Thursday, 31 July 2014
The Holy Spirit Guides Paul

Write how the Holy Spirit guided Paul and his team in 16:6-10.  (Also, observe what Luke calls the Spirit in 16:6,10.)

Acts 16:6-10

6 Paul and his companions traveled throughout the region of Phrygia and Galatia, having been kept by the Holy Spirit from preaching the word in the province of Asia. 7 When they came to the border of Mysia, they tried to enter Bithynia, but the Spirit of Jesus would not allow them to. 8 So they passed by Mysia and went down to Troas. 9 During the night Paul had a vision of a man of Macedonia standing and begging him, "Come over to Macedonia and help us." 10 After Paul had seen the vision, we got ready at once to leave for Macedonia, concluding that God had called us to preach the gospel to them.

The Holy Spirit which was also called the Spirit of Jesus would not allow them to preach in certain places.  The Holy Spirit also prevented them from physically entering into some places.  It also guided them by showing them where they should preach, i.e. Macedonia.

Posted on 07/31/2014 8:01 AM by Larry G
Wednesday, 30 July 2014
Not Compromising Important Principles

In circumcising Timothy, Paul was accommodating Jewish culture in order to further the gospel (1 Corinthians 9:19-23).  In refusing to circumcise Titus, Paul was refusing to accommodate Jewish culture because of a theological principle.  Do you face any similar decisions to accommodate or not?  If so, what should you do?

1 Corinthians 9:19-23

19 Though I am free and belong to no man, I make myself a slave to everyone, to win as many as possible. 20 To the Jews I became like a Jew, to win the Jews. To those under the law I became like one under the law (though I myself am not under the law), so as to win those under the law. 21 To those not having the law I became like one not having the law (though I am not free from God's law but am under Christ's law), so as to win those not having the law. 22 To the weak I became weak, to win the weak. I have become all things to all men so that by all possible means I might save some. 23 I do all this for the sake of the gospel, that I may share in its blessings.

"By preaching the gospel, freely, the apostle showed that he acted from principles of zeal and love, and thus enjoyed much comfort and hope in his soul. And though he looked on the ceremonial law as a yoke taken off by Christ, yet he submitted to it, that he might work upon the Jews, do away their prejudices, prevail with them to hear the gospel, and win them over to Christ. Though he would transgress no laws of Christ, to please any man, yet he would accommodate himself to all men, where he might do it lawfully, to gain some. Doing good was the study and business of his life; and, that he might reach this end, he did not stand on privileges. We must carefully watch against extremes, and against relying on anything but trust in Christ alone. We must not allow errors or faults, so as to hurt others, or disgrace the gospel."….Matthew Henry

One should be accommodating to those he meets for the furtherance of the gospel.  This doesn't mean to go so far as to do things that are in opposition to the gospel.  But it does imply walking the extra mile to get the job done.

Posted on 07/30/2014 7:58 AM by Larry G
Tuesday, 29 July 2014
The Importance of Mentoring the Young

Why do you think trained leaders like Paul and Barnabas liked to take inexperienced youths like Mark and Timothy into their teams?  Consider 2 Timothy 2:2.  Is there a principle here that you or your church can apply?

2 Timothy 2:2

2 And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable men who will also be qualified to teach others.

Their emphasis was on teaching others about the gospel and they were very concerned about it being effective.   I think they also realized that they could not do it all by themselves.  Sooner or later the mission would need to be carried on by others.  Consequently, they were very concerned with choosing good men who would carry on after them; and they were careful in their preparation for further ministry.  They brought them on their teams to teach them by their example, to mentor them, to encourage and strengthen them.  

Posted on 07/29/2014 7:56 AM by Larry G
Monday, 28 July 2014
Paul returns to the first churches

Why did Paul return to churches he had already founded?  What did he do there and why were those things important (15:41, 16:4-5)?

Acts 15:41

41 He went through Syria and Cilicia, strengthening the churches.

Acts 16:4-5

4 As they traveled from town to town, they delivered the decisions reached by the apostles and elders in Jerusalem for the people to obey. 5 So the churches were strengthened in the faith and grew daily in numbers.

