bible study

Bible Study: Acts 15

Chapter 15: Acts 15: 1-40, Paul’s second missionary journey


Heavenly Father, we pray for soft, teachable, obedient hearts to learn your precept, open ears to hear Your voice, and open eyes to see Your face, in Jesus’ name, Amen.

VV 1-5, And certain men which came down from Judaea taught the brethren, and said, Except ye be circumcised after the manner of Moses, ye cannot be saved. 2 When therefore Paul and Barnabas had no small dissension and disputation with them, they determined that Paul and Barnabas, and certain other of them, should go up to Jerusalem unto the apostles and elders about this question. 3 And being brought on their way by the church, they passed through Phenice and Samaria, declaring the conversion of the Gentiles, and they caused great joy unto all the brethren.4 And when they were come to Jerusalem, they were received of the church, and of the apostles and elders, and they declared all things that God had done with them. 5 But there rose up certain of the sect of the Pharisees which believed, saying, that it was needful to circumcise them, and to command them to keep the law of Moses.

Some Judaizers from Jerusalem traveled to Antioch and taught the Gentile Christians that they could not be saved unless they were circumcised. The Antioch church sent Paul, Barnabas, Judas, and Silas, to Jerusalem to resolve this controversy. On their way to Jerusalem, they evangelised to the people in Phoenicia and Samaria and brought great joy to them. On arrival, Paul and Barnabas explained the controversy to the apostles and elders in Jerusalem. True to form, the Judaizers immediately insisted that Gentile believers be circumcised and follow Mosaic laws.

VV 6-11, 6 And the apostles and elders came together for to consider of this matter. 7 And when there had been much disputing, Peter rose up, and said unto them, Men and brethren, ye know how that a good while ago God made choice among us, that the Gentiles by my mouth should hear the word of the gospel, and believe. 8 And God, which knoweth the hearts, bare them witness, giving them the Holy Ghost, even as he did unto us, 9 And put no difference between us and them, purifying their hearts by faith. 10 Now therefore why tempt ye God, to put a yoke upon the neck of the disciples, which neither our fathers nor we were able to bear? 11 But we believe that through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ we shall be saved, even as they.

Peter explained to the council of apostles and elders, how God had divinely commanded him to preach the gospel to the Gentiles in Caesarea, Acts 10. God imparted the Holy Spirit to the Gentiles believers in Caesarea just as He did to the Jewish believers in Jerusalem at Pentecost. God did not discriminate between Jews and Gentiles. Jews should not test God by compelling the Gentiles to keep the Mosaic laws. Justification is by faith in Christ and not by the Mosaic law, Acts 13:38-39.

Acts 13: 38-39, ‘’Therefore let it be known to you, brethren, that through this Man is preached to you the forgiveness of sins, and by Him everyone who believes is justified from all things from which you could not be justified by the law of Moses’’.

V 12, Then all the multitude kept silence, and gave audience to Barnabas and Paul, declaring what miracles and wonders God had wrought among the Gentiles by them.

After Peter’s address, Paul and Barnabas narrated their evangelistic experiences among the Gentiles during their first missionary journey.

VV 13-21, 13 And after they had held their peace, James answered, saying, Men and brethren, hearken unto me, 14 Simeon hath declared how God at the first did visit the Gentiles, to take out of them a people for his name. 15 And to this agree the words of the prophets; as it is written,16 After this I will return, and will build again the tabernacle of David, which is fallen down; and I will build again the ruins thereof, and I will set it up, 17 That the residue of men might seek after the Lord, and all the Gentiles, upon whom my name is called, saith the Lord, who doeth all these things.

Next, James, elder, and half-brother of Jesus addressed the council. James supported Peter, Paul, and Barnabas saying that God had chosen the Gentiles, quoting Amos 9:11. God will rebuild the tabernacle of David, so that all people including the Gentiles may seek and know Him.

Amos 9:11, “In that day will I raise up the tabernacle of David that is fallen, and close up the breaches thereof, and I will raise up his ruins, and I will build it as in the days of old.”

