In the book of Acts, the Antioch church (in modern day Turkey) replaced Jerusalem as the center of Christian activity, the birthplace of foreign missions, the gateway to the ends of the earth, the heart of the unfolding Gospel story and a thriving hub of gospel energy that blessed the nations.
Here are TEN OUTSTANDING FEATURES of the Antioch church that make it one of the best churches in the Bible and a superb model for us today:
- 11:19-24, An EVANGELISTIC church
- 1:23-24, An ENCOURAGING church
- 11:25-26, A TEACHING church (cf. 15:32, 35)
- 11:26, A CHRIST-CENTRED church
- 11:27-30, A SERVING church
- 13:1, 2b; 15:1-3 A TRUTH-LOVING church
- 13:2a, A WORSHIPPING church
- 13:3-4, 14:26-27, A SENDING & MISSIONARY church
- 13:1 (etc.), A UNIFIED church amidst ethnic diversity
- 11:23; 15:3, 31, A JOYFUL church
In other words, the early Antioch church was a “perfect 10”, an outstanding example for us to follow here in our “Antioch” to which God has called us in this large city of Johannesburg. Not only is Antioch a model for us to follow, but also our mother church. Who of us would be here today were it not for the Antioch church from which the gospel went west into Europe and from there to us. We owe our very spiritual existence to this one church as a mighty tool God used to bring us from spiritual darkness and into His glorious light.
Oh that many others would one day say the same thing of Antioch Bible Church here in Johannesburg – that in generations to come, many across Africa and beyond would say that they owe their very existence to this one humble church which the mighty God used to bring them the gospel and ground them in His eternal Word.