Let us study together from the book of Acts
The Gospel Spreads to the Jews
Great Commission & Ascension of Jesus
Sermon at Pentecost
The First Church
Peter & John Heal a Paralytic Man
Ananias and Sapphira
The First Deacons
The Stoning of Stephen
Philip Teaches the Man from Ethiopia
Who Was Paul?
St. Paul the Apostle, original name Saul of Tarsus
The Apostle Paul was one of the most influential leaders of the early Christian church. He played a crucial role in spreading the gospel to the Gentiles (non-Jews) during the first century, and his missionary journeys took him all throughout the Roman empire.Paul started more than a dozen churches, and he’s traditionally considered the author of 13 books of the Bible—more than any other biblical writer.
WHEN DID PAUL LIVE?
Scholars believe Paul was born sometime between 5 BC and 5 AD, and that he died around 64 or 67 AD.
PAUL'S FIRST MISSIONARY
The First Missionary Journey took Paul from Antioch to Cyprus then southern Asia Minor (Anatolia, modern day Turkey), and back to Antioch.
The Antioch in Acts 13 was the third largest city in ancient Rome and capital of the province of Syria. Today, it’s part of southern Turkey. The other Antioch was part of Pisidia, an ancient region which is also now part of Turkey. Your Bible likely refers to it as Pisidian Antioch or Antioch of Pisidia.
In Antioch (the big city in Syria), the Holy Spirit singled out Paul and Barnabas from the believers worshiping there, and sent them on their first missionary journey.
The main places visits during this journey was:
KEY VERSE: Acts 14:15-17
Puzzles for the month
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Watch the videos below for bible study
Bible stories from Acts 1 - 8
Summary of each chapters of Acts 13 - 15
With his attention now on the ministry of Paul, Luke narrates the beginning of Paul’s first missionary journey. It started with the call of the Holy Spirit, who instructed the prophets and teachers at the church in Antioch of Syria to separate Barnabas and Saul for the work He has called them. With fasting, prayer, and the laying on of hands, the two men were sent out on their journey (1-3)
Sailing from Selucia, they arrived at the island of Cyprus, the home country of Barnabas Assisting them was John Mark (Barnabas’ cousin who had joined them earlier, and was later the companion of Peter and author of the gospel of Mark; cf. 12:25; Co 4:10; 1 Pe 5:13). Here they began what Luke later describes as Paul’s custom: preaching in the synagogues of the Jews (cf. 17:1-3). Starting in Salamis, they made their way to Paphos, where they met the sorcerer Elymas Bar-Jesus along with the proconsul Sergius Paulus. When Sergius wanted to hear the Word of God, Elymas tried to prevent Barnabas and Saul from speaking. Filled with the Holy Spirit, Saul rebuked the sorcerer and rendered him sightless. Astonished at the power behind the teaching of the Lord, Sergius believes. From this point forward, Saul is now called Paul and also became the more prominent member of the missionary team (4-12).
From Cyprus they sailed to Perga in Pamphylia, where John Mark left them to return to Jerusalem (later causing contention between Paul and Barnabas; cf. 15:36-40). Arriving in Antioch of Pisidia, they attended the synagogue of the Jews on the Sabbath. Invited to speak, Paul preached Jesus by first reviewing the history of Israel from the Exodus to the time of David. Noting God’s promise concerning the seed of David, Paul summarized the ministry of John the Baptist and then introduced Jesus as the Savior who was crucified, buried and raised from the dead, and seen by eyewitnesses. Offering further evidence of the resurrection from Old Testament prophecy, Paul proclaimed forgiveness of sins through Jesus with a warning against unbelief (13-41).