VV 18-21, 18 Known unto God are all his works from the beginning of the world. 19 Wherefore my sentence is, that we trouble not them, which from among the Gentiles are turned to God, 20 but that we write unto them, that they abstain from pollutions of idols, and from fornication, and from things strangled, and from blood. 21 For Moses of old time hath in every city them that preach him, being read in the synagogues every sabbath day.

James declared that they should not burden the Gentiles with the Mosaic law. He instructed the Jerusalem council to free the Gentiles from the Mosaic law in writing. However, they would advise them to abstain from idol worship, sexual immorality, eating strangled animals, and drinking blood.

V 22, 22 Then pleased it the apostles and elders with the whole church, to send chosen men of their own company to Antioch with Paul and Barnabas, namely, Judas surnamed Barsabas and Silas, chief men among the brethren.

The apostles and elders accepted James’ decision to send a letter to Antioch via Paul, Barnabas, Judas, and Silas.

Vv 23-29, 23 And they wrote letters by them after this manner, the apostles and elders and brethren send greeting unto the brethren which are of the Gentiles in Antioch and Syria and Cilicia. 24 Forasmuch as we have heard, that certain which went out from us have troubled you with words, subverting your souls, saying, ye must be circumcised, and keep the law: to whom we gave no such commandment. 25 It seemed good unto us, being assembled with one accord, to send chosen men unto you with our beloved Barnabas and Paul, 26 Men that have hazarded their lives for the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. 27 We have sent therefore Judas and Silas, who shall also tell you the same things by mouth. 28 For it seemed good to the Holy Ghost, and to us, to lay upon you no greater burden than these necessary things, 29 that ye abstain from meats offered to idols, and from blood, and from things strangled, and from fornication, from which if ye keep yourselves, ye shall do well. Fare ye well.

The Jerusalem church wrote a letter to the Antioch church exempting them from keeping the Mosaic law and circumcision but advising them to abstain from idol worship, sexual immorality, eating strangled animals, and drinking blood.

VV 30-35, 30 So when they were dismissed, they came to Antioch: and when they had gathered the multitude together, they delivered the epistle, 31 which when they had read, they rejoiced for the consolation. 32 And Judas and Silas, being prophets also themselves, exhorted the brethren with many words, and confirmed them. 33 And after they had tarried there a space, they were let go in peace from the brethren unto the apostles. 34 Notwithstanding it pleased Silas to abide there still. 35 Paul also and Barnabas continued in Antioch, teaching and preaching the word of the Lord, with many others also.

The congregation in Antioch rejoiced when they heard the news. Judas and Silas, who were prophets, encouraged and strengthened their faith. Judas returned to Jerusalem, but Silas, Paul, and Barnabas remained in Antioch to minister, teach, and preach.

VV 36-41, 36 And some days after Paul said unto Barnabas, let us go again and visit our brethren in every city where we have preached the word of the Lord, and see how they do. 37 And Barnabas determined to take with them John, whose surname was Mark. 38 But Paul thought not good to take him with them, who departed from them from Pamphylia, and went not with them to the work. 39 And the contention was so sharp between them, that they departed asunder one from the other, and so Barnabas took Mark, and sailed unto Cyprus, 40 and Paul chose Silas, and departed, being recommended by the brethren unto the grace of God. 41 And he went through Syria and Cilicia, confirming the churches.

After some time, Paul suggested to Barnabas to start their second missionary journey. Barnabas wanted to take John Mark but Paul objected strongly to this. Paul and Barnabas parted company and went on separate missionary journeys. Barnabas took John Mark and traveled south by sea to Cyprus, Barnabas’ hometown. Paul took Silas and traveled north by land through Asia Minor, passing through Syria and Tarsus, Cilicia, Paul’s hometown. You can follow Paul’s second missionary journey on a map available on the internet.


Justification by faith in Christ alone is sufficient. Reject false doctrines that justification is by faith in Christ plus some other things, like water baptism, observing the sabbath, etc. This is not biblical. Water baptism is a public witness to salvation, not a prerequisite for salvation. Similarly, observing the sabbath is not a prerequisite to salvation.

