Worship 4 today pt 3 consolidating and expanding horizons who is kat dating now

At last the gospel broke through the Jewish barriers that had held it in and was now reaching out to the Gentiles.

Soon we have the natural consequence, the beginning of a new church: And the hand of the Lord was with them, and a great number that believed turned to the Lord.

And amazingly, the evangelization was conducted by obscure men and women, laymen like most of you here.

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Some were Hebrew-speaking Jews who preached only to the Jews.

Others were Greek-speaking Jews, men of Cyprus, and of Cyrene on the north coast of Africa.

(Acts -20 RSV) It amazes me how often, in commenting on this point, people read Verse 19 but never Verse 20.

They stop with the words "speaking to none except Jews" and say they prove that the gospel did not go out to the Gentiles until much later.

Here we learn afresh of the movement of the Holy Spirit.

The Holy Spirit at work is like a great river, cutting a fresh channel, going wherever it wishes.

Since they were themselves Jews, raised in the tradition that they were God's chosen people, you can imagine what happened.

They never thought that God would move to reach the Gentile world and so they hardly knew what to make of it. He had one of the largest hearts recorded in all of the New Testament.

News of this came to the ears of the church in Jerusalem, and they sent Barnabas to Antioch.

When he came and saw the grace of God, he was glad; and he exhorted them all to remain faithful to the Lord with steadfast purpose; for he was a good man, full of the Holy Spirit and of faith. (Acts -24 RSV) The result of this first preaching was that a great many Gentile converts came to Christ.

Antioch was a strategic city, the third largest in the Roman empire. About five miles outside the city was the temple of Daphne, where sex was enthroned and worshipped through priestesses who were really religious prostitutes. Yet in the midst of its corruption this new church had arisen, and Barnabas was sent to discover what was going on.

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