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An Outline Of The Book Of Acts

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Message Statement:

The Gospel Message Of Salvation Through Faith In Jesus The Messiah-Lord Is Available For All Peoples (Jews And Gentiles) In Spite Of The Rejection Of Those From Israel And The Gentiles

I. Introduction: Luke introduces his work literarily through a prologue which ties the Gospel of Luke to the book of Acts, and a through a programmatic prelude which sets the scene for the events which are to follow 1:1-14

A. The Prologue: This is the second book to Theophilus following the first which dealt with that which Jesus did and taught His disciples until His ascension 1:1-2

1. Luke writes this second work to Theophilus too (see Luke 1:3) 1:1a

2. The first book (the Gospel of Luke) dealt with that which Jesus did and taught until His ascension (see Luke 24:44-50) 1:1b-2a

3. Jesus ascended after He had instructed His disciples through the Holy Spirit 1:2b

B. The Programmatic Prelude: Through a general and then specific presentation, Luke unfolds Jesus’ teachings to the disciples concerning their role in God’s eschatological plan for Israel and the world, as well as the disciples’ obedient response of returning to Jerusalem and prayerfully waiting as one body 1:2-14

1. General Statement: After Jesus’ passion, He presented Himself as alive to His disciples and taught them concerning the Kingdom of God and to wait in Jerusalem for the coming of the Holy Spirit 1:3-5

a. After His passion, Jesus presented Himself alive to His disciples with many proofs over a period of forty days 1:3a

b. During the forty day period, Jesus taught His disciples concerning the kingdom of God, not to depart from Jerusalem, and to wait for the coming of the Holy Spirit 1:3b-5

2. Specific Development: The disciples inquire of Jesus about the timing of God’s program to Israel, to which He explains that they are not to know the Father’s plan, and that they are to be Spirit empowered witness of Him to all people; whereupon, He ascends into heaven, and they are told by angels that He will return in Glory to consummate the Kingdom as He departed; therefore, the disciples returned to Jerusalem as one and prayerful waited 1:6-14

a. Jesus instructs His disciples about their role as Spirit empowered witnesses in God’s kingdom plan 1:6-8

1) When they have come together, the disciples ask Jesus if He is going to restore the kingdom to Israel at this time 1:6

2) Jesus explains to His disciples that they are not to know when the Father is going to complete His plan, but that they will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon them, and that they will be witness of Him to all people 1:7-8

a) Jesus explained to the disciples that they are not to know when the Father is going to complete His appointed plan 1:7

b) Jesus tells the disciples that they will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon them, and that they will be a witness of Him to all peoples 1:8

b. After Jesus has completed His charge to the disciples, He ascends before them in glory, and the disciples are told by angels that He will return as He ascended in glory to complete His eschatological program; therefore, the disciples return to Jerusalem and prayerfully waited 1:9-11

1) When Jesus had completed His charge to the disciples, He ascended into a cloud before their eyes 1:9

2) As the disciples were gazing into heaven at Jesus’ ascension, two “men” exhorted them to stop looking into the sky since Jesus will return in glory to complete the eschatological program (1:8) as He ascended 1:10-11

3) The eleven disciples obediently returned to Jerusalem from the Mount of Olives where they along with the women, Mary the mother of Jesus, and Jesus’ brothers prayerfully waited for the fulfillment of Jesus’ promises in unity 1:12-14

II. The promise is prepared for, received and presented as forming a people distinct from Israel through whom God is applying and offering the salvific benefits of Jesus’ Messiahship to all people--especially Israel 1:15--2:47

A. The Preparation for the Promise: While the brethren (120 people) are praying, examining their times and examining Scripture, Peter leads the Eleven in deciding to replace Judas with God’s choice (through the lot) of Matthias as the Twelfth apostle 1:15-26

1. During the days when the 120 brethren are praying in the upper room, Peter stands up and makes a proclamation 1:15

2. Peter concludes that a twelfth apostle must be appointed to replace Judas in fulfillment of the Scriptures 1:16-20

a. Peter proclaims that the Scripture by David through the Holy Spirit need to be fulfilled concerning Judas who was the enemy of Jesus and had a part in the twelve 1:16-19

1) Proclamation: It was necessary for the Scripture through David and the Holy Spirit to be fulfilled 1:16a

2) The Scripture spoke concerning the apostle Judas who betrayed Jesus, whose money bought a field, who killed himself upon it and whose land was thus called the “field of blood” in judgment 1:16b-19

b. Peter recalls Messianic Psalms where the enemies of God’s King are to find their land desolate (Ps. 69:25), and their offices are to be replaced by more worthy people (Ps. 109:8) 1:20

c. Peter concludes from the infamous curse on Judas’ land, and from the typico-prophetic Psalms that another apostle must be appointed from among those who accompanied the eleven during the training years from Jesus baptism to His ascension 1:21-22

3. After placing two men forward and praying that God would choose His servant, the lot falls upon Matthias as God’s choice 1:23-26

a. The Eleven place forward two men (Joseph and Matthias), and pray that God would show His choice of the one to replace Judas on the basis of the heart 1:23

b. They cast lots and find Matthias to be numbered with the Eleven to once again make Twelve 1:24-26

B. The Reception of the Promise: When the promised Holy Spirit came upon all of those waiting in commitment to Christ and empowered them to speak in foreign languages to those from the ends of the world about Christ, many questioned, and sought, but some accused them of evil 2:1-13

1. The coming of the Spirit: On the day of Pentecost while the disciples were all waiting for the Holy Spirit, He came filling the house and then those in it with an ability to speak in foreign languages 2:1-4

a. The setting was ten days after Christ’s ascension on the “harvest of wheat” feast day when all were together 2:1

b. The Holy Spirit suddenly manifested Himself by coming upon the house where they were as wind and fire and then coming upon those Apostles and disciples who were waiting in commitment to Him 2:2-4

2. The response of the multitude: The initial response to the working of the Holy Spirit upon Jesus’ disciples was for some (proselyte) Jews to question with interest and other (Hebrew) Jews to discard the event as sin 2:6-13

a. There were Jews (and proselytes [devout men]) from every nation for the feast 2:5

b. The proselytes were amazed as they heard these Galileans speaking about what God was doing in their own languages as well as those of the world 2:6-12

1) The multitude heard the sound of the Holy Spirit working and came together 2:6a

2) The multitude was bewildered because each heard what the disciples were saying in their own language, even though those speaking were all Galileans, and the languages were world-wide 2:6b-11a

3) The content of their words were the mighty works of God 2:11b

4) The multitudes were amazed and with questions about the meaning of the act 2:12

c. Others who were among the multitude (possibly Hebrew-Jews) discounted the work of the Holy Spirit as sinfulness on the part of Jesus’ disciples 2:13

C. The Presentation of the Promise: When Peter defends the actions of the disciples as being the work of the Holy Spirit rather than personal evil which the accusers had done and are doing in their rejection of the work of God, many believe and are added to the separated people of God 2:14-47

1. Addressing all of those present, Peter corrects personal accusations of evil and supports his thesis that just as the Holy Spirit has been rejected, so too did they reject God’s Messiah and must now call upon His name in order to receive the benefits of salvation (the Holy Spirit) which He is bestowing as the ruling Davidite 2:14-36

a. Peter stands and exhorts all of those present to hear and heed his words 2:14

b. Peter defends the personal purity of those who have been speaking in tongues and identifies this occurrence with the initial fulfillment of Joel (2:28-32) 2:15-21

1) Peter asserts that these men are not engaged in drink before the appointed time on a festival day 2:15

2) Peter identifies the work of the Spirit of God with the initial fulfillment of Joel 2:28-32 (Acts 2:16-21)

a) “This is that” is making an identification of fulfillment 2:16

b) Peter sees these events with the Spirit as part of the “last days (cf. 1 Pt. 1:20; 1 Tim. 4:1; 2 Tim. 3:1)

c) God is indwelling all believers with His Spirit thereby fulfilling the promise of the New Covenant (Jer. 31; hoped for in Num. 11:39; Joel 2:28-29). This is the “Now” or the “Now/Not Yet”

d) Joel 2:30-31 (Acts 2:19-20) describes what is “Yet” to come--the cosmic signs of the Day of the Lord (cf. Deut. 32). Luke does not deal with this because he wants to get to “whoever believes.”

e) Joel 2:32 (Acts 2:21) is emphasized (cf. Rom. 10:13) for those listening to not reject what God is doing, but to call on the Lord

c. Although the Jews ignored the signs of Jesus as Messiah, and crucified Him as a criminal, Peter affirms that the resurrection and Scripture proclaim Jesus as Messiah to be called upon 2:22-32

1) Describing Jesus as one whose authority was vividly displayed through miracles, Peter accuses those in Israel of having crucified Him as a criminal in accordance with God’s will 2:22-23

2) Peter affirms Jesus as the one to be called upon because of His Messianic deity by recounting the resurrection as a fulfillment of David’s prophetic expectations as expressed in Psalm 16 2:24-31

a) Peter affirms Jesus’ Messianic deity through the resurrection 2:24

b) Peter substantiates Jesus Messianic deity by citing Psalm 16 as David’s unique words about Jesus 2:25-28

c) Peter historically emphasizes that David (as a Spirit filled prophet) knew that he was not writing of himself but of his future descendant whom the resurrection identifies as being Jesus 2:29-32

d. After describing and affirming (through David’s words) Christ’s initial ascension to the throne where Christ rules from heaven (Psalm 110; cf. Ps. 132:11-13; 1 Chron. 28--29; 1 Cor. 15:24-28; Eph. 1:19-23; Col. 1:12-14), Peter again makes his point that the Jesus whom they rejected is to be called upon 2:33-36

1) Jesus has ascended to the place of honor with God and rules in fulfillment of the promises made to David through dispensing the benefits of salvation (the giving of the Holy Spirit) 2:33-35

2) It is this Jesus who is ruling Messiah whom Israel rejected that they must call upon 2:36

2. The Response to Peter’s defense was that many were moved and became part of this separated people of God (the church) who lived in a growing relationship with God and one another as He added to their numbers those who were being saved 2:37-47

a. The response of many was to be moved and to seek direction for rectifying their situation 2:37

b. Peter exhorted the people to repent (turn from their earlier improper response to Jesus) and to publicly demonstrate their confession through baptism and they will receive the Holy Spirit (the promise of the New Covenant) 2:38-39

1) Peter exhorts them to change turn from their former response to Jesus 2:38a

2) Peter exhorts them to visibly demonstrate their private confession through baptism 2:38b

3) Peter promises that they too will receive the Holy Spirit because this promise is for all who will believe (cf. Joel 2:28; Acts 2:21) 2:38c-39

c. Peter continued to exhort the Israelites to identify with Jesus out from those who are his enemies 2:40

d. About 3,000 people believed, were baptized and added to the community of God’s called out ones who devoted themselves to a growing relationship with God and one another 2:41-47a

1) That day three thousand people believed, were baptized and were added to the community 2:41

2) Those who became believers were devoted to a growing relationship with God and one another 2:42

3) There was an awesome awareness that God was working in their presence 2:43

4) There was public involvement in worship and fellowship that demonstrated unity in the community and was pleasing to all the people 2:46-47a

e. Summary Statement: The Lord was adding to their numbers those being saved 2:47b

III. The Twelve witness bare effective testimony of Jesus to Israel in a new community sustained and kept pure by the Holy Spirit 3:1--6:7

A. Sign-Sermon: Through the literary technique of a sign-sermon, Peter testifies to the nation Israel that instead of receiving judgment for their sins, they may experience the benefits of Messianic blessing if they will repent and receive their words about Jesus as God’s Messiah 3:1-26

1. The healing of a lame man at the beautiful gate is an individual sign of the power of Christ’s name to bring about Messianic salvation for other individuals and the nation 3:1-11

a. As Peter and John meet a lame man outside of the temple begging for alms, they, as Jesus’ representatives, physically heal him drawing attention to themselves 3:1-11

1) The setting: Peter, John and a lame man happen to meet at the “beautiful gate” of the temple at 3:00 p.m -- the hour of prayer 3:1-2

2) As the lame man begins to ask for alms, Peter and John turn to him and give to him restored physical strength as representatives of Jesus 3:3-7

a) As the lame man saw Peter and John about to enter the temple, he began asking for alms 3:3

b) Focusing the man’s attention upon them, Peter does not give to the man what he asks for, but the restoration of his physical strength as representatives of Jesus 3:4-7

3) As the man joyously worshiped God in the Temple he drew an awe filled crowed to Peter, John and himself 3:8-11

a) The man leaped (cf. Isa. 35:6), entered the temple with Peter and John and joyously worshiped God 3:8

b) The people in the temple noticed the man, recognized who he was, and ran in wonder and amazement to where Peter, John and he were 3:9-11

2. As the miracle draws attention to Peter and John, Peter refocuses the multitude’s thoughts upon Jesus whom they rejected, but should now trust for an individual and national experience of messianic salvation 3:12-26

a. When Peter and John see the amazed response of the people gathering toward him, Peter quickly identifies the miracle with their faith in Jesus whom Israel rejected, but God, the Father, was affirming 3:12-16

1) Peter questions the response of those approaching in the Temple to the miracle and them as though they had done it in their own power or purity 3:12

2) Peter explains the miracle to have occurred because of Jesus, whom God is showing to be great through those who trust in Him even though Israel rejected Him 3:13-16

a) Peter explains what has occurred as a demonstration by the God of their fathers of how great Jesus is 3:3a

b) Peter identifies Jesus as the One whom Israel rejected and murdered as evil, but the Father raised to their witnesses 3:13b-15

(1) Jesus is the One that the Israelites delivered to Pilate and disowned even when Pilate recognized His innocence 3:13b

(2) Jesus was disowned and substituted for a murderer and put to death by the choice of the Israelites 3:14-15a

(3) Jesus is the One whom the Father raised from the dead as Peter and John are witnesses 3:15b

c) Peter identifies the power for the miracle to have been in the name of Jesus in whom they have faith 3:16

b. Even though Israel ignorantly stood in God’s role as the hand against Jesus, Peter urges them to repent of their sins so that they may experience the benefits of Messianic salvation 3:17-26

1) Although Israel acted in ignorance toward Jesus, they fulfilled God’s pre-announced suffering of His Messiah as God’s enemies (cf. Isa. 53) 3:17-18

2) Israel is exhorted to return to Christ so that they may not be judged but, be forgiven and He may return with the consummated blessing of the kingdom as the prophets foretold 3:19-24

a) Because of Israel’s hand against God, they are exhorted to change their mind about Jesus and return to God’s side 3:19a

b) They reason they should repent is so that their sins may be forgiven 3:19b

c) The reason it is important for their sins to be forgiven is so that the blessing of the Kingdom may come upon all (as they have to this man) 3:20-24

(1) The repentance of the nation will bring about the return of Jesus as Messiah who is presently waiting now in heaven (cf. Ps. 110:1) 3:20-21a

(2) The prophets foretold of the negative consequences to their rejection of Jesus as the second Moses (Deut. 18:15-19; Lk. 9:35) and king of whom Samuel spoke (1 Sam. 2:10; 7:12 3:21b-24) 21:b-24

3) The resurrection of Jesus Christ is designed to first benefit the Jews who hold the word and promises of God by enabling them to become God’s messengers rather than His enemies 3:25-26