Salvation by grace alone is sufficient. We are not under the law but grace. Reject legalism.

John 1:17, For the law, was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.


Heavenly Father, thank You for the wise decision of the first-century Jerusalem council not to impose the Mosaic laws on Gentile believers. Thank You for grace and truth. Thank You for saving us by grace and justifying us by faith in Christ, in Jesus’ name, Amen.

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Bible Study: Acts 14

Chapter 14: Acts 14: 1-28, Paul’s first missionary journey, Part 2


Heavenly Father, You are the logos, Word of God, Word of creation, Word of Life, Word of Light, Word of Glory, Word of Grace and Truth, and Word of incarnation. We pray that You speak to us, in Jesus’ name, Amen.

VV 1-3, 1 Now, it happened in Iconium that they went together to the synagogue of the Jews, and so spoke that a great multitude both of the Jews and of the Greeks believed. 2 But the unbelieving Jews stirred up the Gentiles and poisoned their minds against the brethren. 3 Therefore they stayed there a long time, speaking boldly in the Lord, who was bearing witness to the word of His grace, granting signs and wonders to be done by their hands.

Paul and Barnabas left Antioch of Pisidia and traveled to Iconium. As usual, they spoke in the synagogue. A great number of Jews and Greeks believed. But the unbelieving hostile Jews opposed and bad mouth Paul and Barnabas. Despite this, Paul and Barnabas stayed on for a long time in Iconium, sharing the gospel, moving in miracles, signs, and wonders.

VV 4-7, 4 But the multitude of the city was divided, part sided with the Jews, and part with the apostles. 5 And when a violent attempt was made by both the Gentiles and Jews, with their rulers, to abuse and stone them, 6 they became aware of it and fled to Lystra and Derbe, cities of Lycaonia, and to the surrounding region. 7 And they were preaching the gospel there.

The city folks were divided into two camps, some sided with the hostile Jews while the rest sided with Paul and Barnabas. Knowing that the Jews were plotting to stone them, they left Iconium, arrived at Lystra, and preached the gospel there. The ancient cities of Perga, Antioch of Pisidia, Iconium, Lystra, and Derbe were provinces of Galatia in Asia Minor, which is now Turkey.

VV 8-13, 8 And in Lystra a certain man without strength in his feet was sitting, a cripple from his mother’s womb, who had never walked. 9 This man heard Paul speaking. Paul, observing him intently and seeing that he had faith to be healed, 10 said with a loud voice, “Stand up straight on your feet!” And he leaped and walked. 11 Now when the people saw what Paul had done, they raised their voices, saying in the Lycaonian language, “The gods have come down to us in the likeness of men!” 12 And Barnabas they called Zeus, and Paul, Hermes, because he was the chief speaker. 13 Then the priest of Zeus, whose temple was in front of their city, brought oxen and garlands to the gates, intending to sacrifice with the multitudes.

Paul healed a congenitally crippled man in Lystra. The people of Lystra thought that Paul and Barnabas were incarnations of their mythological gods, Zeus and Hermes. The priest of Zeus brought oxen and garlands. They wanted to sacrifice oxen to Paul and Barnabas and decorate them with garlands.

VV 14-18, 14 But when the apostles Barnabas and Paul heard this, they tore their clothes and ran in among the multitude, crying out 15 and saying, “Men, why are you doing these things? We also are men with the same nature as you, and preach to you that you should turn from these useless things to the living God, who made the heaven, the earth, the sea, and all things that are in them, 16 who in bygone generations allowed all nations to walk in their own ways. 17 Nevertheless He did not leave Himself without witness, in that He did good, gave us rain from heaven and fruitful seasons, filling our hearts with food and gladness.” 18 And with these sayings they could scarcely restrain the multitudes from sacrificing to them.

Paul and Barnabas tore their clothes and pleaded with them to stop worshiping them as gods. They preached an evangelistic sermon to them. They advise the people to turn away from idols and worship God who created heaven, earth, sea, and everything. God gave them rain, fruits, seasons, food, and joy. Still, the crowd could not resist sacrificing to them.

