1. The Church (v. 1-3)
The leaders of the church at Antioch took the initiative to pray and fast and worship the Lord – spending time in the motivation of missions for the glory of God and asking God for guidance in sending some of their own qualified leaders to the unreached fields.
“When a Biblical local church sends, the Holy Spirit sends.”
2. The Holy Spirit (v. 2, 4)
A. The Holy Spirit said (v. 2)
B. The Holy Spirit sends. (v. 4)
The Holy Spirit in the local church:
1. The Holy Spirit Said – verse 2
See also where the Holy Spirit speaks: Acts 4:25; 28:25; Hebrews 3:7 ”says”; Acts 13:46-47 . See also Matthew 22:31 – “have you not read what God said?”
2. The Holy Spirit Sends – verse 4 – (ex-pempo) “When a Biblical local church disciples, trains, affirms, confirms, and sends (verse 3), the Holy Spirit sends” (verse 4)
How Does the Holy Spirit clearly speak today?
In and through the Written Word of God:
Focus on the clear things in the Scriptures about the will of God; walk with Him; and then He will guide you:
1. Sanctification / holiness– 1 Thess. 4:3; Romans 12:1-2
2. Sovereign will of God – Ephesians 1:11
3. Surrender to God’s will – Luke 22:42; 1 Thess. 5:18; Ephesians 5:20
4. Suffering – 1 Peter 3:17; 1 Peter 4:19
5. Evangelism – 2 Peter 3:9; 3:15; 2 Timothy 2:10; Rev. 5:9 (the elect among all the nations) Start witnessing and getting training.
6. Submission to the Holy Spirit – Ephesians 5:17-18; Galatians 5:16 – “walk one step at a time” – John MacArthur. Colossians 3:16 – the word and worship go together. Filled with the word, with an attitude of humility and willingness to obey.
Application: Questions to ask yourself:
1. Are you a growing member of a Biblical local church? Are you serving?
Are you growing in the Word and with the other believers? Are you discipling anyone or being discipled? Are you involved in evangelism?
Spiritual gifts are developed and blossom as we are in the Word with people, active in church. Colossians 3:11-16; Romans 12:11 ff – love, mercy, one another, service, encouragement, giving – example of Barnabas for Saul / Paul
2. Are you accountable to your church leaders who teach you God’s word?
Even Barnabas and Saul, the apostle Paul, first grew and were accountable in a local church first, for years, before being sent out. Probably around 11 years after Saul’s conversion in Acts 9.
(Ephesians 4:7-16 – spiritual gifts discovered in context of church and service.
Ephesians 4:11-12 = Equipping gifts. results = service, ministry. Romans 12:6-8
3. Are you praying for missionaries, unreached peoples, unreached areas of the world? (example of William Carey meeting with other leaders and elders and ministers to discuss and pray about missions – “An Enquiry into the Obligations to use means for the conversion of the heathen” – pray – Matthew 9:37-38 – “O Lord of the harvest, send forth workers into Your harvest!”
4. Do you have a desire to serve God as a missionary? See 1 Timothy 3:1 – “ambition”, “desire” – internal calling with external calling. Share your desire with your church elders and leaders and ask them to pray for you – “Lord, teach me your ways, show me your paths” (Psalms 25, 27)
5. Study the Scriptural texts on the clear will of God. (in the above paragraph 6 points)