B. The new community of believers in Jesus is Spiritually triumphant and effective in proclaiming the message about Jesus in the midst of Satanic conflict 4:1--6:7

1. The assault from without--Peter and John arrested: Although there were severe threats from without upon the lives of those who would speak of Jesus as Messiah, the Holy Spirit enabled them to stand firm and do what was right (testify of Jesus) 4:1-31

a. As Peter and John spoke of the power of Jesus in the temple, they were arrested, tried and released with only threats because there was no incriminating evidence and public opinion was against the rulers 4:1-22

1) As Peter and John were speaking in the temple to the people about Jesus as Messiah whose power had healed the lame man, they were arrested and thrown into jail by the religious leaders of the temple 4:1-3

2) Even though the religious leaders tried to silence Peter and John’s message, many thousands believed in Jesus 4:4

3) The trial of Peter and John before the Sanhedrin concluded with warnings not to speak in Jesus’ name and their release because the leaders had no case and public opinion was against them 4:5-22

a) On the next day all the Sanhedrin with all of the high priests met together in Jerusalem to deal with what had occurred 4:5-6

b) When Peter and John were brought into their midst and questioned, Peter boldly proclaimed, through the Holy Spirit, that the miracle was done through Jesus--Messiah 4:7-12

(1) Bringing Peter and John into their midst, the leaders inquired about the source of power, and the name through which they performed the miracle with the lame man 4:7

(2) By the power of the Holy Spirit Peter proclaimed that the miracle was done in the name of Jesus--Messiah 4:8-12

c) Although the Sanhedrin marveled at the ability of Peter and John and recognized the actuality of the miracle, they forbade them to speak of Jesus 4:13-18

(1) The Sanhedrin marveled at the confidence of these uneducated and untrained men who were with Jesus 4:13

(2) The Sanhedrin was speechless before the healed man 4:14

(3) In the Sanhedrin’s conferral, they were unable to deny the miracle, yet, they were insisted that Peter and John no longer speak in the name of Jesus 4:15-18

d) Peter and John entreated the Sanhedrin to evaluate their predicament because they felt they had to speak the truth of God of which they had been witnesses 4:19-20

e) Although they threatened Peter and John, they released them because there was no basis for punishing them, and because the people were seeing God’s hand in it all 4:21-22

b. After praying, out of fear from Peter and John’s report, with an awareness of God’s hand in all and His enabling power, the believers were filled by the Holy Spirit and spoke boldly about Jesus 5:23-31

1) When Peter and John were released, they returned to the other believers and reported the words of the Sanhedrin 4:23

2) When the believers heard of the threats against them, they prayed to God remembering that He was in control of all and thus asking for the ability to obey now 4:24-30

a) When the believers heard of the threats against them for speaking of Jesus, they all prayed to God 4:24a

b) After recognizing the sovereignty of God in creation, and even in their difficulty, they asked that He would give them the boldness to speak during this time 4:24-30

(1) The praying community recognized the Lord as Creator of all 5:24a

(2) The praying community recognized that God, through David (Ps. 2) , had predicted that their experience of persecution for speaking of Messiah would occur 4:25-28

(3) The praying community asked God to oversee their situation and to grant that they would still speak with confidence about Jesus as He authenticated their words 4:29-30

c. In response to the prayer of His believers, God fills (enables) them to obey Him and they do so by proclaiming Jesus with boldness 4:31

1) God responded to the prayer of the believing community by filling them with the Holy Spirit 4:31a

2) The believers begin to faithfully proclaim God’s word with boldness 4:31b

2. The Assault from Within--Ananias and Sapphria: The harmonious prosperity and effectiveness of the new community was threatened by the deception of Ananias and Sapphira but purified through the work of the Spirit in Peter 4:32--5:16

a. During a time of persecution, the congregation prospered by providing for one another’s needs, and by the Apostles’ clear and powerful proclamation of Jesus 4:32-37

1) There was unity of heat and life in the congregation of believers as they shared their possessions with one another 4:32

2) The Apostles were witnessing to the resurrection of Jesus with great power (miracles) 4:33a

3) During the difficult time, everyone was experiencing the abundant favor of God because they, like Barnabas, were sacrificially providing for each other 4:33b-37

a) Everyone was experiencing the abundant favor of God even during tumultuous times 4:33b

b) The reason the congregation was experiencing grace was because of people like Barnabas who gave physically for the needs of others 4:34-37

(1) The reason the congregation was experiencing grace was because they were using their physical resources as a means to provide for the needs of others 54:34-35

(2) Barnabas is an example of the generous giving which people were providing for the needs of others as an encouragement 4:36-27

b. Ananias and Sapphira threatened the unity of the body when they lied about the work which they were doing for God, therefore, they both were confronted by the Spirit through Peter, died and brought a purifying fear upon all who heard 5:1-11

1) Ananias and Sapphira sold a piece of property, kept back some of the proceeds and gave a portion of it for the Apostles’ distribution to those in need as Barnabas had done 5:1-2

2) When Peter exposes the sin of Ananias as being a personal affront against God, Ananias fell and died immediately 5:3-4

a) Peter Questions Ananias’ intent in falsely representing himself since there was nothing monetarily to gain, but only sin to commit against God 5:3-4

(1) Peter questions Ananias’ intent in falsely representing himself under Satan’s influence 5:3

(2) Since the land and its proceeds were all the possession of Ananias anyway, Peter questions why he felt it necessary within to lie 5:4a

(3) Peter emphasizes that the lie was not to men but to God 5:4b

b) As Ananias was confronted he died 5:5a

3) The result of Ananias’ death was that fear filled all who heard and he remained dead 5:5b-6

4) When Sapphira came and also lied about the price of the land to the Spirit of God as her husband had, she was confronted, died and buried along with Ananias 5:7-10

a) After some time had passed, Ananias’ wife Sapphira, not knowing what had occurred, came in 5:7

b) When Peter asked Sapphira about the price of the land, she confirmed Ananias’ story 5:8

c) Peter, upon questioning her motive against God, proclaimed that she was about to join her husband in death 5:9

d) As with Ananias, Sapphira also died and was buried with her husband

5) Great fear came upon the whole community as well as everyone else who heard 5:11

c. As Satan’s attack within the congregation was defeated, they unified, proclaimed Jesus more strongly and many people were added to the community of believers 5:12-16

1) The Apostles performed many signs and wonders among the Jews 5:12a

2) All were of one will as they stood in the temple where they were warned not to speak of Jesus 5:12b

3) Although many would not associate with them, they were held in high esteem 5:13

4) Many people were added to the believing community as they saw and experienced God’s kingdom healing power upon the sick and afflicted 5:14-16

3. The Assault from without--The Twelve arrested: Even though the Twelve Apostles are arrested, the intervening hand of God overrules the plans of those for evil so that His servants may be encouraged and proclaim even more fervently the truth about Messiah to all 5:17-42

a. The council’s attempt to physically stop the teaching of the Apostles was against the clear movement and desire of God 5:17-26

1) The Apostles, who were experiencing the power of God through them as they dealt with sin within the church, are placed in jail by the jealous Sanhedrin 5:17-18

2) An angel of the Lord miraculously delivered the Apostles commanding them to return and continue speaking about Jesus 5:19-20

3) The Apostles left the prison and entered the temple to teach as they had been told 5:21a

4) Although the council leaders were very concerned when they met together and learned of the Apostles absence, they immediately had them returned from the temple 5:21b-26

a) The council met together and sent for the Apostles 5:21b

b) The officers who looked for the Apostles reported that they were mysteriously missing 5:22-23

c) The leaders of the Sanhedrin were greatly disturbed when they heard of the Apostles’ absence 5:24

d) When the Sanhedrin heard that the Apostles were in the temple teaching, the captain quickly brought them back with fear of the people who were supportive of the Apostles 5:25-26

b. In the trial the Apostles were wrongly accused of evil, defended themselves under God concerning Christ, and were warned, flogged and released under Gamaliel’s intervention 5:27-40

1) When the Apostles were brought before the Sanhedrin, the questions of the high priest led to accusing the Apostles of disobedience and misdirected rumors 5:27-28

a) The Apostles were brought before the council and questioned by the high priest 5:27

b) The point of the questions of the high priest was to accuse the Apostles of breaking their orders not to speak in the name of Jesus by noting the spread of their teaching which accuses the council of Jesus’ death 5:28

2) Peter and the Apostles response to the council is that they must obey God rather than men because He has been involved with Jesus, and they are eyewitnesses along with the Holy Spirit of the things concerning Jesus 5:29-32

a) Peter and the Apostles responded by proclaiming that they must obey God rather than men 5:29

b) The Apostles proclaimed that God of their fathers as the One who resurrected Jesus whom they killed through Rome 5:30

c) The Apostles proclaimed the God of their fathers as the One who exalted Jesus to the position of honor as ruler and savior for Israel in her sin 5:31

d) The Apostles proclaimed themselves as witness of this all along with the Spirit of God who is given to all who obey Him 5:32

3) Although the council desired to murder the Apostles, they restrained their anger to flogging, warning and releasing them under Gamaliel’s council 5:33-40

a) When the council heard the Apostles response, they were cut deeply and wanted to retaliate by taking the Apostles’ lives 5:33

b) Under the wise council of Gamaliel the Apostles were flogged, warned and released 5:34-40

(1) Gamaliel who was a respected teacher of the Law immediately intervened and sent the Apostles out of the room for a short time 5:34

(2) Gamaliel warned the council about their intended murderous response because that which is of men will end of its self while that which is of God cannot be stopped and they will be God’s enemy 5:35-39

(3) The council took Gamaliel’s advice to not murder them, flogged them and released them with the same order not to speak in Jesus’ name 5:40

c. Encouraged to know that God was really with them, the Apostles continually proclaimed Jesus as Messiah 5:41-42

1) The Apostles left the council rejoicing in their usefulness to God 5:41

2) Everywhere, both privately and publicly, the Apostles continued to proclaim Jesus as Messiah 5:42

4. The Assault from within: Grecian widows murmuring: A Satanically motivated division between the Hebraic and Hellenistic Jews in the believing community was resolved by the congregation’s willingness to receive Apostolic advice and to graciously provide for one another which led to greater spiritual vitality 6:1-7

a. During a time when God had delivered the believing community from a persecution and many were becoming disciples, a division within the congregation began 6:1

1) The time was after God had intervened during a persecution of the communities’ leaders so that many more were becoming disciples 6:1a

2) A complaint arose within the congregation of discrimination against Greek speaking Jews by those who spoke Hebrew when food was served to their widows 6:1b-c

a) A complaint arose by the Greek speaking Jews against the Hebrew speaking Jews 6:1b

b) The complaint was that the Greek speaking widows were being discriminated against when food was served daily 1:1c

b. After calling together the congregation, the Twelve encouraged them to choose seven qualified men so that they could focus on their ministry 6:2-4

1) The Twelve called together the congregation of disciples within which the trouble was occurring 6:2a

2) The Twelve did not wish to invest their time to deal thoroughly with this problem themselves since they would be taken away from God’s work--their primary ministry now 6:2

3) The Twelve exhorted the congregation to choose from among themselves seven men who are of good reputation, spiritual and wise to be placed in charge of the task by the Apostles 6:3

4) The Apostles insisted upon devoting themselves to prayer and the ministry of the word 6:4

c. Approving of the Apostles statement, the congregation chose seven, Greek Jews who were spiritually qualified and had the Apostles commission them 6:5-7

1) The whole congregation approved of the Apostles’ statement 6:5a

2) The congregation chose seven, Greek Jews who were full of faith and the Holy Spirit 6:5b

3) When the congregation brought their choices before the Apostles, they were commissioned by the Apostles 6:6

d. Summary Statement: The Word of God Continued to spread so that many disciples continued to increase even among the priests of Jerusalem 6:7

IV. In the wake of Jewish rebellion God’s grace is sovereignly triumphant outside of the capital of Judaism 6:8--9:30

A. The Testimony and Death of Stephen: God’s word through Stephen is vehemently opposed by the Jewish leaders who stone him and lead an attack on the church through Saul, but the message of grace continues 6:8--8:3

1. As Stephen is powerfully serving God, he is attacked, placed on trial before the Sanhedrin and falsely accused of speaking against the Law (Jesus will change the Torah) and the Temple (Jesus will destroy the Temple) 6:8-14

a. While Stephen was performing great signs and wonders for God, he was argued with by a wide section of Hellenistic Jews in Jerusalem 6:8-9

b. When the Jews were unable to refute Stephen’s words, they insighted lies about him which caused the Sanhedrin to arrest him 6:10-12

c. Stephen is falsely accused before the Sanhedrin of speaking concerning Jesus against the Law and the Temple 6:13-14

2. Answering the high priest’s accusation of sin, Stephen uses the reminder of history to teach the Sanhedrin: (1) of the transcendence of God beyond the Temple and (2) that they are bringing their fathers’ rebellion against God to completion 6:15--7:53

a. Standing before the Sanhedrin in the purity of his life as a messenger for God, Stephen is asked if he has spoken against the Law and the Temple by the high priest 6:15--7:1

b. After requesting a hearing, Stephen uses the evidence of history to answer the charges of lawlessness so as to teach the religious leaders that it is they who are in error and rebellious against God as their fathers were 7:2-53

1) Stephen respectfully invites the Sanhedrin to listen to him 7:2a

2) Abraham: God is shown to be transcendent as He speaks to Abraham outside of the land, and Abraham is reflects stubbornness to God’s word 7:2-8

3) Joseph: God is shown to be transcendent as He is with Joseph in Egypt, and Joseph’s brothers are shown to be rebellious in their rejection of Joseph as God’s messenger 7:9-16

4) Moses: God is shown to be transcendent through the Egyptian location, the oracle in Midian, and wonders and signs in Egypt, at the red Sea, in the desert, under the nation under the oppression of Egypt were rebellious when they did not understand that God was giving deliverance through Moses 7:17-43

5) Climax I: God is claimed to be transcendent: Although God had given the Nation a tabernacle through which to approach Him, and David sought to build the Lord a house but Solomon built it, Nevertheless, God is still transcendent (Isa. 66:1-2) 7:44-50

6) Climax II: Stephen turns the accusers accusations against them by affirming (through direct statements and the three witness of Abraham, Joseph and Moses) that they are bringing their fathers’ rebellion to completion 7:51-53

a) Stephen accuses the Sanhedrin of intense rebellion against God just as all of Israel and its leaders have done in times past 7:51

b) Stephen accuses the Sanhedrin of being like murders with the people of old by their slaying of Messiah 7:52-53

3. In an interplay between Stephen’s words and the peoples’ hostile response of murder, grace is again proclaimed 7:54-60

a. Stephen’s use of God’s word cut them deeply upon which they sought to retaliate viciously 7:54

b. In the midst of their attack, Stephen sees and announces that God--Jesus--is there as his vindicating Judge (Ps. 110; Dan. 7:13) 7:55-56

c. The people become enraged and drive Stephen out of town where they stoned him for blasphemy by a man named Saul (cf. Lev. 24:10-23; Sanh. 7:4; 2 Chron. 24:21; Josephus, Antiq. 20.200) 7:57-59a

d. Stephen’s death was willing and with the same words of forgiveness as Jesus used (cf. Lk. 24:34; contrast 2 Chron. 24:22) 7:59b-8:1a

