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Trouble in Iconium (4 of 26)
Series: The Acts of the Apostles
TEXT: Acts 14:1-18
INTRODUCTION: In our lesson last week, Paul turns from the Jews to the Gentiles. The Jews had rejected the message of salvation through Christ. Though some did believe, most did not. The Gentiles, on the other hand, gladly received the gospel. It says in (13:48), "And when the Gentiles heard this, they were glad, and glorified the word of the Lord: and as many as were ordained to eternal life believed."
When Paul and Barnabas left Antioch (remember, this was Antioch in Pisidia, in the area of Phrygia), they came to the city of Iconium, which was about 300 miles southeast of Antioch. Here, again, they would find a mixed reception.
I have two points for our lesson:
I. Their Arrival at Iconium
II. Their Departure for Lystra
I. THEIR ARRIVAL AT ICONIUM (VV. 1-5)
A. Effective Preaching (vs. 1)
1. When Paul and Barnabas began to speak,
things began to happen. The Bible says, "...a great multitude both of Jews and also of the Greeks believed." Of course, this is the intent of the gospel, that all men might be saved, Jew and Gentile alike. Paul said the gospel "...is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek" (Romans 1:16).
a. Notice something else; the gospel "...is the
power of God." The power is not in the speaker, nor in his ability to articulate; no, the power is in the message. Paul said in 1 Cor. 2:4, "And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man's wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power." An important lesson for us is that all Christians have the power to be effective witnesses; but we must remember, the power is in the message, not in the messenger. When we share God's Word, things will happen. In Jeremiah 23:29, God said, "Is not my word like as a fire? saith the Lord; and like a hammer that breaketh th ...
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