Preaching input wanted – Acts 14.

I’m preaching on this passage from Acts 14 in a couple of weeks. I’d value any thoughts or input anyone has on it.

They preached the good news in that city [Derbe] and won a large number of disciples. Then they returned to Lystra, Iconium and Antioch, strengthening the disciples and encouraging them to remain true to the faith. “We must go through many hardships to enter the kingdom of God,” they said. Paul and Barnabas appointed elders for them in each church and, with prayer and fasting, committed them to the Lord, in whom they had put their trust. After going through Pisidia, they came into Pamphylia, and when they had preached the word in Perga, they went down to Attalia.

From Attalia they sailed back to Antioch, where they had been committed to the grace of God for the work they had now completed. On arriving there, they gathered the church together and reported all that God had done through them and how he had opened the door of faith to the Gentiles. And they stayed there a long time with the disciples. (Acts 14:21-28 )

My initial thoughts:

  • It comes just before the council of Jerusalem, so the fact that gentiles are being converted in significant
  • It seems clear that Paul and Barnabus’ work is to equip the churches he is setting up. He doesn’t need or want to stay in control, but wants to equip them so they can grow and lead themselves.
  • The quote about hardships on entering the kingdom of God is interesting.
  • Although Paul and Barnabus are traveling around equipping these churches, the work of growth and conversion is attributed to God.

Thanks for reading!

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2 thoughts on “Preaching input wanted – Acts 14.”

  1. Just at first glance this is what comes to me…

    THE MESSAGE
    I would say that when we really preach the good news of the gospel we should expect to see Disciples come forth. The Lord wants to birth Disciples, (not just “Decisions”). The Word of God has such power so as reach in to the coldest heart of a non-believer and birth them into the Kingdom! God doesn’t want a buch of “pew-sitters” – He wants those who will advance the Kingdom.

    THE METHOD
    Also notice that Paul and Barnabas didn’t pull any punches with their message: “We must go through many hardships to enter the kingdom of God.” They didn’t candy-coat the message just to get them to follow them. Today we must boldly proclaim the Name of Jesus, and for us to take up our cross and follow him!

    THE MOVEMENT
    Once this message of the good news began to continue they needed to continue on! So they committed them to the grace of God. If we are going to continue walking the Christian walk we must do so by Grace – His divine abity flowing thru us. It can’t be done by clever programs or self-effort, it must be by the Holy Spirit working in us and thru us.

    Hope that Helps!

  2. Thanks for your input. The line about hardships is an unpopular one these days and so might be worth pursuing. thanks.

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