"A HARMONY OF THE LIFE OF PAUL" Third Missionary Journey (54-58 A.D.) INTRODUCTION 1. Between the first and second journeys of Paul, there was an interval of about two years... a. In which Paul spent "a long time" in Antioch - Ac 14:28 b. During which a visit to Jerusalem became necessary - Ac 15:1-2 2. Between the second and third journeys, Paul did not remain long in Antioch... a. He did spend "some time" there - Ac 18:22-23 b. But he soon departed, perhaps anxious to fulfill a promise made to the Ephesians on his second journey - cf. Ac 18:19-21 [As with his second journey, he starts with...] I. THE REGIONS OF ASIA MINOR (54-57 A.D.) A. IN GALATIA AND PHRYGIA... 1. Strengthening the disciples - Ac 18:23 2. This would be Paul's third time in the region a. He visited this area on his first journey - Ac 14:6-20 b. He returned on his second journey - Ac 16:6 B. IN EPHESUS... 1. Where Paul had briefly stopped on his second journey - Ac 18:19-21 2. Where Aquila and Priscilla had stayed, and converted Apollos - Ac 18:24-28 3. Where Paul converted twelve disciples of John the Baptist - Ac 19:1-7 4. Where Paul stayed for about three years (54-57 A.D.) a. Teaching for three months in the synagogue - Ac 19:8 b. Teaching daily for two years in the school of Tyrannus - Ac 19:9-10 c. Working unusual miracles - Ac 19:11-20 d. Note the great success Paul had - Ac 19:10,20 5. During this period of time, several things may have happened a. Paul made a short visit to Corinth, his second - cf. 2 Co 12:14; 13:1 1) His first visit was during the second journey - Ac 18:1 2) His third visit was later on the third journey - Ac 20:1-3 3) The book of Acts is silent about his second visit, but most place it sometime during his
extended stay at Ephesus b. Paul wrote a letter to the Corinthians (now lost), alluded to in 1Co 5:9 c. Paul wrote Galatians (55 A.D.) - Ga 1:1-2 1) Purpose: To verify his apostleship and the gospel of justification by faith in Christ 2) Theme: Stand fast in the liberty of the gospel 3) Brief Outline: a) Defense of his apostleship - Ga 1:1-2:21 b) Defense of the gospel of justification by faith - Ga 3:1-4:31 c) The call to stand fast in the liberty of the gospel - Ga 5:1-6:18 6. Paul makes plans to leave Ephesus - Ac 19:21-22 a. Sending Timothy and Erastus into Macedonia, with Timothy to eventually go to Corinth - 1Co 4:17; 16:10-11 b. Though he himself stayed "for a time", during which he writes First Corinthians (spring of 57 A.D.) - 1Co 16:5-8 1) Purpose: To correct sinful practices and refute false doctrine 2) Theme: Walk together in unity, love, and truth 3) Brief Outline: a) Factions in the church - 1Co 1:1-4:21 b) Sexual immorality in the church - 1Co 5:1-13 c) Lawsuits among brethren - 1Co 6:1-11 d) Moral defilements - 1Co 6:12-20 e) Marriage and celibacy - 1Co 7:1-40 f) Meats sacrificed to idols - 1Co 8:1-11:1 g) Women praying and prophesying unveiled - 1Co 11:2-16 h) The Lord's supper - 1Co 11:17-34 i) Spiritual gifts - 1Co 12:1-14:40 j) Resurrection from the dead - 1Co 15:1-58 k) Collection for the saints - 1Co 16:1-4 l) Concluding remarks, instructions, benediction - 1Co 16:5-24 7. Paul sends Titus and "a brother" to Corinth - cf. 2Co 12: 17-18 a. To bring Paul word as to how the Corinthians received the first letter? b. To encourage the Corinthians concerning the collection? - 2Co 8:6a c. Whose delayed return would later give Paul concern - 2Co 2:12-13 d. But who would eventually bring Paul good news - 2Co 7:5-7,13-16 8. The Diana incident - Ac 19:23-41 a. A great commotion brought on by Demetrius and the other silversmiths b. In which a mob takes two of Paul's travel companions, Gaius and Aristarchus c. Barely controlled