1. These verses reveal some important information about the Lord's church that met in Antioch in Syria. 2. We need to study this information carefully because it will help us in restoring the Lord's church today.
I. IN VS.19-21 WE READ ABOUT THE ESTABLISHMENT OF THE CHURCH IN ANTIOCH
A. We learn from these verses that "those who were scattered abroad" preached God's Word in Antioch. 1. (Acts 1:8) Jesus gave His apostles a plan for carrying out His Great Commission. 2. The Gospel was preached in Jerusalem, and the Lord's church was established there. 3. (Acts 8:1) Persecution eventually caused many converts to leave Jerusalem, and they went to various areas. 4. (Acts 8:4) As they left Jerusalem, they "went every where preaching the word." 5. We learn from Acts 9:31 that congregations were established throughout Judea, Galilee, and Samaria. 6. (Acts 11:19) Some of the people who left Jerusalem traveled as far as Phenice, Cyprus, and Antioch. 7. Some of the people who came to Antioch preached to the Jews, but others also preached to the Grecians (vs.20). B. (vs.21) The Lord blessed the efforts of those who preached His Word. 1. His hand was with those who taught. 2. A great number of people believed and turned to the Lord. C. This is the way that congregations are to be established. 1. The Lord's followers in a given area must preach His Word. 2. The preaching of the Word will result in people being converted to the Lord. 3. Together these converts make up a congregation. D. After it was established, . . .
II. THE CHURCH IN ANTIOCH DEVELOPED AND GREW (vs.22-26)
A. The Jerusalem church sent Barnabas to help the church in Antioch. 1. Barnabas is first mentioned in Acts 4:36-37. 2. He also stood up for Saul after he was converted (Acts 9:26-27). 3. Barnabas is described as a good man, full of the Holy Spirit, and full of faith. B. Let us consider what Barnabas did. 1. When he came to Antioch he exhorted the converts there to cleave to the Lord. 2. Through his teaching many people were added to the Lord. 3. There must have been much work to do in Antioch. a. Barnabas found Saul and brought him to Antioch. b. These 2 men worked with the church in Antioch for a year and taught many people. C. (vs.26b) The Lord's followers in Antioch had the distinction of being the first to be called "Christians." 1. The Lord's followers are referred to as disciples, saints, and brethren. 2. However, "Christian" is the only name that the Bible authorizes the Lord's followers to wear. D. After it was established, developed, and grew, . . .
III. THE CHURCH IN ANTIOCH PARTICIPATED IN 2 IMPORTANT ACTIVITIES
A. (vs.27-30) The members of the church in Antioch practiced benevolence by assisting other Christians in Judea. B. (Acts 13:1-3) This congregation also became involved in missions by sending Paul and Barnabas on their first missionary journey.
IV. LET US MAKE SEVERAL OBSERVATIONS
A. The same Word that was preached in Jerusalem was also preached in Antioch. B. The same church established in Jerusalem was also established in Antioch. C. In the first century there was only one church -- the church that Jesus said He would build (Matthew 16:18). D. To be the Lord's church today we must follow the same Word that was preached in the first century -- we cannot be the Lord's true church and follow manmade doctrines. E. To be Christians today we must follow the same Word -- we cannot follow manmade doctrines and be New Testament Christians.
1. After hearing the word, the people in Antioch believed, they turned to the Lord, and they were added to the Lord. 2. How is a person added to the Lord? a. According to Galatians 3:27, we are baptized into Christ. b. We learn from Acts 2:47 that the Lord adds those who are saved to His church.