THE HOPELESS ENEMIES OF JESUS: Acts 13:4-12

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SCRIPTURE

ACTS 13:4-8
So, being sent out by the Holy Spirit, they went down to Seleucia, and from there they sailed to Cyprus. When they arrived at Salamis, they proclaimed the word of God in the synagogues of the Jews. And they had John to assist them. When they had gone through the whole island as far as Paphos, they came upon a certain magician, a Jewish false prophet named Bar-Jesus. He was with the proconsul, Sergius Paulus, a man of intelligence, who summoned Barnabas and Saul and sought to hear the word of God. But Elymas the magician (for that is the meaning of his name) opposed them, seeking to turn the proconsul away from the faith. But Saul, who was also called Paul, filled with the Holy Spirit, looked intently at him 10 and said, “You son of the devil, you enemy of all righteousness, full of all deceit and villainy, will you not stop making crooked the straight paths of the Lord? 11 And now, behold, the hand of the Lord is upon you, and you will be blind and unable to see the sun for a time.” Immediately mist and darkness fell upon him, and he went about seeking people to lead him by the hand. 12 Then the proconsul believed, when he saw what had occurred, for he was astonished at the teaching of the Lord. 

The Holy Bible, English Standard Version Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.

BIG IDEA

The mission of Jesus Christ is global. He has empowered and sent His church to proclaim the gospel to all creation, making disciples of all nations. That’s exactly what the early church did and what churches today should do. But what should we do when we come upon those who are enemies of Jesus, like Elymas in Acts 13? We should take heart. Jesus will not be overcome and His plan will not be thwarted in any way. As we see in verse 11, Jesus doesn’t let His enemies get in the way of the mission to save His sheep. Though there are many who are outspokenly against Jesus, in the end, we are all His enemies through sin. He will defeat us either through justice (like Elymas) or through justification (like Paul). The good news of the gospel is that Jesus chose to be treated like an enemy on the cross so that all who put their faith in His work would be reconciled to God. No longer enemies through sin, Christians are adopted into the family of God as children through the work of Jesus. Praise God He doesn’t only defeat His enemies through justice! 

DISCUSSION

The mission of Jesus Christ is global. He has empowered and sent His church to proclaim the gospel to all creation, making disciples of all nations. That’s exactly what the early church did and what churches today should do. 

1. Have you ever had a conversation with someone who was blatantly anti-Jesus or anti-gospel? What was it like? 

2. Was there anything from the sermon, the big idea, or Acts 13:4-12 that stood out to you, challenged you, or confused you? 

What should we do when we come upon those who are enemies of Jesus, like Elymas in Acts 13? We should take heart. Jesus will not be overcome and His plan will not be thwarted in any way. As we see in verse 11, Jesus doesn’t let His enemies get in the way of the mission to save His sheep.

3. How have you viewed Jesus in the past? Are you more quick to think of Him as a carpenter or a King? How has your view changed over time and why? 

Though there are many who are outspokenly against Jesus, in the end, we are all His enemies through sin. He will defeat us either through justice (like Elymas) or through justification (like Paul).

4. Why do you think it’s hard for people to accept that human beings are not inherently good? Enemies of God?

5. What does it mean that Jesus defeats his enemies through Justice (like Elymas)? Can you think of any other examples of this in the Bible?
What does it mean that Jesus defeats His enemies through Justification (like Paul)? Can you think of any other examples of this in the Bible? 

GOOD WORD

The good news of the gospel is that Jesus chose to be treated like an enemy on the cross so that all who put their faith in His work would be reconciled to God. No longer enemies through sin, Christians are adopted into the family of God as children through the work of Jesus.

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