by the city's town clerk 9. Additional details about Paul's stay in Ephesus a. Sosthenes was there, joining Paul in writing to the Corinthians - 1Co 1:1 b. Paul had been visited by Stephanas, Fortunatus, and Achaicus - 1Co 16:17 c. Aquila and Priscilla hosted the church in their house, and sent greetings to those in Corinth - Ac 18:2,19,26; 1Co 16:19 d. Paul's sufferings while at Ephesus 1) As related to the Ephesian elders in Miletus - Ac 20:17-19 2) As mentioned in letters to the Corinthians - 1Co 15: 30-32; 2Co 1:8-11 e. Paul's preaching while at Ephesus - Ac 20:21-21,25-27,31 f. Paul's manual labor while at Ephesus - Ac 20:33-35; 1Co 4:11,12 C. IN TROAS... 1. The turmoil over Paul provides an opportune time to leave Ephesus - Ac 20:1 2. With plans already made (Ac 19:21), Paul heads toward Macedonia - Ac 20:1 3. At Troas, he finds an open door to preach the gospel - 2Co 2:12 4. But not finding Titus, he continues on toward Macedonia - 2 Co 2:13 [With anxiety over the condition of the church at Corinth, Paul once again travels to...] II. THE REGIONS OF MACEDONIA AND GREECE (57-58 A.D.) A. IN MACEDONIA... 1. Paul finds Titus, who brings comforting news from Corinth - 2Co 7:5-7,13-16 2. Paul preaches throughout Macedonia - Ac 20:1-2 a. He had preached in Macedonia on his second journey - Ac 16: 11-17:15 b. Establishing churches in Philippi, Thessalonica, and Berea c. On this trip he appears to have ventured to Illyricum - cf. Ro 15:19 3. The brethren give generously for the relief of the church in Jerusalem - 2Co 8:1-5 4. Timothy rejoins Paul, and joins Paul in writing Second Corinthians (fall of 57 A.D.) - 2Co 1:1 a. Purpose: To vindicate Paul's apostleship and manner of life b. Theme: Open your heart to us, we have wronged no one
c. Brief Outline: 1) Paul explains his ministry of reconciliation - 2Co 1:1-7:16 2) The collection for the saints in Jerusalem - 2Co 8:1- 9:15 3) Paul defends his apostolic authority - 2Co 10:1-13:14 5. Titus and "two brethren" are sent to Corinth - 2Co 8:16-24 a. Likely taking Second Corinthians b. To assist the Corinthians concerning the collection - 2 Co 8:6-8; 9:1-5 B. IN ACHAIA (GREECE)... 1. Paul spent three months - Ac 20:2-3 2. It included his third visit to Corinth - 2Co 12:14 a. A visit he hoped would not be sorrowful - 2Co 2:1 b. A visit he hoped would not be embarrassing for them - 2Co 9:3-4 c. A visit he hoped would not require stern judgment - 2 Co 12:20-21; 13:1-3 3. Paul wrote Romans (spring of 58 A.D.) - Ro 16:23; cf. 1Co 1:14; 2Ti 4:20 a. Purpose: To set straight the design and nature of the gospel b. Theme: The gospel is God's power of salvation c. Brief Outline: 1) Justification by faith in Christ - Ro 1:1-11:36 2) The transformed life - Ro 12:1-16:27 4. Paul's companions while in Corinth a. Phoebe, servant of the church in nearby Cenchrea - Ro 16:1-2 b. Timothy, Lucius, Jason, and Sosipater, Paul's countrymen - Ro 16:21 c. Tertius, writer for Paul - Ro 16:22 d. Gaius, host of Paul and the church - Ro 16:23 e. Erastus, treasurer of the city, and Quartus, a brother - Ro16:23 5. Paul's plans for when he leaves Corinth a. To visit Rome and eventually Spain - Ro 1:8-13; 15:22-24 b. But first he must go to Jerusalem with the contribution for the needy saints - Ro 15:25-29 [After just three months, then, Paul prepares to leave Corinth and head straight toward Syria on his way to Jerusalem. But circumstances demand a change in itinerary...] III. FROM CORINTH TO JERUSALEM (58 A.D.) A. BY WAY OF MACEDONIA... 