A Letter about Paul and Barnabas

A Letter about Paul and Barnabas

Dear Grandson,
I was thinking about what a fine young man you are becoming. Your mother told me of how you had shared the Word with one of your friends at school. That made me think of this record about two men from the first-century Church who had a goal to speak God’s Word and to bring others to Christ. They each had the mind-set of an ambassador for Christ, which is who you are! To me, there is no greater goal one might have in life than to be the best ambassador for Christ by reaching out with God’s Word.

The names of the two men are Barnabas and Paul. They helped each other live the Word, and they both loved to speak the Word. In fact, they spoke the Word together for a whole year to many people in one city (Acts 11:26). After that, God wanted them to preach the Word in some new places (Acts 13:2,3). One day they went to a city called Antioch in Pisidia with the goal of telling others about the Lord Jesus Christ and God’s plan of salvation for them.

When they got to the city, they went to the synagogue, a place where they knew that many people of Judean background who had an interest in God would be gathered together. They attended the service there; and when it was done, the speaker asked them if they had anything to say.

Acts 13:15:
And after the reading of the law and the prophets the rulers of the synagogue sent unto them, saying,
Ye men and brethren, if ye have any word of exhortation for the people, say on.

They were given an invitation to speak, an audience, and a wide open door to walk through and speak of the Lord Jesus Christ. But you know what? They didn’t start right off introducing them to their savior.

Paul was the one who did the speaking on this occasion, and he began to gain the attention of the Judeans in the synagogue by showing great respect and by finding common ground concerning what they did believe. This is a helpful key to beginning a conversation.

Acts 13:16,17:
Then Paul stood up, and beckoning with
his hand said, Men of Israel, and ye that fear [respect] God, give audience [pay attention].
The God of this people of Israel chose our fathers, and exalted the people when they dwelt as strangers in the land of Egypt, and with an high arm brought he them out of it.

Paul reminded them of a very important event in their history as believers—when God delivered Israel out of Egypt. Then he went on to remind them of more that God had done for them, speaking of Samuel the prophet, King Saul, and King David.

After covering these familiar records of believers from the Old Testament, whom they respected, he introduced them to Jesus, explaining that this descendant of King David was Israel’s savior.

Acts 13:23,26:
Of this man’s
[David’s] seed hath God according to his promise raised unto Israel a Saviour, Jesus.
Men
and brethren, children of the stock of Abraham, and whosoever among you feareth [respects] God, to you is the word of this salvation sent.

Paul then told them that Jesus had been slain but that God raised him from the dead.

Acts 13:28-30:
And though they
[the Judeans at Jerusalem] found no cause of death in him [Jesus], yet desired they Pilate that he should be slain.
And when they had fulfilled all that was written of him, they took
him down from the tree, and laid him in a sepulchre.
But God raised him from the dead.

Paul then told the members of the synagogue in Antioch that they could not be made righteous through Moses and the law but only through Jesus who had been crucified and whom God raised from the dead.

Acts 13:38,39:
Be it known unto you therefore, men
and brethren, that through this man [Jesus] is preached unto you the forgiveness [remission] of sins:
And by him
[Jesus] all that believe are justified [legally made righteous] from all things, from which ye could not be justified by the law of Moses.

It was important for them to know that Jesus died for them and that God raised him from the dead because a person gets born again by confessing Jesus as their lord and believing that God raised him from the dead. They also needed to know that through Jesus Christ they could be made legally righteous before God and enjoy God’s grace to them.

Grandson, not everyone believed Paul that day, but some did; and many came back to hear more! The next Sabbath day almost the whole city came together to hear the Word of God, and as a result, the Word of the Lord was talked about throughout all the region (Acts 13:44,49).

God’s Word was made known throughout all the region because each of these two men went into the city of Antioch in Pisidia with the mind-set of an ambassador for Christ. To me, their mind-set sounds a lot like the one you and I have, and this gives me an idea for something we can do. How about you and Grandpa get up each day this week with the goal of bringing our conversations to Jesus Christ as we speak to others. Some people don’t know Christ yet; others know him only a little. I can think of no greater goal in life than to be the best ambassador for Christ by reaching out with God’s Word.

Text me and tell me how it goes!

Love,
Grandpa (your fellow ambassador for Christ)

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