Act 14:27 And when they were come, and had gathered the church together, they rehearsed all that God had done with them, and how he had opened the door of faith unto the Gentiles.
2 As they ministered to the Lord, and fasted, the Holy Ghost said, Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them.
3 And when they had fasted and prayed, and laid their hands on them, they sent them away.
…….Look at the importance of verse 2, “As they ministered to the Lord”. How do we minister to the Lord?
That’s exactly what we must be doing if we desire to be apart of his work. As we fulfill our first calling, worshipping Christ, other callings to serve in various ways come from the Holy Spirit.
Many people think that Paul just skipped right through the ranks of the Church because he was summoned by Christ in such an extreme manner. But Paul was doing exactly what we all must do before his work began, serving and worshipping in his home Church.
4 So they, being sent forth by the Holy Ghost, departed unto Seleucia; and from thence they sailed to Cyprus.
5 And when they were at Salamis, they preached the word of God in the synagogues of the Jews: and they had also John to their minister.
6 And when they had gone through the isle unto Paphos, they found a certain sorcerer, a false prophet, a Jew, whose name was Barjesus:
7 Which was with the deputy of the country, Sergius Paulus (thought to be a relative of Paul), a prudent man; who called for Barnabas and Saul, and desired to hear the word of God.
8 But Elymas the sorcerer (for so is his name by interpretation) withstood them, seeking to turn away the deputy from the faith.
…….Just as soon as they began ministering, opposition came. Any time you begin ministry, always be ready to fight the enemy, and expect the Spirit to empower you to overcome every obstacle.
Look at the next verse…..
9 Then Saul, (who also is called Paul,) filled with the Holy Ghost, set his eyes on him,
10 And said, O full of all subtilty and all mischief, thou child of the devil, thou enemy of all righteousness, wilt thou not cease to pervert the right ways of the Lord?
11 And now, behold, the hand of the Lord is upon thee, and thou shalt be blind, not seeing the sun for a season. And immediately there fell on him a mist and a darkness; and he went about seeking some to lead him by the hand.
……. the Apostle Paul never hesitated to rebuke the enemy.
How often times do we hesitate in our action of ministry?
“Expect the battle”
In seeking to make the gospel known to the unsaved, we should expect to face opposition from spiritual forces of evil. However, if we persevere our effort to bring the unsaved to Christ, God will provide the help we need to overcome evil.
12 Then the deputy, when he saw what was done, believed, being astonished at the doctrine of the Lord.
“Paul’s sermon to the people in the synagogue”
Paul stands up and becomes God’s mouthpiece!
14 But when they departed from Perga, they came to Antioch in Pisidia, and went into the synagogue on the sabbath day, and sat down.
15 And after the reading of the law and the prophets the rulers of the synagogue sent unto them, saying, Ye men and brethren, if ye have any word of exhortation for the people, say on.
16 Then Paul stood up, and beckoning with his hand said, Men of Israel, and ye that fear God, give audience.
17 The God of this people of Israel chose our fathers, and exalted the people when they dwelt as strangers in the land of Egypt, and with an high arm brought he them out of it.
…….Get the Israelites out of Egypt but can’t get the Egypt out of the Israelites.
Are we the same way? Has God delivered us from this world, but have we still the world so deep in us?
I know of people who have left the holiness church (the tongues, the shout, the standard) because the love is not there, to a less standard driven congregation who are full of love. The love of Christ will drive the church to perfection, not a learned gift.
It is his personality of love that draws people to the body of Christ, it is our personalities that push people away.
Our most desired and practiced gift should be the gift of love which draws all men to unity.
To see the conversion of the Apostle Paul, Look back at Acts chapter 9:
…….Saul had heard all the great things that were happening in Damascus and was headed that way with letters of order to throw out and punish every person speaking the name of Christ.
…….This would be the moment when Christ intervened and changed Paul’s life forever.
17 And Ananias went his way, and entered into the house; and putting his hands on him said, Brother Saul, the Lord, even Jesus, that appeared unto thee in the way as thou camest, hath sent me, that thou mightest receive thy sight, and be filled with the Holy Ghost.
18 And immediately there fell from his eyes as it had been scales: and he received sight forthwith, and arose, and was baptized.
…….When we study the life of Paul we will see 3 of the most crucial steps in the life of a Christian.
…….When the Spirit gives the opportunity, it is the moment where *timing, *preparedness and *knowledge collides.
After Paul’s conversion, he disappeared into the desert for three years, during which time the Holy Spirit instructed him in the ways of God. He emerged, ready to communicate divine truth.
The Lord speaks to believers so that they will comprehend the truth, conform to the truth, and communicate the truth. These same steps form a roadmap to discipleship. What happened during Paul’s desert years was only the beginning of a life-long process. God renewed his mind and transformed him into the image of Christ. For the apostle, that change began with connecting his rich biblical knowledge to the revelation that Jesus Christ was the Son of God.
I’ve seen a many of people have an unction from the Holy Spirit, stand up to speak, try to witness to a lost soul, or just try to talk Bible with another person, but have no idea what they are talking about. The Spirit will do His part in powering us, but we must do our part in time of study and communion with him.
The Spirit will allow us to fail in the process of self-control, so we can simply see how much we need him and the preparation of ministry.
26 Men and brethren, children of the stock of Abraham, and whosoever among you feareth God, to you is the word of this salvation sent.
27 For they that dwell at Jerusalem, and their rulers, *because they knew him not, nor yet the voices of the prophets which are read every sabbath day, they have fulfilled them in condemning him……..(Take another look at the second half of the scripture)
……. Because they chose not to listen and learn, they became the evil side of prophecy.
How many parables and stories in the Bible show us that people who neglected God’s will became the enemy of the purpose. We must make up our minds to shake off the influence of this world and even our own thoughts, feelings and opinions and line up with the progressive work of ministry.
28 And though they found no cause of death in him, yet desired they Pilate that he should be slain.
29 And when they had fulfilled all that was written of him, they took him down from the tree, and laid him in a sepulchre.
30 But God raised him from the dead:
31 And he was seen many days of them which came up with him from Galilee to Jerusalem, who are his witnesses unto the people.
……. Paul, being powered by the Holy Spirit, never missed the mark in ministering!
*Salvation for the Gentiles
42 And when the Jews were gone out of the synagogue, the Gentiles besought that these words might be preached to them the next sabbath.
43 Now when the congregation was broken up, many of the Jews and religious proselytes followed Paul and Barnabas: who, speaking to them, persuaded them to continue in the grace of God.
44 And the next sabbath day came almost the whole city together to hear the word of God.
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.
49 And the word of the Lord was published throughout all the region.
……At a time where it was thought that only Jews could receive salvation, these converted Gentiles were so impacted by the ministering of Paul, they spread the good news to the entire city. By the next Sabbath, the entire city was gathered to hear the Gospel!!!
50 But the Jews stirred up the devout and honourable women, and the chief men of the city, and raised persecution against Paul and Barnabas, and expelled them out of their coasts.
51 But they shook off the dust of their feet against them, and came unto Iconium.
52 And the disciples were filled with joy, and with the Holy Ghost.