Outpost of the Kingdom

Sermon Series:Acts

As Jesus followers, we are in process with Him; constantly being changed (transformed, set apart, sanctified) through His grace and as He fills more and more of our periphery, everything (motivation, purpose, work, relationships) gets reoriented to the stunning reality of His love. This ongoing “reframing” happens in each of us, but also in all of us collectively: “Like living stones, you are being built into a spiritual house” (1 Peter 2:5). For the last 3 months, Acts has been our case study. As we wrap up the series, some verses from chapters 11 and 13 offer a portrait of a Jesus follower (via a snapshot of Barnabas), and adds to the picture of the early church. In the life of Barnabas we see grace in its various forms: generosity, advocacy, encouragement, exhortation, teaching, shepherding, and faith. And in the church in Antioch we see the church as an “outpost of the Kingdom”: empowered by the Spirit, extending the boundaries lines of the Kingdom, proclaiming the good news of Jesus to all people, teaching, nurturing, discipling, sharing life and possessions to meet felt needs in the larger church body. In Antioch, as the church was praying and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, “Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.” In a very real sense, we, too, have been “set apart’. We have been called by Jesus to trust and follow. We, too, have each been commissioned and “sent” by the Spirit for the work of the Kingdom. As a church, we, too, are called to be an outpost of the Kingdom. This is our calling, each of us and all of us: “A life built on Jesus, in the power and presence of the Holy Spirit, for the glory of Christ and His Kingdom as we move in mission with one another.”