A new period begins here, recording Paul’s greatest missionary effort and achievement: the evangelization of three important Roman provinces Macedonia, Achaia and Asia.
- Verses 6-10. By what various means was Paul guided at this time? Trace on a map how remarkable the guidance was. What indication is there from this that God does not always guide us in the way we might expect?
- Verses 11-15. The gospel comes to Europe. What evidence is there: (a) that Luke, the author of Acts, joined Paul at this time; (b) that the work began in a small way (with verses 13, cf. 13:14-16; 14:1, 2 and Zech. 4:10), and (c) that Lydia was truly born again of the Holy Spirit? Do you ever try to organize great work for God, rather than let God start a lasting work in a small way?
- Verses 16-24. What was he origin of the persecution, and in what way did it differ from all those hitherto recorded? Note the successive stages of it, as described in Luke’s very vivid account. Do you find yourself tempted or persecuted in new ways in your Christian life?
- A beating with rods (verse 22) was very severe. Yet Paul and Silas are calm and rejoicing. What caused them to triumph? Cf. Phil. 4:13; 2 Tim. 1:7, 8. Paul insists that a public declaration of their innocence is made (verse 37). What use would this be to the advance of the gospel? Are there any ways we can use public authority to help advance the gospel?
- What caused the jailer to believe? What was essential to his salvation? What change was immediately found in his life? Cf. 8:39; 13:52. Does your salvation give you the joy of the Lord?