VV 19-20, 19 Then Jews from Antioch and Iconium came there and having persuaded the multitudes, they stoned Paul and dragged him out of the city, supposing him to be dead. 20 However, when the disciples gathered around him, he rose up and went into the city. And the next day he departed with Barnabas to Derbe.

The hostile Jews from Antioch of Pisidia and Iconium came to Lystra, stoned Paul, and dragged him out of the city, thinking that he was dead. When the disciples came, Paul miraculously woke up and went back into the city. The next day, Paul and Barnabas left Lystra and traveled to Derbe.

VV 21-26, 21 And when they had preached the gospel to that city and made many disciples, they returned to Lystra, Iconium, and Antioch, 22 strengthening the souls of the disciples, exhorting them to continue in the faith, and saying, “We must through many tribulations enter the kingdom of God.” 23 So when they had appointed elders in every church and prayed with fasting, they commended them to the Lord in whom they had believed. 24 And after they had passed through Pisidia, they came to Pamphylia. 25 Now when they had preached the word in Perga, they went down to Attalia. 26 From there they sailed to Antioch, where they had been commended to the grace of God for the work which they had completed.

Paul and Barnabas traveled backward to all the cities that they had visited and before, returned to Antioch of Syria. The first missionary journey took them 2 years from 44 to 46 AD, and 1400 miles on foot!

VV 27-28, 27 Now when they had come and gathered the church together, they reported all that God had done with them, and that He had opened the door of faith to the Gentiles. 28 So they stayed there for a long time with the disciples.

Paul and Barnabas reported to the church all that happened in their first missionary journey and stayed in Antioch for a long time.


We had a glimpse and lessons on missionary work. A missionary’s calling is very tough. Opposition was severe and the mission was dangerous. Paul was stoned and almost lost his life at Lystra. The Holy Spirit empowered Paul and Barnabas with miracles, signs, and wonders. At Lystra, the people wanted to worship them as gods. You must never worship or idolise people.


Heavenly Father, thank You for this historical first missionary journey of Paul and Barnabas from Antioch of Syria to Cyprus and Asia Minor. We offer our bodies to You as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing, as our acceptable worship. We pray for anointing to preach, teach, win souls for You, in Jesus’ name, Amen.

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Bible Study: Acts 13

Chapter 13: Acts 13: 1-52, Paul’s first missionary journey, Part 1


Heavenly Father, we pray for calm and stillness as we come before You in Your throne room of grace. We pray for inspiration and empowerment to serve in the kingdom. We pray for lives surrendered to You, in Jesus’ name, Amen.

V 1-3, 1 Now in the church that was at Antioch there were certain prophets and teachers, Barnabas, Simeon who was called Niger, Lucius of Cyrene, Manaen who had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch, and Saul. 2 As they ministered to the Lord and fasted, the Holy Spirit said, “Now separate to Me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.” 3 Then, having fasted and prayed, and laid hands on them, they sent them away.

The camera angle shifted from the church at Jerusalem to the church at Antioch of Syria, the missionary base for Barnabas and Saul. Greek for church is ecclesia which means “the called-out ones”. The church is not a building but a congregation of the believers called out by God.

The Antioch church had prophets, teachers, and leaders from diverse ethnicity and background. As they worshiped and prayed, the Holy Spirit handpicked Barnabas and Saul to start a missionary journey. The leaders fasted, prayed, laid hands and sent them on their way.

Paul was saved on the Damascus road, secluded from the limelight for 3 years in the Arabian desert, 7 years in Tarsus, and served in Antioch for 1 year. Paul was ready to start his first missionary trip, 11 years, after his Damascus Road conversion.

VV 4-5, 4 So, being sent out by the Holy Spirit, they went down to Seleucia, and from there they sailed to Cyprus. 5 And when they arrived in Salamis, they preached the word of God in the synagogues of the Jews. They also had John as their assistant.

Barnabas and Saul took John Mark as their assistant. John Mark was a cousin of Barnabas, the son of Mary, a disciple of Peter, and the author of Mark’s gospel. Their first stop was Seleucia. From Seleucia, they traveled to Salamis in the Island of Cyprus, where they preached Christ in the local Jewish synagogues.

