The Apostolic Pattern of Acts 13 (2017)

Luke’s description of the church in Antioch in Acts 13 presents Antioch as the prototype church in the nations and Paul and Barnabas’ sending from Antioch as the biblical pattern for formation and sending in the church. This chapter is foundational for our understanding of church, formation, and sending.

The Priestly Call of the Church

Jesus died so that humanity could recover her priestly calling (Revelation 5:9-10). The New Testament church is not a people without priests; it is a community of priests endlessly fascinated by the revelation of the beauty of God. God is not just forming individuals in this age, He is also

Building the Church According to the Biblical Pattern

There is a sense in which Revelation 4:1 is written over the doorpost of every church. In the same way that John was taken up to show him the things that must soon take place, the church is meant to be a place on the earth where people can enter and encounter the things to come.

Heaven and Earth Will Come Together

The end of the Bible predicts heaven coming to earth as the heavenly city descends to earth. This means earth will ultimately reflect what heaven now is in many ways. Ephesians 1 tells us how this is going to happen – Jesus is going to unite things in heaven and earth.

A Kingdom of Priests

What we must recognize is that priestliness is governmental. This is why Jesus must function as a priest and an intercessor before He governs the nations. The same holds true for all human beings. Recovering our priestly identity is the first step to recovering our calling to rule.

The Need for Priestly Ministry

The gospel does not replace the priesthood; it enables the priesthood God always wanted. Because of the sacrifice of Jesus God’s eternal purpose of a nation of priests can go forward. Humans are uniquely created to encounter the beauty of God and declare that beauty in the earth.

The Recovery of Man’s Calling

In the same way the elders and living creatures in heaven stand before God and use their authority to make God’s beauty known in the heavens, so also man must stand before God and use his authority on the earth to make God’s beauty known on the earth. This is key to the plan of redemption.

The Things that Must Come

Revelation 4 provides the first glimpse at “must take place.” The first step to understanding what must take place is understanding the heavenly pattern that God wants on the earth and how that partner show affect the way we build the church.

Priestly Ministry is a Response to Jesus’ Beauty

When we think of the book of Revelation we often think of many things, but the book declares itself first of all to be the “Revelation of Jesus.” Priestly ministry is first and foremost a response to that beauty.

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