Purkey’s

B i b l e   S t u d y

Outlines

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Rev. Ronald C. Purkey, an ordained Baptist minister, claims no originality for this Bible study outline.

However, every Bible study posted on this website has been taught by Rev. Purkey.

To see more Bible study outlines go to page two: More Bible Study Outlines.

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A FAITH TO DISCERN
December 10, 2017

 

SCRIPTURE: Acts 13:1-12

 

KEY VERSE: As they ministered to the Lord, and fasted, the Holy Ghost said, Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them. (Acts 13:2)

 

INTRODUCTION: The church began in Jerusalem, and then spread to other cities, including Samaria, Damascus, Caesarea, and Antioch in Syria. At least forty different cities are named in Acts. From Antioch, Paul and his helpers carried the Gospel throughout the then-known world.

 

In fact, the record given in Acts 13-28 is almost a review of ancient geography. About the year 56, the Apostle Paul was able to write, “So that from Jerusalem, and round about unto Illyricum, I have fully preached the Gospel of Christ” (Romans 15:19). That is a tremendous record!

 

I. THE CHOOSING AND SENDING OF BARNABAS AND SAUL. (Acts 13:1-3)

 

A. The Choosing.

 

(Acts 13:1-2) Now there were in the church that was at Antioch certain prophets and teachers; as Barnabas, and Simeon that was called Niger, and Lucius of Cyrene, and Manaen, which had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch, and Saul. As they ministered to the Lord, and fasted, the Holy Ghost said, Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them.

 

Our focus is shifted away from Jerusalem and back toward Antioch. In verse 1 we see the diversity of backgrounds of the leaders of the church at Antioch:

 

·        Barnabas – was a Levite from Cyprus.

 

·        Simeon – was from Cyrene (North Africa)

 

·        Lucius – was from Cyrene (North Africa)

 

·        Manaen – was brought up with Herod Antipas (a foster brother to the Herod who had John the Baptist beheaded).

 

·        Saul -- was a Jew born in Tarsus but "brought up" in Jerusalem and trained as a Pharisee. He was a Roman citizen (Acts 21:39; Acts 22: 25-29).

 

INSIGHT: You will notice as they begin their ministry it is “Barnabas and Saul.” They will not be very far into the first missionary journey until Saul’s name is changed to Paul. It is soon evident that Paul becomes the leader and the chief spokesman; then this team is called “Paul and Barnabas.”

 

B. The Commissioning.

 

(Acts 13:3) And when they had fasted and prayed, and laid their hands on them, they sent them away.

 

These men are now set aside as missionaries. Did you notice the church that sent them forth into the world? It was not the church in Jerusalem. (It’s sad to say, but the church in Jerusalem was not a missionary church.) The church in Antioch had the missionary vision. They fasted and prayed because of their earnestness and their desire for the will of God.

 

INSIGHT: They laid their hands on these two missionaries they were sending out. We still do that today to our missionaries. Why? Is it that we are imparting something to them? The laying on of hands is a means of identifying, of declaring that we are partners with that one.

 

So the Christians in Antioch are indicating by placing their hands on them that (1) they are in a partnership with Paul and Barnabas in the enterprise of getting out the Word of God. (2) They are sending these men out as their representatives. (3) They will minister at home while Paul and Barnabas go to the regions beyond.

 

(Romans 10:13-15) 13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. 14 How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? 15 And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!

 

II. THE MINISTRY OF BARNABAS AND SAUL IN CYPRUS. (Acts 13:4-12)

 

A. They Were Led By The Holy Spirit.

 

(Acts 13:4) So they, being sent forth by the Holy Ghost, departed unto Seleucia; and from thence they sailed to Cyprus.

 

The important thing is that they are sent forth by the Holy Spirit. They will be led by the Holy Spirit of God. They went down to the seacoast town of Seleucia and sailed from there.

 

B. They Preached The Word Of God.

 

(Acts 13:5) And when they were at Salamis, they preached the word of God in the synagogues of the Jews: and they had also John to their minister.

 

INSIGHT: Notice that they had young John Mark along with them.

 

From the very beginning Paul adopts a method which he followed through his entire ministry. He always used the Jewish synagogue as the springboard from which he preached the gospel. (Paul went to the Jewish synagogue because that was where the people were!)

 

INSIGHT: I heard of a Christian man who was criticized for going to speak in a synagogue. This man preached the gospel of Christ, I can assure you. The critic was reminded that the apostle Paul always went first to the synagogue to preach. If the critic was going to find fault with this Christian man, he would also have to find fault with the method of the apostle Paul.

 

C. They Found An Enemy Of The Lord.

 

(Acts 13:6) And when they had gone through the isle unto Paphos, they found a certain sorcerer, a false prophet, a Jew, whose name was Bar-jesus.

 

It would appear that their ministry didn’t have much success at Salamis. At least no record is given of any fruit from their ministry. They cross over the Isle of Cyprus to the other side of the island.

