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Living Your Life as a Missionary

May 7, 2023 Speaker: Gibson Largent Series: Acts

Passage: Acts 13:13–52

What can we learn about gospel proclamation from this example in Antioch?

How can you live as a missionary in your current context?

You don’t necessarily have to travel around the world to do mission work.

  • You can make disciples right here in your own town on your streets and cul-de-sacs - you can approach your everyday life and routine as though you were a missionary - an ambassador - a citizen from the Kingdom of God

7 Principles for Living as an Everyday Missionary from this passage:

  1. Anticipate and work through relational conflict without sacrificing the mission.
    • Seek reconciliation
      • Confess sin
      • Repent when necessary
    • Refuse to gossip or cause more damage
    • Pursue unity
    • Come to grips with the fact that God can use division for his own glory
    • Pray for the person
    • Love them well - Jesus told us that if we only love those who love us we’re no different from the world - we must love those who wrong us and sin against us - that proves that the love of the Father is in us.
    • John Mark left the team before the job was completed - he had committed to travel and work with Paul and Barnabas - but he abandoned the team early on
    • Don’t be deterred from your purpose and mission, no matter the obstacle - relational conflict can sabotage gospel ministry
    • When you face opposition and division from within:
  2. Persevere through adversity and opposition
    • Point: one of the easiest times to quit the work that God has called you to do is in the beginning stages. “Abandon the work” - “do you see how fruitless this is?” - “you’re wasting your time” - “only one single convert on that whole island”
  3. In your weakness, the gospel is made powerful
    • He was sick.
    • He was suffering.
    • He had an illness.
    • 2 Corinthians 12:7–10 - “So to keep me from becoming conceited because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to harass me, to keep me from becoming conceited. [8] Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me. [9] But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. [10] For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”
    • Paul tells us in the book of Galatians, that he came to the churches of Galatia as a result of sickness and weakness.
    • He did not come to them full strength.
    • But the gospel does not depend on me or you operating in full strength of our flesh.
    • 1 Corinthians 2:1–5 - “And I, when I came to you, brothers, did not come proclaiming to you the testimony of God with lofty speech or wisdom. [2] For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. [3] And I was with you in weakness and in fear and much trembling, [4] and my speech and my message were not in plausible words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, [5] so that your faith might not rest in the wisdom of men but in the power of God.”
    • Listen to Paul’s confession - how does he approach ministry?
    • He embraces his weakness that God may be glorified
  4. Understand and believe that God is the Sovereign architect of salvation and history
  5. Proclaim the gospel contextually without altering the message of the gospel
    • To those in the synagogue he quoted what we call the OT
      • He told them about familiar figures in their history - Abraham, David, prophets, etc.
    • But he does something completely different in the Areopagus in Acts 17
      • He quotes their poets
      • He observes their temples
      • He found an idol to an unknown god
    • Paul declared the gospel message differently to different crowds
    • We call this “contextualization”
  6. Make the Word of God your primary source
  7. Commit to proclaiming the gospel, regardless of the results - you will get mixed reactions
    • Some mocked him
    • Some believed
    • Some wanted to hear more
    • Paul preached the same message to Jews and to God-fearing Greeks and Romans
    • One group rejected the message - one embraced the message gladly
    • Expect mixed reactions

Acts 13:13–52

Paul and Barnabas at Antioch in Pisidia

[13] Now Paul and his companions set sail from Paphos and came to Perga in Pamphylia. And John left them and returned to Jerusalem, [14] but they went on from Perga and came to Antioch in Pisidia. And on the Sabbath day they went into the synagogue and sat down. [15] After the reading from the Law and the Prophets, the rulers of the synagogue sent a message to them, saying, “Brothers, if you have any word of encouragement for the people, say it.” [16] So Paul stood up, and motioning with his hand said:

