Teacher Notes

Bible Stories for Adults

Paulís Second Missionary Journey - Part 2

Acts 17-18

Welcome and Announcements
    Next Week - Paulís Third Missionary Journey - Part 1 (Acts 18:23-20:12)
    Bible Words to Remember:
      If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare His own Son, but gave Him up for us all - how will He not also, along with Him, graciously give us all things? Romans 8:31-32

Opening Prayer

The First Journey (Acts 13-14)
    Where did Paul and Barnabas go on their first missionary journey? = Mainly Galatia
      Acts 13:4-6a, 13-14; 14:1, 6-7 = Cyprus, Perga, P. Antioch, Iconium, Lystra, Derbe
    Why was Paul's custom to go first to the synagogues in the towns where he traveled?
      Romans 1:16 = Gospel...is for salvation...first for the Jew, then for the Gentile
    How were they received in these places?
      Acts 13:50; 14:5, 19 = Antioch - expelled, Iconium - plot to kill, Lystra - stoned

    Did this opposition convince them to stop? = Filled with joy over those who were reached
      Acts 13:51-52; 14:6-7, 20-21a = No, they just moved to a new city and started over
    Did the fierce opposition at least keep them out of those towns?
      Acts 14:21b-23 = No, they returned through the same towns fortifying the churches
    After encouraging the new churches, did they head straight home and stop witnessing?
      Acts 14:24-26 = They headed straight home, but stopped & witnessed along the way

Beginning The Second Journey (Acts 15:36-40)
    Did Paul and Barnabas have a specific itinerary for their second journey?
      Acts 15:36 = Only to check up on the churches they had planted
    Why didn't they end up going together to check up on the churches they had planted?
      Acts 15:37-39a = They had an argument over Mark and never worked together again
    How did God make good out of this human evil? = Both went to their home towns first
      Acts 15:39b-40 = The split resulted in two missionary teams going two directions

The Traveling Party Grows (Acts 16:1-10)
    What path did Paul and Silas take on this journey to strengthen the churches?
      Acts 15:41-16:1a = Syria to Cilicia to Derbe to Lystra
    Who joined Paul & Silas in Lystra and how did Paul prepare him for the work ahead?
      Acts 16:1b-3 = Young Timothy, Paul circumcised him so Jews wouldn't be irritated
    After revisiting the towns in Galatia, did Paul have an itinerary of places to go?
      Acts 16:4-9 = If he did, he didn't get to use it - Holy Spirit led him to Greece
    Who joined Paul , Silas and Timothy in Troas?
      Acts 16:10 = Luke ("we") - Paul maybe found this doctor to help his thorn in the flesh

A Spectrum in Philippi (Acts 16:11-24)
    Where did they go to follow their call in Macedonia? = Samothrace - mountainous island landmark
      Acts 16:11-12 = 2 day sail across Aegean to Philippi - Neapolis was port for Philippi
    Who became the first new Christian in Europe? = Purple dye gathered by drop from shellfish
      Acts 16:13-15 = Lydia, a wealthy woman at riverside on Sabbath (no synagogue)

    Were only wealthy people in Philippi reached by Paul's outreach?
      Acts 16:16-18 = A young slave girl was freed of a demon by the name of Jesus Christ
    How were Paul and Silas thanked for setting this girl free from the demon?
      Acts 16:19-24 = Owners rebelled, P&S flogged & imprisoned, legs spread painfully

Suffering for the Gospel (Acts 16:25-26)
    How did Paul and Silas respond to their mistreatment and pain?
      Acts 16:25 = Singing hymns of praise late into the night - dark, stuffy inner dungeon
    How could they praise God even when they were tortured and wrongfully abused?
      2 Timothy 1:11-12; 2:8-10 = Paul found it an honor to suffer for his work in the gospel
    How did God intervene? = An earthquake that opened doors & chains would cause a cave-in
      Acts 16:26 = God freed by opening doors & releasing chains, quake was side product

Winning the Middle Class (Acts 16:27-34)
    Faced with receiving the punishment of escaped prisoners, what did the guard do?
      Acts 16:27 = He started to kill himself - a noble response for Romans
    How was the jailer's fate changed?
      Acts 16:28-29 = The prisoners had not escaped and stopped him from suicide
    How was the jailer's fate changed even more importantly? = Saved his life eternally
      Acts 16:30-32 = He and his family became Christians
    What outward indication do we have that this middle class man had been changed?
      Acts 16:33-34 = He washed their wounds, was washed of his wounds, shared meal

An Official Embarrassment (Acts 16:35-40)
    How long were Paul and Silas to spend in jail for disturbing the peace?
      Acts 16:35-36 = A public flogging and one night in jail was their punishment
    How did Paul use his punishment to build respect for him and the new church in Philippi?
      Acts 16:37 = Said he was Roman citizen; illegal to punish citizens without Roman trial
    How did the local magistrates respond to this news that could get them into alot of trouble?
      Acts 16:38-39 = They apologized and asked P&S to leave quietly

    Did Paul and Silas take the upper hand or did they leave as requested? = ~2 months in Philippi
      Acts 16:40 = They left after first meeting with and encouraging the church
    Where did they go? = P to Amphipolis - 33 mi; Am to Apollonia - 27 mi; Ap to Th - 40 mi
      Acts 17:1 = Down the Egnatian Way - 100 miles despite pain from flogging & stocks
    Via Egnatia - Great Roman road from Adriatic Sea to Aegean Sea = 3 long days of walking