 

In Paphos they encounter opposition that was actually satanic, through a sorcerer named Bar-jesus who had a tremendous influence on the Roman deputy, the governor of that island, Sergius Paulus.

 

INSIGHT: “Sorcerer” means a magician; corrupter. Bar-jesus was a false prophet.

 

D. They Experienced Opposition From Bar-jesus.

 

(Acts 13:7-8) Which was with the deputy of the country, Sergius Paulus, a prudent man; who called for Barnabas and Saul, and desired to hear the word of God. But Elymas the sorcerer (for so is his name by interpretation) withstood them, seeking to turn away the deputy from the faith.

 

This is satanic opposition. Elymas the sorcerer had the governor under his influence. Unfortunately there are a great many rulers today who are under the influence of all kinds of cultism which is in opposition to the Word of God and in opposition to the gospel of Christ.

 

E. They Took A Stand Against The Opposition.

 

(Acts 13:9-10) Then Saul, (who also is called Paul,) filled with the Holy Ghost, set his eyes on him. 10 And said, O full of all subtilty and all mischief, thou child of the devil, thou enemy of all righteousness, wilt thou not cease to pervert the right ways of the Lord?

 

INSIGHT: Saul’s name was changed at this point. (Acts 13:9) Then Saul, (who also is called Paul,) filled with the Holy Ghost, set his eyes on him. Here his name is changed. Why was he called Paul? The name Paul means “small or little.” Some think that he took that name as an act of humility (i.e., that he no longer wanted to bear the proud name of Saul). It is possible he took the name of the governor, Sergius Paulus, who was his first convert.

 

They resisted this false prophet! The Bible says: “Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you” (James 4:7).

 

Paul may have been a mild man in some ways, but when he encountered this kind of opposition, he denounced it with all his being. Paul recognized it as satanic and he denounced it. I believe we ought to do the same today.

 

F. They Performed A Powerful Miracle.

 

(Acts 13:11-12) And now, behold, the hand of the Lord is upon thee, and thou shalt be blind, not seeing the sun for a season. And immediately there fell on him a mist and a darkness; and he went about seeking some to lead him by the hand. Then the deputy, when he saw what was done, believed, being astonished at the doctrine of the Lord.

 

Elymas the sorcerer was already in spiritual darkness. Now he is put into physical darkness as well. Probably the sorcerer had been doing some fancy tricks by the power of Satan. In that day a false prophet could probably heal and perform other miracles by the power of Satan.

 

The apostle Paul received his authority from the Lord Jesus Christ. He absolutely dominates the sorcerer by his message of the gospel of Christ. Sergius Paulus wakes-up spiritually and accepts Christ as his Savior. Sergius Paulus had been in spiritual darkness but now he believes in Jesus Christ and is astonished at the doctrine of the Lord.

 

INSIGHT: I call your attention to the fact that Paul had the sign gifts of an apostle. When he went over there to Paphos, he couldn’t ask them to turn to the New Testament. There was no New Testament for him to preach from or for them to turn to. He couldn’t preach from the Epistle to the Romans because he hadn’t written it yet. They couldn’t turn to the Gospel of John because John hadn’t written it yet. (God is the author of the Bible, and Paul, John, and others are the penmen.)

 

So how will these people recognize Paul’s authority? It is by the sign gifts (miracles). Today, the New Testament is written. We are now given a different way to recognize authority. “If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed” (2 John 10). This doctrine is in the Word of God, in the New Testament.

 

G. They Lost Their Helper John Mark.

 

(Acts 13:13) Now when Paul and his company loosed from Paphos, they came to Perga in Pamphylia: and John departing from them returned to Jerusalem.

 

At the beginning John Mark is a failure. That is all Dr. Luke says; he mildly records the fact of John Mark’s departure. He doesn’t issue a tirade against him. We will learn later that John Mark actually “deserted” them. He showed a yellow streak and ran home to mommy. Remember that his mother was a prominent member of the church in Jerusalem and that her home was the place of meeting for the church there.

 

When John Mark reached Perga and got a look into the interior of Asia Minor -- the paganism and the physical dangers and hardships that were there -- he decided that he hadn’t been called to be a missionary. He heads in another direction, and that direction is home. He left Paul and Barnabas and returned to Jerusalem. Meanwhile Paul and Barnabas went into the interior of Asia Minor.

 

INSIGHT: Later on we will find that Paul refuses to take John Mark on another missionary journey. In fact, Paul and Barnabas disagree so violently over the issue of taking along John Mark that Paul and Barnabas finally separated. Paul went one way and Barnabas went another way. Paul was wrong about John Mark. God didn’t throw John Mark overboard because of his failure. Thank God, He doesn’t throw us overboard because of our failure either.

 

God gave John Mark another chance. Later on Paul was big enough to admit he had been wrong, and when he was close to his death, he actually asked for John Mark to come to him. “Only Luke is with me. Take Mark, and bring him with thee: for he is profitable to me for the ministry” (2 Timothy 4:11). This is the same John Mark who wrote the Gospel of Mark. He made good. Thank God, He gives us a second chance!

