First Called Christians

The strange thing about faith is that it can be lost. Over the last year, many have struggled to “keep the faith,” to remain in Christ and connected to church. We know that the gospel if for all people, but how can all of us remain in the good news of Jesus? How can Christians last? And how can a church community remain when so much seems unstable? The good news is that the book of Acts shows us how all people can remain strong in faith for all time.

Teaching Notes

How can a community of ALL PEOPLE last for ALL TIME?


Now those who were scattered because of the persecution that arose over Stephen traveled as far as Phoenicia and Cyprus and Antioch, speaking the word to no one except Jews. But there were some of them, men of Cyprus and Cyrene, who on coming to Antioch spoke to the Hellenists also, preaching the Lord Jesus. And the hand of the Lord was with them, and a great number who believed turned to the Lord.  -Acts 11:19-21


1.FAITH: follow the Holy Spirit into uncharted territories


Faith is our reaction to God’s activity. 


“there were some of them…who spoke to the Hellenists…preaching the Lord Jesus...the hand of the Lord was with them…The report of this came to the ears of the church in Jerusalem, and they sent Barnabas to Antioch.  - Acts 11:20-22


God acts, we react:

  1. What’s my story? 

  2. What’s my gift

  3. What am I burdened for? 

  4. Where is the kingdom need?   

2. FORMATION: Commit to learning the faith in a healthy church


When he came and saw the grace of God, he was glad, and he exhorted them all to remain faithful to the Lord with steadfast purpose, 24 for he was a good man, full of the Holy Spirit and of faith. And a great many people were added to the Lord. So Barnabas went to Tarsus to look for Saul,  and when he had found him, he brought him to Antioch. For a whole year they met with the church and taught a great many people. And in Antioch the disciples were first called Christians -Acts 11:23-26


  • Spiritual formation begins at conversion


"Spiritual formation for the Christian basically refers to the Spirit-driven process of forming the inner world of the human self in such a way that it becomes like the inner being of Christ himself." -Dallas Willard, Renovation of the Heart


  • Spiritual formation requires leadership and community


  • Spiritual formation is the vast majority of your life in Christ


3. Mission: Give and serve faithfully as needs arise and change


“Now in these days prophets came down from Jerusalem to Antioch. 28 And one of them named Agabus stood up and foretold by the Spirit that there would be a great famine over all the world (this took place in the days of Claudius). So the disciples determined, every one according to his ability, to send relief to the brothers living in Judea.  And they did so, sending it to the elders by the hand of Barnabas and Saul." -Acts 11:27-30



  • Acts 11:19-30
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More from For All People

We tend to think that if there is a God, he must be distant or aloof — or maybe he’s just waiting for us to screw up. The staggering good news for our weary world is that God is FOR all people. He loves you with a relentless passion; He is your biggest advocate – no matter who you are or what you’ve done. The invitation of Jesus is not just for some people or the “right” people, it is for every single person.