“Men of Israel and you who fear God, listen. [17] The God of this people Israel chose our fathers and made the people great during their stay in the land of Egypt, and with uplifted arm he led them out of it. [18] And for about forty years he put up with them in the wilderness. [19] And after destroying seven nations in the land of Canaan, he gave them their land as an inheritance. [20] All this took about 450 years. And after that he gave them judges until Samuel the prophet. [21] Then they asked for a king, and God gave them Saul the son of Kish, a man of the tribe of Benjamin, for forty years. [22] And when he had removed him, he raised up David to be their king, of whom he testified and said, ‘I have found in David the son of Jesse a man after my heart, who will do all my will.’ [23] Of this man’s offspring God has brought to Israel a Savior, Jesus, as he promised. [24] Before his coming, John had proclaimed a baptism of repentance to all the people of Israel. [25] And as John was finishing his course, he said, ‘What do you suppose that I am? I am not he. No, but behold, after me one is coming, the sandals of whose feet I am not worthy to untie.’

[26] “Brothers, sons of the family of Abraham, and those among you who fear God, to us has been sent the message of this salvation. [27] For those who live in Jerusalem and their rulers, because they did not recognize him nor understand the utterances of the prophets, which are read every Sabbath, fulfilled them by condemning him. [28] And though they found in him no guilt worthy of death, they asked Pilate to have him executed. [29] And when they had carried out all that was written of him, they took him down from the tree and laid him in a tomb. [30] But God raised him from the dead, [31] and for many days he appeared to those who had come up with him from Galilee to Jerusalem, who are now his witnesses to the people. [32] And we bring you the good news that what God promised to the fathers, [33] this he has fulfilled to us their children by raising Jesus, as also it is written in the second Psalm,

“‘You are my Son,
today I have begotten you.’

[34] And as for the fact that he raised him from the dead, no more to return to corruption, he has spoken in this way,

“‘I will give you the holy and sure blessings of David.’

[35] Therefore he says also in another psalm,

“‘You will not let your Holy One see corruption.’

[36] For David, after he had served the purpose of God in his own generation, fell asleep and was laid with his fathers and saw corruption, [37] but he whom God raised up did not see corruption. [38] Let it be known to you therefore, brothers, that through this man forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you, [39] and by him everyone who believes is freed from everything from which you could not be freed by the law of Moses. [40] Beware, therefore, lest what is said in the Prophets should come about:

[41] “‘Look, you scoffers,
be astounded and perish;
for I am doing a work in your days,
a work that you will not believe, even if one tells it to you.’”

[42] As they went out, the people begged that these things might be told them the next Sabbath. [43] And after the meeting of the synagogue broke up, many Jews and devout converts to Judaism followed Paul and Barnabas, who, as they spoke with them, urged them to continue in the grace of God.

[44] The next Sabbath almost the whole city gathered to hear the word of the Lord. [45] But when the Jews saw the crowds, they were filled with jealousy and began to contradict what was spoken by Paul, reviling him. [46] And Paul and Barnabas spoke out boldly, saying, “It was necessary that the word of God be spoken first to you. Since you thrust it aside and judge yourselves unworthy of eternal life, behold, we are turning to the Gentiles. [47] For so the Lord has commanded us, saying,

“‘I have made you a light for the Gentiles,
that you may bring salvation to the ends of the earth.’”

[48] And when the Gentiles heard this, they began rejoicing and glorifying the word of the Lord, and as many as were appointed to eternal life believed. [49] And the word of the Lord was spreading throughout the whole region. [50] But the Jews incited the devout women of high standing and the leading men of the city, stirred up persecution against Paul and Barnabas, and drove them out of their district. [51] But they shook off the dust from their feet against them and went to Iconium. [52] And the disciples were filled with joy and with the Holy Spirit. (ESV)

More in Acts

February 18, 2024

Paul Finishes His Life and Ministry Well

February 11, 2024

Paul Sails to Rome

February 4, 2024

Gospel Proclamation in Spite of Circumstances