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Lesson 7 - Paul's First Missionary Journey

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Overall Question:  How would describe Paul's first missionary journey overall?

Memory Text: Acts 13:38 Common English Bible Therefore, brothers and sisters, know this: Through Jesus we proclaim forgiveness of sins to you. From all those sins from which you couldn’t be put in right relationship with God through Moses’ Law.

Acts 13:38 SDA BIBLE COMMENTARY This message of the forgiveness of sins is the happy news of the gospel, bringing rejoicing to every sin-burdened heart… It had been the burden of John the Baptist (Mark 1:4) and of Jesus Himself.


Sunday – Salamis and Paphos

Acts 13:1-12 Good News Translation In the church at Antioch there were some prophets and teachers: Barnabas, Simeon (called the Black), Lucius (from Cyrene), Manaen (who had been brought up with Governor Herod [Herod Antipas, ruler of Galilee]), and Saul. 2 While they were serving the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said to them, “Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul, to do the work to which I have called them.” 3 They fasted and prayed, placed their hands on them, and sent them off. 4 Having been sent by the Holy Spirit, Barnabas and Saul went to Seleucia and sailed from there to the island of Cyprus. 5 When they arrived at Salamis, they preached the word of God in the synagogues. They had John Mark with them to help in the work. 6 They went all the way across the island to Paphos, where they met a certain magician named Bar-Jesus, a Jew who claimed to be a prophet. 7 He was a friend of the governor of the island, Sergius Paulus, who was an intelligent man. The governor called Barnabas and Saul before him because he wanted to hear the word of God. 8 But they were opposed by the magician Elymas (that is his name in Greek), who tried to turn the governor away from the faith. 9 Then Saul—also known as Paul—was filled with the Holy Spirit; he looked straight at the magician 10 and said, “You son of the Devil! You are the enemy of everything that is good. You are full of all kinds of evil tricks, and you always keep trying to turn the Lord's truths into lies! 11 The Lord's hand will come down on you now; you will be blind and will not see the light of day for a time.” At once Elymas felt a dark mist cover his eyes, and he walked around trying to find someone to lead him by the hand. 12 When the governor saw what had happened, he believed; for he was greatly amazed at the teaching about the Lord.

Acts 13:11 COMMENTARY THE FOURFOLD GOSPEL This is the only miracle wrought by an apostle to the injury of any one's person. It is to be accounted for, not by supposed resentment on the part of Saul, nor by a desire to make a special example of Bar-jesus. But the case was such that some display of power over the person of the false prophet was the readiest way to convince the proconsul. When Moses went into Egypt he found it necessary to impose many personal inflictions upon the priests, in order to destroy Pharaoh's confidence in them. The present case was similar to that.


Monday – Pisidian Antioch – Part 1

Acts 13:13 New Living Translation Paul and his companions then left Paphos by ship for Pamphylia, landing at the port town of Perga. There John Mark left them and returned to Jerusalem.

Acts13:13 SDA BIBLE COMMENTARY There is no clue as to why John left. Perhaps he feared the perils and hardships of the journey into the interior. John Mark was probably the same person as the writer of the second Gospel. He became afterward an earnest laborer for Christ. Paul spoke of him later with affection (Col. 4:10), and wished to see him during his last imprisonment (2 Tim. 4:11). If Luke knew why John Mark withdrew, respect for his more successful experience later evidently kept Luke from revealing the reason here.

Acts 13:38-39 New Century Version Brothers, understand what we are telling you: You can have forgiveness of your sins through Jesus. The law of Moses could not free you from your sins. But through Jesus everyone who believes is free from all sins.

Acts 13:38-41 COMMENTARY BY MATTHEW HENRY Let all that hear the gospel of Christ, know these two things: 1. That through this Man, who died and rose again, is preached unto you the forgiveness of sins. Your sins, though many and great, may be forgiven, and they may be so without any injury to God's honour. 2. It is by Christ only that those who believe in him, and none else, are justified from all things; from all the guilt and stain of sin, from which they could not be justified by the law of Moses. The great concern of convinced sinners is, to be justified, to be acquitted from all their guilt, and accepted as righteous in God's sight, for if any is left charged upon the sinner, he is undone. By Jesus Christ we obtain a complete justification; for by him a complete atonement was made for sin. We are justified, not only by him as our Judge but by him as the Lord our Righteousness. What the law could not do for us, in that it was weak, the gospel of Christ does. This is the most needful blessing, bringing in every other. The threatenings are warnings; what we are told will come upon impenitent sinners, is designed to awaken us to beware lest it come upon us. It ruins many, that they despise religion. Those that will not wonder and be saved, shall wonder and perish.


