In Paul’s intimate address to the Ephesian elders, we find the only moment in Acts where he addresses Christians. He does so with vulnerability, discipleship, and concern. In this address we learn the secret of his strength: he does not get in the way of God’s grace or His Spirit, because he has no concern for self. There’s no limit to what one can do for Jesus if that disciple removes self from the endeavor.
As Paul and Priscilla and Aquila travel past Ephesus, they encounter both Apollos and some disciples of John of Baptist. Interestingly, both Apollos and John’s followers share a misconception about the baptism instituted by Jesus. This study of humility, courage, and even doctrine considers what it means to explain the way of God more adequately. Acts 18:24-28, Acts 19:1-7, John 3:3-5, Titus 3:5, Colossians 2:11-12, Acts 2:38
As Paul travels from city to city and from synagogue to synagogue along the Egnatian Way, we can marvel at the conditions arranged by God to make this second missionary journey such a success. Galatians 4:4, Daniel 2:24-45, Isaiah 44:28-45:1
As Paul enters Roman colonies on his second missionary journey, he begins to expand on the message of Grace. These colonies already knew of a societal Grace; it was the fabric that maintained connections and loyalties in the colonies. A clear understanding of Grace will help us marvel at the Gospel that changed both Paul and his hearers. Acts 15:36-16:12. 2nd Corinthians 8:9. 1st Corinthians 15:10-11
Pharisees entered the Church and looked to impose their sensibility on the Gospel message. The church and the Holy Spirit successfully delivered the Gospel from the potential limits of performance based religion. This was a major turning point for the early Church. It’s a major turning in our understanding of how we can live out Christianity without limits when we really get grace.
After the Gospel sweeps through Psidian Antioch, the town is left to side either with angry Jews or with persecuted but rejoicing Christians.
The Holy Spirit launches the first missionary journey for Paul and Barnabas from Antioch into Cyprus. The church now becomes proactive and deliberate about reaching the world for Jesus. Despite opposition from a gospel perverter, Paul through the Spirit brings the proconsul to faith. Additional Scriptures referenced: Matthew 8:12, Matthew 25:30, Isaiah 5:20, John 3:19-20, John 9:39, 1Thess 1:4-5, 1Thess 2:8, 1Thess 2:13