4. The martyrdom of Stephen immediately sparks off a great persecution of the church by Saul 8:1-3

a. Saul led a great persecution against the believing community 8:1

b. Stephen’s body and martyrdom was proclaimed by some devout men 8:2

c. Saul was ravaging the church and placing them in Jail 8:3

B. The Ministry of Philip: The expansion of God’s salvation beyond the parameters of Judaism irrupts to the Samaritans and hints at its extent toward the Gentiles as Philip is obedient to God’s direction 8:4-40

1. The result of the first general persecution of the church was that many went preaching the word as did Philip among the Samaritans 8:4-13

a. A general statement: Those who were scattered during the first persecution in Jerusalem went about preaching the word 8:4

b. A specific example: Philip proclaimed Jesus as Messiah to the receptive Samaritans 8:5-8

1) Philip went to Samaria to proclaim the Messiah 8:5

2) The multitudes gave full attention to Philip’s message which was authenticated by spiritual and physical healing 8:6-8

3) Although the Samaritans were responsive to Simon who performed self-aggrandizing magic, both they and he believed the message of Jesus and identified with Him through baptism 8:9-13a

4) Simon continued to follow Philip about in amazement over the signs and miracles which were taking place 8:13b

2. After witnessing the work of the Holy Spirit in the lives of the Samaritans and especially Simon who was an example of their spiritual degradation, the Apostles were encouraged to proclaim the gospel to other Semaritans 8:14-25

a. When the Apostles learned that the Samaritans had become believers, they sent Peter and John to pray for them that they might receive the Holy Spirit 8:14-16

b. As the Apostles laid hands on the Samaritans, they all began to receive the Holy Spirit 8:17

c. Simon (the magician) connected the work of the Spirit with the ability of the Apostles and tried to purchase it only to be rebuked and later repent 8:18-24

1) When Simon the magician saw the correlation between the Spirit and the Apostles of God, he sought to purchase this perceived ability 8:18-19

2) Peter rebuked Simon for his heart attitude toward God and exhorted him to pray for forgiveness which probably occurred as he asked Peter to pray for him 8:20-24

a) Peter rebuked Simon with a threat of discipline by God for being so evil in his heart toward God 8:20-21

b) Peter urged Simon to repent and pray for forgiveness of his heart’s attitude because at present he is trapped by sin 8:22-23

c) Simon asked Peter to pray for him that he would not experience God’s judgment 8:24

d. After the Apostles finished proclaiming the word of God there, they returned to Jerusalem preaching the good news to many other Samaritans 8:25

3. Under the clear sovereign direction of the Holy Spirit, the gospel touches upon the Gentile world as Philip proclaims Jesus to the Ethiopian eunuch 8:26-40

a. Philip received a message from the Lord to go south to the road that descends into the desert form Jerusalem 8:26

b. When Philip had gone, he came upon the Ethiopian Eunuch who was responsible for the queen’s treasury, was a God-fearer, and believed in the message about Jesus as Messiah 8:27-28

1) The Spirit of God exhorted Philip to go and join the eunuch 8:29

2) Stephen entered into a discussion about the book of Isaiah which the eunuch was reading and explained about Jesus through its teaching 8:30-35

3) Upon belief by the eunuch, Philip baptized him 8:36-38

4. As the Spirit of God took Philip away, the eunuch was encouraged and went to his Gentile people with the message while Philip went back up into Samaria preaching Jesus all of the way 8:39-40

C. The Conversion of Saul: Against Saul’s will, God converts Saul who is doing the work of Satan (like Simon), on a road (like the Eunuch) to become his instrument to reach all peoples with the gospel as a Stephen revived 9:1-31

1. Whereas Saul started to Damascus with power and authority to harm believers, Jesus stopped him, spoke with him, and blinded him so that he entered the city waiting on God 9:1-9

a. In his driven hatred for the disciples Jesus, Saul sought letters which would grant him permission to arrest disciples in Damascus 9:1-2

b. After meeting Jesus on the road to Damascus where it was witnessed that Jesus accused him of fighting God, Saul entered Damascus blind and fasting for God’s next word 9:3-9

1) Just outside of Damascus Saul was blinded by a light, accused of persecuting Jesus and told to wait in Damascus for further direction by Jesus 9:3-6

a) As Saul approached Damascus, he was blinded by a light from heaven and fell to the ground 9:3-4a

b) Saul heard a voice who was Jesus and who accused him of persecuting Him as he attached the church 9:4b-5

(1) Saul heard a voice accusing him of persecuting him 9:4b

(2) Saul questioned the Lord’s identity 9:5a

(3) The voice identified Himself as Jesus whom Saul was persecuting 9:5b

c) Jesus told Saul to arise and enter Damascus where he would be told what he must do 9:6

2) The men with Saul were amazed as they too heard the voice, but saw no one 9:7

3) As Saul stood from the ground blind and needing to be led, he obediently went to Damascus and waited for three days without sight or nourishment as he was dependent upon God 9:8-9

2. Although reluctant, Ananias went to Saul and saw God change him from one who was blind to a strong committed disciple 9:10-19a

a. The Lord spoke to a disciple at Damascus 9:10

b. The Lord told Ananias to go to Saul and lay hands upon him as God’s instrument to restore Saul 9:10-12

c. Ananias informs the Lord of how dangerous Saul is in his hatred of Christ 9:13-14

d. The Lord repeated his command for Ananias to go because He has worked in Saul’s life and will use him to proclaim His message before all people and teach Saul how much he must suffer for the Lord’s name 9:15-16

e. Ananias went to Saul and did as God asked of him 9:17

f. Immediately Saul could see, arose, was baptized, and ate since God had answered his fasting 9:18-19a

3. Paul became a mighty spokesman for God in Damascus and in Jerusalem among the Hellenistic Jews (as was Stephen) and suffered persecution for his message about Jesus 9:19b-30

a. After remaining with the disciples for several days, Saul began to proclaim Jesus to the Jews and had to escape from Damascus 9:19b-25

1) Saul was with the disciples for several days 9:19b

2) Saul began to proclaim Jesus as Messiah in the synagogues of Damascus 9:20

3) As Saul continued to proclaim Jesus to the Jews, the people’s attitude moved from confusion to murderous hostility against Saul 9:21-23

a) The people were at first amazed at the reversal in Saul’s attitude and actions toward Jesus 9:21a

b) As Saul continued to confront the Jews about Jesus, they sought to kill him 9:21b-23

4) As the plots of the Jews became known to Saul, he and the disciples snuck him out of Damascus at night 9:24-25

b. After Saul was considered a part of the Jerusalem disciples, he began proclaiming God to the Greek speaking Jews and had to be delivered out of town from their hand 9:26-30

1) When Saul came to Jerusalem, none of the disciples would associate with him out of fear 9:26

2) It was Barnabas who bridged Saul with the disciples by explaining God’s work in Saul’s life 9:27

3) As Saul began to join the Jerusalem disciples and speak to the Greek-speaking Jews about Jesus, he had to be rushed out of town to preserve his life 9:28-30

a) Saul began to move about freely in Jerusalem with the disciples as he spoke about Jesus 9:28

b) Saul would debate with the Greek-speaking Jews about Jesus 9:29a

c) When the Greek speaking Jews wanted to kill Saul, he was preserved by being taken out of Jerusalem to Tarsus through Samaria 9:29b-30

4. Summary Statement: The Church enjoyed peace in all of the lands where it had spread and increased as they grew in their understanding of fearing God and finding comfort in His Spirit 9:31

V. The Lord lays the groundwork for the Gentile mission while rebellious Israel slips on toward divine judgment 9:32--12:24

A. Peters Ministry toward the Household of Cornelius: Although Peter and the church in Judea were at first hesitant about reaching out to the Gentiles, the Lord worked to prepare their hearts so that all could be reached with the Gospel 9:32--11:18

1. First preparation: As Peter was traveling through Samaria, he met a paralyzed man in Lydda, healed him in Christ and saw many turn to the Lord who saw the man 9:32-35

a. As Peter was traveling through Samaria on his way back to Jerusalem, he came to the believers of Lydda 9:32

b. Finding a man named Aeneas who was paralyzed, Peter healed him in the name of Jesus 9:33-34

c. All who saw the healed man in Lydda and Sharon turned to the Lord 9:35

2. Second preparation: When Tabitha who was a good woman of Joppa died, Peter came (upon request), restored her life, and saw many believe in the Lord 9:36-42

a. When Tabitha, who abounded in good work, became ill and died, two men were sent for Peter in Lydda to come and help in Joppa 9:36-38

b. When Peter came and saw all the good of the woman, he sent them away, prayed, brought her to life, and presented her to the saints 9:39-41

c. Many in Joppa believed in the Lord through the raising of Tabitha 9:42

3. The Gospel to the Gentiles: Through the working of God in the lives of Cornelius and Peter, the gospel came to the Gentiles and the Spirit identified them with the new community -- even in their uncircumcised state 9:43--10:48

a. Peter stayed many days in Joppa with a tanner named Simon 9:43

b. Cornelius, being a God-fearing Gentile and being told in a vision of God’s favor and to send for Peter, sent three in his care to Joppa for Peter 10:1-8

1) There was a certain man in Caesarea who was a God-fearing Gentile 10:1-2

2) In a vision an angel of the Lord described God’s favor toward Cornelius and exhorted him to send for Peter in Joppa 10:3-4

3) Cornelius sent three who were in his care for Peter 10:8

c. As Peter is prepared by God through two visions to view what God calls clean as clean, he departs with the Gentile messengers to give Cornelius a message 10:9-23

1) When Peter went to pray and became hungry, he had a vision wherein God proclaimed clean for Peter that which he considered unclean (cf. Gen. 1:24; 6:20; Lev. 11:2-47; cf. Mk. 7:19; Rom. 14:14) 10:9-16

2) While Peter was reflecting on the import of his vision, the three messengers from Cornelius arrived asking for Peter 10:17-18

3) While Peter was reflecting , the Holy Spirit told Peter of the visitors and that he should accompany them 10:19-20

4) Upon dialogue with them, Peter learned that these messengers were from the God-fearing Gentile, Cornelius, who had been told to send for Peter to hear a message, whereupon, Peter received them and went with them 10:21-23

d. As Peter and Cornelius each proclaimed God’s working in their lives, Peter preached for all men the forgiveness of sins if anyone would trust in Jesus 10:24-43

1) As Peter entered Caesarea, Cornelius was waiting with family and friends to hear his message 10:24

2) Although wrestling with expectations and the truth of what God had said, Peter asked what Cornelius had called him for 10:25-29

a) Peter corrected Cornelius’ response of adoration by placing both of them on the same level--mere men 10:25-26

b) Proclaiming the extraordinary circumstances of this meeting of a Gentile and a Jew, Peter proclaimed God as the One who has said they are clean and has told Peter to come, and thus Peter asks for the reason he has been summoned 10:27-29

3) Explaining his vision and thanking Peter for coming, Cornelius asked to hear what God has commanded Peter 10:30-33

4) Understanding that God is not showing partiality among people, Peter proclaimed Jesus and the forgiveness of sins for all who believe in Him 10:34-43

a) Peter claimed to now understand that God does not show partiality among men who fear Him 10:34-35

b) Peter, describing the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus as an eye witness proclaimed forgiveness of sins for everyone who believes in Him 10:36-43

e. Because the Holy Spirit fell upon Cornelius and his household while Peter spoke, they baptized them all in their uncircumcised state, and Peter stayed with them as one community 10:44-48

1) While Peter was speaking, the Holy Spirit fell upon Cornelius and his household to the amazement of all of the circumcised Jews with Peter 10:44-46

2) See that the Spirit of God had come upon these Gentiles, they were identified with the believing community in their uncircumcised state through baptism 10:47-48a

3) Peter stayed on with Cornelius for a few days 10:48b

4. The persuasion of those in Judea: Although the circumcised believers in Judea were at first critical of Peter for followshiping with Gentiles, they heard of God’s hand and glorified God for bringing to the Gentiles salvation 11:1-18

a. When the Jewish Apostles and brethren in Judea heard about Peter’s fellowship with the circumcision, they took issue with him 11:1-3

b. After Peter described the series of events climaxing in the baptism of the Spirit upon the Gentiles, he concluded that he should not interfere with God’s work 11:4-17

1) Peter explained the events which led up to this fellowship 11:4

2) Peter described the vision from God which he had wherein God proclaimed clean that which was considered unclean 11:5-10

3) Peter explained the arrival of Cornelius’ men and the vision which Cornelius had had to invite Peter to come and speak the words of salvation 11:11-14

4) Peter explained how the Holy Spirit came upon Cornelius and his household when he spoke as a symbol of God’s identifying them with the new community of believers 11:15-16

5) Peter concluded from all of this that if God was working in this way among the uncircumcised, he was no one to stand in the way 11:17

c. Upon hearing Peter’s report, those who questioned from the circumcised quieted down and glorified God who was giving salvation now to the Gentiles 11:18

B. The Continuing Hostility of Jerusalem: While the mission to the Greek-speaking Jews begins to flourish in Antioch, Jerusalem continues in its rebellion against the Apostles and slips toward a suggestion of judgment with the death of Herod 11:19--12:24

1. As the work reached the Gentiles of Antioch, their lives became markedly different to the point of character alignment with Christ and providing for Jerusalem in need 11:19-30

a. Although most of those who were scattered as a result of Stephen’s persecution only shared God’s work to the Jews, there were some who came to Antioch and preached Jesus to the Greek-speaking Jews as well 11:19-20

b. God was with those who spoke to the Greek-speaking Jews and many believed in Jesus 11:21

c. When the church in Jerusalem heard about the belief of the Greek-speaking Jews, they sent Barnabas who encouraged their obedience and team taught with Saul for over a year bring about people with Christian character 11:22-26

d. When the Antiochan church heard of the famine which was about to occur, they sent relief through the care of Barnabas and Saul 11:27-30

2. Even though Jerusalem continued in its persecution of the church through the martyrdom of James and the imprisonment of many, including Peter, God sovereignly delivered Peter, who then told the brethren who were praying 12:1-19

a. At the time of the famine relief visit, Herod (Agrippa I) initiated a persecution against the church which included the imprisonment of many, the martyrdom of James, and extended to include the imprisonment of Peter 12:1-4

1) At the time when the famine relief was being sent by Antioch, Herod (Agrippa I) was persecuting the church by imprisoning some and slaying James, the brother of John 12:1-2

2) When Herod saw that his attack against the Church was pleasing to the Jews he extended it during the Passover season to include the imprisonment of Peter 12:3-4

b. While Peter was in prison under heavy guard, he was delivered by an angel of the Lord 12:5-11

1) While Peter was in prison, the church was praying for him 12:5

2) On the very night when Herod was about to bring him forward before the people, while Peter was heavily guarded, an angel of the Lord delivered him, in his confusion, from his imprisonment 12:6-10

3) When Peter was outside of the prison, and the angel had disappeared he realized that the Lord had delivered him from Herod and the Jews 12:11

c. When Peter realized what had happened to him, he went to the house of John-Mark’s mother, Mary, and after a considerable delay because of their amazement, relayed to them what God had done, told them to tell James and the brethren, and then left 12:12-17

1) When Peter realized the deliverance which God had brought, he went to the house of Mary, the mother of John-Mark, where there were those who were praying for him 12:12

2) Peter knocked on the door, but was left outside by the servant Rhoda in her excitement from seeing him 12:13-14