The response was positive, especially among the Gentiles, and Paul and Barnabas were invited to speak the following Sabbath. When unbelieving Jews saw that the whole city came out to hear, they were filled with envy and opposed the things spoken by Paul. Declared themselves unworthy of eternal life, Paul turned his efforts toward the Gentiles who were much more receptive. The word of the Lord spread through the region, but eventually Paul and Barnabas were forced to leave and thus went to Iconium. Their work in Antioch was not in vain, for left behind were disciples filled with joy and the Holy Spirit (42-52).
Luke continues his narration of events during Paul’s first missionary journey. Upon arriving in Iconium, Paul and Barnabas again visited the local synagogue. Response to their message was positive among both Jews and Greeks, but soon opposition again came from unbelieving Jews. Even so, Paul and Barnabas stayed “a long time” in Iconium, speaking boldly and performing signs and wonders.
Eventually the opposition became violent, forcing Paul and Barnabas to flee to Lystra and Derbe (1-6).
In Lystra, Paul healed a man crippled from birth (similar to Peter, cf. 3:1-10). The people assumed that Paul and Barnabas must be gods, and so named them Zeus (Barnabas) and Hermes (Paul). When the priest of Zeus prepared to offer sacrifices, the apostles tore their own clothes and barely restrained them by an impassioned speech. Not long after, Jews from Antioch and Iconium persuaded the multitudes to stone Paul and drag him outside the city. Though assumed to be dead, Paul was able to return to the city and departed the next day with Barnabas to Derbe where they preached the gospel and made many disciples (7-21).
From Derbe, Paul and Barnabas retraced their steps, strengthened the disciples in Lystra, Iconium and Antioch (Pisidia) and appointed elders in every church with prayer and fasting. Passing through Pisidia they came to Pamphylia where they preached the gospel in Perga. From there they went down to Attalia and then sailed to Antioch (Syria) from which they began their journey, where they reported to the church all that God had done with them. There they stayed for “a long time” (21-28).
This chapter records a pivotal event in the early church, confirming that what Jesus accomplished on the cross was the creation of one new body, in which both Jews and Gentiles were to have the same access to God through faith in Jesus Christ and not the Law of Moses (cf. Ep 2:11-18).
Men from Judea came to Antioch teaching the necessity of circumcision and keeping the Law. Paul and Barnabas disputed this, and the decision was made to send them to Jerusalem to talk with the apostles and elders. Along the way, Paul and Barnabas described the conversion of the Gentiles which caused great joy (1-3).
At Jerusalem Paul and Barnabas first reported to the whole church. When Pharisees who were believers said that circumcision and keeping the Law of Moses were necessary, the apostles and elders met to discuss the issue further. After much dispute, Peter spoke of how God chose him to be the first to preach the gospel to the Gentiles, how God acknowledged them by giving them the Holy Spirit, and how God made no distinction, purifying their hearts through faith. Peter thus questioned why they should put a yoke on the Gentiles that even they themselves were unable to bear. Rather, by the grace of the Lord both Jews and Gentiles could be saved in the same manner. Barnabas and Paul again reported the miracles and wonders God had done through them among the Gentiles (4-12).
Finally James, the Lord’s brother, offered Amos’ prophecy in support of what Peter said. He then recommended they not trouble the Gentiles, but that a letter be written asking them to abstain from things offered to idols, blood, things strangled, and sexual immorality. The apostles and elders, with the whole church, agreed to send the letter, and to have Judas and Silas accompany Paul and Barnabas to confirm its authenticity. The letter, its counsel approved by the Holy Spirit, was delivered and joyously received by the brethren in Antioch. Judas and Silas offered their exhortation and strengthened the brethren before Judas returned to Jerusalem (13-34).
After some time teaching and preaching in Antioch, Paul wanted to visit the brethren in the cities they had traveled to on his first missionary journey. Barnabas was willing, but determined to take John Mark. Paul insisted they should not take John because he left them on the first trip. Unable to reconcile, Barnabas took John and sailed to Cyprus, while Paul took Silas, and with commendation from the brethren in Antioch went through Syria and Cilicia strengthening the churches (35-41).