Love for the City – Gospel in Life

Love for the City

Tim Keller |  March 8, 1998

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  • Church Planting and Missions
  • Cities
  • The Church (Unity, Fellowship, Leadership)
Acts 11:19-30
RS 89-5


See more sermons from this series: The Church – How to Believe Despite Christians

Acts 11:19–30

The church, as Jesus planned it and his earliest followers built it, is like a beautiful painting that shows us what God is like. Even though it can be hard to see the true church because of historical changes, studying the Bible and being part of a church can help us see this beautiful painting. The story of the gospel reaching Antioch in Acts 11 shows us an important lesson we should understand, recognize, and act on.

1. What is the lesson?

Christianity grows well in diverse, city environments, which contradicts the idea that it weakens when faced with different races, cultures, religions, and moral beliefs. Historical facts, like Christianity growing in the city-filled Roman Empire and many people in big cities becoming Christians in the book of Acts, prove this. The challenges of city life help Christians become humble and show the true power of the gospel, suggesting that any Christianity that can’t survive in a city isn’t real.

2. Why is it true?

The power of the gospel to change lives was obvious in Antioch, a city where many Jews and Greeks became Christians and started new kinds of ministry. The gospel’s critique of both religious and non-religious life appealed to city people who were open to new ideas, leading to a big change in this city of many cultures and races as people of different backgrounds worshipped together. This change, and the acts of charity, hope, community, and medical help from Christians, breathed new life into city living and showed the amazing impact of the gospel on people’s lives and relationships.

3. How can we respond?

Barnabas shows us how to be a Christian by living in places that might not be comfortable, but where we can serve God best, like Abraham’s journey and Jesus coming to earth. His humble service and teamwork with others, like Paul, show the Christian way of helping communities through giving of ourselves, not looking for personal gain. No matter where we live, we should show Jesus’s love, knowing that the gospel is about changing culture, not just personal peace.



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