3) Although those who were praying did not at first believe Rhoda’s report of having seen Peter, Peter kept knocking, so they let him in and he relayed to them what had happened exhorting them to report this to James (Jesus’ half brother) and the rest of the brethren; then he left 12:15-18

3. Herod ruthlessly slew the guards responsible for Peter when Peter could not be found, and was then slain by God when in Caesarea he refused to give glory to God from the people of Tyre and Sidon who were attempting to placate his anger by calling him a god 12:19-23

a. Setting: Herod, not being able to find Peter, had the guards responsible for his escape executed, and went to Caesarea 12:19

1) When Herod searched for Peter and was not able to find him, he examined the guards and had those who were “responsible” executed 12:19a

2) Herod then went from Judah to Caesarea (the place from where God’s work has been progressing) where he spent some time 12:19b

b. While Herod was in Caesarea and the people from Tyre and Sidon placated him in an attempt to take away his anger but calling his address to them the words of a God rather than a man, God stuck him dead because he did not defer glory to God 12:20-23

1) While Herod was in Caesarea the people from Tyre and Sidon came to him seeking reconciliation of their differences for the sake of food which Herod had control over 12:20

2) On an appointed day, Herod began addressing them (perhaps at some Roman games) 12:21

3) The people responded by crying out that he had the voice of a god and not a man 12:22

4) Because Herod did not rebuke them and give glory to God, the Lord immediately struck him dead 12:23

4. Summary Statement: The word of God grew and multiplied 12:24

VI. Even though most Jews continually reject the gospel message, Paul as a genuine Apostle is demonstrated to spread the true Gospel of God’s grace to all peoples--both Jew and Gentile 12:25--16:5

A. Pauls first missionary journey: Paul’s missionary work is demonstrated to be truly of God as he and Barnabas proclaim the grace of God to all peoples (Jews and Gentiles) and encourage the church to persevere under persecution 12:25--14:28

1. Prelude to the first missionary journey: When Barnabas and Saul returned from Jerusalem with John Mark to the church in Antioch, they were set apart for a work which the Lord had for them by the command of the Holy Spirit at a worship service of the leaders of the church 12:25--13:3

a. Setting: Barnabas and Saul returned to (textual problem) Jerusalem from having provided relief in Judea (cf. 11:29), picked up John Mark (cf. 12:12) and thus returned to Antioch 12:25

b. Calling: In the church at Antioch there were many spiritual leaders gathered to worship God when the Holy Spirit spoke to them to send off Barnabas and Saul for the work which he has for them, and they commissioned and sent them off 13:1-3

1) In the church at Antioch there were many spiritual leaders: prophets and teachers 13:1

a) Statement 13:1a

b) A listing: Barnabas, Simeon who was called Niger, Lucius of Cyrene, Manaen a member of the court of Herod the tetrarch, and Saul 13:1b

2) As with Pentecost in Acts 1--2, a special group is gathered for prayer and the Holy Spirit speaks to them to set Barnabas and Saul apart for the work which He has for them, whereupon, they are commissioned and sent off by the leaders 13:2-3

a) While these leaders are worshiping and fasting, the Holy spirit spoke to them to set Barnabas and Saul apart for the work which He had called them 12:2

b) After fasting and praying, the leaders commissioned and sent Barnabas and Saul off 12:3

2. The First miracle of Paul--a moicrocosom: Paul’s ministry is previewed as offering salvation to all peoples, however, as the Jews reject it they become blinded (cf. Bar-Jesus in Acts 13:11; Roman Jews in Acts 28:25-27), while the Gentiles believe (Sergius Paulus) 13:4-12

a. Setting: Being sent out by the Holy Spirit Barnabas, Saul, and John Mark went down to Seleucia, and then sailed to Cyprus 13:4

b. At Salamis and throughout the island to Paphos they proclaimed the word of God in the synagogues of the Jews 13:5-6a

c. When they encountered a Jewish false prophet named Bar-Jesus and a Gentile proconsul named Sergius Paulus, they proclaimed the word of God leading to blindness in the Jew’s rebellion, and salvation for the Gentile 13:6b-12

1) At Paphos they encountered a Jewish false prophet named Bar-Jesus and the proconsul, Sergius Paulus, who asked to hear the word of God from Barnabas and Saul 13:6b-7

2) Elymas the magician (Bar-Jesus) stood against Barnabas and Paul seeking to prevent the proconsul from the faith 13:8

3) Saul accused Elymas of perverting the straight way of the Lord (cf. John the Baptist Luke 3:4) and brought about blindness upon him so that he had to be led about by the hand (cf. Luke 1; Acts 9; Acts 28) 13:9-1

4) The proconsul believed when he saw what had occurred and heard the teaching of the Lord 13:12

3. The Mission in Pisidian Antioch--the message to the Jews is clarified: Paul and Barnabas proclaim Jesus as the fulfillment of God’s promises through David whereupon some believe, many Jews reject and persecute them, and they leave proclaiming the message now to the Gentiles, judgment upon those Jews who rejected and encouragement to the disciples who remain 13:13-52

a. Setting: Paul’s party left Paphos, had John leave them to return to Jerusalem at Perga, whereupon, they went up to Pisidian Antioch 13:13-14a

1) Paul and his company set sail from Paphos and came to Perga in Pamnphylia 13:13a

2) John left the party and returned to Jerusalem (perhaps due to the movement toward the Gentiles? cf. 15:38) 13:13b

3) The party passed on from Perga and came to Antioch of Pisidia 13:14a

b. Message to the Jews: On the Sabbath day Paul and Barnabas when to the synagogue and after the reading of the Scriptures proclaimed Jesus to be the fulfillment of God’s promises through David bringing forgiveness of sin if they will believe in him and not stumble over this amazing work of God 13:14b-41

1) On the Sabbath day, they went to the synagogue, and were asked to speak a word from God after the customary reading from the Law and the Prophets 13:14b-15

2) As Paul addresses Jews and God fearers, he identifies Jesus as the fulfillment of the Davidic promise made to the fathers through a historical review, present occurrences and fulfilled Scripture to exhort his readers to believe in Him for the forgiveness of there sins, and not to stumble over this amazing work of God 13:16-41

a) Historical review: Tracing God’s goodness to the nation, Paul affirms to Jews and God-fearers that the Lord’s promised savior for the nation through the line of David was testified by John the Baptizer to be Jesus 17-25

(1) Paul stood up and addressed the men of Israel the God fearers present 13:16

(2) Paul traces God’s goodness to the nation by delivering them from their Egyptian captivity through leading them to the land of promise 13:17-19

(3) Paul traces God’s goodness in providing leaders for the nation from the Judges, through Samuel, Saul, and David 13:20-22a

(4) Paul amplifies God’s promise to David to bring about a Savior for the nation Whom he identifies as having been Jesus 13:22b-23

(5) Paul emphasizes that John testified of Jesus as this savior (cf. Lk. 16:16) 13:24-25

b) The proclamation about Jesus: Paul proclaims that Jesus is the fulfillment of the promised Messiah through David whom Israel killed and God raised up in accordance with the Scriptures 26-37

(1) Paul again addresses his audience as Jews and God-fearers 13:26a

(2) Paul claims that his party has been sent this message of the already mentioned salvation through Jesus 13:26b

(3) Paul identifies those who live in Jerusalem as having fulfilled Scripture in their ignorance by having Jesus falsely killed by the Romans 13:27-29

(4) Paul proclaims that God raised Jesus from the dead as was witnessed by those who were with Him from Galilee to Jerusalem and are now His witnesses 13:30-31

(5) Through His resurrection Jesus is the fulfillment of God’s promise to the fathers in accordance with the Scriptures regarding David (Isa. 55:3; Ps. 2:7; 16:10) 13:32-37

c) Conclusion: Paul exhorts his brethren to believe in Jesus for the forgiveness of their sins and not to stumble over this amazing work of God 38-41

(1) Paul exhorts his listeners (brethren) that to believe in Jesus so that they might experience the forgiveness of sins which the Law could never accomplish 13:38-39

(2) Paul warns his listeners from history using Habakkuk 1:5 that they need to beware lest this seems so amazing that they will not believe it 13:40-41

c. While the initial response to Paul’s message was that some believed while many wanted to hear more, the fuller response the next sabbath was that the Jews became jealous over the overwhelming interest in Paul and Barnabas’ message and refuted them, whereupon, Paul and Barnabas proclaimed that they would now go to the Gentiles, many Gentiles believed, the Jews persecuted the team, and Paul and Barnabas left for Iconium with a curse upon the Jews and the converts greatly encouraged 13:42-52

1) When the people went out they begged to hear about this on the next sabbath 13:42

2) When the meeting was over many Jews and devout converts to Judaism followed Paul and Barnabas who encouraged them 13:43

3) The larger response was that many came to hear the Gospel the next sabbath, the Jews, out of jealousy, refuted Paul and Barnabas, who then proclaimed the necessity to go to the Gentiles, whereupon many Gentiles believed, the Jews persecuted Paul and Barnabas, they left for Iconium proclaiming judgment upon them, and the disciples where encouraged who remained 13:44-52

a) The next sabbath almost the whole city came out to hear the Gospel 13:44

b) Out of jealousy over the multitudes, the Jews contradicted and reviled Paul 13:45

c) Paul and Barnabas proclaimed that it was necessary to proclaim the word of God to the Jews first (because it concerns their promises), but since they reject it and the eternal life which they are offering, they will turn to the Gentiles as they fulfill Isaiah 49:6 13:46-47

d) When the Gentiles heard this they rejoiced and many believed 13:48

e) The word spread throughout the region 13:49

f) The Jews stirred up persecution against Paul and Barnabas and drove them out of the district 13:50

g) The disciples symbolically proclaimed judgment upon the Jews in Antioch by shaking off the dust from their feet (cf. Lk. 9:5; 10:11; Acts 18:6; 22:22-23) and moved on to Iconium 13:51

h) The disciples were not discouraged, but filled with joy and the Holy Spirit 13:52

4. The Mission in Iconium-a response repeated: When Paul and Barnabas spoke the gospel again in a Jewish synagogue in Iconium, they divided the city between those who believed their message and those who did not and thus persecuted them so that they fled with the message to Lystra and Derby 14:1-7

a. At Iconium Paul and Barnabas spoke in a Jewish synagogue, and many of both Jews and Greek-speaking Jews believed 14:1

b. When Paul and Barnabas were persecuted by unbelieving Jews and Gentiles, they left a divided city for Lystra and Derby where they preached the gospel 14:2-7

1) The unbelieving Jews turned the Gentiles against the brethren 14:2

2) Paul and Barnabas stayed a long time speaking boldly and bearing witness to their word with signs and wonders 14:3

3) The people were divided between the Jews and the Apostles 14:4

4) When the Jews and Gentiles made an attempt to stone Paul and Barnabas, they fled to Lystra and Derby where they preached the gospel 14:5-7

5. The Mission in Lystra: The message to the Gentiles is clarified: 14:8-23 After Paul demonstrated the saving work of God through the healing of a lame man, and the people began to worship him and Barnabas as pagan gods, He instructed them toward the living God who created and blessed all of creation, whereupon he persevered persecution by the Jews, and returned to the churches in Galatia to encourage them to persevere in their newly established faith 14:8-23

a. Sign: Paul demonstrates the saving work of God through the healing of a crippled man (cf. Acts 3) who was listening to his message 14:8-10

1) Setting: At Lystra there was a crippled man who listened to Paul speak 14:8-9a

2) When Paul saw that the man had faith to be made will he commanded him to, “Stand upright” and the man was healed 14:8b-10

b. Sermon: When the people began to honor Paul and Barnabas as Greek gods, they turned them from their pagan understanding to an examination of the living God who is creator and blesser of all 14:11-18

1) The response of the People: The people identified Paul and Barnabas as Greek gods to be honored through sacrifice 14:11-13

a) When the people saw what Paul had done they identified them with gods 14:11

b) The people called Paul and Barnabas names of Greek gods--Hermes and Zeus--and brought sacrifices to offer to them 14:12-13

2) The response of Paul and Barnabas: When Paul and Barnabas saw what was occurring, they immediate pointed the people away from them to the living God who is creator of all and has provided witness of Himself through blessing to all peoples 14:14-17

a) When they heard what was occurring, Paul and Barnabas rent their clothes and ran out to speak to the people 14:14

b) Paul and Barnabas not only question the activity of the people, but point them from their polytheism to the one living God who is creator of all and who has shown Himself through the blessing he has graciously given to all 14:15-17

(1) Paul and Barnabas questioned the people as to why they were doing this since they were men like the people were 14:15a

(2) Paul and Barnabas urged the people to turn from their empty idols (cf. 1 Ki. 16:2, 13, 26; 2 Ki. 17:15)to a living God who was creator of all 14:15b

(3) Paul and Barnabas explain that in the past the nations have been allowed to go their own way, but not without a witness from the living God who brought about fruitfulness and prosperity for all 14:16-17

3) The response of the people: This speech barely dissuades the crowd from sacrificing to them 14:18

c. Suffering for the gospel: After Paul was stoned in Lystra, he persevered by returning into the city, and then went with Barnabas back to Derby, Iconium and Antioch to proclaim the gospel, encourage the disciples to persevere, and to set up leaders in each church 14:19-23

1) Although Paul was stoned by Jews from Antioch and Iconium, he rose up and re-entered the city 14:19-20a

a) Paul was stoned and drug out of the city for dead by Jews from Antioch and Iconium who stirred up the people 14:19

b) When the disciples gathered around Paul he rose up and entered the city 14:20a

2) Paul returned to Lystra, Iconium, and Antioch to encourage the brethren that they should persevere through trials until the coming of the Kingdom, and he established leadership in the churches 14:20-23

a) The day after Paul was stoned, he and Barnabas went to Derby where they preached the gospel and made many disciples 14:20-21a

b) Paul and Barnabas returned to Lystra, Iconium, and Antioch where they strengthened the disciples to faithfully persevere through trials, and appointed elders in each church 14:21b-23

(1) Paul and Barnabas returned to Lystra, Iconium, and Antioch 14:21b

(2) Paul and Barnabas strengthened the disciples to continue in the faith during the many tribulations which will come before the Kingdom 14:22

(3) Appointing elders in every church, they committed the disciples to the Lord in whom they believed 14:23

6. Postlude to the first missionary journey: Paul and Barnabas returned to Antioch speaking the word of God in Perga, and reported all that God had done on the journey, remaining with the church a long time 14:24-28

a. Paul and Barnabas passed through Pisidia and came to Pamphylia, spoke the word in Perga, and went down to Attalia 14:24-25

b. Paul and Barnabas returned to Antioch, reported all that God had done even for the Gentiles on the missionary journey, and remained with the church for a long time 14:26-28

1) They sailed to Antioch where they had been commissioned for the missionary journey 14:26

2) They told the church in Antioch all that God had done including opening for them a door of faith to the Gentiles 14:27

3) They remained for a long time with the disciples in Antioch 14:28

B. The Jerusalem Council: When Paul and Barnabas’ gospel message to the Gentiles came under criticism by Jews who desired for the Gentiles to keep all of the Mosaic law (including the ceremonial--circumcision), it was vindicated by a council of Apostles and elders in Jerusalem, and they were restored to active ministry in Antioch, whereupon Paul returned to the field to strengthen the churches with Silas (a Jerusalem supporter), and Timothy (a physical example of the decree) by sharing the decree with the growing churches 15:1--16:5

