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New Hope Christian Church

And that includes you

Remember when Stephen was killed, and the followers of the Way scattered like seeds under the persecution? Those scattered followers had been spreading the message only to Jews, for the assumption was this was a Jew only thing, and Jews didn’t associate with Gentiles anyway. But some of them, men from Cyprus and Cyrene, went to a city called Antioch, in modern day Syria, and began to speak to Greeks as well, perhaps they spoke the same tongue and had some cultural similarities, telling them of Lord Jesus. Or perhaps the Holy Spirit just guided them to do so.

‘News of this reached the ears of the church at Jerusalem, and they sent Barnabus to Antioch. When he arrived and saw the evidence of the Grace of God, he was glad and encouraged them all to remain true to the Lord with all their hearts.’

Acts 11:22

‘He was a good man, full of the Holy Spirit and faith, and a great number of people were brought to the Lord.’

Acts 11:24

I’m feeling that Barnabus had more than his hands full, thousands of people coming to faith, Gentiles many or most of them, exciting but chaotic, without structure or deep foundations. Who to teach all these people? Who to guide them, instruct them, school them in the Way?

He needed help.

“Saul”.

The Counsellor within will only have needed to say it once and he was off.

‘Then Barnabas went to Tarsus to look for Saul, and when he found him he brought him to Antioch.’

Acts 11:25

Speaks volumes of Saul’s lessoning that he hadn’t already travelled there and got stuck in but had instead waited, knowing a spiritual revival was happening in Antioch as he surely did, but waiting for the Lord to send for him, if He wanted him at all, rather than acting on his own authority. Saul had changed.

‘So for a whole year Barnabas and Saul met with the church and taught great numbers of people. The disciples of the Way were called Christians first at Antioch.

Acts 11:26

Christians. The anointed ones. Anointed in and by the Holy Spirit.

Perhaps it is at this time that Saul also changed his name, or at least added a new one. Paul.

A reborn man indeed.

Antioch will have been reborn as well. A man is transformed.

Reborn of Spirit and Truth.

A city is transformed.

Reborn of Spirit and Truth.

The World can be transformed.

It is the one and only Way.

It’s about this time that the new Christian Church comes under persecution from Rome. The first of the disciples to be killed is James, put to the sword by King Herod Agrippa, the grandson of King Herod who had tried to kill Jesus as a babe. This seemed to please the Jews and so Peter was also imprisoned, to be executed, until being miraculously released. See Acts 12.

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New Hope Christian Church

NHCC UK | Greenhill Parkway

Sheffield | S8  7JP

Phone  |  07459200418

Email  |  info@nhcc.uk

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