"A HARMONY OF THE LIFE OF PAUL" First Missionary Journey, And Residence In Antioch (45-49 A.D.) INTRODUCTION 1. Up to this point, much of Paul's life might be considered preparatory in nature... a. Even before his conversion, his heritage, education, and progress in the Jewish faith b. After his conversion, his relative obscurity and work in Damascus, Arabia, and Tarsus -- All of which would serve useful in the tasks the Lord had in mind for him 2. At this point in his life, Paul begins a series of missionary journeys... a. That would take the gospel to regions where it had not been heard cf. Ro 15:20-21 b. That would leave his mark on many regions in the Mediterranean world [In this study we shall survey Paul's first missionary journey, that began and ended with a two year residence in...] I. THE CITY OF ANTIOCH IN SYRIA (45 A.D.) A. THE CHURCH IN ANTIOCH... 1. Started by men from Cyprus and Cyrene, by way of Jerusalem - Ac 11:19-21 2. Strengthened by Barnabas, then later together with Paul - Ac 11:22-26 3. A benevolent congregation, concerned with Christians elsewhere - Ac 11:27-30 4. Blessed with a number of prophets and teachers - Ac 13:1 B. THE CALL OF BARNABAS AND PAUL... 1. While ministering to the Lord and fasting, the Spirit told the prophets and teachers to separate Barnabas and Paul for the work He had for them - Ac 13:2 2. With fasting, prayer, and the laying on of hands, they sent Barnabas and Paul on their way - Ac 13:3 [Thus sent out by the Holy Spirit (Ac 13:4), these two men begin their journey by going to the coastal town of Seleucia, and sailing to...] II. THE ISLAND OF CYPRUS (45 A.D.) A. CYPRUS WAS NOT UNFAMILIAR TERRITORY... 1. The gospel had previously been preached in Cyprus - Ac 11:19 2. The church in Antioch of Syria had been started by men from Cyprus - Ac 11:20 3. Barnabas himself was from Cyprus - Ac 4:36 -- It is interesting that the Spirit would have Barnabas and Paul start here; perhaps a principle to be learned regarding missionary efforts? B. IN THE SYNAGOGUES AT SALAMIS... 1. Barnabas and Paul preached the word of God - Ac 13:5 2. They also had John Mark to assist them - Ac 13:5 -- It would become Paul's custom to first go to the synagogues of the Jews whenever he entered a new city - Ac 17:1-3 C. AT PAPHOS... 1. They encounter a false prophet - Ac 13:6-11 a. A Jew whose surname was Bar-Jesus 1) Who was also called Elymas the sorcerer 2) Who was with the proconsul, Sergius Paulus 3) Who sought to prevent Sergius Paulus from hearing the gospel b. Whom Paul miraculously blinded 1) Being filled with the Holy Spirit 2) Having seen Elymas for what he was: full of deceit and fraud, a son of the devil and enemy of righteousness,
seeking to pervert the ways of the Lord 3) Blinding him by a mist and a darkness 2. They convert Sergius Paulus - Ac 13:12 a. Who saw what was done to Elymas b. Who was astonished at the teaching of the Lord 3. The name of Paul is now used instead of Saul a. Up to this point, he was called by his Hebrew name, Saul b. From this point, he will be called by his Roman name, Paul 4. Paul begins to have precedence over Barnabas a. Up to this point, the two men were called Barnabas and Saul b. From this point, the two men will be called Paul and Barnabas [The precedence of Paul is seen as Luke describes their departure from Paphos ("when Paul and his party"). Leaving the island of Cyprus, they sail on to...] III. THE REGIONS OF PAMPHYLIA, PISIDIA, AND LYCAONIA (46-47 A.D.) A. AT PERGA... 1. Paul and his company arrive at Perga, a city of Pamphylia - Ac 13:13 2. At this point, John Mark left them and returned to Jerusalem - Ac 13:13 a. This later became a sore point with Barnabas and Paul - Ac 15:36-40 b. Paul felt this departure rendered John Mark unsuitable for the next journey B. AT ANTIOCH OF PISIDIA... 