Paul is off again on his second missions trip. We will follow in his steps for the next three lessons before we return to home base. Remember they walked from place to place completely dependent on God for a place to rest and food to eat. Prayerfully ask God to show you the special nugget of wisdom He has for you this week.
1. What did Paul want to do in verse 36? What does this indicate about him?
2. A. As they were preparing for the trip, what dispute arose between Paul and Barnabas? Why?
B. How does each reveal his personality in the position he takes? What was one reason Barnabas was more lenient toward John Mark? (Colossians 4:10)
C. Would you have taken John Mark with you? Why or why not?
D. Barnabas took John Mark and headed for the island of Cyprus while Paul chose Silas and returned to the mainland of Galatia. Can you think of any benefits to the break-up? (Romans 8:28)
E. What can you learn about Silas from 15:22, 32 and 16:38?
F. Was there ever a reconciliation between Paul and John Mark? (II Timothy 4:11)
G. What does this ordeal between Paul and Barnabas teach us about personal relationships? Is there someone you have agreed to disagree with? Describe the relationship.
As you study, follow the route of this second trip on a map as Paul moves from place to place.
REVISITING DERBE, LYSTRA AND ICONIUM
3. A. Who did Paul enlist in Lystra? Describe him. (16:1, 2) Why would he be an asset to the team?
B. Why do you think these seasoned leaders like Paul and Barnabas liked to take inexperienced men with them on their trips? What is the principle you can apply to your own life? (Titus 2:3-8)
C. (Digging Deeper) What happened the last time Paul was in Derbe and Lystra and Iconium? (14:1-20) Would you have had the courage to return?
(Note: Paul circumcised him because to a Jew the uncircumcised child in a mixed marriage would be considered illegitimate. 16:3)
D. What message did the three proclaim in these new churches? What were the results? (16:4, 5)
TRAVELING TO TROAS (Paul's strategy was to plant churches in major cities of influence. His target cities on this second trip were in the province of Asia.)
4. A. Why didn't he go there as planned? (16:6, 7)
B. Where did he go instead? (16:8) Who sought Paul's help? How? (16:9) What was Paul's response? (16:10)
C. To guide Paul into Europe (Macedonia), God had to close a door to the south and to the north. Has God ever closed doors for you? If so, when? How did you feel? What did God have planned instead? Please share.
D. Who has joined the group? How do you know? (16: 10)
ON TO PHILIPPI, A ROMAN COLONY and leading city of Macedonia on the continent of Europe.
5. A. Since apparently there was no synagogue in Philippi, where did Paul go to look for fellow Jews? Who did he find? Who was the first convert in Europe? Describe her. (16:13, 14)
B. Who made ministry difficult for Paul? How? What did Paul do? (16:16-18)
C. How did the owners react when they realized their business enterprise was ruined? (16:19-2 1)
6. A.Specifically, what did Paul and Silas endure in 16:22-24? Try to imagine this happening to you. How would you feel? How do you normally react to suffering?
B. What was Paul and Silas' response? (16:25)
7. A. How did God supernaturally rescue them? (16:26)
B. What was the jailer going to do as a result? Why? (16:27)
C. How did Paul stop him? (16:28) Why do you think the prisoners had not tried to escape?
8. A. Why do you think the jailer fell trembling before Paul and Silas in verse 29? How did the jailer know that he needed to be "saved"? (16:30)
B. Who was converted that night? (16:31-34) Do you think Paul was surprised at the way God was winning converts to His church in Philippi? Share an experience, if you can, when God's ways were unexpected in your life.
C. How did the jailer's treatment of his prisoners change after his conversion? (16:24, 33) Who do you know that changed dramatically after coming to faith?
9. A. In the morning, the jailer brought Paul and Silas back to the prison. When the magistrates ordered a release, why do you think Paul insisted upon an apology? (16:37-39) How might this have effected the status of the church which Paul would soon leave behind?
B. Where did Paul and Silas go before leaving Philippi? Why? (16:40)
10. Meditate on Paul and Silasâ€™ adventure in the Philippian jail. Why do you think Luke included this experience in Acts? What are key lessons for us?
11. (Summit) During the week, read Philippians, the letter Paul wrote to this church while a prisoner in Rome. Keep in mind the people and circumstances you studied in this passage. This letter was written about ten years after the founding of the Philippian church.
12. (Summit) Who were the three new converts in chapter 16? How were they different? Compare their backgrounds, experiences and the way God worked in their lives. What is the lesson for us?
Let us pray, not for lighter burdens, but for stronger backs---not for an easy life, but for strength to triumph in whatever comes our way!