1. Prelude to the Council--Controversy over the Law : Because the ministry of Paul and Barnabas toward the Gentiles is threatened by those from the Jews in Judea who insist that the Gentiles must keep all of the Law including the ceremonial aspects of circumcision Paul and Barnabas go to Jerusalem to deal with the question 15:1-5

a. When some men came down from Judea insisting that Gentile converts be circumcised and keep the Law of Moses, Paul and Barnabas strongly refuted them, and were sent to deal with the question in Jerusalem 15:1-2

1) Some men came down to Antioch from Judea teaching that one needed to follow the law of Moses with respect to circumcision in order to be saved 15:1

2) Paul and Barnabas argued greatly with those from Judea and were sent along with others by the church in Antioch to the apostles and elders in Jerusalem to deal with this problem 15:2

b. As Paul and Barnabas journeyed to Jerusalem, they were well received and proclaimed to all the work that God had done through them, especially towards the Gentiles 15:3-4

1) The party including Paul and Barnabas passed south through Phoenicia and Samaria encouraging all of the brethren as they reported the conversion of the Gentiles from their mission 15:3

2) When the party came to Jerusalem, they were welcomed by the church and the Apostles and reported all that God had done with them on their journey 15:4

c. Some believers who were part of the Pharisees objected to Paul and Barnabas’ work on the basis that it was necessary to exhort the Gentiles to keep the law of Moses including circumcision 15:5

2. The Councils deliberations: Peter, Paul & Barnabas, and James all confirm God’s work among the Gentiles, concluding that the Law should not be imposed upon them, but that they should temper their actions for the sake of unity among Jewish believers in their midst 15:6-21

a. Setting: Two groups, the Apostles and the elders, are gathered together to consider the question 15:6

b. Peter speaks for the Apostles: After there had been much debate, Peter, as the first apostle to the Gentiles, called the addition of the Law a test of God because He had identified all people as saved when they believed in the grace of the Lord Jesus 15:7-11

1) Peter spoke after there had been much debate 15:7a

2) When Peter addresses the brethren, he does so as the “Apostle to the Gentiles” and identifies the addition of the Mosaic Law with a test against God who has confirmed salvation for all peoples through the grace of the Lord Jesus 15:7b-11

a) Peter addressed the audience as Brethren 15:7b

b) As the Apostle whom God chose to first proclaim the gospel to the Gentiles, Peter affirms that the addition of the Law is an offense against God because He has not distinguished between peoples, but has made salvation available for all by the grace of the Lord Jesus 15:7c-11

(1) Peter presents himself as the “Apostle for the breaking of the news to the Gentiles” because God chose him from among them all to first proclaim the gospel which they believed 15:7c

(2) Peter asserts that God Himself confirmed the genuiness of the Gentiles’ heart by bestowing the Holy Spirit upon them just as he had upon the new community at Pentecost, thus making no distinction between the groups 15:8-9

(3) Therefore, Peter concludes that the addition of the Law is a test of God’s judgment since no one has been able to obey it 15:10

(4) Therefore, Peter affirms that Salvation comes the same for both Jews and Gentiles--through the grace of the Lord Jesus 15:11

c. Barnabas and Paul speak: While all of the people were quiet after Peter’s address, Paul and Barnabas also attested to the signs and wonders which God had done through them among the Gentiles 15:12

d. James speaks for the elders: Agreeing with Simeon, James cites the prophets as support for his conclusion that the Gentiles should not be bothered with the Law, but should be urged to act appropriately for the sake of their unity with Jewish believers among them 15:13-21

1) After Paul and Barnabas finished speaking, James spoke to the question urging the brethren to listen to him 15:13

2) James agreed with Simeon, cited the prophets as support for a time when Gentiles would stand along side of Jews as Gentiles in the people of God, and urged that they not be bothered with the Law, but that they might be careful to keep unity among Jewish believers through personal restraint 15:14-21

a) James affirmed that the prophets as a whole agree with the words of Simeon (Peter’s Hebrew name) about how God has visited the Gentiles to take them into his people 15:14-15

b) James proclaims from the example of Amos 9 that a time was foreseen when Gentiles would stand as Gentiles by Jews in the people of God 15:16-18

(1) Option 1: James refers not to Amos 9 so much as an existing testimonia (like an accepted excerpt from a catechism) which affirms the truth that in the future, Gentiles will be along side of Jews as Gentiles in the Kingdom

(2) Option 2: James cites one well known example from the LXX of Amos 9:11-12 where the reference is to “men” and not the “judgment of Edom” (MT). He could have referred to others

(3) “After this” does not refer to “after the church” but is the beginning of the quotation

(4) “Rebuild the tabernacle of David” could be descriptive of a future event on earth, or could refer to the initiated rule and benefits which presently come through Jesus (Acts 2:30-36; 13:32-39)

c) In view of the word from the prophets, James concludes that the Gentiles should not be bothered, but urged to act with appropriate concern for unity among Jews who would be among them 15:19-21

(1) In view of the word from the Scriptures James concludes that the Gentiles who turn to God should not be troubled 15:19

(2) James affirms that Gentile believers should be written to and urged to act with concern for the Jews who are among them by not participating in those things (from their cultic world) which would have offended their unity among Jewish believers (cf. Lev. 17--18): eating meat offered to idols, involvement in sexual immorality, eating meat that had not been properly prepared, and eating meat with blood in it 15:20-21

3. The Councils letters and its impact: After those in Jerusalem had agreed to send a delegation with a letter proclaiming the position of the council, and affirming Paul and Barnabas, they went to Antioch where they were greatly received, and Paul and Barnabas resumed their leadership roles as teachers in the community 15:22-35

a. The church in Jerusalem including the Apostles and the elders agreed to send men back with Paul and Barnabas to Antioch including leaders named Judas, called Barsabbas, and Silas 15:22

b. The church sent a letter from the Apostles and elders of the church in Jerusalem to the churches in Antioch, Syria and Cilicia 15:23

c. The letter to the churches acknowledged the trouble caused by those who wished to place the Law upon the Gentiles and refuted them by affirming Paul and Barnabas, and only requesting that the Gentiles abstain from those things which would prevent fellowship with Jewish believers 15:24-29

4. When the men reached Antioch and read the letter, the church rejoiced, and was encouraged by Judas and Silas, and then taught for a long while by Paul and Barnabas after the departure of those from Jerusalem 15:30-35

a. The men went off from Jerusalem to Antioch where they gathered the church together, and delivered the letter 15:30

b. When they read the letter, the church rejoiced over the exhortation, and was exhorted and encouraged by Judas and Silas 15:31-32

c. After some time, Judas and Silas were sent off in peace by the church in Antioch to Jerusalem 15:33

d. Paul and Barnabas remained in Antioch teaching and preaching the word of the Lord with many others 15:35

1) The letter acknowledged the troubled caused by those unofficially from them who insisted that Gentiles keep the Law 15:24

2) The letter affirmed that the church had come to one accord about the matter and had sent men along with the letter to confirm it 15:25

3) Paul and Barnabas were honored as beloved, and men who have risked their lives for the Lord 15:26

4) No other restrictions were placed upon the Gentiles than that they abstain from those things which would prevent unity among them with their Jewish brothers 15:27-29

5. Pauls triumphant return to the field: Paul’s gospel message having been confirmed by the leaders of Jerusalem, Paul set off to strengthen the churches of the first journey without the former Jewish partnership of Barnabas who had taken John Mark (who had been unwilling to continue the first journey) to Cyprus, but with Silas (who had been a strong Jewish support of the decree) and Timothy (who physically bore the sense of the decree) to proclaim the decree to the growing churches of Galatia 15:36--16:5

a. After some time Paul suggested to Barnabas that they return and visit the brethren in every city where they ministered and see how they are 15:36

b. Although Barnabas wanted to take along John Mark, Paul objected because he had deserted the earlier mission in Pamphylia 15:37-38

c. Because of a sharp contention between Paul and Barnabas, they separated and Barnabas took John Mark to Cyprus, while Paul took Silas and departed under the commissioning of the Church in Antioch 15:39-40

d. Paul and Silas went through Syria and Cilicia strengthening the churches 15:41

e. When Paul came to Derbe, Lystra and Iconium he learned of a faithful disciple named Timothy and invited him to join in the journey having him as a half Jew circumcised for the sake of unity with the Jews in the region 16:1-3

1) Paul came to Derbe and Lystra where he met a disciple named Timothy who was the son of a Jewish, believing mother, and a Greek father 16:1

2) Timothy was spoken well of by all of the brethren in Lystra and Iconium, and Paul wanted him to accompany him on his journey 16:2-3a

3) Paul had Timothy circumcised for the sake of unity with the Jews in the area since they knew that his father was Gentile (cf. the prohibitions of Acts 15) 16:3b

f. As the party went through the cities of Galatia, they delivered the letter from the leaders in Jerusalem for them to observe 16:4

6. Summary Statement: The churches were strengthened in the faith and increased numerically daily 16:5

VII. The church’s mission through the Apostle Paul is demonstrated to be the sovereign work of God towards all peoples 16:6--19:20

A. The Mission at Philippi: The mission through Paul and Silas is sovereignly directed by the Holy Spirit to Philippi where God sovereignly arranges for the conversion of several including Lydia (an Asian woman of commerce), and a Philippian jailer (a Greek/Roman man) before sending Paul and Silas out of the city 16:1-40

1. Prologue: the call to Macedonia: As the party, including at least Paul, Silas, Timothy, and Luke traveled, the Holy Spirit sovereignly directed their movement away from Asia to Macedonia 16:6-10

a. Paul, Silas, and Timothy were forbidden by the Holy Spirit to speak the word of God in Asia, so they went through the regions of Phrygia and Galatia 16:6

b. At Mysia the Spirit of Jesus did not allow them to go north to Bithynia, so they went down south to Troas 16:7-8

c. In a vision to Paul a Macedonian man beckoned him to come west and help them 16:9

1) A vision appeared to Paul in the night 16:9a

2) A Macedonian man beckoned Paul to come west and help them 16:9b

d. Those in the party (including Luke--”we”) immediately interpreted this dream as God’s sovereign direction to go to Macedonia to preach the gospel to the people there 16:10

2. The conversion of Lydia When the party arrived in Philippi, they sought the place of prayer by the river on the Sabbath, and the Lord caused a God-worshipping woman named Lydia to hear Paul’s message, whereupon she believe, and showed hospitality to the party 16:11-15

a. Setting: The party set sail from Troas to Macedonia through Samothrace and Neapolis to Philippi, the leading city of Macedonia, where they remained for some time 16:11-12

b. As the party went to a place of prayer by the river on the Sabbath, God caused an Asian woman named Lydia to hear Paul’s message, whereupon she believed, was baptized with her family, and showed hospitality to the party 16:13-15

1) There not being a synagogue, on the Sabbath the party went to a riverside outside of the city where they supposed there to be a place of prayer, and they spoke to women1 who had come together 16:13

2) One woman who heard them named Lydia, an Asian from Thyatira who was a merchant, and a worshiper of God 16:14a

3) The Lord caused her to hear what Paul was saying, she believed, was baptized, with her household, and showed hospitality to the party 16:14b-15

3. The conversion of the Jailer: God sovereignly works to save a jailer and his family through Paul delivering a demonized girl from an evil spirit, which led to his being arrested and placed under a jailer’s care, where the Lord caused an earthquake that provided the opportunity for the jailer and his family to hear and believe in the word of God 16:16-34

a. A demonized girl: When a demonized girl began to follow the party around and announce their mission from God, Paul in the name of Christ cast the evil spirit out of her 16:16-18

1) The party was met by a slave girl who was demonized and used for profit by her master as a soothsayer when they were on their way to the place of prayer 16:16

2) For many days she followed the party around announcing that they were servants of God who are proclaiming the way of salvation 16:17-18a

3) Paul was annoyed by her actions, so he cast the evil spirit out of her 16:18b

b. Imprisonment of Paul and Silas: When the Spirit was cast out of the girl, her owners drug Paul and Silas to the magistrates, and charged them with disrupting the city against Roman law, whereupon, the rulers had them beaten and thrown under custody of a jailer into prison 16:19-24

1) When the spirit was cast out of the girl, her owners saw that they had lost their hope of profit through her 16:19a

2) The girl’s owners brought Paul and Silas before the judges and charged them with being Jews (racial) who were disturbing the city, and whose customs are not Roman 16:19b-21

3) The town joined in with the attack, and the rulers had them severely beaten, thrown into prison, and put under the guardianship of a jailer who fastened there feet in stocks 16:22-24

c. The Deliverance: God sovereignly works through an earthquake to cause a jailer to hear the gospel message from Paul and Silas, whereupon he and his family believe and enter into fellowship with them 16:25-34

1) At midnight, Paul and Silas were being listened to by the prisoners as they were praying and singing hymns 16:25

2) Suddenly there was a great earthquake which shook the foundations of the prison, opened the doors and unfastened everyone’s fetters 16:26

3) When the jailer awoke and saw what had occurred, he was about to kill himself thinking that all of the prisoners had escaped, when Paul told him to not hurt himself since everyone was still present 16:27

4) The jailer ran into the jail, got Paul and Silas and asked them what he must do to be saved 16:29-30

5) Paul and Silas explained the word of the Lord to Him and his household, and urged him to believe in the Lord Jesus to be saved 16:31-32

6) A Picture of Reconciliation: That very night the jailer washed Paul and Silas’ physical wounds and they washed him and his family (through baptism) of their spiritual wounds, whereupon they fellowshipped in his house 16:33-34

4. Epilogue: Gods servants are vindicated: Paul and Silas were vindicated by the rulers of Philippi when they learned that the team were Roman citizens by being escorted out of prison, whereupon, they returned to Lydia’s house, encouraged the brethren, and left Philippi 16:35-40

a. When it was morning, the rulers ordered the jailers to release Paul and Silas 16:35

b. The jailer announced their release to Paul urging them to come out to peace 16:36

c. Paul refused to come out privately, but insisted that the leaders come themselves and lead them out because they were unjustly beaten in a public manner as Roman citizens 16:37

d. When the leaders heard Paul’s words about being Roman citizens, they were afraid, came to them, apologized, took them out and asked them to leave the city 16:38-39

e. Paul and Silas left prison, went to Lydia’s, exhorted the brethren, and departed from Philippi 16:40

B. The mission from Thessalonica to Corinth: Although Paul experienced Jewish opposition and Gentile indifference, he proclaimed the word of God to all peoples, both Jews and Gentiles, under God’s protection, and many came to believe in Jesus 17:1--18:17

1. Ministry toward the Jews: The missionary party went to the Jewish synagogues in Thessalonica and Beroea and proclaimed Jesus as Messiah, whereupon, some Jews, devout Greeks, and women, believed in Thessalonica, and many Jews believed in Beroea, but Paul had to flee under the persecution from the jealous Thessalonican Jews from both cities 17:1-15

a. The mission to the Thessalonica--negative: When Paul and Silas arrived in Thessalonica they proclaimed Jesus as Messiah in the synagogue for three weeks causing some Jews, many devout Greeks, and leading woman to believe, but raising jealousy in the Jews to the point that the new disciples were severely persecuted before the authorities 17:1-9

1) Setting: When Paul and Silas had passed through Amphipolis and Apollonia they came to Thessalonica where there was a Jewish synagogue 17:1