1. Paul's sermon in the synagogue - Ac 13:14-41 a. Following his custom to visit the local synagogues (Ac 17: 1-3), Paul accepts an invitation to speak - Ac 13:14-16 b. His sermon can be divided into the following points: 1) A review of God's dealings with Israel - Ac 13:17-22 2) A proclamation that Jesus is the promised Savior - Ac 13:23-26 3) A review of Jesus' death and evidence for His resurrection - Ac 13:27-37 4) A proclamation that salvation is now offered through Jesus - Ac 13:38-39 5) A warning not to fulfill prophecy by rejecting God's work in Christ - Ac 13:40-41 2. Rejection by the Jews and reception by the Gentiles - Ac 13:42-49 a. The Gentiles beg for more, even many of the Jews continue to listen to Paul
- Ac 13:42-43 b. But the next Sabbath, some of the Jews are envious of the large crowds and begin resisting Paul - Ac 13:44-45 c. Paul directs his attention to the Gentiles, who are more receptive - Ac 13:46-49 3. Expulsion by the Jews - Ac 13:50-52 a. Persecution is brought against Paul and Barnabas - Ac 13:50 b. Forcing them to leave and go to Iconium - Ac 13:51 c. Yet the disciples were filled with joy and the Holy Spirit - Ac 13:52 C. AT ICONIUM... 1. Again the procedure was to start with the local synagogue - Ac 14:1 2. Unbelieving Jews stirred up the Gentiles against the brethren - Ac 14:2 3. Paul and his companions stayed "a long time", speaking boldly in the Lord with signs and wonders - Ac 14:3 4. It may have been during this time to which Paul had reference when he later wrote to the Galatians of their reception of him - Ga 4:13-15 5. The city eventually became divided between the Jews and the apostles, and an attempt to stone them forced Paul and his companions to flee to Lystra and Derbe - Ac 14:4-7 D. AT LYSTRA AND DERBE... 1. While at Lystra... a. Paul heals a lame man - Ac 14:8-18 b. Jews from Antioch and Iconium persuade the multitude to stone Paul - Ac 14:19-20; 2Co 11:25 2. While at Derbe... a. They preached the gospel - Ac 14:21a b. They made many disciples - Ac 14:21a E. RETRACING THEIR STEPS... 1. From Derbe they return to Lystra, Iconium, and Antioch - Ac 14:21b-23 a. Strengthening the souls of the disciples b. Exhorting to the continue in the faith despite tribulations c. Appointing elders in every church with prayer and fasting d. Commending them to the Lord in whom they had believed 2. Passing through Pisidia, they come to Pamphylia - Ac 14:24-26 a. Preaching the word in Perga b. Sailing from Attalia to Antioch from where they started [Upon arriving in Antioch, Paul's first missionary journey was completed. It had taken approximately two years (45-47 A.D.). For about the next two years, we find Paul...] IV. RESIDING IN ANTIOCH OF SYRIA (48-49 A.D.) A. REPORTING TO THE CHURCH... 1. All that God had done with them on their journey - Ac 14:27a 2. How God had opened the door of faith to the Gentiles - Ac 14:27b -- Paul would later provide a similar report at the conference in Jerusalem
- Ac 15:12 B. STAYING "A LONG TIME"... 1. How long we don't know, but estimate it was about two years 2. This is based upon dating the Jerusalem conference in Acts 15 to be about 50 A.D. CONCLUSION 1. The pattern established in his early years of service is certainly seen in this first missionary journey of Paul... a. Preaching the gospel, followed by persecution b. Establishing churches, followed by edification 2. On this first journey, another pattern becomes evident... a. Preaching the gospel to the Jews first, by going to their synagogues b. Preaching the gospel to the Gentiles also, especially after rejection by the Jews -- Of this pattern Paul would write later to the brethren in Rome - Ro 1:16 The Lord had certainly opened a door of faith to the Gentiles (Ac 14:27)
through the work of the apostle Paul. As we shall see in our next lesson, there were some who wished to close that door with whom Paul
would have to contend. But what about us? Has the Lord opened a door of faith for us today? Are we making use of that open door...?