Second Missionary Journey
The Apostle Paul’s Second Missionary Journey (Acts 15.40-18.23) was important to his development. Paul chose Silas to accompany him, and they departed in AD 51 (Easton’s Bible Dictionary). No date is given for the ending of this Second Missionary Journey or the beginning of Paul’s Third, which concluded in the Spring of AD 58 (ibid). The map below traces Paul’s Second Missionary Journey.
(Google map of Paul’s Second Missionary Journey)
I encourage you to read the details of Paul’s trip from the Scripture passage above and to trace the Holy Spirit’s leadership and rationale. In this study, I want to emphasize what I believe are the important points for understanding the Acts of the Holy Spirit in the Kingdom of God through Paul during his Second Missionary Journey.
First Point: Jesus had told Nicodemus that the Holy Spirit decides where He wants the servants of God to minister. In John 3.8, Jesus says, “‘The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit’” (NKJV). The Greek word for “wind” also means “spirit” (Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance, g4151). Now, reread this verse with ‘Spirit’ in place of ‘wind’ to understand Jesus’ teaching.
So, the Holy Spirit decided that Paul and Silas should go to Macedonia, instead of going in to Asia or Bithynia. How did Paul know? What was Paul’s relationship with the Source? How had this relationship progressed from the Road to Damascus? How does this become clearer by reviewing Peter’s experience in Acts 10.9-23?
Apostle John reminds us to “test the spirits” with a procedure discussed in 1 John 4.1-4. After authenticating the Source, Jesus said we should look and listen through spiritual eyes and ears, instead of with physical eyes and ears, to properly understand the Holy Spirit’s instruction (John 3.1-8 regarding John 2.23).
How, then, can you evaluate the contexts where the Holy Spirit leads you?
Second Point: Jesus said that the Holy Spirit will save the lost and/or destroy satan’s strongholds and/or mature believers’ faith and knowledge from Jesus (Ephesians 4.13) wherever He leads you (John 16.8-11). These actions are to reconcile mankind to God (2 Corinthians 5.17-21; Acts 26.18).
So, the Holy Spirit put to use all of the arrows in Paul’s quiver that had been sharpened to cutting edge during his years in his university-city hometown, during his years in rabbinical studies in Jerusalem, and during his three years of One-to-one tutoring from Jesus in the wilderness. Paul “reasoned” in the synagogue of the Jews “from the Scriptures” (in Thessalonica, Acts 17.2; in Athens, Acts 17.17; and in Corinth, Acts 18.4), probably, preaching the same, convicting sermon that he had preached in Antioch in Pisidia (Acts 13.15-41). Remember that the Holy Spirit was speaking through him, as Jesus said in Matthew 10.19-20.
Paul also “reasoned” with “Gentile worshipers and in the marketplace” (Acts 17.17) and in the midst of the Areopagas” (Hill of Ares or Mars’ Hill; Acts 17.22) in Athens, Greece. Notice that Paul’s reasoning began with his listeners’ beliefs; he collected them as the tolerance of the absolutely unique God; and he warned these atheistic philosophers of a future accountability for which God was their only Hope (Acts 17.22-31). Pay day some day, indeed (John 3.16; 14.6 alone)!
The Holy Spirit knew the foundational beliefs of the Jews and the Gentiles. He began there to tear down these community deceptions and to build up Jesus as the only Savior (Jeremiah 1.9-10). Replacing foundations is the only way “‘to open their eyes, in order to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who are sanctified by faith in [Jesus]’” (Acts 26.18).
These are the “good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them” (Ephesians 2.10; John 16.8-11). The Holy Spirit will “reason” through you, using your knowledge of Scripture which He has prepared within you from your studies. Remember, He knows the arguments better than they do and can defeat them.
Be Available to the Holy Spirit!
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Praise God!!! Copyright © by Maurice L Painter, 2019. www.sozoclass.com.