VV 6-8, 6 Now when they had gone through the island to Paphos, they found a certain sorcerer, a false prophet, a Jew whose name was Bar-Jesus, 7 who was with the proconsul, Sergius Paulus, an intelligent man. This man called for Barnabas and Saul and sought to hear the word of God. 8 But Elymas the sorcerer (for so his name is translated) withstood them, seeking to turn the proconsul away from the faith.

Still, on the Island of Cyprus, they traveled from Salamis to Paphos and encountered a Jewish false prophet and sorcerer called Bar-Jesus or Elymas, who was closely associated with the proconsul, Sergius Paulus. Elymas opposed Barnabas and Saul and tried to prevent the proconsul from hearing the gospel.

VV 9-12, 9 Then Saul, who also is called Paul, filled with the Holy Spirit, looked intently at him 10 and said, “O full of all deceit and all fraud, you son of the devil, you enemy of all righteousness, will you not cease perverting the straight ways of the Lord? 11 And now, indeed, the hand of the Lord is upon you, and you shall be blind, not seeing the sun for a time.” And immediately a dark mist fell on him, and he went around seeking someone to lead him by the hand. 12 Then the proconsul believed, when he saw what had been done, being astonished at the teaching of the Lord.

Here, Saul changed his name to Paul. Paul is the Greek equivalent of the word Saul in Hebrew, just as Dorcas is the Greek equivalent of the Hebrew name Tabitha. Paul rebuked Elymas for opposing God. Paul called Elymas a deceiver, son of the devil, and enemy of righteousness. Paul cursed him with blindness and he was struck blind. The proconsul was amazed and believed in the Lord.

Paul, a Hellenist, Greek-speaking Jew was also a Roman citizen by birth, because his parents were Roman citizens.

VV 13-14, 13 Now when Paul and his party set sail from Paphos, they came to Perga in Pamphylia, and John, departing from them, returned to Jerusalem. 14 But when they departed from Perga, they came to Antioch in Pisidia, and went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day and sat down.

They left the Island of Cyprus and sailed north from Paphos to Perga in Pamphylia, in Galatia. Here, John Mark left the mission field and returned to Jerusalem. Barnabas and Paul traveled north from Perga, arrived at Antioch in Pisidia, and preached the gospel in the synagogue on a Sabbath day.

V 15, 15 And after the reading of the Law and the Prophets, the rulers of the synagogue sent to them, saying, “Men and brethren, if you have any word of exhortation for the people, say on.”

The ruler of the synagogue allowed Barnabas and Paul to speak.

VV 16-25, 16 Then Paul stood up, and motioning with his hand said, “Men of Israel, and you who fear God, listen, 17 The God of these people Israel chose our fathers, and exalted the people when they dwelt as strangers in the land of Egypt, and with an uplifted arm He brought them out of it. 18 Now for a time of about forty years He put up with their ways in the wilderness. 19 And when He had destroyed seven nations in the land of Canaan, He distributed their land to them by allotment.20 “After that He gave them judges for about four hundred and fifty years until Samuel the prophet. 21 And afterward they asked for a king, so God gave them Saul the son of Kish, a man of the tribe of Benjamin, for forty years. 22 And when He had removed him, He raised up for them David as king, to whom also He gave testimony and said, ‘I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after My own heart, who will do all My will.’ 23 From this man’s seed, according to the promise, God raised up for Israel a Savior, Jesus, 24 after John had first preached, before His coming, the baptism of repentance to all the people of Israel. 25 And as John was finishing his course, he said, ‘Who do you think I am? I am not He. But behold, there comes One after me, the sandals of whose feet I am not worthy to loose.’

Paul stood up and preached an expository sermon to the Jews and the Gentiles god-fearers. Paul narrated the history of the Jewish nation from the patriarchs entering Egypt, exodus out of Egypt. 40 years of wilderness wandering, entry into Canaan, rule under the judges, prophet Samuel, King Saul, King David, Jesus, the Messiah, to John the Baptist.