Tuesday – Pisidian Antioch – Part 2

Acts 13:42-49 New English Translation 42 As Paul and Barnabas were going out, the people were urging them to speak about these things on the next Sabbath. 43 When the meeting of the synagogue had broken up, many of the Jews and God-fearing proselytes followed Paul and Barnabas, who were speaking with them and were persuading them to continue in the grace of God. 44 On the next Sabbath almost the whole city assembled together to hear the word of the Lord. 45 But when the Jews saw the crowds, they were filled with jealousy, and they began to contradict what Paul was saying by reviling him. 46 Both Paul and Barnabas replied courageously, “It was necessary to speak the word of God to you first. Since you reject it and do not consider yourselves worthy of eternal life, we are turning to the Gentiles. 47 For this is what the Lord has commanded us: ‘I have appointed you to be a light for the Gentiles, to bring salvation to the ends of the earth.’” 48 When the Gentiles heard this, they began to rejoice and praise the word of the Lord, and all who had been appointed for eternal life believed. 49 So the word of the Lord was spreading through the entire region.

Acts 13:45 SDA BIBLE COMMENTARY The Jews of Antioch doubtless were chagrined that newcomers such as Paul and Barnabas should attract so much interest among the Gentiles. They also realized that these Gentiles were being invited to the same religious privileges as themselves, and this was abhorrent to them.


Wednesday – Iconium

Acts 14:1-7 Contemporary English Version Paul and Barnabas spoke in the Jewish meeting place in Iconium, just as they had done at Antioch, and many Jews and Gentiles put their faith in the Lord. 2 But the Jews who did not have faith in him made the other Gentiles angry and turned them against the Lord’s followers. 3 Paul and Barnabas stayed there for a while, having faith in the Lord and bravely speaking his message. The Lord gave them the power to work miracles and wonders, and he showed that their message about his great kindness was true. 4 The people of Iconium did not know what to think. Some of them believed the Jewish group, and others believed the apostles. 5 Finally, some Gentiles and Jews, together with their leaders, decided to make trouble for Paul and Barnabas and to stone them to death. 6-7 But when the two apostles found out what was happening, they escaped to the region of Lycaonia. They preached the good news there in the towns of Lystra and Derbe and in the nearby countryside.

Acts 14:4 COMMENTARY FAMILY BIBLE NOTES When great numbers embrace the gospel, those who continue to reject it are often filled with wrath against those who preach it. The community is divided. A part join the friends, and a part the enemies of Christ, and great commotions follow. These results wicked men attribute to the gospel; but they spring from opposition to it and the opposers, not the faithful preachers of the gospel, are responsible for the evils thus occasioned.


Thursday – Lystra and Derbe

Acts 14:5-19 Easy-to-Read Version 5 Some of the Jews there, as well as their leaders and some of the non-Jewish people, were determined to hurt Paul and Barnabas. They wanted to stone them to death. 6 When Paul and Barnabas learned about this, they left the city. They went to Lystra and Derbe, cities in Lycaonia, and to the surrounding areas. 7 They told the Good News there too. 8 In Lystra there was a man who had something wrong with his feet. He had been born crippled and had never walked. 9 He was sitting and listening to Paul speak. Paul looked straight at him and saw that the man believed God could heal him. 10 So Paul shouted, “Stand up on your feet!” The man jumped up and began walking around. 11 When the people saw what Paul did, they shouted in their own Lycaonian language. They said, “The gods have come down to us in the form of humans!” 12 The people began to call Barnabas “Zeus,” and they called Paul “Hermes,” because he was the main speaker. 13 The temple of Zeus was near the city. The priest of this temple brought some bulls and flowers to the city gates. The priest and the people wanted to offer a sacrifice to Paul and Barnabas. 14 But when the apostles, Barnabas and Paul, understood what the people were doing, they tore their own clothes. Then they ran in among the people and shouted to them: 15 “Men, why are you doing this? We are not gods. We are human just like you. We came to tell you the Good News. We are telling you to turn away from these worthless things. Turn to the true living God, the one who made the sky, the earth, the sea, and everything that is in them. 16 “In the past God let all the nations do what they wanted. 17 But God was always there doing the good things that prove he is real. He gives you rain from heaven and good harvests at the right times. He gives you plenty of food and fills your hearts with joy.” 18 Even after saying all this, Paul and Barnabas still could hardly stop the people from offering sacrifices to them. 19 Then some Jews came from Antioch and Iconium and persuaded the people to turn against Paul. So they threw stones at him and dragged him out of the town. They thought they had killed him.

Acts 14:15 SDA BIBLE COMMENTARY The appeal to God’s creatorship is one made repeatedly in Scripture. It lies at the beginning of the whole history of God’s relation to the universe (Gen. 1), and is the foundation of the last gospel message of warning to the world (Rev. 14:7).

Acts 14:20-26 New Living Translation 20 But as the believers[a] gathered around him, he got up and went back into the town. The next day he left with Barnabas for Derbe. 21 After preaching the Good News in Derbe and making many disciples, Paul and Barnabas returned to Lystra, Iconium, and Antioch of Pisidia, 22 where they strengthened the believers. They encouraged them to continue in the faith, reminding them that we must suffer many hardships to enter the Kingdom of God. 23 Paul and Barnabas also appointed elders in every church. With prayer and fasting, they turned the elders over to the care of the Lord, in whom they had put their trust. 24 Then they traveled back through Pisidia to Pamphylia. 25 They preached the word in Perga, then went down to Attalia. 26 Finally, they returned by ship to Antioch of Syria, where their journey had begun. The believers there had entrusted them to the grace of God to do the work they had now completed.

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