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St. Paul (I)

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Written by   54
11 months ago

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In a Jewish home, every friday night, the whole family will gather round the table at suppertime and light lamps. The father used to read a passage from the old testament and leads the family in prayers. Then many would gather together at the Synagogue for worship and singing of Psalms. The Rabbi reads from the Scripture and gives Sermon.

Saul's Persecution of the Early Church (Acts 5:57 - 58, 8:1 - 3, 9:1 - 3)

As Saul grew up, he became highly enthusiastic about persecuting Christians and seeing them thrown into prisons. Stephen was one of the followers of Jesus Christ. Acts 8:1 says that Saul actually gave disapproval for Stephen's death. His mission was to see to it was all those who followed Christ were completely removed from Jerusalem had other areas.

In Acts 9:1 - 3, threatening Christians was not enough, Paul obtained a written permission to arrest Christians in Synagogues, on his way there, Jesus arrested him instead.

Saul's Conversion (Acts 9:1 - 9)

As Saul grew up, there were many Jews living in Damascus in the new testament times. They had their own Synagogues for worship and teaching and those who became Christians follow the way. One day, the Christians heard terrible news that Saul's the enemy of the disciples in Jerusalem; he was on his way to Damascus to persecute believers. Those who were caught would be seized and taken for trial in Jerusalem, where they might face death like Stephen did.

As he neared Damascus, a great light from heaven flash around him and he fell to the ground. He heard a voice saying to him "Saul, Saul why are you persecuting me?" On hearing this, that it was Jesus speaking to him Saul requested to know what to do. Jesus replied that he would be told what to do when he entered the city. The men or temple Guards traveling with Paul were speechless for they heard the sound but saw no one. Paul became blind and he neither ate nor drank for three days.

Ananias was instructed by Jesus to go and lay hands upon Saul, but he was afraid and expressed his fear based on the reports behind Saul's activities in Jerusalem. Nevertheless, he left for Judas house after Jesus had told him of his plan for Saul's life. He got to Judas' house and placed his hands on Saul; who at once, regained his sight. Saul was baptised and he received the Holy Spirit and his name was changed from Saul to Paul.

Paul's Missionary Journeys

Paul undertook four missionary journeys covering about 6,000 miles (9,660 kilometers) and lasting almost 15 years all-together.

I. The First Missionary Journey (Acts 13:4, Acts 14:1 - 26)

The first missionary journey was centred on evangelism. This lasted for about three years. Paul took off from Antioch in Syria to Celicia, from Celicia to Salmis, from Salmis to Paphosity in Pamphilia, from Pamphilia to Antioch in Pisidia, from Pisidia to Conium, from Conium to Lystra, from Lystra to Berbe and from Berbe to Antioch in Syria. Antioch in Syria where he took off. Acts 13 & 14 describes Paul's first missionary journey and the events that took place in the towns Paul visited and what he did in each town.

II. The Second Missionary Journey (Acts 15:36, Acts 18:22)

After he had been commended by the Church at Antioch to the grace of God, Paul went on his second missionary journey to spread the gospel in Greece and Europe, this lasted four years covering the following cities: Syria and Celicia, Berbe and Lystra, Troas, Philippi, Thessalonica, Beroea, Athens, Corinth and Ephesus.

The ship's next stop was Oaesarea from there, Paul went up to greet the church in Jerusalem, then he went down to Antioch in Syria, from where he had taken off. Thus, ending the second missionary journey.

III. The Third Missionary Journey (Acts 18:23, Acts 21:6)

After spending some time in Antioch in Syria, Paul went on his third missionary journey. Here, he took the gospel to the provinces of Asia and the cities of Ephesus, including return visits to the churches of Asia minors and Greece. This lasted about five years. First he revisited churches in Galatians and Phiyryyi, strengthening all the Christians.

Meanwhile, Paul continued on his missionary journey and arrived at Ephesus where he spent three years spreading the gospel from Troas to Miletus and from Miletus to Tyre and after a brief delay, he continued on to Jerusalem. (Acts 28:23, Acts 21:16)

IV. The Fourth Missionary Journey (Acts 21:17, Acts 28:31)

It included his arrest in Jerusalem, Court trials and journey to Rome. This journey lasted about three years, total 15 years.

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