Evangelist Bob Sanders is a true servant of the Lord. He has a heart for the Lord’s work and continues to encourage our ministry. We are happy to call him a friend. This faithful man has been a constant encourager to many who are engaged in the work of the gospel. Allow this article by Dr. Sanders to challenge and strengthen you today…
“For he was a good man, and full of the Holy Ghost and of faith” – Acts 11:24
When we come to Acts 11, reports of a stirring among the Grecians at Antioch has caught the attention of two worlds; one being the spiritual center of the Church located at Jerusalem.
Desirous to know the validity of the report the counsel chooses a disciple named Barnabas to investigate. They have the right man, for he will enter a ministry that is exceptional and will enlarge it! He would invest in a learner, the novice Saul, and be rewarded with a leader, the notable Paul. Within our text, we discover that His selection and success was due to who he was; “For he was. ” Within the text we are given two reasons that make Barnabas the right choice.
He was selected and successful because of his character, “a good man.” The word “good” means that he was constitutionally good, beneficial, benevolent and useful. Wherever he was and whatever he was involved in was benefited by his presence. We see this the first time we meet him in Acts 4:36. His given name was “Joses” which is thought to mean, exalted. But, he would not be recognized for his name, but his nature; “who by the apostles was surnamed Barnabas, (which is, being interpreted, The son of consolation,).” When Barnabas first arrived, it said that he “was glad“; which means, cheerful, joyful, and calmly happy. Barnabas was known for exercising the gift of comfort and encouragement.
He was selected and successful because of his content, “full of the Holy Ghost and of faith.” The word “full” has the idea of full to flowing. All of us are filled, ruled, dominated and controlled by something. Barnabas was filled with a person, “the Holy Ghost.” Flowing forth from the life of Barnabas was the powerful and controlling presence of God the Holy Ghost. It was evident that he was under the control of another when it came to his mouth that proclaimed the gospel (Acts 11:23), his money that was given to meet the needs of others (Acts 4:37), and his ministry that he delighted in sharing it with another (Acts 11:25-26). Barnabas was filled with a persuasion, “and of faith. ” The word “faith” implies to have knowledge of or confidence in certain divine truths, especially those of the gospel. This confidence is evidenced by the production of good works. Barnabas was the living illustration of James 2:17-22. James said, “Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone” (James 2:17). When Barnabas had come to Antioch, he could see the “grace of God” in them and they witnessed the presence and product of faith in him.
When Barnabas arrived in Antioch, the presence of grace was seen in converted sinners, but when he left, the person of God was seen in consecrated saints; “And the disciples were called Christians first in Antioch” (Acts 11:26). Barnabas proved to be the right choice because of what he was; a man of character, overflowing with content.
– Dr. Bob Sanders