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Articles by Jeff Iorg

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A Sermon on the Church at Antioch

In Matthew 28, Jesus gave the discipleship directive: go into the world and make disciples, with the outward expression—baptizing them—and the process of accomplishing the task—teaching them—included in the command.

A New Testament church that fulfilled this directive was the church at Antioch—truly a disciple-making community.

To grasp fully the amazing aspects of what this church accomplished, we must understand both its setting and how it started. Some anonymous preachers from Cyprus and Cyrene arrived in Antioch and preached the Gospel for the first time broadly in a Gentile community. These evangelists preached where there was no prior Gospel witness. No prior converts! Antioch was a city of six to eight hundred thousand people. It had a small Jewish community, but no prior reference to the Gospel at all in the Gentile community. It was religiously pluralistic, with temples to all kinds of pagan deities. In that context, large numbers of people were converting to Jesus.

The Jerusalem church heard w...