Acts of the Apostles, Lesson 14

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BY KATHY HORAN|CONTRIBUTOR

Acts 18 and 19

This week Paul, on his second missionary journey, arrives in Corinth. Corinth was in a very strategic location, plus it was a modern and cultural center. However, it was also known as the “sex capital of the ancient world”! Paul stays a year and a half here, and it is here that he meets a believing couple, Aquila and Priscilla, Jews who had left Rome when Claudius ordered all Jews to leave. Timothy and Silas are eventually sent for, and they come with news to the apostle about the church in Thessalonica. It is here in Corinth that Paul writes his encouraging letter to the Thessalonians.

As Paul preaches and teaches in the synagogue, he runs into hostility from the Jews. He shook out his garments and said to them, “Your blood be on your own heads! I am innocent. From now on I will go to the Gentiles.” After spending time preaching in the home of Titius Justus, a worshiper of God, who lived right next door to the synagogue, Paul headed for Syria, taking Aquila and Priscilla with him.

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Acts of the Apostles, Lesson 13

4BY KATHY HORAN|CONTRIBUTOR

We picked up our study in Acts 17 with Paul and Silas being asked to leave the city of Philippi, having experienced a night in prison in the stocks. Paul and Silas, head southward. It’s a long journey, about a hundred miles or so. They end up in Thessalonica, an important city of Roman administration. They head for the synagogue and what do they do there? Continue reading

Acts of the Apostles, Lesson 12

4By KATHY HORAN|CONTRIBUTOR

We see in this chapter different ways God leads his people. He opens doors, He closes doors, He shows us needs, He uses circumstances and counselors, and of course He uses his revealed will, scripture. At the end of this post I have included a short excerpt from Tabletalk that addresses God’s will much better than I am able.

Today we met Timothy, a young believer  who was the son of a Jewish woman who was a believer and a Greek father. And after the conflict in the last chapter about circumcision, it seems surprising that Paul decides to circumcise Timothy. However, Timothy, because of his Jewish mother would be considered a Jew, but being uncircumcised could be a stumbling block in ministry. This was not a salvation issue, but a way for Timothy to be accepted as a  Jew. Continue reading

Acts of the Apostles, Lesson 11

4BY KATHY HORAN|CONTRIBUTOR

Today we worked our way through Acts 15 and the First Church Council. This chapter is loaded with important theological lessons, especially the teaching that the Gospel is the only way to salvation. In Genesis 17, we see where God commanded that all men of Israel, and their slave and those in their employ, would be circumcised. This was a sign that they were God’s people and distinctly different from pagans.

Jewish Christians were insisting that gentile believers in Antioch must be circumcised to be saved. Paul, Barnabas, Peter and others congregated in Jerusalem to decide the matter for the church. Paul had earlier reproved Peter for withdrawing his fellowship with gentiles. Yet now, Peter has a great moment.

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Acts of the Apostles, Lesson 10

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By KATHY HORAN|CONTRIBUTOR

Today we resumed our study of Acts. The first part was a review, following a  chart you can download here. Having finished chapter 13 as we stopped for the holidays, we are now picking up in Chapter 14, following Barnabas and Paul as they continue on their first missionary trip. We see that they deal with many trials and tribulations, particularly the Jews persecute them at every turn. However, through it all, they have much joy! They were commanded by Christ himself to shake the dust from their feet as they left those cities that would not receive the word. Matthew Henry comments on this:

Thus they left a testimony behind them that they had had a fair offer made them of the grace of the gospel, which shall be proved against them in the day of judgment.

The two missionaries spent time in Lystra (see map below), a pagan city with a temple for worshipping many gods. Paul’s approach in speaking to these folks was much different than when he addressed Jews in the synagogues. They didn’t know the stories of Abraham, of Moses, of David, or of the prophets. So Paul begins where they are. He begins by telling them about the Creator, the only God there is, the God who made the heavens and the earth, and the God who provides, the God who sends the sunshine and the rain. He introduces the concept of sin. Continue reading