VV 26-30, 26 “Men and brethren, sons of the family of Abraham, and those among you who fear God, to you the word of this salvation has been sent. 27 For those who dwell in Jerusalem, and their rulers, because they did not know Him, nor even the voices of the Prophets which are read every Sabbath, have fulfilled them in condemning Him. 28 And though they found no cause for death in Him, they asked Pilate that He should be put to death. 29 Now when they had fulfilled all that was written concerning Him, they took Him down from the tree and laid Him in a tomb. 30 But God raised Him from the dead.

The Old Testament prophets prophesied the coming Jesus Christ, the Saviour, whom God sent. The Jewish leaders in Jerusalem did not believe in Him. They sent Him to the Romans for crucifixion on the cross and buried Him in a tomb, but God raised Him up from the dead on the third day.

VV 31-37, 31 He was seen for many days by those who came up with Him from Galilee to Jerusalem, who are His witnesses to the people. 32 And we declare to you glad tidings, that promise which was made to the fathers. 33 God has fulfilled this for us their children, in that He has raised up Jesus. As it is also written in the Psalm, ‘You are My Son, Today I have begotten You.’ 34 And that He raised Him from the dead, no more to return to corruption, He has spoken thus, ‘I will give you the sure mercies of David.’35 Therefore He also says in another Psalm, ‘You will not allow Your Holy One to see corruption.’ 36 “For David, after he had served his own generation by the will of God, fell asleep, was buried with his fathers and saw corruption, 37 but He whom God raised up saw no corruption.

The disciples witnessed the resurrected Christ in Galilee and Jerusalem. King David prophesied the resurrection of Christ in Psalms 16:10.

Psalm 16:10, “For You will not leave my soul in Sheol, Nor will You allow Your Holy One to see corruption’’.

VV 38-41, 38 Therefore let it be known to you, brethren, that through this Man is preached to you the forgiveness of sins, 39 and by Him, everyone who believes is justified from all things from which you could not be justified by the law of Moses. 40 Beware therefore, lest what has been spoken in the prophets come upon you, 41 ‘Behold, you despisers, Marvel and perish! For I work a work in your days, A work which you will by no means believe, Though one were to declare it to you.’ ”

Jesus Christ is the forgiver of sins and the justifier of everyone who believes in Him whom the law could not do. Salvation is by grace, through faith in Jesus, Romans 5:1. The law is a schoolmaster, a tutor, who pointed people to Christ. Paul quoted Habakkuk 1:5.

Romans 5:1, “Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ’’.

Habakkuk 1:5, “Look among the nations and watch, Be utterly astounded! For I will work a work in your days, Which you would not believe, though it were told you, you need to change or you will perish’’.

VV 42-43, 42 So when the Jews went out of the synagogue, the Gentiles begged that these words might be preached to them the next Sabbath. 43 Now when the congregation had broken up, many of the Jews and devout proselytes followed Paul and Barnabas, who, speaking to them, persuaded them to continue in the grace of God.

From 13:43, the hierarchy of leadership changed from Barnabas and Saul to Paul and Barnabas. This signified a change in missionary leadership from Barnabas to Paul. Barnabas voluntarily took on a backseat role in favour of Paul.

VV 44-45, 44 On the next Sabbath almost the whole city came together to hear the word of God. 45 But when the Jews saw the multitudes, they were filled with envy, and contradicting and blaspheming, they opposed the things spoken by Paul.

On the next Sabbath, the whole city came to listen to Paul and Barnabas. The Jews were jealous because their popularity ranking was declining rapidly. They opposed Paul and Barnabas in every possible way.

VV 46-52, 46 Then Paul and Barnabas grew bold and said, “It was necessary that the word of God should be spoken to you first, but since you reject it, and judge yourselves unworthy of everlasting life, behold, we turn to the Gentiles. 47 For so the Lord has commanded us, ‘I have set you as a light to the Gentiles, That you should be for salvation to the ends of the earth.’ 48 Now when the Gentiles heard this, they were glad and glorified the word of the Lord. And as many as had been appointed to eternal life believed. 49 And the word of the Lord was being spread throughout all the region. 50 But the Jews stirred up the devout and prominent women and the chief men of the city, raised up persecution against Paul and Barnabas, and expelled them from their region. 51 But they shook off the dust from their feet against them, and came to Iconium. 52 And the disciples were filled with joy and with the Holy Spirit.

