Welcome to Lesson 12 in your Bible Study of Acts. In this lesson we look at the first of Paul's missionary journeys.
As you know, in the history of the early church (and in Acts), Paul became the principal character in evangelizing the Mediterranean world, particularly the Gentile populations.
Paul traveled extensively throughout his career. The Book of Acts records three separate missionary excursions: one to Galatia, one to Europe and Greece and a third to the city of Ephesus.
Paul's Missionary Journeys Mark An Important Juncture
We must mention at the outset that this is an important juncture in the Book of Acts:
1. The gospel is moving into completely Gentile populations – Prior to this, the gospel was preached primarily to Jews, Samaritans (near-Jews) and God-fearers (Cornelius) who sympathized with Judaism.
2. From Chapter 13 forward, Luke is more interested in narrating how churches are planted than in how different groups were converted as before.
3. Luke dedicates the rest of his book to the Gentile mission in some form or fashion. From Chapters 13-20, he is writing about Paul and his mission. From Chapter 21-28, he is writing about Paul’s trials and trip to Rome.
We will briefly summarize the first of Paul's missionary journeys here in this study. In later studies we will slow down to study the individual narratives in Acts 13 and 14.
Read Acts 13:1-3
First of Paul’s Missionary Journeys by City
The region through which Paul traveled on his first journey is considered the region of Galacia. This is the same region where Paul first directed one of his first letters.
The letter to the Galatians was the first serious doctrinal challenge that Paul faced. There, certain Jewish Christians wanted the Gentile Christians to conform to the law of Moses as part of their Christian faith. Paul denounced this requirement as a false gospel saying, the righteous shall live by faith.
Read Acts 14:21-23, 15:36, 41; 18:23
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