Wednesday: Arrival in Corinth
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Acts 18:1-18 contains two major intersections with secular history. The first is the expulsion of the Jews from Rome during the reign of Claudius (Acts 18:2). Information from extra-biblical sources locates this event in A.D. 49. The other major intersection is the mention of the proconsul Gallio (Acts 18:12). Because proconsuls in Corinth were appointed … [Click to read more …]

Tuesday: Interlude in Athens
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According to Acts 17:14-16, Silas and Timothy stayed in Berea while Paul was escorted to Athens. Paul instructed his escorts to have Silas and Timothy join him in Athens, but there is no mention of their doing so. On the other hand, in 1 Thessalonians 3:1, 2, we learn that Paul sent Timothy back to … [Click to read more …]

Monday: The Episode in Berea
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Image © Krieg Barrie from GoodSalt.com

Persecution can be a two-way street. It is often provoked by malicious slander against those who have done nothing wrong. But it can also be provoked by inappropriate actions on the part of believers (1 Pet. 3:13-16, 4:12-16). It is very likely that the disturbance in Thessalonica was prompted not only by the jealousy of … [Click to read more …]

Sunday: The Preachers Pay a Price
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Read Acts 17:5-9. According to this passage, what was the primary motivation for the opposition to Paul’s message? What statements did his opponents make to get the city authorities interested in the case? How did those authorities respond? When someone preaches new teachings and people get excited, the leaders and teachers of other religious groups … [Click to read more …]

Sabbath: Preserving Relationships
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Read for This Week’s Study: Acts 17:5-9, 10-15, 16-34; 1 Cor. 1:18-2:2; 1 Thess. 2:17-3:10. Memory Text: “For what is our hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing? Is it not even you in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at His coming? For you are our glory and joy” (1 Thessalonians 2:19, 20, NKJV). Key Thought: True evangelism leads to relationships that … [Click to read more …]

Further Study: The Gospel Comes To Thessalonica
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“From Paul’s day to the present time, God by His Holy Spirit has been calling after the Jew as well as the Gentile. ‘There is no respect of persons with God,’ declared Paul. The apostle regarded himself as ‘debtor both to the Greeks, and to the barbarians,’ as well as to the Jews; but he … [Click to read more …]

Inside Story: Courageous Little Evangelist
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gis01

I’m Amir, a missionary in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. I was asked to hold evangelistic meetings in a village in the Congo, where I stayed with the pastor and his family. Early every morning my evangelistic team and I gathered for prayer before setting out to visit people and study the Bible with … [Click to read more …]

Thursday: A Church Is Born
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According to Acts 17:1-4, 12, what classes of people made up the core of the Thessalonian church plant? A part of Paul’s missionary strategy was “to the Jew first, and also to the Greek” (Rom. 1:16, ESV). During Paul’s ministry, the Jews regularly received the first opportunity to hear and accept the gospel. And the … [Click to read more …]

Wednesday: Suffering before Glory
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Jesus, like Paul, studied the Old Testament and drew the conclusion that the Messiah would “have to suffer these things and then enter his glory” (Luke 24:26, NIV). The “have to” of Luke 24:26 translates the same word as Acts 17:3 (NIV),where Paul says the Messiah “had to suffer.” For Jesus and Paul, the priority … [Click to read more …]

Tuesday: Two Views of the Messiah
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Image © Lars Justinen from GoodSalt.com

Since ancient times, readers of the Old Testament have noticed a variety of perspectives in the prophecies pointing toward the Messiah. Most Jews and early Christians identified two major strands in the Messianic prophecies. On the one hand, there were texts that pointed toward a royal Messiah: a conquering king who would bring justice to … [Click to read more …]