Paul and Barnabas declared with boldness that since the Jews rejected the gospel, they would take the gospel to the Gentiles. The Gentiles rejoiced, glorified God, and many believed, and the gospel spread throughout the region. But the hostile Jews persecuted and expelled Paul and Barnabas from Antioch of Pisidia. They shook the dust off their feet, left the city, and came to Iconium. At Iconium, the disciples were joyful and filled with the Holy Spirit. Paul quoted Isaiah 49:6. You may want to refer to a map on Paul’s first missionary journey and follow the different places. This map is easily available from the internet.

Isaiah 49:6 b, “I will give You as a light to the Gentiles, that You should be My salvation to the ends of the earth.”


Jesus Christ is the forgiver of sins and the justifier of everyone who believes in Him. Christ did what the law could not do. Salvation is by grace, through faith in Jesus.

Ephesians 2:8-9, “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith, and that not of yourself, it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast”.

Paul preached so well because he was so saturated with the Holy Spirit and scriptures. He quoted scriptures and narrated stories from scriptures without any difficulties. Are you saturated with the Holy Spirit? Are you saturated with scriptures?


Heavenly Father, thank You Paul’s powerful sermon. We pray for the ability to preach like Paul and Peter. We pray to be saturated by the Holy Spirit and by scriptures. We pray for clear minds and concentration, in Jesus’ name, Amen.

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Bible Study: Acts 12

Chapter 12: Acts 12: 1-25, Saved by an angel


Heavenly Father, we pray for calm, concentration, attention, clear-mindedness, fresh insights, revelation, readjustment, realignment, renewal, refreshment, and sensitive ears to hear You, in Jesus’ name, Amen.

In Acts 9, Saul was converted. In Acts 10, Cornelius was converted. In Acts 12, Herod was killed. In Acts 1, the first-century Christian church was born in Jerusalem. By Acts 12, first-century Christian churches were born in Judea, Samaria, Lydda, Joppa, Caesarea, and Damascus.

VV 1-4, 1 Now, about that time Herod the king stretched out his hand to harass some from the church. 2 Then he killed James the brother of John with the sword. 3 And because he saw that it pleased the Jews, he proceeded further to seize Peter also. Now it was during the Days of Unleavened Bread. 4 So when he had arrested him, he put him in prison, and delivered him to four squads of soldiers to keep him, intending to bring him before the people after Passover.

The camera angle shifted back from Paul in Antioch to Peter in Jerusalem. Herod Agrippa the first was the king of Israel, and the grandson of Herod the Great. He was a cruel man, who brutally beheaded James, the brother of John. James was the first apostle martyr. Persecutions of Christians started with the Sadducees to Herod Agrippa the first. Herod arrested and imprisoned Peter during the Passover, chaining him between 2 soldiers while 2 more soldiers guarded the prison door.

Passover fell on 15th Nisan, followed by the feast of unleavened bread, from 16th to the 22nd Nisan, on the Jewish religious calendar.

V5, Peter was therefore kept in prison, but constant prayer was offered to God for him by the church.

When Peter was imprisoned by Herod, the church prayed for him in the house of Mary, the mother of John Mark, a cousin of Barnabas, a disciple of Peter, and the author of Mark’s gospel.

V6, And when Herod was about to bring him out, that night Peter was sleeping, bound with two chains between two soldiers, and the guards before the door were keeping the prison.

Peter was fast asleep even though he was chained between two Roman soldiers in a heavily guarded prison. He was not afraid of martyrdom.

VV 7-8, 7 Now behold, an angel of the Lord stood by him, and a light shone in the prison, and he struck Peter on the side and raised him up, saying, “Arise quickly!” And his chains fell off his hands. 8 Then the angel said to him, “Gird yourself and tie on your sandals”; and so he did. And he said to him, “Put on your garment and follow me.”

