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'Ello Governor!

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This morning we will be tagging along with Saul, Barnabas and Mark as they leave Antioch and sail to the island of Cyprus. What do they encounter on this trip? How can we apply the lessons they learn to our daily life? Let's take a look as they begin on Paul's First Missionary Journey!

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Introduction:
Paul Embarks on the First Missionary Journey
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-Missionary work would be the fulfillment of God’s purpose in Saul’s life
-Saul and Barnabas were called by the Lord and sent by the church at Antioch
-The Church at Antioch birthed the first great missionary movement
-Mark accompanied Saul and Barnabas on this important journey
- They also had John as their assistant: This man, also known as John Mark, was mentioned previously in . He traveled with Barnabas and Saul on this trip and was the same Mark who later wrote the Gospel that bears his name.
They also had John as their assistant: This man, also known as John Mark, was mentioned previously in . He traveled with Barnabas and Saul on this trip and was the same Mark who later wrote the Gospel that bears his name.
i. Mark was a valuable companion for Barnabas and Saul. He grew up in Jerusalem, and was an eyewitness of many of the events in the life of Jesus and could relate them with special power to Barnabas and Saul, and to others whom they preached to.
David Guzik, Acts, David Guzik’s Commentaries on the Bible (Santa Barbara, CA: David Guzik, 2013), .
- Since Seleucia wasn’t far from Antioch, where there was a thriving church, it isn’t difficult to assume there was already a group of Christians there in that city.
Since Seleucia wasn’t far from Antioch, where there was a thriving church, it isn’t difficult to assume there was already a group of Christians there in that city.
David Guzik, Acts, David Guzik’s Commentaries on the Bible (Santa Barbara, CA: David Guzik, 2013), .
He sailed to Cyprus to minister where Barnabas had been born
Acts 4:36 NLT
36 For instance, there was Joseph, the one the apostles nicknamed Barnabas (which means “Son of Encouragement”). He was from the tribe of Levi and came from the island of Cyprus.
-He preached in the synagogues (This custom of the open synagogue gave Barnabas and Saul many opportunities to preach. This tradition invited any learned man to speak to the people of the synagogue at the Sabbath meeting) at Salamis, ministering to the Jews first
This custom of the open synagogue gave Barnabas and Saul many opportunities to preach. This tradition invited any learned man to speak to the people of the synagogue at the Sabbath meeting) at Salamis, ministering to the Jews first
David Guzik, Acts, David Guzik’s Commentaries on the Bible (Santa Barbara, CA: David Guzik, 2013), .at Salamis, ministering to the Jews first
Romans 1:16 NLT
16 For I am not ashamed of this Good News about Christ. It is the power of God at work, saving everyone who believes—the Jew first and also the Gentile.
-He met two men to remember at Paphos
“Paphos was infamous for its worship of Venus, the goddess of [sexual] love” (Barclay). “Athanasius styled its religion ‘the deification of lust.’ Neither men nor women could resort to the shrine of Venus without being defiled in mind and depraved in character.” (Spurgeon)

“Paphos was infamous for its worship of Venus, the goddess of [sexual] love” (Barclay).

David Guzik, Acts, David Guzik’s Commentaries on the Bible (Santa Barbara, CA: David Guzik, 2013), .

“Athanasius styled its religion ‘the deification of lust.’ Neither men nor women could resort to the shrine of Venus without being defiled in mind and depraved in character.” (Spurgeon)

