Acts 21:37-22:16

In the face of a murderous mob, and by permission of the captain of the guard who at first misunderstood who he was, Paul makes his defence.

  1. Paul uses, not a sermon, but personal testimony. Notice what he says about his background, religious activity, conversion and calling to serve the Lord Jesus.
    Have you realized how powerful a weapon you possess in your personal Christian testimony?
    Do you use it?
  2. Paul seeks to put no unnecessary offence before the Jews: notice the language he uses, and what he says about Ananias as a Jew.
    Here was a man being utterly faithful to Christ, and concerned for his enemies.
    Can you care, in the same way, for those who badly treat you?

Acts 21:17-36

  1. Verses 17-26. Paul’s arrival at Jerusalem. He relates to the leaders of the church at Jerusalem all that God has done among the gentiles.
    (a) What problem did James consider would thus arise (verses 20-22)?
    (b) Practical action is recommended to Paul (verses 23-26)?
    (c) What principles determined Paul’s action?
    Cf. 20:24; 1 Cor. 9:20-23; 10:23, 33. How might these principles affect your own attitudes to others?
  2. Verses 27-36. Paul’s arrest at Jerusalem.
    Try to picture the vivid scenes.
    Why did it happen? Trace the parallels-at least five-between the treatment given to Paul and to Christ. Do you expect men to treat you better than they did Christ?

Acts 21:1-16

  1. Paul continues his journey to Jerusalem. Follow the route of the voyage on a map.
    Note, especially, the moving scene in verse 5, and the part that hospitality played (verses 4, 7, 8, 16).
    What insights does this give us about the influence of a Christian home on visitors and children?
  2. How are we to understand these warnings of the Spirit?
    To Paul’s friends they seemed to say ‘Do not go up to Jerusalem’.
    But Paul himself did not so interpret them. Is the explanation that the Spirit gave clear warning of peril and suffering, and Paul regarded it in another and deeper way?
    Cf. 20:23, 24; Matt. 16:21-23.
    What would your reaction have been in the same situation?

Acts 20:17-38

Paul’s farewell address to the leaders of the church at Ephesus (verses17-35) and his departure for Jerusalem (verses 36-38).

  1. Verses 17-27. Paul reviews his ministry at Ephesus. Notice, especially, what he says about his behavior, service, faithful preaching of Christ and the overriding ambition of his life.
    As you measure your outward service and inward spirit against Paul’s in what respects do you fee; you come short?
  2. Verses 28-35. What counsel does Paul give those to whom God has given positions of leadership? How can they guard the flock against the dangers that threaten?
    Have you begun to experience the truth of Christ’s words quoted in verse 35?

 

Acts 20:1-16

Paul revisits the churches in the province of Macedonia to encourage them.

  1. With 19:21 compare 20:1-6 and 13-16. How was Paul’s original plan modified and why?
    Follow Paul’s route on a map and discover what advantage this opposition was to Paul.
    Cf. Gen. 50:20.
  2. Paul is seeking to encourage and strengthen the young churches.
    What part do personal example (verse 4), fellowship (verse 7), and instruction (verse 11) have in this?
    With verses 7-12, cf. 2:22.
    Are the spirit and the marks of these Jewish and Gentile churches found in you and your church today?

Acts 19:21-41

Luke’s vivid description of the riot at Ephesus is a close study in crowd psychology as well as a faith account of the persecution which Paul and his companions faced.

  1. Verses 21, 22. What were Paul’s plans for the future?
    To where was his eye turned? But what two things must first be done?
    Cf. Rom. 15:19, 23, 24. Is your Christian work planned or haphazard?
  2. What was the cause of the riot and persecution?
    How did it spread and how was it quieted?
    Note especially:
    (a) the challenge of the Christian faith to a man’s business and wealth (verses 25, 27);
    (b) the blindness of religious people (cf. verses 26, 27, 35, 36);
    (c) the cost, fellowship and protection Paul found in missionary service (verses 28-31, 37-41).
    To which of these truths do I personally most need to pay attention?

Acts 19:1-20

Ephesus was the metropolis of the large and wealthy Province of Asia, a center of commerce and religion, famous for its image and its temple dedicated to the goddess Diana.

  1. Apollos had taught only the baptism of John (18:24, 25) at Ephesus.
    When Paul arrived, what did he find these disciples lacked in knowledge and assured experience?
    Is this experience yours?
    Have you realized how essential it is for you to understand fully in order to tech others accurately?
  2. Verse 20 summarizes both Paul’s ministry at Ephesus and Luke’s whole section from 16:6 to 19:20, which covers the evangelization of Macedonia, Achaia and Asia.
    What methods and special incident led to such a result in Ephesus (verses 8-19) and by what power were great result achieved in the three provinces?
    Cf. 16:14; 18:9 and 19:11. Does this review highlight any weaknesses in your Christian life?