An angel of God woke Peter up, broke his chains, instructed him to get up and follow him.

VV 9-11, 9 So he went out and followed him, and did not know that what was done by the angel was real, but thought he was seeing a vision. 10 When they were past the first and the second guard posts, they came to the iron gate that leads to the city, which opened to them of its own accord, and they went out and went down one street, and immediately the angel departed from him. 11 And when Peter had come to himself, he said, “Now I know for certain that the Lord has sent His angel, and has delivered me from the hand of Herod and from all the expectation of the Jewish people.”

The angel of God took Peter out of the prison into the street and disappeared. Peter was dumbfounded. When he came back to his senses, he realised that God had rescued him from the hand of Herod.

V 12, So, when he had considered this, he came to the house of Mary, the mother of John whose surname was Mark, where many were gathered together praying.

Peter came to Mary’s house where the disciples were meeting and praying for him. There are many Mary’s in the New Testament. This Mary was the mother of John Mark, a cousin of Barnabas, a disciple of Peter, and the author of Mark’s gospel.

VV 13-15, 13 And as Peter knocked at the door of the gate, a girl named Rhoda came to answer. 14 When she recognized Peter’s voice, because of her gladness she did not open the gate, but ran in and announced that Peter stood before the gate. 15 But they said to her, “You are beside yourself!” Yet she kept insisting that it was so. So they said, “It is his angel.”

When Peter knocked on the door, a girl named Rhoda came out and heard Peter’s voice but did not open the gate because she was too excited. She reported to the group that Peter was at the door, they did not believe her.

VV 16-19, 16 Now Peter continued knocking, and they opened the door and saw him, they were astonished. 17 But motioning to them with his hand to keep silent, he declared to them how the Lord had brought him out of the prison. And he said, “Go, tell these things to James and to the brethren.” And he departed and went to another place. 18 Then, as soon as it was day, there was no small stir among the soldiers about what had become of Peter. 19 But when Herod had searched for him and not found him, he examined the guards and commanded that they should be put to death. And he went down from Judea to Caesarea and stayed there.

Peter continued knocking until the disciples opened the door and saw him. Peter told them what happened, instructed them to tell James, the half-brother of Jesus, the other apostles, disappeared and went into hiding. The next morning when Herod found out that Peter had escaped, he ordered the execution of the prison guards, left Judea, and went to Caesarea.

VV 20-24, 20 Now Herod had been very angry with the people of Tyre and Sidon, but they came to him with one accord and having made Blastus the king’s personal aide their friend, they asked for peace because their country was supplied with food by the king’s country. 21 So on a set day Herod, arrayed in royal apparel, sat on his throne and gave an oration to them. 22 And the people kept shouting, “The voice of a god and not of a man!” 23 Then immediately an angel of the Lord struck him because he did not give glory to God. And he was eaten by worms and died. 24 But the word of God grew and multiplied.

Representatives of Tyre and Sidon came to Herod to reconcile with Herod because he was angry with them. The people of Tyre and Sidon were afraid of Herod because they depended on him for the provision of food. One day, Herod, in his royal apparel, gave a speech to the people of Tyre and Sidon. They praised Herod and called him a god. Immediately, an angel of God killed Herod and worms ate up his body. The word of God grew and multiplied. In Acts 12:1, Herod opposed God. In Acts 12:23, God killed Herod.

Romans 1: 21, “because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened.”

Philippians 2: 10-11, ‘’at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father’’.

V 25, And Barnabas and Saul returned from Jerusalem when they had fulfilled their ministry, and they also took with them John whose surname was Mark.

After Jerusalem, Barnabas and Saul returned to Antioch of Syria bringing with them John Mark, a cousin of Barnabas, a disciple of Peter, and the author of Mark’s gospel.


When Peter was in the prison, the church prayed for him but when God answered their prayer, they missed it! You need to be sensitive to the Holy Spirit, otherwise, you may miss God’s answered prayer.


Heavenly Father, thank You that You are miracle-working God. Thank You for healing, protection, miracles, salvation, justification, sanctification, eternal life, and the promise of resurrection, in Jesus’ name, Amen.