-Bar-Jesus was a Jewish sorcerer who would oppose and distract them
-Sergius Paulus was a deputy who would welcome them and bring them delight
Let’s take a look at our text in and read about Paul’s First Missionary Journey:
Acts 13:4–12 NLT
4 So Barnabas and Saul were sent out by the Holy Spirit. They went down to the seaport of Seleucia and then sailed for the island of Cyprus. 5 There, in the town of Salamis, they went to the Jewish synagogues and preached the word of God. John Mark went with them as their assistant. 6 Afterward they traveled from town to town across the entire island until finally they reached Paphos, where they met a Jewish sorcerer, a false prophet named Bar-Jesus. 7 He had attached himself to the governor, Sergius Paulus, who was an intelligent man. The governor invited Barnabas and Saul to visit him, for he wanted to hear the word of God. 8 But Elymas, the sorcerer (as his name means in Greek), interfered and urged the governor to pay no attention to what Barnabas and Saul said. He was trying to keep the governor from believing. 9 Saul, also known as Paul, was filled with the Holy Spirit, and he looked the sorcerer in the eye. 10 Then he said, “You son of the devil, full of every sort of deceit and fraud, and enemy of all that is good! Will you never stop perverting the true ways of the Lord? 11 Watch now, for the Lord has laid his hand of punishment upon you, and you will be struck blind. You will not see the sunlight for some time.” Instantly mist and darkness came over the man’s eyes, and he began groping around begging for someone to take his hand and lead him. 12 When the governor saw what had happened, he became a believer, for he was astonished at the teaching about the Lord.

I. The deputy had a desire (v.7)

Acts 13:7 NLT
7 He had attached himself to the governor, Sergius Paulus, who was an intelligent man. The governor invited Barnabas and Saul to visit him, for he wanted to hear the word of God.
He desired to hear the Word of God
- While ministering in Paphos (presumably after the same fashion—going into the synagogues and presenting Jesus), an unexpected door opened—the proconsul wanted to hear the word of God.
While ministering in Paphos (presumably after the same fashion—going into the synagogues and presenting Jesus), an unexpected door opened—the proconsul wanted to hear the word of God.
David Guzik, Acts, David Guzik’s Commentaries on the Bible (Santa Barbara, CA: David Guzik, 2013), .
The deputy (proconsul) was an important man
he was similar to a governor but with a limited term
he is called prudent (intelligent, sensible)
A Roman proconsul was responsible for an entire province and answered to the Roman Senate
This was an important man. A Roman proconsul was responsible for an entire province and answered to the Roman Senate
David Guzik, Acts, David Guzik’s Commentaries on the Bible (Santa Barbara, CA: David Guzik, 2013), .
This important man knew he needed God
he was aware of the limitations of human power
he desperately wanted to hear a word from the Lord
Do you desire to hear what God has to say to you?

II. The deputy was distracted (vv.6-11)

Acts 13:6–11 NLT
6 Afterward they traveled from town to town across the entire island until finally they reached Paphos, where they met a Jewish sorcerer, a false prophet named Bar-Jesus. 7 He had attached himself to the governor, Sergius Paulus, who was an intelligent man. The governor invited Barnabas and Saul to visit him, for he wanted to hear the word of God. 8 But Elymas, the sorcerer (as his name means in Greek), interfered and urged the governor to pay no attention to what Barnabas and Saul said. He was trying to keep the governor from believing. 9 Saul, also known as Paul, was filled with the Holy Spirit, and he looked the sorcerer in the eye. 10 Then he said, “You son of the devil, full of every sort of deceit and fraud, and enemy of all that is good! Will you never stop perverting the true ways of the Lord? 11 Watch now, for the Lord has laid his hand of punishment upon you, and you will be struck blind. You will not see the sunlight for some time.” Instantly mist and darkness came over the man’s eyes, and he began groping around begging for someone to take his hand and lead him.
Enter Elymas (Bar-Jesus), who tried to distract he deputy
Acts 4. The Resistance of Elymas the Sorcerer (8–12)

“Wherever there is likely to be great success, the open door and the opposing adversaries will both be found. If there are no adversaries, you may fear that there will be no success. A boy cannot get his kite up without wind, nor without a wind which drives against his kite.” (Spurgeon)

Acts 4. The Resistance of Elymas the Sorcerer (8–12)

“Wherever there is likely to be great success, the open door and the opposing adversaries will both be found. If there are no adversaries, you may fear that there will be no success. A boy cannot get his kite up without wind, nor without a wind which drives against his kite.” (Spurgeon)

