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Paul’s Imprisonment

This unit begins in Acts 16 with Paul’s Second Apostolic Tour. He and Barnabas part ways, and Paul begins to work with Silas, then young Timothy. Nineteen years after the establishment of the New Testament Church in 31AD, God begins a work through Paul in Europe as he entered Macedonia in 50AD. The unit continues with a review of Paul’s time in Corinth. We learn about his work establishing a congregation, working with Aquila, Priscilla and others whom God called out of this corrupt city. Paul began in the synagogue, then preached to Gentiles, eventually extending his stay to approximately two years. He wrote to Christians at Rome during this time, saying in Romans 1:11, “for I long to see you, that I may impart to you some spiritual gift, so that you may be established.” He was finally able to go to Rome to raise up a congregation around 59AD. To learn all the details of this exciting period in the early days of the church, check out this unit!

Introduction

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Lecture

  1. Second Apostolic Tour
  2. Ancient Corinth
  3. Third Apostolic Tour
  4. Arrest at Jerusalem
  5. Herod Agrippa II

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Conclusion

Apostolic Tour

Unit 2 begins in Acts 8, after the martyrdom of Stephen. We’re introduced to Saul, who later became the Apostle Paul. He led a cruel persecution of the followers of Christ and developed a reputation for his harsh tactics. Little did he know that his actions would serve to help spread the news of the true gospel, as members of the church fled far and wide to escape him. He certainly had no idea that his world would shortly be turned upside down, becoming a staunch follower of Christ himself. Dr. Meredith relates the account of Paul’s conversion, his ordination in Antioch, along with other believers, then his first tour as he preached and raised up congregations.

The unit concludes with the council in Jerusalem. As Paul and his traveling companions arrived in Jerusalem in 57 CE for Pentecost, with the gifts from the churches of Greece and Asia Minor, the brethren “welcomed them gladly” (Acts 21:17). The next day he and his companions met with James, the presiding apostle at Jerusalem, and the headquarters elders. Paul gave a full report telling “in detail those things which God had done among the Gentiles through his ministry” (Acts 21:19). The meeting was a turning point in an understanding of God’s work in the New Testament era. Don’t miss this unit as Dr. Meredith explains what happened.

Introduction

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Lecture

  1. Travels of Philip
  2. Saul’s Conversion
  3. First Apostolic Tour
  4. Apostolic Council

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Conclusion

The Church Begins

God gave the Holy Spirit to His Church on the Day of Pentecost in 31 CE. It had been an unforgettable 50 days for Christ’s disciples. Their Teacher had come back from the dead after a brutal execution, and had taught them for 40 days. More than 500 at one time had seen Him (1 Corinthians 15:6). The disciples ate with Him, talked with Him and even touched the wounds where His body had been pierced. But that was not all. After 40 dramatic days of instruction, the Savior ascended into the clouds, while His disciples watched with wonder and amazement. But He did not leave them alone—He promised to give them something that would empower them with spiritual vitality they had never before experienced (Luke 24:49).

Luke describes Christ’s encouraging words. “And being assembled together with them, He commanded them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the Promise of the Father, ‘which,’ He said, ‘you have heard from Me; for John truly baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now’” (Acts 1:4–5). This momentous 50th day was the day of Pentecost—the day of miracles—the day the New Testament Church began! What happened on that amazing Day of Pentecost in 31 CE?

On the day of Pentecost Jesus’ followers were seated (Acts 2:2) in a building. The notion of them meeting in the “Upper Room” where Jesus instituted the Christian Passover is a myth. The Temple Court, a single structure about one quarter of a mile in circumference, was a massive complex with hundreds of rooms. The colonnade at the southern wall, known as the Royal Stoa or Solomon’s Portico, was its probable venue as it was open toward the Temple court. Its exposed access allowed for people in the Royal Stoa to be easily seen and heard from the outside the colonnade. The apostles then were immediately accessible to Jews and proselytes gathered for the festival.

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Lectures

  1. The Great Commission
  2. Equipping the Disciples
  3. The Work of God Begins
  4. The Jews and Gentiles

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