"THE BOOK OF ACTS" Paul Returns To Antioch (18:18-23) INTRODUCTION 1. After a long and successful stay in Corinth, Paul... a. Began the last leg of his second missionary journey b. From Corinth to Antioch of Syria c. By way of Cenchrea, Ephesus, Caesarea, and Jerusalem 2. Luke's description of the last leg of Paul's second journey is brief... a. Covered in only six verses - Ac 18:18-23 b. Immediately followed by the start of his third journey - Ac 18:23 [Though brief, Luke's description contains several things of interest. So let's follow along on...] I. THE LAST LEG OF THE JOURNEY A. FROM CORINTH TO EPHESUS... 1. Paul left Corinth, joined by Aquila and Priscilla - Ac 18:18 a. With whom Paul had stayed in Corinth - Ac 18:1-3 b. Mentioned later in several epistles - Ro 16:3; 1Co 16:19; 2Ti 4:19 2. In nearby Cenchrea, Paul cut his hair - Ac 18:18 a. Cenchrea - a port city, about nine miles from Corinth b. Home of Phoebe, a servant of the church there - Ro 16:1 c. Paul had taken a vow, perhaps the Nazarite vow - cf. Num 6:1-21 d. As a Jew, Paul had no problems observing certain elements of the Law, understanding it was not necessary to be saved - cf. Ac 21:20-26; 1Co 9:19-23; Ga 5:4-6 3. Arriving at Ephesus - Ac 18:19-21 a. Aquila and Priscilla stayed; they later had a church in their home - cf. 1Co 16:19 b. Paul reasoned with the Jews in the synagogue - cf. Ac 17:1-3 c. The Jews wanted him to stay longer 1) But he was anxious to get to Jerusalem 2) Some manuscripts indicate it was to keep the feast (Passover - cf. Ramsay) d. He promised to return, God willing; which he did - cf. Ac 19:1 B. FROM EPHESUS TO JERUSALEM... 1. Paul sailed from Ephesus to Caesarea - Ac 18:21-22 a. Caesarea was Palestine's chief port - ESV Study Bible b. Where Paul would visit again later - cf. Ac 21:8 2. Went "up" (elevation-wise) and visited the church - Ac 18:22 a. Most likely the church in Jerusalem b. "About sixty-five miles inland, the terms 'going up' and 'going down' are used so frequently of the journey to and from Jerusalem as to establish this usage." - Stott, J.R.W. (1994). The Message of Acts: the Spirit, the church & the world. The Bible Speaks Today. Leicester, England: InterVarsity Press. C. FROM JERUSALEM TO ANTIOCH... 1. He went "down" to Antioch - Ac 18:22 a. Antioch of Syria was actually north of Jerusalem b. But it was "downhill" in relation to Jerusalem 2. He spent "some time" in Antioch of Syria - Ac 18:23 a. Probably from early summer of AD 52 to early spring of 53 - Stott, ibid. b. Thus Paul's second journey that began in Antioch was completed - cf. Ac 15:36-40 [Luke immediately begins his record of Paul's third missionary journey (Ac 18:23). But let's use the rest of this study to summarize...] II. THE IMPACT OF PAUL'S SECOND JOURNEY A. ON CHURCHES... 1. Paul was able to encourage churches a. In Syria, Cilicia - Ac 15:41 b. In Derbe, Lystra, Iconium, and Antioch of Pisidia - Ac 16:1-5 2. Paul was able to establish churches a. In Philippi - Ac 16:11-40 b. In Thessalonica - Ac 17:1-4 c. In Berea - Ac 17:10-12 d. In Athens - Ac 17:34 e. In Corinth - Ac 18:1-8 B. ON BRETHREN... 1. Paul began lasting relations with co-workers a. Silas - Ac 15:40; 16:19,25,40; 17:4,10,14-15; 18:5; 2Co 1:19; 1Th 1:1; 2Th 1:1 b. Timothy - Ac 16:1; 17:14-15; 18:5; 19:22; 20:4; Ro 16:21; 1Co 4:17; 16:10; 2Co 1:1,19; Php 1:1; 2:19; Col 1:1; 1Th 1:1; 3:2,6; 2Th 1:1; 1Ti 1:2,18; 6:20; 2Ti 1:2; Phm 1; He 13:23 c. Luke (author of Acts) - Ac 16:10-13,16; 20:6,13-15; 21:1-17; 27:1-28:16; Col 4:14; 2Ti 4:11; Phm 24 d. Aquila and Priscilla - Ac 18:1-3,18; Ro 16:3; 1Co 16:19; 2Ti 4:19 2. Paul began lasting relations with brethren a. Brethren at Philippi (Lydia, the jailor, Clement, Euodia, Syntche) - Php 1:3-8; 4:1-3,15-18 b. Brethren at Thessalonica - 1Th 1:2-4; 2:17-20; 3:6-10; 2Th 1:3-4,11-12; 3:1-5 c. Brethren at Corinth (Gaius, Chole, Crispus, household of Stephanas) - Ac 18:8; 1Co 1:11,14-16; 16:15,17; Ro 16:23 C. ON HISTORICAL BACKGROUND... 1. Mentioning churches to whom epistles were written a. Antioch of Pisidia, Lystra Iconium, Derbe (Galatians) b. Philippi (Philippians) c. Thessalonica (1st & 2nd Thessalonians) d. Corinth (1st & 2nd Corinthians) 2. Introducing persons whose impact is felt in the books of the New Testament a. Luke (author of the gospel of Luke and book of Acts) b. Timothy (recipient of 1st & 2nd Timothy) CONCLUSION 1. Paul's second missionary also contained notable examples of conversion... a. Lydia of Thyatira - Ac 16:13-15 b. The Philippian jailer - Ac 16:25-34 c. The Corinthians - Ac 18:8 2. We also read of worthy examples of character... a. Timothy, the dedicated disciple - Ac 16:1-3 b. Lydia, the hospitable convert - Ac 16:15 c. The noble (fair-minded) Bereans - Ac 17:11 May such examples of conversion and character inspire us us in our own devotion to the Lord...!