Acts 11:25-26, "Then departed Barnabas to Tarsus, for to seek Saul: 26And when he had found him, he brought him unto Antioch. And it came to pass, that a whole year they assembled themselves with the church, and taught much people. And the disciples were called Christians first in Antioch."
I love to see two things take place in the lives of people. I love to see people trust Christ for salvation, and I love to see those who trust Christ to grow in a personal relationship with God to become disciples of Jesus Christ. This is the only effective way to build a solid Bible believing church. So many churches have gone down a path of seeker methodology, and very little growth takes place. I am not being critical, I am simply being observant.
Paul and Barnabas invested an entire year of their itinerant lives in one place in order to make disciples. A disciple is a learner and follower of Christ, with the emphasis being upon the result of what is learned. If we fail to obey the Bible, it really doesn't matter how much you know. Evangelist Reuben Ewert used to say, "It doesn't matter how much of the Bible you know, what matters most is how much of the Bible you live." Discipleship includes what is expressed in Acts 11:23, for when Barnabas came to Antioch it says, when he "...had seen the grace of God, was glad, and exhorted them all, that with purpose of heart they would cleave unto the Lord." The word "cleave" in Acts 11:23 means to adhere to and persevere in. What Barnabas was telling these disciples was to hold fast to God, and the faith that they had placed in God. Are you studying the Scriptures for your own personal growth? Are you involved in a discipling ministry at your church? Do you attend a group study at church on Sunday mornings? You see, all of these things will prepare you to become a Barnabas or a Paul, one who would spend time teaching others.
The great result of their teaching, is shown in the last part of verse 26, "And the disciples were called Christians first in Antioch." Would you be found guilty of being a Christian?
Your Friend and His,
Pastor Mike Abbott