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Important Happenings at Antioch (24 of 24)
Series: The Acts of the Apostles: A Verse-by-Verse Study
March 12, 2008
INTRODUCTION: In our last lesson, we studied (vv. 1-8), with Peter's discussion at Jerusalem concerning Cornelius. Once again he rehearses before his Jewish brethren the account of Cornelius' conversion. They were to understand that salvation had come to the Gentiles, as well as to the Jews. God was no respecter of persons; salvation would be for all men. The Apostle Paul, who became the Apostle to the Gentiles, wrote in Romans 1:16, "For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek."
In (vs. 18), following Peter's discussion with the saints, the Bible says, "When they heard these things, they held their peace, and glorified God, saying, Then hath God also to the Gentiles granted repentance unto life."
Our lesson this evening will take us through (vv. 19-30), and the story about the church in Antioch. Let's consider three things:
I. The Scattering of the Believers
II. The Sending of Barnabas
III. The Supporting of the Brethren
I. THE SCATTERING OF THE BELIEVERS
A. The Reason (vs. 19)
1. We remember in chapter 7 how Stephen was stoned to death for his testimony. Persecution was heavy against the first Christians, causing them to be scattered throughout the region: "as far as Phenice (Phoenicia) and Cyprus and Antioch." Antioch was about 300 miles from Jerusalem, Cyprus was an Island located in the Mediterranean Sea, about 125 miles off the coast of Phoenicia, and Phoenicia, itself, was that stretch of land on the costal region north of Jerusalem that stretched all the way to Antioch.
a. We must keep in mind; Christians were a despised people. They were resented not only by the Rabbis and religious leaders of the day but by every other Jew, as well. The Phar ...
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