2) When Paul entered the synagogue and argued for Jesus as Messiah, some Jews, many devout Greeks, and leading woman believed and joined Paul and Silas, but the Jews were jealous 17:2-5a

a) Paul went in, as was his custom, and argued with them from the Scriptures for three weeks 17:2

b) Paul explained and proved from the Scriptures the death, resurrection and Messiahship of Jesus 17:3

c) Some Jews, many devout Greeks, and leading women believed and joined Paul and Silas 17:4

d) The Jews were jealous of Paul and Silas 17:5a

3) In an uproar the Jews sought Paul and Silas, but could not find them so they took Jason and some brethren before the authorities and accused them of disturbing the peace and of proclaiming another king against Rome, whereupon the leaders exacted a bond from them before releasing them 17:5b-9

a) Using some wicked men, the Jews gathered a crowd and set the city in an uproar 17:5b

b) The Jews attacked the house of Jason looking for Paul and Silas, but when they could not find them, they brought Jason and some of the brethren before the authorities 17:5c-6a

c) The Jews accused Jason and the brethren of harboring disrupters, and proclaiming Jesus as King against Rome (subversion as with Jesus) 17:6b-7

d) The people and city authorities were disturbed when they heard the accusations, so they took from the hostages a bond and released them 17:8-9

b. The mission to Beroea--positive: When the party came to Beroea from Thessalonica, they also went to the synagogue and proclaimed Jesus as Messiah, and the Jews responded well with eagerness and examination, but the Jews from Thessalonica came and stirred up the city whereupon, Paul was escorted to Athens while Silas and Timothy remained 17:10--15

1) Setting: The brethren from Thessalonica sent Paul and Silas away by night to Beroea were they went to the Jewish synagogue 17:10

2) The Jews in Beroea were more noble than those in Thessalonica because they received the word with eagerness and a hunger to test Paul’s word through the Scriptures 17:11

3) When the Jews from Thessalonica heard that word of God was being proclaimed by Paul in Beroea, they came there also stirring up the crowds 17:12-13

4) In response to the uproar in Beroea the brethren had Silas and Timothy remain with them, but sent Paul off by sea to Athens, whereupon, he sent back message for them to come to him as soon as possible 17:14-15

2. Ministry towards the Gentiles: Although Paul’s ministry had little impact before the philosophers in Athens, he had a long and fruitful ministry in Corinth to all peoples in spite of Jewish opposition because of the Lord’s protection 17:16--18:17

a. The mission to Athens--negative: While Paul was in Athens waiting for Silas and Timothy, he became disturbed over the idolatry in the city and began proclaiming the word of God in synagogues and market places until at last he spoke before the Gentile philosophers at the Areopagus where he urged a resistant people to repent from their idolatry and turn to the true God who is Creator and will one day judge the world through his vindicated servant, whereupon most rejected, but some believed 17:16-34

1) Setting: While Paul was waiting for Silas and Timothy in Athens he was provoked within when he saw the city was full of idols 17:16

2) Paul argued in the synagogues with the Jews and devout Greeks, and in the market place every day with whoever happened to be present 17:17

3) Some of the Epicurean (who liked to enjoy life) and the Stoic (who sought to live consistently with nature) philosophers met Paul and were intrigued by his teaching so they took him to the Aeopagus for him to proclaim his new teaching which they always wanted to hear 17:18-21

4) As Paul stands before the Areopagus he acknowledges their piety, but corrects their error by proclaiming their unknown God as the Creator of all, whom they have dishonored, and who now commands them to repent because they will all be held accountable at a righteous judgment through the one whom He has vindicated through the resurrection 17:22-34

a) Paul standing in the midst of the Areopagus addressed the men of Athens 17:22a

b) Paul affirmed that they were a pious people because of their many idols, one of which was to the unknown God 17:22b-23a

c. Paul proclaims the identity of their unknown God as the Creator who made all, does not need man, but gives all things to man so that they might seek after Him 17:23b-28

(1) Paul exclaims that he wishes to proclaim the identity of their unknown God 17:23b

(2) Paul proclaimed the unknown God as the Creator of heaven and earth who does not live in temples made by men (man is thus accountable to Him) 17:24

(3) God is not dependent upon man, but gives all good things to all men including life, breath, and their existence as nations 17:25-26

(4) God has given to men so that they might seek Him since He is not far away as even their Greek poets (Epimenides and Aratus, Phainomena 5) noted 17:27-28

d) Paul proclaims that man has dishonored this unknown God by making images of Him since we are like him -- His offspring 17:29

e) Paul proclaims that even though God has overlooked the times of ignorance from the past all men should now repent because he will judge all men in righteousness through the one whom He vindicated by raising him from the dead 17:30-31

(1) Paul proclaims that God overlooked the times of ignorance 17:30a

(2) Paul proclaims that now God commands everyone everywhere to repent 17:30b

(3) The reason God commands everyone to repent is because He will one day will one day judge the world in righteousness through a man whom He has vindicated through resurrection from the dead 17:31

5) Although many either mocked Paul or delayed decision for another hearing, some did believe in his message and followed him out from among the people 17:32-34

a) When they heard of the resurrection of the dead some mocked Paul 17:32a

b) Others wanted to hear more about Paul’s teaching some other day 17:32b

c) Paul went out from among these people 17:33

d) Some people joined Paul and believed in Jesus including Dionysius the Areopagite, and a woman named Damaris 17:34

b. The mission to Corinth--positive: From Athens Paul went to Corinth and proclaimed the word of God to all peoples having a long and fruitful ministry under the Lord’s protection in spite of Jewish opposition 18:1-17

1) Introduction: After the event in Athens, Paul went to Corinth where he met a Jewish couple to live and work with, and proclaimed Jesus to the Jews and the Greeks, especially after Silas and Timothy joined him 18:1-5

a) After the event at the Areopagus, Paul left Athens and went to Corinth 18:1

b) Paul found those to stay with and work with in Corinth--a Jew and his wife from the Rome (after Claudias’ decree, A.D. 49-50) named Aquila and Priscilla 18:2-3

c) Paul argued in the synagogue every sabbath persuading Jews and Greeks 18:4

d) When Timothy and Silas joined Paul in Corinth, Paul used all of his time proclaiming Jesus as the Christ to the Jews 18:5

2) Paul had a long and fruitful ministry to all peoples in Corinth in spite of Jewish opposition because the Lord protected him as He had promised 18:6-17

a) When the Jews rejected Paul’s teaching he announced their responsibility for their actions and that he would now go to the Gentiles as he went among those who believed in his message 18:6-8

(1) When the Jews rejected Paul’s teaching, he explains that he went to the Jews first, but now he is not responsible for their death (cf. “Watchman” imagery of Ezk. 33:1-9), and thus that he will go to the Gentiles 18:6

(2) When Paul left the synagogue he went among those who believed his message: to the house of Titus Justus (a worshiper of God), Crispus, the ruler of the synagogue and his household, and many other Corinthians who believed and were baptized 18:7-8

b) In a vision the Lord commissioned Paul not to leave Corinth (as in other cases, cf. Acts 13--14; 17), but to stay and proclaim His word to the many people He had there under His protection, and Paul did for one and a half years 18:9-11

(1) The Lord spoke to Paul one night in a vision 18:9a

(2) The Lord told Paul to not be afraid to speak for Him because He would protect him, and because he had many in Corinth who would believe 18:9b-10

(3) Paul stayed a year and six months in Corinth teaching the word of God to the people 18:11

c) The Lord’s promised protection (18:10) is demonstrated as Paul is acquitted by Gallio from the Jews’ indictment, and the leader of the synagogue is beaten by the crowd 18:12-17

(1) When Gallio was proconsul of Achaia (A.D. 51 [to 55]), the Jews made a united attack upon Paul and brought him before the tribunal 18:12

(2) Paul was accused by the Jews of breaking Roman law by proclaiming worship which is different than that of Judaism 18:13

(3) Before Paul could speak in his defense Gallio dismissed the charge against him by the Jews because it was not a civil matter, but a inner-religious matter (cf. Lk. 23) 18:14-16

(4) Sosthenes, the ruler of the synagogue, was seized, and beaten by the crowd (Jews) in front of the tribunal, but Gallio ignored the event (like Pilate?) 18:17

C. The Mission at Ephesus: Paul’s ministry of the word of God to all peoples reaches its climax in Ephesus where those whom he equipped are left to trained other powerful teachers, where he taught for over two years bringing the word of God to all peoples, where he greatly demonstrated apostolic power through bestowing the Holy Spirit, and through miracles of healing and exorcism, and where all of Ephesus was moved to fear the Lord Jesus and many believers repented of their activity in the occult as false Jewish exorcists were humbled by evil spirits who knew of Jesus and Paul 18:18--19:20

1. Ephesus is bypassed again to leave Priscilla and Aquila: Although Paul did leave Corinth with Priscilla and Aquila and landed in Ephesus where he spoke the word in the synagogue, and was entreated to stay, He declined to stay, left Priscilla and Aquila there and returned to the church in Antioch where he remained for awhile before returning to the mission fields of Galatia and Phrygia to strengthen the disciples 18:18-23

a. Setting: After the event before Gallio, Paul stayed longer in Corinth and then left with Priscilla and Aquila for Syria 18:18a

b. At Cenchreae Paul had his hair cut from a personal vow (perhaps for in thanksgiving for God’s preservation, cf. 18:10) 18:18b

c. Although Paul arrived in Ephesus, left Aquila and Priscilla there, spoke in the synagogue and was asked to stay on, he declined (perhaps before the seas closed for winter) agreeing to return if the Lord allowed it, and left Ephesus 18:19-21

d. Paul returned to Caesarea, greeted the church (in Jerusalem), went to Antioch, spending some time there, and then returned to the region of Galatia and Phrygia to strengthen the disciples 18:22-23

2. Priscilla and Aquila instruct Apollos: In Paul’s absence, Priscilla and Aquila meet and instruct a gifted Alexandrian Jew concerning all of the truth about Jesus, whereupon, he is sent to Corinth to help the brethren in their public debates from Scripture with the Jews about the Messiahship of Jesus 18:24-28

a. Setting: A well educated, eloquent, Alexandrian Jew, named Apollos who knew the Scriptures came to Ephesus 18:24

b. Having been taught in the way of the Lord, Apollos accurately spoke and taught the Jesus, but he only knew the baptism of John 18:25

c. Apollos began to speak boldly of Jesus in the synagogue only to have things explained to him even more fully by Priscilla and Aquila 18:26

d. Wishing to go to Achaia, the brethren (Priscilla and Aquila) of Ephesus encouraged him and sent him with a letter so that he would be well received by the brethren 18:27

e. When Apollos arrived in Corinth, he greatly aided the church as he argued well with the Jews in public showing from the Scriptures that Jesus was the Messiah 18:28

3. Paul Apostolically bestows the Holy Spirit on twelve men: While Apollos was at Corinth, Paul returned to Ephesus, and was used to instruct, baptize and bestow the Holy Spirit upon about twelve disciples whom he met 19:1-7

a. While Apollos was at Corinth, Paul returned to Ephesus 19:1

b. While Paul was in Corinth, he met about twelve disciples whom he taught about the baptism of Jesus, laid hands upon, and received the Holy Spirit 19:2-7

1) Paul found some disciples (of Jesus?) who did not know about the Holy Spirit, but had only been baptized into the baptism of John 19:2-3

2) Paul explained that John’s baptism was for repentance to urge people to believe in Jesus, whereupon, the disciples were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus 19:4-5

3) When Paul laid hands upon the nearly twelve disciples, the Holy Spirit came upon them and they spoke with tongues and prophesied 19:6-7

4. Paul speaks the word of God so that all in Asia hear: After Paul had spoken boldly for three months in the synagogue, and was rejected, he moved to the hall of Tyrannus and boldly proclaimed the word for over two years so that all peoples in Asia, both Jews and Gentiles, heard 19:8-10

a. Paul entered the synagogue in Ephesus, and spoke boldly about the kingdom of God for three months 19:8

b. When some in the synagogue spoke evil of the Way before the congregation, he withdrew with his disciples and argued daily in the hall of Tyrannus 19:9

c. Paul continued to daily present the word of God for two years with the result that all of the residents of Asia heard the word--both Jews and Gentiles 19:10

5. Paul demonstrates the uniqueness of Gods power: The Lord affirmed the message of Paul about Jesus through great miracles of healing by the hand of Paul, and the humiliation of some false Jewish exorcists thus causing Jesus’ name to be feared in all of Ephesus, and causing many believers to repent of their activity in the occult 19:11-19

a. Positively: God did many extraordinary miracles by Paul including the healing of the sick and the deliverance of people from evil spirits 19:11-12

1) God did extraordinary miracles by the hands of Paul 19:11

2) Handkerchiefs or aprons were carried away from the body of Paul to people who were sick and they were cured of diseases and evil spirits 19:12

b. Negatively: When some Jewish exorcists tried to cast out spirits in the name of Jesus whom Paul preached, the spirits acknowledged Jesus and Paul, but severely humiliated the exorcists causing all in Ephesus to honor Jesus, and many believers to repent of their evil, satanic practices 19:13-19

1) Some itinerant Jewish exorcists (seven sons of the Jewish high priest named Sceva) tried to cast out spirits in the name of the Jesus whom Paul preaches 19:13-14

2) The evil spirits acknowledged Jesus and Paul, but not these exorcists and worked through the demonized to beat them up and cast them out naked 19:15-16

3) The humiliation of the Jewish exorcists spread to all of the people of Ephesus causing them to become fearful, and extol the name of Jesus 19:17

4) The result of the humiliation of the false exorcists was that many believers came confessing and divulging their evil practices and burning their valuable satanic books 19:18-19

D. Summary Statement: The Word of the Lord grew and prevailed mightily 19:20

VIII. The Church’s mission through the Apostle Paul is demonstrated to not be anti-Gentile or anti-Jewish in spite of their rejection, but a proclamation of the Gospel to all peoples--including the Jews 19:21--28:31

A. As Paul goes to Jerusalem he demonstrates that his message is to all peoples--even those who reject him of the Gentiles and the Jews 19:21--26:32

1. Paul is shown to be a messenger to all peoples--even though they may reject him: Through two parallel scenes regarding an uproar concerning the temple of Artemis in Ephesus followed by a positive speech to the leaders of the Gentile church there, and an uproar concerning the temple of YHWH in Jerusalem followed by a positive speech to the people of Jerusalem, Paul demonstrates himself to be a messenger to all peoples--both Gentiles and Jews--even though many from each people group may reject him 19:21--22:30

a. Paul among the Gentiles some of whom reject his message: Even though some Gentiles rejected the message of the Way in Ephesus because it threatened to disrupt their financial security in the false goddess Artemis, Paul still encouraged those among the Gentiles who believed in Jesus to follow his example by being faithful to their calling even in the face of difficulties 19:21--20:38

1) Negative--Temple riot: While Paul was in Ephesus before his journey west, a riot arouse against the Way because of the threat it brought upon the temple of Artemis, but it was not focused, even overriding the Jews together with those from the Way, and was dismissed as being groundless, and threatening to the city of Ephesus 19:21-41

a) Paul stayed in Ephesus a while having already sent his helpers, Timothy and Erastus, to Macedonia where he intended to follow as he pursued his concluding trip through Macedonia, and Achaia, and then on to Jerusalem and Rome 19:21-22

b) While Paul was staying in Ephesus, Demetrius, a silversmith insighted a riot against the Way because its proclamation threatened the future of Artemis and thus their profession 19:23-31