He went to these churches to strengthen them.  He did this by providing them with the guidance that had come from the council of apostles and elders in Jerusalem.  This provided a basis for the further unification of the church between Jews and Gentiles and a direction for them to live on a day to day basis.  This also solidified their faith and trust in the gospel as they had been taught.


Posted on 07/28/2014 7:52 AM by Larry G
Sunday, 27 July 2014
The Nature of Fellowship/Partnership in the Gospel

Why do you think the antiochene missionaries felt it was important to go out in teams (Barnabas, Paul, and Mark; Barnabas and Mark; Paul and Silas; etc.)?  What were the advantages for travel and evangelism?  What does this team strategy tell you about fellowship/partnership in the gospel?  How might this method apply to you?

In the case of Mark and Barnabas, Barnabas became the mentor of John Mark.  He strengthened and encouraged him after his failure in Pamphylia and consequently, he later became a great help to not only Paul but Peter in spreading the gospel.  I think the idea of mentorship also can be found with the situation involving Paul wanting to take Timothy along with him.  I think Timothy was a help to Paul, an encouragement but when he became part of Paul's team, he was also placed in the training mode to prepare him for greater ministry.  Since their travels were perilous and often dangerous, the team was necessary to look after one another, to strengthen and encourage one another and also for the healing of each other.  I think it's good to go through stress-filled times with someone else.  Also it's good to have a division of labor/responsibilities and an extra set(s) of eyes.

Posted on 07/27/2014 7:50 AM by Larry G
Saturday, 26 July 2014
Paul and Barnabas Disagree

Does disagreeing and parting company have to lead to anger and broken fellowship?  Consider how Paul felt about Barnabas and Mark after parting from them (1 Corinthians 9:1-7, Colossians 4:10, Philemon 24, 2 Timothy 4:11).  What do you learn about fellowship?  Is there an example here for you?

1 Corinthians 9:1-7

1 Am I not free? Am I not an apostle? Have I not seen Jesus our Lord? Are you not the result of my work in the Lord? 2 Even though I may not be an apostle to others, surely I am to you! For you are the seal of my apostleship in the Lord. 3 This is my defense to those who sit in judgment on me. 4 Don't we have the right to food and drink? 5 Don't we have the right to take a believing wife along with us, as do the other apostles and the Lord's brothers and Cephas ? 6 Or is it only I and Barnabas who must work for a living? 7 Who serves as a soldier at his own expense? Who plants a vineyard and does not eat of its grapes? Who tends a flock and does not drink of the milk?

Colossians 4:10

10 My fellow prisoner Aristarchus sends you his greetings, as does Mark, the cousin of Barnabas. (You have received instructions about him; if he comes to you, welcome him.)

Philemon 24

24 And so do Mark, Aristarchus, Demas and Luke, my fellow workers.

2 Timothy 4:11

11 Only Luke is with me. Get Mark and bring him with you, because he is helpful to me in my ministry.

Disagreement does not have to lead to anger.  Maybe it means that in some instances we can't work together.  But as these passages show, even though Paul and Barnabas disagreed and decided to part company, they harbored no ill feelings for each other.  They still cared for each other, prayed for each and later on, Paul did work with John Mark.  

Posted on 07/26/2014 7:47 AM by Larry G
Friday, 25 July 2014
Paul Moves Out

Write titles for these passages in the book of Acts: 15:36-41, 16:1-5, 16:6-10, 16:11-15, 16:16-40, 17:1-9, 17:10-15.

Acts 15:36-41           Paul and Barnabas disagree/ different missions toward the same end

Acts 16:1-5               Here's Timothy

Acts 16:6-10             No Paul, not there, you're going to Macedonia

Acts 16:11-15           Philippi-where Paul meets Lydia

Acts 16:16-40           The Philippians realize-Paul is different.  He can take a whipping and keep on a                                     ticking

Acts 17:1-9               Thessalonica-a tough crowd

Acts 17:10-15           Berea-Search the scriptures and see what they say


Posted on 07/25/2014 7:42 AM by Larry G
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