. Manaen
        1. The foster brother of Herod Antipas
        2. Herod murdered John the Baptist
        3. Jesus stood trial before Herod
      5. Saul of Tarsus
      6. There was no discrimination in the early church—all of these men were diverse
    4. They were ministering to the Lord
      1. Leitourgeó= minister, serve publicly
        1. Where we get the word liturgy
        2. Could be translated as worship
        3. Used to refer to when the priests ministered in the temple and tabernacle
      2. Worship is not about you; it's about Him
        1. We should aim for our worship to bless the Lord (see Psalm 34:1)
        2. We want God to be pleased when we worship
  3. Acts 13:4-12
    1. God is a missionary God
      1. He has always sent people places (see Genesis 11-12)
      2. The purpose of missions is that others may be blessed
      3. Jesus was a missionary sent from heaven to earth (see Luke 19:10)
      4. The Holy Spirit is all about sending people
      5. Jesus sent out the disciples (see John 20:21)
        1. God is about turning disciples into apostles
        2. Apostolos = a messenger, one sent on a mission, an apostle
    2. The proconsul
      1. A proconsul was a governor, but not like Pontius Pilate
        1. Pilate was a procurator; his orders came from the Roman emperor
        2. A proconsul's orders came from the Roman senate
      2. The proconsul was intelligent and spiritually hungry
        1. Paul was the ideal candidate to minister to him, as he was an intelligent man as well
        2. We should always be ready to share the gospel (see 1 Peter 3:15)
    3. The sorcerer
      1. He was a Jew
        1. Because of the Old Testament law, the Jews had an aversion to sorcery
        2. It was prohibited
        3. He mixed Judaism with false teachings, possibly astrology
          1. Syncretism
          2. He essentially created his own religion
        4. Made possible by the Roman road system
          1. Connected the east and west
          2. People in the west were logical in their thought processes and religions
          3. People in the east were very mystical in their thought processes and religions
          4. Some of the ideas from the east probably filtered along those roads
        5. Satan uses religion to deceive people more than anything else
      2. He tried to persuade the proconsul not to listen to Paul
    4. Paul's response
      1. This is the first time in Scripture that Saul is referred to as Paul
        1. Saul was his Jewish name given to him on the eighth day of his life by his parents
        2. Paul was his Roman name
          1. Means diminutive one
          2. Not an uncommon name
        3. A Roman legally, a Greek culturally, a Jew religiously, and a Christian by the grace of God
          1. His father was a Roman citizen, so he was free-born
          2. Well-read in Greek culture
          3. A trained Jewish rabbi
      2. Was Paul harsh?
        1. If you think Paul was harsh, you must also think that Jesus was harsh
        2. Jesus overturned tables in the temple (see Matthew 21:12)
        3. He called the scribes and Pharisees hypocrites (see Matthew 23:13-29)
        4. John 8:44
      3. The sorcerer's name was Bar-Jesus
        1. Means son of Jesus
        2. No connotation to Jesus Christ, but it is interesting that his name means son of Jesus and Paul called him "son of the devil" (v. 10)
        3. You can be Christian in name, but not really be one (see Revelation 3:1)
      4. Paul knew the power of darkness
        1. He was struck blind himself, leading, in part, to his conversion (see Acts 9:1-19)
        2. An act of mercy
      5. The proconsul believed because of the teaching of the Lord
  4. Acts 13:13-15
    1. John Mark returned to Jerusalem
      1. Cousin of Barnabas
      2. We do not know why he left them, but there are some possibilities
        1. He was not happy that Saul of Tarsus was upstaging Barnabas
        2. He was a Jewish believer and it could have been too much for him to see the gospel preached to the Gentiles
        3. He became ill
          1. This area was known for carrying malaria
          2. It's believed Paul got sick around this time (see Galatians 4:13-15)
        4. He was homesick
      3. Whatever the reason, Paul looked at it as bad
        1. In this chapter, the word for departed is apochóreó (to go away, depart, withdraw)
        2. In Acts 15:36-40, a different word is used
          1. Aphistémi­ = make to stand away, draw away, repel, take up a position away from, withdraw from, leave, abstain from
          2. Paul saw it as a desertion
    2. Paul spoke at the synagogue
      1. There was a liturgy service in every Jewish synagogue
        1. It began with the shamah (see Deuteronomy 6:4)
        2. Prayer
        3. Reading of the law
        4. Commentary on the reading by either the rabbi of the synagogue or a visiting rabbi
      2. The first recorded sermon of Paul
        1. The anticipation of the Messiah
        2. The action of the Messiah
        3. The application and appeal to the crowd
  5. Acts 13:16-41
    1. The anticipation of the Messiah through the history of Israel (see vv. 16-25)
      1. Historical retrospection
      2. The Jews enjoyed reciting their history (see Psalm 95; 107; Acts 7)
      3. To encourage them of God's work
    2. The action of the Messiah
      1. How Jesus was treated
        1. He was killed by Bible students
        2. Paul was trying to get their attention
      2. You can have a full head and an empty heart (see John 5:39)
      3. God raised Jesus from the dead
        1. This is the common thread of all New Testament preaching
        2. If you remove the resurrection, all of Christianity collapses
        3. It is a necessity for any victory over sin and death
      4. If you want God to use you, learn as much of Scripture as you can
    3. Some people think that those who saw Jesus after His resurrection saw hallucinations
      1. Hallucinations do not happen simultaneously to different people
      2. Jesus appeared to 500 people at one time (see 1 Corinthians 15:6)
      3. Any mental health expert will tell you that a group of people do not get a hallucination
      4. Jesus is alive right now
Greek/Hebrew words: aphistémi, apochóreó, apostolos, ekklésia, leitourgeó, shamah

Cross references: Genesis 11-12; Deuteronomy 6:4; Psalm 34:1; 95; 107; Matthew 21:12; 23:13-29; Luke 19:10; John 5:39; 8:44; 20:21; Acts 1:8; 7; 9:1-19; 15:36-40; 1 Corinthians 15:6; Galatians 4:13-15; 1 Peter 3:15; Revelation 3:1

Topic: Missions

Keywords: spiritual growth, the church, discrimination, worship, missions, syncretism, religion, resurrection, historical retrospection

Acts 13:1-41 - Acts 13:1-41 |
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