1. Paul's plan to sail straight to Syria spoiled by a plot against him - Ac 20:3 2. Paul decides to go through Macedonia, joined by seven companions - Ac 20:4 a. Sopater of Berea - Ro 16:21 b. Aristarchus (Ac 19:29; 27:2; Col 4:10; Phm 24) and Secundus of Thessalonica c. Gaius of Derbe, and Timothy - cf. Ac 16:1 d. Tychicus (Ep 6:21; Col 4:7; 2Ti 4:12; Tit 3:12) and Trophimus (Ac 21:29; 2Ti 4:20) of Asia 3. These seven go on to wait for Paul at Troas, while Luke evidently joins Paul at Philippi and sails with him to Troas - Ac 20:5-6 (note the use of "we"...) B. BY WAY OF TROAS AND MILETUS... 1. Paul and his companions assemble with the disciples at Troas - Ac 20:6-12 a. After waiting seven days - Ac 20:6 b. On the first day of the week - Ac 20:7; cf. 1Co 16:1-2 c. For the purpose of breaking bread - Ac 20:7; cf. 1Co 10:16-17; 11:23-33 d. Paul speaks until midnight - Ac 20:7 e. Eutychus falls from the third story, and presumed dead; Paul reassures them otherwise - Ac 20:8-10 f. Paul breaks bread, talks until dawn, and then departs - Ac 20:11-12 2. Paul goes to Miletus, where he meets with the Ephesian elders - Ac 20:13-38 a. On the way to Miletus... 1) Paul walks to Assos, the others take the ship - Ac 20:13 2) Paul joins them at Assos, and sails to Mitylene - Ac 20:14 3) They sail pass Chios, on to Samos, Trogyllium, finally Miletus - Ac 20:15 4) Paul's plan is to bypass Ephesus to reach Jerusalem in time for Pentecost - Ac 20:16 b. At Miletus Paul talks to the Ephesian elders... 1) Reviewing his work with them - Ac 20:17-27 2) Warning them of dangers within and without - Ac 20:28-31 3) Commending them to God and His Word, reminding them of his own example - Ac 20:32-35 4) Parting with prayer and great sorrow - Ac 20:36-38 C. BY WAY OF TYRE, PTOLEMAIS, AND CAESAREA... 1. Sailing to Cos, Rhodes, Patara, catching a ship on the way to Phoenicia - Ac 21:1-2 2. Passing by Cyprus, sailing to Syria, landing at Tyre - Ac 21:3-6 a. Staying with disciples for seven days b. Paul warned not to go to Jerusalem c. Parting with prayer on the shore, sailing on to Ptolemais 3. Staying at Ptolemais one day with the brethren - Ac 21:7 4. Arriving at Caesarea, where they stayed "many days" - Ac 21:8-15 a. Staying at the house of Philip the evangelist - Ac 21:8-9; cf. Ac 6:5; 8:5-13,26-40 b. Agabus prophesies of Paul's impending imprisonment - Ac 21: 10-11 c. Over their objections, Paul is determined to go to Jerusalem - Ac 21:12-14 d. They leave Caesarea, along with some of the disciples including Mnason, with whom they
would stay in Jerusalem - Ac 21:15-16 e. They arrive in Jerusalem, warmly received by the brethren - Ac 21:17 CONCLUSION 1. Paul's arrival in Jerusalem must have been with mixed emotions... a. He was accompanying the contribution for needy Christians in Jerusalem - Ro 15:25-27 b. He had intentions of going to Rome, and then Spain - Ro 15:28; cf. Ac 19:21 c. He knew that chains awaited him in Jerusalem - Ac 20:22,23; 21:11-14 2. Yet Paul could consider his third missionary journey a success... a. Strengthening churches in Galatia, Phrygia, Asia, Macedonia,Achaia (Greece), Syria b. Three years in Ephesus, from where all Asia heard the Word c. Encouraging the churches in Macedonia, with likely excursions into Illyricum d. Dealing with the problems at Corinth, with evident success e. Writing letters, including Galatians, 1st and 2nd Corinthians,Romans f. Motivating Gentile Christians to assist their needy Jewish brethren in Jerusalem 3. A study of Paul's life reveals more than just the life of one man, it reveals much about the life of the early church;
we learn of... a. Its worship, its dedication to evangelism, edification, and benevolence b. The love and hospitality of the early disciples which made such things possible May the example of Paul and the disciples in the early church inspire us in our service to the Lord today!