(1) While Paul was staying in Ephesus, a great stir arose concerning the Way 19:23

(2) A silversmith named Demetrius who made shrines of Artimis stirred up a crowed against Paul because he believed that Paul’s faith threatened his future business and the future of Artemis from her fame in Asia 19:24-27

(3) The crowd became mobilized in their anger and took two Macedonian, companions of Paul, Gius and Aristarchus into the theater 19:28-29

(4) Paul wished to go among the crowed but he was dissuaded by disciples and Asiarchs 19:30-31

c) The crowd was not unified in their concern, and they also shouted down Alexander who tried to make a defense for the Jews to the crowd 19:32-34

(1) Many charges were cried out because the assembly was not unified 19:32

(2) A Jew named Alexander was put forth to make a defense for the Jews to the crowd, but he was also rejected as the crowd cheered for Artemis 19:33-34

d) Quieting the mob down, the town clerk urged the crowd to do nothing rash and to disperse since all of Asia is aware of the place of Artemis in Ephesus, since those taken hostage have done no wrong, and since disputes need to be taken to provided forums for attention lest the city be charged (by Rome) of rioting 19:35-41

(1) The town clerk quieted the crowd down 19:35a

(2) The town clerk urged the crowd to do nothing rash since all of Asia knows of Artemis presence in Ephesus 19:35b-36

(3) The town clerk acquitted Gaius and Aristarchus from illegal activity toward Artemis 19:37

(4) The town clerk urged any disputes to be settled in the legal forums provided because they were about to be charged with rioting by Rome 19:38-40

(5) The town clerk dismissed the assembly 19:41

2) Positive--Testimony to Gentile Christianity: Paul encourages the Gentile churches to be faithful to its calling as he has been faithful to his calling 20:1-38

a) Setting/statement of ministry: After the uproar in Ephesus, Paul went to Macedonia and Greece encouraging the churches, but was threatened by a Jewish plot as he was about to sail for Syria, so he went back through Macedonia and sailed from Philippi to Troas where he met those from his party waiting for him 20:1-5

(1) After the uproar in Ephesus, Paul encouraged the disciples there and left them for Macedonia 20:1

(2) Paul encouraged the believers in Macedonia and went to Greece 20:2

(3) Paul stayed three months in Greece and decided to go back to Jerusalem through Macedonia because of a plot set against him by the Jews as he was about to sail for Syria 20:3

(4) Those accompanying Paul (Sopater of Beroea, Aristarchus and Secundus of Thessalonica, Gaius and Timothy of Derby, and Tychicus and Tromphimus from Asia) went ahead and waited for Paul in Troas of Asia 20:4

(5) After the days of unleavened bread Paul’s party sailed from Philippi and arrived in Troas were they stayed for seven days 20:5

b) Sign of ministry: Although the church was not in agreement with Paul’s words (probably about leaving them not to see them again), God confirmed that he was speaking for God through the revival of Eutychus, thus the church was greatly encouraged at Paul’s departure 20:7-12

(1) On Sunday, the day before his departure, Paul dialogued with those from the church until midnight 20:7

(2) Because of the fumes from the lamps in the upper room a youth named Eutychus fell asleep and out of the third story window to his death thereby disrupting the discussion with Paul 20:8-9

(3) Paul’s words are confirmed to the people as he restores the boy’s life to him as the prophets Elijah (1 Ki. 17:21ff) and Elisha (2 Ki. 4:34) had to other youths 20:10-11

(4) When Paul left the church they were greatly comforted because of the boy in their presence 20:12

c) Sermon of Ministry: Although Paul bypassed Ephesus, he called the Ephesian elders from Miletus and encouraged them as he prepared to take leave of them for the last time in the face of persecution, to follow his example and thus to protect the church from false teachers, and to serve them rather than take from them, thus, with tears they left one another 20:13-38

(1) Setting: Paul went from Troas by land and met the party at Assos where they sailed to Mitylene, then opposite Chios, then Samos, and then to Miletus bypassing Ephesus so that Paul might hurry to Jerusalem by Pentecost 20:13-16

(2) From Meletus Paul called the elders from the church in Ephesus to speak to them 20:17-18

(3) Paul reviews his past devotion to them in teaching repentance and belief in Jesus for salvation to both Jews and Gentiles 20:19-21

(4) Paul proclaims his willingness to leave them and go toward the persecution which the Spirit says awaits him as he returns to Jerusalem continuing to testify to the gospel of grace which he proclaimed to them 20:22-28

(5) Paul urges the Ephesian elders to guard those in the church and the church itself from deceiving false teachers 20:29-31

(6) Paul committed the elders to the Lord and urged them to follow his example of not taking, but giving to the weak 20:32-35

(7) When Paul finished speaking to the elders they prayed, and full of love said goodbye to one another as they brought him to the ship 20:36-38

b. Paul among the Jews who reject his message: Being willing to suffer for the sake of Jesus, Paul attempted to demonstrate that he was not anti-Jewish by participating in temple activities only to be falsely accused of being against the Jews and the temple, whereupon he was delivered, defended himself before the people as being Jewish himself, and having a message from God for all people, and going more to the Gentiles because of Israel’s rejection, only to again be rejected by the Jews and spared from a Roman flogging because he was a Roman citizen 21:1-22:29

1) Negative--Temple riot: As Paul journeyed to Jerusalem he was warned of persecution which awaited him, proclaimed his willingness to die for the Lord Jesus, and then entered into the persecution as Asian Jews stirred the crowd by falsely accusing him of speaking against the people and profaning the temple, only to be delivered to the steps of the barracks by Roman soldiers 21:1-37

Setting: During Paul’s journeys from Miletus to Jerusalem he was warned by the Holy Spirit of the persecution which awaited him in Jerusalem, but proclaimed his willingness to even die for the Lord Jesus if need be (as Jesus did) 21:1-16

a) Paul and the party traveled from Miletus to Cos, Rhodes, Patara, and to Tyre of Syria 21:1-3

b) The party stayed in Tyre for seven days with disciples who told Paul through revelation by the Spirit not to go to Jerusalem, but the party left the city with an escort of disciples and sailed on to Ptolemais and then went to the house of Philip in Caesarea 21:4-8

c) At the house of Philip a prophet named Agabus proclaimed that Paul would be bound in Jerusalem and delivered to the Gentiles, but Paul proclaimed his willingness to suffer for the Lord Jesus against the protest of the people, and he was committed to the Lord’s will (cf. Lk. 18:31-32; 22:42) 21:9-14

d) Paul and the party then went up to Jerusalem with some of the disciples from Caesarea including Mnason of Cyprus 21:15-16

2) When Paul came to Jerusalem, he proclaimed his ministry among the Gentiles, was warned to demonstrate that he was not against the Law for Jews, and attempted to do that, when Jews from Asia stirred up a crowd accusing Paul of speaking against the Jews and profaning the temple, only to be rescued to the steps of the barracks by Roman soldiers 21:17-36

a) When the party came to Jerusalem they were well received, reported to James and the elders of Jerusalem all that God had done through Paul for the Gentiles, were warned of the rumors circulating that Paul was against the Law, and were urged to demonstrate that Paul was not against the Law even though the Gentile mission was good 21:17-25

(1) When the party came to Jerusalem they were well received by the brethren 21:17

(2) On the next day Paul and the party visited James and the Jerusalem elders and reported all that God had done among the Gentiles through Paul and they glorified God 21:18-20a

(3) James then reports to Paul that among the thousands of Jews who have believed many are zealous for the Law and will be upset when they learn that Paul is in town because there is a roomer that he is telling Jews to forsake the law 21:20b-22

(4) James urges Paul to demonstrate that he is not against the law by participating in the ceremonial service of those completing their vows 21:23-24

(5) James again affirms the Gentile mission of Paul by reciting only the prohibitions mentioned in the council of Acts 15 21:25

b) As Paul went to demonstrate that he was not against the practice of the law by Jews, Asian Jews stirred up the crowd with false accusations that Paul was against the Jews and had profaned the temple with Gentiles so that Paul’s life was only spared through Roman soldiers who took him to the steps of the barracks 21:26-36

(1) On the next day, Paul took those whose vow he was going to pay for in a demonstration of his commitment to the Law for Jews to the Temple, and gave the offering for himself and them 21:26

(2) When the seven days of purification were almost completed, Jews from Asia stirred up a crowd against Paul falsely proclaiming that he spoke against the Jewish people, and that he had defiled the temple by bringing Gentiles into its Jewish courts 21:27-30

(3) All of Jerusalem was aroused, seized Paul, drug him out of the temple, shut the temple gates and tried to kill him only to stop when the Roman tribune and his solders arrived 21:31-32

(4) Paul was delivered from the midst of the crowd by the Roman soldiers to the steps of the barracks as the crowd cried, “Away with him!” 21:33-36

3) Positive--Testimony to unbelieving Jews: As Paul was about to be led away from the crowd he was given permission to address them, whereupon he identified him as a Jew like they, but with a mission from God to all peoples which has been amplified among the Gentiles because of Jewish rejection, whereupon the crowd wanted Paul dead, and the Romans almost had him flogged until they learned of his Roman citizenship 21:37--23:10

a) Setting: As Paul was about to be led by the Roman soldiers into the barracks, he spoke to the tribune in Greek, corrected his mistaken identification of Paul for an escaped Egyptian slave and received permission to speak to the people 21:37-40a

(1) As Paul was about to be brought into the barracks he spoke in Greek to the Tribune 21:37

(2) The Tribune thought Paul was an escaped Egyptian who led a revolt with four thousand men 21:38

(3) Paul identified himself as a Jew from the major city of Tarsus in Cilicia and requested that he might speak to the people, which he was given 21:39-40a

b) When Paul gained the attention of the people, he defended himself against the accusations that he was anti-Jewish by proclaiming that he and his mission were Jewish (like they are), but God gave him a universal mission which Jewish rejection made more Gentile 22:1-21

(1) Setting: Paul gained the attention of the people from the steps, and began to speak his defense to them in Hebrew (Aramaic) as brethren and fathers 21:40b--22:1

(2) Paul identifies himself as being just as Jewish as his audience is 22:3-5

(3) Paul describes his conversion to the Way in Jewish terms and his commission from God to witness to all peoples 22:6-15

(4) Paul describes his movement to the Gentiles as being a divine command because his Jewish brethren would reject his testimony about Jesus 22:16-21

c) The response to Paul’s message was that the Jews wanted him to be killed and the Romans almost had him flogged until they learned that Paul was a Roman citizen 22:22-29

(1) When Paul spoke of the Gentile nature of his mission, the Jews demanded that he be killed 22:22

(2) In the riotous activity of the crowd the tribune had Paul brought into the barracks to be scourged in order to find out why the people were against him 22:23-24

(3) When the tribune learned that Paul was a Roman citizen, he was not scourged and the tribune was fearful for having bound him 22:25-29

2. Pauls declares his message to be for all people--especially the Jews: As the Jews accuse Paul of doing wrong against the law and the temple (like with Jesus and Stephen), Paul declares before the Sanhedrin, Felix, Festus, and Agrippa that his message, concerning the resurrection of Jesus, is the hope Israel’s future and is for all peoples, especially Israel as the fulfillment of Scripture 23:11--26:32

a. Pauls first apology: When Paul was brought before the Sanhedrin by the tribune on the next day, he proclaimed that he had been pure since God’s calling of him, that he was devoted to the law more than those trying him, and that the reason he was on trial was because of the hope of Israel, the resurrection from the dead, which divided the party, caused the Pharisees to acquit Paul, caused the tribunal to deliver Paul to the barracks, and led to the Lord’s affirmation that he would also testify of Him in Rome 22:30--23:10

1) Setting: On the next day the Tribune brought Paul before the Sanhedrin in order to learn the real reason why the Jews accused him 22:30

2) Looking intently at the council Paul said that his conduct had been blameless since his call by the Lord 23:1

3) When Paul was struck for his statement, he rebuked the “high” priest for his hypocritical use of the Law and affirmed his loyalty to the law 23:2-5

a) The high priest commanded those by Paul to strike him after he had proclaimed his purity 23:2

b) Paul reviled the high priest as a hypocrite because he breaks the law by ordering that Paul be struck while claiming to judge Paul by means of the law 23:2-3

c) Those near by questioned Paul for reviling the high priest 23:4

d) Paul recanted (in a play of words which suggests that their view of the priest’s position is not the same as God’s view) in a desire to show himself as one who respected the law which he quoted from Exodus 22:27 23:5

4) When Paul saw that the council was divided between Sadducees and Pharisees, he noted that he was on trial for the hope (of Israel), the resurrection from the dead, which led to a division between the groups, the tribunal’s departure with Paul to the barracks, and the Lord’s encouragement of Paul that he would speak in Rome as he had in Jerusalem 23:6-11

a) When Paul perceived that the council was divided between Sadducees and Pharisees, he proclaimed that he was a Pharisee, and that he was on trial for the hope (of Israel)--the resurrection of the dead 23:6

b) When Paul mentioned the resurrection, the council divided, the Pharisees supported Paul, the tribune had to take Paul back to the barracks for his protection, and the Lord appeared to Paul exhorting him that he would testify in Rome as he had in Jerusalem 23:7-11

(1) When Paul mentioned the resurrection, the assembly of Pharisees and Sadducees was divided because the Sadducees did not believe in the supernatural including the resurrection, angels or spirits, while the Pharisees did 23:7-8

(2) With the rise of a great clamor, the Pharisees’ party moved closer to Paul’s message by proclaiming Paul to be without guilt since he could have been spoken to by a spirit or an angel 23:9

(3) When the discussion became violent, Paul was taken by the tribune away from the Sanhedrin to the barracks 23:10

(4) The following night the Lord came to Paul and encouraged him to be encouraged because he would testify about Him in Rome as he had in Jerusalem 23:11

b. Pauls second apology God sovereignly preserved Paul from a plot by the Jews against his life by having the tribunal of Jerusalem deliver Paul to Caesarea where Paul defended himself before the Jews as being innocent of any charges brought against him, and being on trial because of his proclamation of the hope of Israel through the resurrection, whereupon Felix refused to decide the trial as he became involved in his own self-interests 23:12--24:7

1) Through the “coincidence” of Paul’s nephew overhearing about the plot to kill Paul, he was delivered under armed guard to Caesarea to the governor, Felix, with a letter of explanation and held under guard until his accusers from the Jews arrived 23:12-35

a) A group of Jews made an oath to fast until they killed Paul through a plot with the chief priests and elders to ambush him on his way to another trial 23:12-15

b) The son of Paul’s sister heard about the ambush, informed Paul, and then under Paul’s direction informed the tribune 23:16-22

c) At 9:00 p.m. the tribune had Paul escorted away from the Jewish threat to Caesarea with 200 soldiers, 70 calvary, and 200 armed troops, and with a letter to governor Felix commending himself (falsely), explaining the circumstances, and announcing that he had given the case over to him 23:23-30

d) After Paul is escorted to Ceasarea and Felix read the letter, he was held under guard in Herod’s praetorium until his accusers came and Felix would hear the case 23:31-35

