The text for this sermon comes from Acts 13: 1-12
vs. 1 prophets and teachers are distinct, important offices within the church. Luke makes a list of these certain men.
Simeon was also called Niger. Niger is Latin for “black” indicating that Simeon came from Africa.
Lucius is also Latin, comes from Cyrene which is on the north coast of Africa.
Herod the tetrarch is Herod Antipas. Herod Antipas was the son of Herod the great and the uncle of Herod Agrippa. Lifelong friend means that Manaen was close friends of Herod Antipas and had been raised with him from childhood.
vs. 2-3 The leaders joined together for a time of worship, fasting and prayer. In the New Testament, the Holy Spirit is not guaranteed to speak to you apart from your time in worship, fasting, and prayer. These men are also setting example for the rest of the church.
The Holy Spirit had done great work and planted a church in Antioch. Now it is time for the gospel to go out of the church, and out of the city.
This laying on of hands is important. This act is a commissioning indicating the church’s support in the mission that has been given to Barnabas and Paul by the Holy Spirit. The church is giving the two men their blessing.
Since it was the Holy Spirit that wanted them set apart for this mission, it will be the Holy Spirit who leads and guides the men in all their ways.
That is no different than from what Jesus has told us.
If you are a Christian, you carry the name of Christ. At the point of your salvation, you have been commissioned. You are a missionary. You are either a good missionary or a bad one. You have been sent.
Ed Stetzer has said, – God has a mission. His mission is redemption.
You are a messenger of the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords. Jesus has come and established his kingdom. As messengers of that kingdom, you seek to spread the mission of the King. You are sent. You walk in the authority given to you by King Jesus.
vs. 4-5 The Holy Spirit is leading them and now they are preaching and sharing the gospel wherever they go. Their feet have no sooner touched fresh soil, than they start to preach and share about Jesus.
They have Mark with them. There is no better way to teach someone what ministry looks like than by throwing them right into the midst of doing ministry.
vs. 6-12 Elymas is just jacked up. Elymas is Jewish. The Jews have been resistant on hearing the gospel and so this is why Paul went to the Gentiles. It is again a Jewish man that resists the work that the men of God have began.
Elymas is called Bar-Jesus. This name means, “The son of Jesus.” That is just disrespectful. Elymas is both a false prophet and a magician. It is highly likely that he named himself Bar-Jesus to try and gain credit in spouting his lies. If you are not of Jesus, you are only of your father the devil.
Sergius Paulus is the proconsul. He is like our governor today. The proconsul is interested in what has been going on since Barnabas and Paul has arrived. He is interested in hearing the Word of God.
Elymas is bent on stopping the proconsul from hearing the gospel. It is possible that Elymas has seen the power of the gospel and how people have turned from sin to Jesus and he doesn’t want the proconsul to become a follower of Jesus.
Then the confrontation happens.
Paul confronts Elymas…”You son of the devil.”
For far too long the church has been passive when it comes to addressing sin. Paul is not nice about it. Paul is not kind about it. Paul is both confrontational and offensive to Elymas. Why? Because he loves the proconsul with the love of Jesus.
It is time for the church to confront sin. Jesus is not passive about it. The apostles are not passive about it. The church should not be passive about it. It is time that the church becomes confrontational with sin especially dealing with those that are carrying the name of Christ.
A biblical view of sex
Lack of care for Creation
Taking care of the Temple…These are just a few of the things that need to be addressed from the pulpit.
Because of the confrontation, because Paul cared enough to confront the sin and false teaching of Elymas, the proconsul believed in Jesus Christ.
How many more people today would become followers of Christ, if the church confronted sin?