The Antioch Church Essay
We come now to a major turning point in the book of Acts. In Acts 1:8 Jesus commissioned His disciples to be His witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and in all Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth. We have seen how the gospel spread throughout Jerusalem, Judea, and Samaria and now to the Gentile world.
As we look at the inception of the Antioch church I want us to observe three sub points in this first heading.
I. The blessings of persecution (19).
Chapter 11verse 19 picks up from where chapter 8 verse 4 left off. Let’s look at chapter 8:1-4. One of those “scattered” was Philip (8:4), and he witnessed to an Ethiopian and to the Samaritans. Now, we would learn of another group who travelled to Phoe ni cia, Cyprus, and Antioch. (Read verse 19).
Remember we said the Greek word for scattered is διασπείρω (diaspeirō) From which comes the Greek word σπειρω (speirō) meaning to sow seed. In other words, the believers were scattered like a farmer who scattered seeds and just as strong wind scatter seeds to distance places, the wind of persecution scattered the seeds of the gospel to
Phoe ni cia, Cyprus, and Antioch (show map). This clearly demonstrated God’s mighty hand at work to spread the good news of salvation through the intended evil of the Jews, thus fulfilling Acts 1:8. Persecution has always been a blessing to the church leading to the spread of the gospel.
These faithful Jews preached the gospel…