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!