Acts 13 might be called Missions 101. It not only tells us of the first missionaries sent out by a church, but in doing so it also offers us a good overview of missions for today. We see:
- The Call to Missions (v1-4) – The call comes in the context of worship and fasting. The Holy Spirit gives the call, and clearly gives it to both the called and the sending church. They respond to the call with a period of prayer and fasting. Finally, the church sends the missionaries out, and they go. What a great model for us!
- The Warfare of Missions (v4-13) – They face demonic opposition. Satan doesn’t want the gospel to go forth. We wrestle not against flesh and blood. Missions is war. But God is stronger than the devil. Sobering reality mixed with great hope!
- The Message of Missions (v14-43) – They preach the gospel: Jesus died for sins and rose again as foretold by the prophets and witnessed by the apostles. His death and resurrection make possible the forgiveness of sins to all who believe. This is still the message today!
- The Scope of Missions (v44-47) – The gospel is for the Jew and the Gentile. It is for everyone – to the ends of the earth. There are still people groups at the ends of the earth who need to hear the good news!
- The Response to Missions (v48-52) – Some people oppose the gospel stirring up persecution. Others embrace the gospel with joy. And so it will be today!