2) When the Jews came before Felix with the accusations that Paul disrupted society and tried to profane the temple, Paul dismissed the first charge as having no evidence, and argued that he was only on trial because of his belief in the resurrection, whereupon, Felix refused to be decisive about either Paul’s message or Paul’s case because of his own self-interests 24:1-27

a) Setting: After five days the Jews arrived with the high priest Ananias, elders and a spokesman named Tertullus to lay their case down against Paul 24:1

b) After honoring Felix, Tertullus (with the Jews) accused Paul of being a danger to society, and one who tried to defile the temple 24:2-9

c) Paul, as a better orator than Tertullus, honored Felix, dismissed the question of societal disruption due to the lack of evidence, and argued that he was only on trial, as a good Jew, for his belief in the resurrection of the dead 24:10-21

(1) Under the recognition of Felix, Paul first responded by also honoring Felix 24:10

(2) Secondly, Paul negated the charge that he was a danger to society by referring to his peaceful activity when he came to Jerusalem, and by noting that the Jews have no evidence for such a charge 24:11-13

(3) Finally, Paul proclaimed that the reason he was on trial before Felix was because of his belief, as a member of the Way, and as a good Jew, in the resurrection of the dead as the hope of the Messianic kingdom 24:14-21

d) Felix responded to the trial by offering Paul a measure of freedom while he waited for a decision, and by delaying to decide personally about Paul’s message, or Paul’s freedom because of his own self-interest 24:22-27

(1) Felix, having a knowledge of the Way, put off his decision of the trial until Lysias the tribune who had delivered Paul to Felix arrived 24:22

(2) Felix then had Paul kept in custody, but with a measure of liberty allowing his friends to care for him 24:23

(3) After some days, Felix then came with his wife, Drusilla, to hear Paul speak of Jesus, but delayed any kind of commitment to Paul’s message of justice and self-control 24:24-25

(4) Felix also delayed any decision concerning Paul’s case as he waited for payment by Paul, and as he offered a political favor to the Jews upon his replacement by Porcius Festus 24:26-27

c. Pauls third apology In trials before Festus and Agrippa which proclaimed the innocence of Paul, and that he must go to Rome in accordance with his appeal, Paul proclaimed himself to be innocent of any wrongs against the Jews, and that he was only announcing as a faithful Jew commissioned by Jesus, the hope of Israel, for all peoples through the resurrection of Jesus 25:1--26:32

1) When the Jews came to Caesarea at the requirement of Festus to try Paul, Paul denied all of the false charges by the Jews, and chose to appeal to Caesar rather than be returned to Jerusalem for trial because he was innocent, and should be tried before Rome; Festus granted his appeal 25:1-12

a) While Festus was in Jerusalem, he was urged by the Jews to return Paul to Jerusalem for trial (so that they may ambush him), but Festus refused exhorting them to come to Caesarea and present their case against Paul before him 25:1-5

b) In about ten days, Festus returned to Caesarea and set forth a trial in which the Jews brought many indefensible charges against Paul 24:6-7

c) In a trial before Festus, Paul denied all of the false charges by the Jews, and chose to appeal to Caesar rather than be returned to Jerusalem for trial because he was innocent, and should be tried before Rome; Festus granted his appeal 25:6-12

(1) Paul proclaimed that he had not acted against the law of the Jews, the temple nor Caesar 24:8

(2) Festus, now wishing to do the Jews a favor (cf. 25:3), asked Paul if he now wished to go up to Jerusalem to be tried 25:9

(3) Paul declined to go up to the Jews because he was innocent, because he was being tried as he ought to be before Caesar’s tribunal, and because he in his innocence would rather appeal to Caesar (cf. 23:11) 25:10-12

(4) Festus, after conferring with his council proclaimed that Paul would go to Caesar as he had appealed 25:12

2) In a trial arranged by Festus before King Agrippa, Paul proclaimed himself as merely a faithful Jew who once was against Jesus, but met him on the Damascus road, and has been proclaiming faithfully ever since the hope of Israel through the resurrection of Jesus to all peoples, whereupon, Agrippa announced in private that Paul was innocent, and could go free if he had not appealed to Caesar 25:13--26:32

a) Setting: Several days after Paul’s trial before Festus, Agrippa and Bernice came to visit Festus, Festus explained the Jewish nature of the trial with Paul, and Agrippa agreed to hear Paul on the next day 25:13-22

(1) After some days, the king, Herod Agrippa, and Bernice arrived at Caesarea to welcome Festus 25:13

(2) Festus explained (in a self-flattering manner) Paul’s case to Agrippa as not being about (secular) evils, but about Jewish matters, and the resurrection of Jesus, so that Paul was now being held to be sent to Rome 25:14-21

(3) Agrippa requested to hear Paul on the next day, and was Festus agreed 25:22

b) On the next day when Paul came before Agrippa in the “audience hall”, Festus announced that even though he found none of the charges assigned by the Jews to be valid, Paul had appealed to Caesar, and thus now he was seeking Agrippa’s help in evaluating the case so that he could send a reasonable letter along with the case to Caesar 25:23-27

(1) On the next day, Agrippa and Bernice entered the audience hall with great pomp, and Paul was also brought in to the hall 25:23

(2) Festus then addressed King Agrippa concerning Paul’s case proclaiming that even though all the Jews believed that Paul should die, he found him innocent, but was now allowing this trial to take place because Paul had appealed to Caesar, and Festus did not know what to write about the trial as he sent Paul to Rome 25:24-27

c) When Agrippa gave Paul permission to speak Paul defended himself by proclaiming before this discerning judge of Jewish matters that He is a Jew, who once vehemently stood against the name of Jesus, but now because of his experience on the Damascus road with Jesus, proclaims to all peoples (Jews and Gentiles) that Jesus is the fulfillment the Scriptures’ hope of resurrection for all 26:1-23

(1) Agrippa gave Paul permission to speak for himself, and he began 26:1

(2) Paul honors Agrippa as his judge because he is familiar with the customs and controversies of the Jews, and he urges him to listen patiently 26:2-3

(3) Paul identifies himself as a well known Jew, and that he is on trial for the Jewish hope of the resurrection 26:4-8

(4) Paul explained that he once vehemently stood against the name of Jesus Christ, and those who held to it, but on his journey to Damascus he was met by Jesus who commissioned him to go and proclaim forgiveness of sins through faith in Jesus for all peoples--Jews and Gentiles 26:9-18

(5) Paul proclaimed to Agrippa that he was obedient to the heavenly vision proclaiming Jesus to all peoples--the Jews in Damascus, Jerusalem, and through all Judea, and the gentiles--to repent and do appropriate good works, and this is why the Jews tried to kill him in the temple 26:19-21

(6) Paul then testifies that God has helped him to this day so that he could proclaim to all peoples what the Jewish Scriptures foretold, namely, that Jesus is the first of the communal resurrection--He is the Jewish hope 26:22-23

d) Festus interrupted Paul’s defense with a discounting of the Scriptures as an authority in this hearing 26:24

e) Paul objects that he is not mad, and urges Agrippa to consider what he has said in view of the scriptures which he does believe 26:25-27

(1) Paul objects that he is not “mad”, but speaking the sober truth 26:25

(2) Paul (as a model evangelists) then appeals to King Agrippa to consider what he has said in light of the scriptures (the prophets) which he does believe 26:26-27

f) King Agrippa questions whether or not Paul is trying to make him into a Christian 26:28

g) Paul answers in the affirmative to Agrippa and again proclaims his mission to all peoples as one who wishes that all who presently hear him may become a Christian 26:29

h) Agrippa, Bernice, and those with them arose, and then proclaimed in private that Paul was innocent, and could be released if he had not appealed to Caesar 26:30-32

B. Paul goes as God’s vindicated messenger to Rome among receptive Gentiles, then presents his message in Rome to Jews who reject it, whereupon he proclaims his message to all peoples 27:1--28:31

1. Paul is shown to be Gods vindicated messenger to receptive Gentiles: In this long journey to the center of the Gentile people (Rome), Paul is vindicated by God as His messenger, and the Gentiles are demonstrated to be receptive to the mission in accordance with God’s word 27:1--28:16

a. When the rulers (Festus and Agrippa?) decided that they should sail to Italy, they delivered Paul with other prisoners to the centurion of the Augustan Cohort, named Jusius 27:1

b. The party (with Paul as prisoner, Luke the writer, and Aristarchus, a Macedonian [cf. Col. 4:10; Philemon 24) set to sea on a ship of Adramyttium (a seaport of Mysia) traveling down the Asiatic coast 27:2

c. Although the trip to Rome was characterized by enormous trials, Paul was vindicated by God as the Gentiles followed his words and found physically salvation, and Paul was both thankful and encouraged in Rome because God’s word had come to pass when brethren came from all around to great him 27:3--28:15

1) The next day the ship put in at Sidon where Julius (the centurion) allowed Paul leave to be with his friends and to be cared for 27:3

2) From Sidon they sailed east and north of the Island of Cyprus because the winds were against them, then west past Cilicia and Pamphylia to Myra in Lycia where they change ships to one from Alexandria sailing to Italy 27:4-6

3) They sailed slowly for many days, arrived with difficulty off Cnidus and sailed because of the wind to the south of Crete to a place called Fair Havens near Lasea 27:7-8

4) Because of the difficult sailing, and because dangerous winds of winter were near (the fast of the Day of Atonement), Paul advised the rulers not to set sail without loosing much cargo and many people, but the centurion paid no attention to him, and they set sail to reach Phoenix, a harbor of Crete, for the winter 27:9-12

5) With a gentile breeze from the south, they sailed along the shore of Crete 27:13

6) When a severe storm lasting fourteen days came upon the ship, all was nearly lost, but God spared all on board to the island of Malta as they listened to the words of Paul 27:14--28:1

a) Soon a “north-easter” which Luke compares to a typhoon struck down from the land, and being unable to fight it, they drifted along until they secured the dinghy near Cauda 27:14-16

b) Several desperate measures were taken to secure the ship from drifting into land (they got the dinghy on board, they set a loose anchor [or lowered the mainsail], and were driven by the storm 27:17

c) As the storm raged they threw cargo overboard the next day, and on the third day cast out the tackle [spare cargo] of the ship by hand, because all hope of being saved was being abandoned due to their inability to navigate to dark skies, and the severity of the storm 27:18-20

d) Paul, reminding them that he had foretold them of this calamity, urged them all to be encouraged because an angel of the Lord whom he worships told him that night that he would have to stand before Caesar, and all would be saved on the ship, even though the ship would be lost, and they would have to run on to some island 27:21-26

e) On the fourteenth night of the storm they were drifting through the central Mediterranean (the sea of Adria) when sounding produced decreasing fathoms so that they lowered four anchors to prevent them from running into land, and prayed that morning would come 27:27-29

f) Sailors attempted to escape through the lowering of the dinghy, but Paul declared that only those who stayed with the boat would be saved, so they cut away the dinghy 27:30-32

g) In the morning of the fourteenth Paul encouraged all to eat since they would all be saved, whereupon, they eat and then threw overboard the excess wheat 27:33-38

h) When morning dawned they saw a beach and attempted to sail upon it, but they ran the vessel aground, and as it began to break up, the soldiers intended to kill the prisoners lest they should escape, but the centurion, wishing to save Paul, intervened and all escaped to the land--called the island of Malta 27:39--8:1

7) When they arrived on the island of Malta, Paul was vindicated through not being harmed by a snake bite, and the natives were cured of their illnesses as they came to Paul, causing them to send the party off to Rome with all that they needed 28:2-10

a) When they arrived on the island of Malta, the natives (barbaroi) welcomed them all and kindled a fire to keep them warm from the rain and cold 28:2

b) As Paul was gathering a bundle of sticks, a viper bit him, and the natives identified this as justice from the gods upon him 28:3-4

c) When Paul did had no harm from the viper, the natives changed their minds and called him a god (Paul is vindicated) 28:5

d) The party also stayed with a chief man of the island named Publius, and Paul healed his ill father, causing the people to come for healing, and to send them off to sail for Rome will all that they needed 28:7-10

8) The party set sail for Italy, were met by brethren along the way, and by brethren from the district of Rome when they arrived causing Paul to give thanks to God and to be encouraged 28:11-15

a) After three months they set sail for Italy on an Alexandrian ship with the twin Greek navigation gods, Castor and Pollux, as their figurehead 28:11

b) They put in at Syracuse (on the south-east of Sicily) for three days, and then arrived at Rhegium (on the toe of Italy), then they came to Puteoli (in the Bay of Naples) where brethren were found with whom they stayed for seven days, then they came to Rome 28:12-14

c) The brethren at Rome came from as far away as the Forum of Appius (the Appian Way, 43 miles from Rome) and Three Taverns (33 miles south of Rome) causing Paul to given thanks and to be greatly encouraged that God’s word had come to pass 28:15

2. Paul declares his Gospel to be for all peoples even though the Jews reject it: The hardness of Israel toward’s the mission is demonstrated again through those in Rome, but Paul continues to proclaim the message to all peoples 28:16-31

a. Setting: In Rome Paul was allowed to stay by himself under the protection of a Roman guard, and so after three days, he called together the leaders of the local Jews 28:16-17a

1) In Rome Paul was allowed to stay by himself with a soldier that guarded him 28:16

2) After three days, Paul calls together the local leaders of the Jews 28:17a

b. When Paul met with the local Jews (two times) he first proclaimed that he was not anti-Jewish, but in prison for the hope of Israel, then he proclaimed Jesus as the hope of Israel, and told those who rejected his message that they were falling into the national pattern of disbelief, thus the message would go to the Gentiles who would listen 28:17b-28

1) Paul explains to the local Jews that he is not a prisoner because he is against the Jews, but because he proclaims the hope of Israel 28:17b-20

a) Paul explains to the Jews that even though he had done nothing against the people of the customs of the Jews, he was a prisoner in Rome to see Caesar because the Jews in Jerusalem falsely plotted against him 28:17b-19

b) Paul proclaims to these Jews that he is a prisoner because of the hope of Israel 28:20

2) The local Jews proclaim that they have not heard any word about Paul from Jerusalem, but that they do desire to hear more about the “sect” of Judaism know as the Way which is being spoken against everywhere 28:21-22

3) On an appointed day Paul proclaimed from Morning until evening to the many Jews who came to him about the “hope of Israel” (the kingdom, Jesus from the Law and Prophets) 28:23

4) The Jews were divided over Paul’s testimony: some were convinced, and some disbelieved 28:24

5) Before the Jews departed Paul proclaimed to those who disbelieved (from Isaiah 6:9-10) that they were falling into the national pattern of not believing and thus becoming hard hearted 28:25-27

6) Paul also proclaims that in light of Israel’s hard heartedness, the message is going to the Gentiles because they will listen (as was proven in chapter 27) 28:28

7) Note well: Verse 29 is not in the best manuscripts

c. Summary Statement: Paul lived in Rome for two whole years welcoming all who came to him and preaching the hope of Israel (the kingdom of God, and Jesus as Messiah) openly and unhindered 28:30-31


1 Everett Ferguson writes, “Macedonian woman had greater independence and importance in public affairs. This coincides with the greater prominence that women held in the Macedonian churches (notice esp. the women associated with the Philippian church*Acts 16:14-15; Phil 4:2-3). Under the influence of the Macedonian princesses women came to have greater freedom in the Hellenistic Age” (Backgrounds of Early Christianity, 71).

Related Topics: Introductions, Arguments, Outlines