A good man, and full of the Holy Ghost and of faith…Bro. David Chancellor
5/21/2006 6:00 PM
Then tidings of these things came unto the ears of the church which was at Jerusalem: and they sent forth Barnabas, that he should go as far as Antioch. Who, when he came, and had seen the grace of God, was glad, and exhorted them all, that with purpose of heart they would cleave unto the Lord. For he was a good man, and full of the Holy Ghost and of faith: and much people was added unto the Lord.
“For he was a good man, and full of the Holy Ghost and of faith: and much people was added unto the Lord…” We’d still like to see much people added to the Lord. There is a part for us, too. When they chose Barnabas, they chose a good man. They had come to realize that God came for more than just the Jews. Barnabas was a good man, full of faith and full of the Holy Ghost. These three things are still needed in us today if we would see much people come to the Lord. Barnabas had good character. Some today that claim to be Christians don’t have good character. To us, a Christian is someone who has been saved from sin. There are places where “Christian” means that your parents were affiliated with some Christian denomination. Christians should have the character of Christ.
1 Peter 2:11-15
Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul: Having your conversation honest among the Gentiles: that, whereas they speak against you as evildoers, they may by your good works, which they shall behold, glorify God in the day of visitation. Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord’s sake: whether it be to the king, as supreme; Or unto governors, as unto them that are sent by him for the punishment of evildoers, and for the praise of them that do well. For so is the will of God, that with well doing ye may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men:
Anything that would be contrary to the good of your soul, or to the good of those that are looking on, abstain from it. Your conduct wherever you go needs to be honest. The Gentiles had their own religion and needed to see something better than what they had. “…that, whereas they speak against you as evildoers, they may be your good works, which they shall behold, glorify God in the day of visitation…” As people observe your life, God will work on their hearts. People are trying to present the message of Christ through a life of bad character. If we would win people to Christ, we need to have good character. Live in a way where Jesus is glorified. Be a people who would treat others right, regardless of their religion. They need to see Christianity is different. You won’t carry the message of Christ from a sin-filled life. Be a law-abiding citizen. Be one who treats others fairly and honestly.
“For so is the will of God, that with well doing ye may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men…” There are plenty of people who can argue, but wrong is silenced by well-doing. There’s benefit when a good testimony is established. Your life has an influence. The church is judged by how you live. Others can benefit from the good life you live. Be careful how you live. The world is impressed when they see real Christians. We are interested in helping people find the Lord. There are many today that have no belief about God. You can establish something in their minds by your life. People will observe how you live and will ask.
Barnabas was full of faith. He was convinced of something. If you have faith, you believe something. The basis for our faith is the Word of God. Faith comes by hearing and studying the Word. Be ready to give an answer, a reason of the hope you have. Make the Word part of you. The Word is the basis of what the apostles knew. When you know the Word, you can explain to people about Christ.
Barnabas hunted Paul down and worked with him. Paul received a better understanding of the Old Testament. When we know the Word, we have something to point to in way of explanation. The Word should be personal to us. It needs to become a part of us, and of our lives. It is why we believe what we believe. The meaning in the Word becomes personal to us. The scripture can come to us just when we need it if we study it and make it part of us.
1 Thessalonians 1:2-3
We give thanks to God always for you all, making mention of you in our prayers; Remembering without ceasing your work of faith, and labour of love, and patience of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ, in the sight of God and our Father;
Love will cause you to labor. It will prompt you to do for others. The love of God in us will cause us to do and to endure for others. We can look forward to an eternity with God. Because of this hope, we can endure and help others to find the same hope. Faith goes deeper than a head knowledge. It changes something within.
Barnabas was also full of the Holy Ghost. If you would work for God, you need to have the Holy Spirit in your heart and guiding your life. The Holy Spirit needs to abide in us and bear fruit.
When children come to Vacation Bible School and learn about the fruits of the Spirit, they need to see people full of the Holy Ghost with his fruits on display. If we would work for God, we need to be full of the Holy Ghost. God can use your life when you let his Spirit guide the way.
Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints; And for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel, For which I am an ambassador in bonds: that therein I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.
We need the Spirit for prayer, to stir us to pray. Prayer is a large part of people finding God. It’s good to have something to say. We don’t want to try to win the world to Christ and have nothing to say. Pray for help to say what you need to say. Paul asked these to pray that the Spirit would give him the right things to say. We need the Spirit of God to speak to others in the way that God would have us to speak. Be an ambassador for Christ. We are here as his representatives to point people to God. We need the Spirit of God within us to represent him right. God’s Word is more than a system of logic; it is a revelation of God. We can’t share it without the Holy Spirit. The message of Christ won’t succeed without the Holy Spirit; all the programs and advertisements that people use are useless without the Spirit of God. We need God’s presence wherever we go and in ever situation of life.
The Spirit of God caused Barnabas to be what he was. We need the Spirit of God working in us if people would be added to the Lord. If people will respond when God’s Spirit working through his people brings conviction, their lives can be changed.