Family Bible Study Lesson for November 16: Taking the Good News to Others : Friday, Oct. 31, 2003
October 30 2003 by Mary Fillinger

Family Bible Study Lesson for November 16: Taking the Good News to Others : Friday, Oct. 31, 2003
Friday, Oct. 31, 2003

Family Bible Study Lesson for November 16: Taking the Good News to Others

By Mary Fillinger
Focal passages: Acts 13:1-3, 28-32, 38-39, 45-48
The growth of worldwide missions was one of the most important developments in the history of the church. Jesus promised and commanded in Acts 1:8 that His spirit-filled disciples were to be His witnesses to the end of the earth. In that day, as in our own time, we need to hear good news. And the best news in the world is that Jesus died on the cross for us to save us from our sins. He has paid the penalty, and by believing in Him, we can go free.

Sending a Light Out

Acts 13:1-3

Acts 13:1 lists five men in the church at Antioch who were identified as prophets and teachers. The word for "prophets," as used in the New Testament, often refers to those who proclaim the gospel, rather than those who foretell the future.

Antioch was the logical city to become the launching pad for a world missionary enterprise. It was the third largest city in the Roman Empire, smaller only than Rome and Alexandria. Facing the Gentile world of Asia Minor and Europe, it was still within striking distance of Jerusalem.

Church leaders in Antioch were engaged in a special time of prayer and fasting to seek the will of God as to the direction they should go. In such a setting, it was possible for the Holy Spirit to speak to them clearly. God had a plan and that plan included sending out Barnabas and Saul to be the first missionaries.

It was altogether appropriate that the great missionary enterprise began with a prayer meeting. The participants in the prayer meeting recognized the importance of the new undertaking. So, they fasted and prayed. Then they laid their hands on the two missionary candidates, ordaining them to the new mission outreach. When the church cooperates with the Holy Spirit, the work of the Lord prospers.

Weaving the Past into the Present

Acts 13:28-32

Paul had been given an invitation to address those that were in the synagogue on the Sabbath. Paul wanted to proclaim the same truths that Stephen had announced to the hearers in Jerusalem. Paul began to weave past events of the life, death, burial and resurrection of Jesus into a meaningful whole. Paul wanted to make a clear statement as to the events that had taken place and their significance to these people.

The First Opportunity

Acts 13:38-39

Paul wanted to be sure his audience understood that Jesus is the only true way to have their sins forgiven and their souls cleansed. Through Jesus they had the opportunity to become completely acceptable in the sight of God the Father. Paul wanted them to realize that only through faith in Jesus and not by the law of Moses could they be saved.

Consistency

Acts 13:45-48

A vast number of people were assembled together to hear Paul. There were also many unbelieving Jews who wanted to cause trouble. They didn't want the people converted and they didn't like the popularity that was accompanying the apostles. Despite their efforts, they could not keep Paul from preaching about Jesus and the good news of the gospel. In contradicting Paul's message, they blasphemed.

Paul and Barnabas were not deterred, but grew more courageous and bold in their speech and message. They expressed strongly that no person is worthy of eternal life because of anything he or she might do. Salvation comes as a free gift of God. Those who persisted in rejecting the gospel were passing sentence upon themselves.

Since the Jews rejected the preaching of the gospel, Paul told them the gospel would be carried to the Gentiles, as predicted in Isaiah 49:6. Many Gentiles in the crowd rejoiced to hear that they could be saved, and believed. As a result, the word of the Lord began to spread throughout the region.

10/30/2003 11:00:00 PM by Mary Fillinger | with 0 comments




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