 

Doing Things God’s Way
By Dave Branon

 

So they, being sent forth by the Holy Ghost, departed unto Seleucia; and from thence they sailed to Cyprus. – Acts 13:4

 

Again and again we hear of groups who claim to be doing things in God’s name yet don’t seem to be truly serving Him. For instance, we see cults rising up -- groups that are headed by a leader with personal magnetism, who draws people to himself with promises, claiming to have special knowledge from God.

 

To avoid being carried away by this kind of person, it might be helpful to look closely at the suggestions of Watchman Nee, a Chinese Christian writer. He said God will bless:

 

What He initiates
What depends on Him for its success
What is done according to His Word
What is done for His glory

 

The work of Paul and Barnabas in their first missionary journey met those guidelines. As we read Acts 13, we see that (1) God initiated it (verse 2), (2) the people depended on God (verse 3), (3) it was done according to the Word of God (verse 5), and (4) God received the glory (verse 12).

 

Whenever we wonder whether some work we hear about is done with God’s blessing, we need to apply this four-step test. It’s the best way to make sure things are done God’s way, not man’s way.

 

 -- Adapted from Dave Branon, Our Daily Bread, March 16, 1994

 

CONCLUSION: What have we learned today from our study of Acts chapter 13?

 

·        Open doors come to people busy serving the Lord: The Lord calls people who take the time to worship and minister Him. If you want the Lord’s guidance, get busy where you are, and He will show you the next step.

 

·        Open doors usually produce opposition (see 1 Corinthians 16:9): Here is another example of the parable of the tares (see Matthew 13:24–30, 36–43). The Lord sowed the good seed (Paul and Barnabas), and Satan sowed the counterfeit (the sorcerer Bar-jesus).

 

·        Open doors reveal character: Paul and Barnabas kept going, but John Mark quit and returned home. We do not know why, nor should we pass judgment on him (see 1 Corinthians 10:12). Barnabas reclaimed John Mark (see 15:36–41) and Paul eventually accepted him too (see 2 Timothy 4:11).

 

·        Open doors develop leadership. The trip began with “Barnabas and Saul” (Acts 13:2), but it became “Paul and his party” (see Acts 13:13). Barnabas rejoiced to see Paul being used so mightily of the Lord (see Romans 12:9–11). It was a team effort, and the vital thing was that it brought glory to God.

 

THOUGHT TO REMEMBER: “The only leader worth following is the leader who is following Christ.”

 

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REFERENCES: References used in these Bible studies are the King James Bible (KJV), The Moody Bible Commentary, Dr. J. Vernon McGee © Thru the Bible Radio Network ( www.ttb.org ), the Scofield Study Bible, the Believer’s Bible Commentary, Dr. Charles J. Woodbridge Bible Outlines, Dr. Lee Roberson’s Sermons, Dr. Charles Stanley: ( http://www.intouch.org/ ), Don Robinson’s Bible Outlines, Women’s Study Bible, The Bible Reader’s Companion Ed. 3, The Nelson Study Bible: New King James Version, KJV Bible Commentary, Wiersbe’s Expository Outlines of the New Testament ed. 4, Dr. David Jeremiah: ( http://www.davidjeremiah.org/site/ ), Dr. Cliff Robinson’s Bible Outlines, Wiersbe’s Expository Outlines of the Old Testament, Dr. Alan Carr’s The Sermon Notebook ( www.sermonnotebook.org ), With the Word Bible Commentary, Wiersbe’s “Be” Series: Old & New Testaments, RBC Ministries ( http://rbc.org/ ), selected illustrations, and other references.

 

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REFERENCES: References used in these Bible studies are the King James Bible (KJV), The Moody Bible Commentary, Dr. J. Vernon McGee © Thru the Bible Radio Network ( www.ttb.org ), the Scofield Study Bible, the Believer’s Bible Commentary, Dr. Charles J. Woodbridge Bible Outlines, Dr. Lee Roberson’s Sermons, Dr. Charles Stanley: ( http://www.intouch.org/ ), Don Robinson’s Bible Outlines, Women’s Study Bible, The Bible Reader’s Companion Ed. 3, The Nelson Study Bible: New King James Version, KJV Bible Commentary, Wiersbe’s Expository Outlines of the New Testament ed. 4, Dr. David Jeremiah: ( http://www.davidjeremiah.org/site/ ), Dr. Cliff Robinson’s Bible Outlines, Wiersbe’s Expository Outlines of the Old Testament, Dr. Alan Carr’s The Sermon Notebook ( www.sermonnotebook.org ), With the Word Bible Commentary, Wiersbe’s “Be” Series: Old & New Testaments, RBC Ministries ( http://rbc.org/ ), selected illustrations, and other references.

 

REV. RONALD PURKEY’S OFFICE

E-mail: Ronald Purkey

 

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