“Wherever there is likely to be great success, the open door and the opposing adversaries will both be found. If there are no adversaries, you may fear that there will be no success. A boy cannot get his kite up without wind, nor without a wind which drives against his kite.” (Spurgeon)

Who was this distracter?
He was a Jew, a false prophet, and a sorcerer (v.6)
He called himself Bar-Jesus (son of Jesus) but Luke didn’t want to use that
He tried to distract the deputy from coming to faith in Christ
Distraction often comes from those professing special gifts from God
Saul boldly rebuked this enemy of the truth (vv. 9-10)
he called him a deceiver and corrupter of the truth
he called him a child of the devil and an enemy of righteousness
Paul, using spiritual discernment and operating in the gift of faith, rebuked and pronounced the judgment of God upon Elymas. Servants of God must boldly denounce sin and false teachings by following and putting into practice the gifts of the Holy Spirit in their life.
Paul, using spiritual discernment and operating in the gift of faith, rebuked and pronounced the judgment of God upon Elymas
David Guzik, Acts, David Guzik’s Commentaries on the Bible (Santa Barbara, CA: David Guzik, 2013), .servants of God must boldly denounce sin and false teachings
Elymus was stricken blind for his sinful opposition to the truth

III. The deputy made a decision (v12)

Acts 13:12 NLT
12 When the governor saw what had happened, he became a believer, for he was astonished at the teaching about the Lord.
When he saw what happened to Elymus, he believed
he saw that false teaching leads to blindness
he turned from false doctrine to faith in Christ
The deputy was astonished at what Saul said about Jesus
the Gospel was truly good news to him
the death and resurrection of Christ captured his heart
Among other things, we can say that the proconsul saw something in Paul and something in Elymas.
Among other things, we can say that the proconsul saw something in Paul and something in Elymas.
i. He saw the courage of Paul. Here was a man of conviction, bold in his belief, and willing to make a stand for what he believed.
Conclusion:
ii. He saw the just result of Elymas’ sin, physical blindness corresponding to his spiritual blindness. When we see the trouble sin brings people into, it helps us pursue God more earnestly.
David Guzik, Acts, David Guzik’s Commentaries on the Bible (Santa Barbara, CA: David Guzik, 2013), .
Conclusion:
After the deputy’s conversion, Saul’s name was changed to Paul
- It was common for people in that day to have names that were similar yet different according to the language or culture they were in. Certainly, Saul’s given name was Saul, a Jewish name after the first king of Israel. But his Roman name was Paul—which meant “Little” and sounded similar to “Saul.” And since he was ministering to both the Jews and Gentiles, it made sense to use both names. After this, he normally ministered to Gentiles which is why we know him more as Paul than Saul.
It was common for people in that day to have names that were similar yet different according to the language or culture they were in. Certainly, Saul’s given name was Saul, a Jewish name after the first king of Israel. But his Roman name was Paul—which meant “Little” and sounded similar to “Saul.”
- “Saul’s father gave the child a Roman and a Latin name because he was a Roman citizen with all the rights in the Roman Empire this implied. The child had both names from infancy. When his father called him he shouted, ‘Saul, Saul!’ but when the Greek boys with whom he played called him they shouted, ‘Paul, Paul!’ ” (Lenski)
David Guzik, Acts, David Guzik’s Commentaries on the Bible (Santa Barbara, CA: David Guzik, 2013), .
“Saul’s father gave the child a Roman and a Latin name because he was a Roman citizen with all the rights in the Roman Empire this implied. The child had both names from infancy. When his father called him he shouted, ‘Saul, Saul!’ but when the Greek boys with whom he played called him they shouted, ‘Paul, Paul!’ ” (Lenski)
David Guzik, Acts, David Guzik’s Commentaries on the Bible (Santa Barbara, CA: David Guzik, 2013), .
H.A. Ironside said, “Paul took the name of his illustrious convert”
When we lead others to Christ, we are changed too.
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