Thessalonica (Acts 17:2-9)
    Thessalonica - Capital of Macedonia, Main Street was part of Egnatian Way
      Strategically located, Linked agricultural interior with sea routes to the east
      Business center rivaled only by Corinth, Diverse population around 200,000
    What was Paul's first approach in Thessalonica and why? = as his custom was
      Acts 17:2-4 = Reasoned, explained & proved gospel in synagogue 3 weeks
    Did Paul witness day and night or only on the Sabbath? = Tent maker
      1 Thessalonians 2:9 = Apparently worked full-time, witnessed when he could
    Did Paul get any financial help from anywhere to help him maximize his time sharing the gospel?
      Philippians 4:15-16 = Yes, new Christians in Philippi sent help
    Why did he stop teaching in the synagogue every Sabbath after 3 weeks?
      Acts 17:5-7 = Jews started riot & charged treason; RSV: men who have turned the world upside down
    What did the politarchs (name for magistrates in Macedonia) decide to do?
      Acts 17:8-9 = Made Jason post a bond guaranteeing Paul & Silas would stop
    Was Paul happy to leave this city that rejected him? = Written while in Corinth 6 months later
      1 Thessalonians 2:17-18 = No, he wanted to go back but couldn't because of decree
    Had three weeks been long enough to have much of an effect?
      1 Thessalonians 1:7-9 = Yes, within a half year their faith became famous

Berea (Acts 17:10-15)
    Where did Paul and Silas go after being forced out of Thessalonica, and how were they received?
      Acts 17:10-12 = Berea, 50 mi SW of Th, large population, historically insignificant
    Did Paul stay longer with these people of more noble character who received the gospel eagerly?
      Acts 17:13-15 = No, Jews from Thess agitated the crowds, Paul sailed to Athens
    What did Paul do soon after Timothy and Silas met up with him in Athens?
      1 Thessalonians 3:1-2 = Sent Timothy to check up on Thessalonica, Silas to Philippi
    What prompted Paul to write his first letter to the Thessalonians?
      1 Thessalonians 3:6 = Timothy returned to Paul in Corinth (A18:5) with report & issues

Athens (Acts 17:16-34)
    What did Paul think about the great sights he saw during his first trip to Athens?
      Acts 17:16-17 = He was distressed by lots of idols - Greeks had gods for everything
    Were people in Athens as upset by Paul's teachings as in the other cities? = philosophers
      Acts 17:18-21 = No, they were very open to hearing all sorts of wacky ideas
      Epicureans - All is by chance, gods remote & don't care, death is end, life is for pleasure
      Stoics - Everything happens by God's will; Man to be logical, disciplined, self-sufficient
      Areopagus - Exclusive court that dealt with homicides & public morals
    How did Paul attempt to explain the gospel in terms the Athenians would understand?
      Acts 17:22-23 = Let me tell you about the unknown god that you worship
    Did he then explain how Jesus fulfilled the Old Testament or did he explain God as a Greek god?
      Acts 17:24-31 = Neither, he taught truth about God from Greek perspective
    Did the Council have any problem with anything he said? = a few Athenians became believers
      Acts 17:32-34 = The resurrection was an issue to some, others wanted him to return

Corinth (Acts 18:1-5)
    Without the fierce opposition of other cities, did Paul spend a long time in Athens?
      Acts 18:1 = No, those who accept anything will keep nothing, left to make a difference
    Corinth - Capital of Achaia, 4th largest city in Roman empire (after Rome, Alexandria & Antioch)
      On main trade route from Rome to east, Cargo & small ships carried across 5 mi. isthmus
      Very immoral - A renowned and voluptuous city, where the vices of East and West met.
        Pagan altars - Poseidon, Artemis, Apollo, Hermes, Zeus, Heracles
        Temple of Aphrodite - Contained over 1000 prostitutes
    Did Paul take a working missionary approach as he had in Thessalonica?
      Acts 18:2-4 = Yes; Found, converted & stayed with tentmakers Aquila & Priscilla
    Was he ever able to devote himself full-time to preaching the gospel?
      Acts 18:5 = Full-time when Timothy & Silas returned from Thessalonica & Philippi

Corinthian Jews Revolt (Acts 18:6-17)
    Did the Jews in Corinth become abusive as they had in other cities?
      Acts 18:6-8 = Yes, so he shook their dust out of his clothes and went to Gentiles
    Did the Corinthian Jews rise up strong enough that Paul had to leave?
      Acts 18:9-11 = No, God protected him and told him so; he stayed 1-1/2 years
    Does this mean that the Jews left him alone and didn't try to silence him?
      Acts 18:12-13 = No, they even took legal action against him
    How did God protect Paul as He had promised to do?
      Acts 18:14-16 = Gallio, the proconsul (governor), threw the case out on no basis
    What did the Greeks who witnessed this think about these trouble-making Jews?
      Acts 18:17 = They beat the new synagogue ruler as he left the court

Homeward Bound (Acts 18:18-22)
    How did Paul specially dedicate himself to the Lord while he worked in Corinth?
      Acts 18:18 = Took a Nazirite vow - no haircut, no wine...for specific time (Number 6)
    How did God use Aquila & Priscilla to help spread His gospel? = Paul in Ephesus very short time
      Acts 18:19-21 = They left Corinth with Paul & became missionaries to Ephesus
    Did Paul go straight to Antioch from Ephesus to complete his second journey?
      Acts 18:22 = No, he went to Jerusalem first, then to Antioch

Closing Prayer

Copyright © 1998 by Kurt Rosenhagen

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