THE MISSIONARY’S WORK
The apostle Paul was above all else a missionary. We can find for distinct journeys that Paul made from
Paul’s heart’s desire was to reach as many people as possible with the Gospel of Christ.
Then he wanted to encourage and challenge those who were born-again to be all that they could possibly be for Christ.
This portion of Scripture gives the reader a snap-shot of Paul’s life.
I. THE PEOPLE TO WHOM HE PREACHED
THE SINNER (21)
Paul’s first and foremost desire was to reach the lost.
He labored tirelessly to preach the Gospel to those who had not heard.
1 Cor 1:17
17 For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel: not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of none effect.
1 Cor 1:21
21 For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.
Rom 3:23 (all are sinners)
Rom 6:23 (sinners receive death for sin)
Rom 5:8 (God loves the sinner and died for him)
Rom 10:9-10,13 (God will save those who call upon Him)
Paul’s first priority was to reach the lost, but he also realized the necessity of encouraging and challenging the saint.
He did not want to see one of those who had received Christ backslide and become a castaway.
23 If ye continue in the faith grounded and settled, and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel, which ye have heard, and which was preached to every creature which is under heaven; whereof I Paul am made a minister;
24 Who now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ in my flesh for his body's sake, which is the church:
25 Whereof I am made a minister, according to the dispensation of God which is given to me for you, to fulfil the word of God;
26 Even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints:
27 To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory:
28 Whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus:
29 Whereunto I also labour, striving according to his working, which worketh in me mightily.
Paul knew the pressures and suffering that the church must go through and he labored to help those young believers through the tough times for God’s glory.
II. THE PREACHING HE PREACHED (16-19)
GOSPEL IN ALL ITS POWER (19)
When Paul preached it was in the power of the Holy Spirit.
He wanted nothing to come by his power but all power to come from God in the person of the Holy Spirit who dwelt in Paul.
And indeed that power was manifest in Paul’s ministry.
Acts 13:11-12 Strikes a socerer in Paphos of Cyprus
Acts 14:3-4 Various miracles in Iconium
Acts 14:8-18 Heals a cripple in Lystra
Acts 16:16-18 Cures a demonic girl in
Acts 19:11-12 Healing many of diseases and demons
Acts 20:9-10 Raising Eutychus at
Acts 28:8-9 Restores Publius’s father of a fever and healing others on the Isle of Melita
1 Thes 1:5
5 For our gospel came not unto you in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Ghost, and in much assurance; as ye know what manner of men we were among you for your sake.
GOSPEL IN ALL ITS POTENTIAL
The apostle Paul wanted the Gospel to come forth from him and all those who preached with its full power so that all those who heard could benefit.
In order for this to happen Paul had to live what He preached.
1 Cor 9:24-27
24 Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain.
25 And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible.
26 I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air:
27 But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.
For salvation (16-17)
The Apostle Paul wanted the Gospel to reach its full potential through him to salvation of those without Christ.
2 And Paul, as his manner was, went in unto them, and three sabbath days reasoned with them out of the scriptures,
3 Opening and alleging, that Christ must needs have suffered, and risen again from the dead; and that this Jesus, whom I preach unto you, is Christ.
4 And some of them believed, and consorted with Paul and Silas; and of the devout Greeks a great multitude, and of the chief women not a few.
17 And this was known to all the Jews and Greeks also dwelling at
18 And many that believed came, and confessed, and shewed their deeds.
19 Many of them also which used curious arts brought their books together, and burned them before all men: and they counted the price of them, and found it fifty thousand pieces of silver.
20 So mightily grew the word of God and prevailed.
21 After these things were ended, Paul purposed in the spirit, when he had passed through Macedonia and Achaia, to go to Jerusalem, saying, After I have been there, I must also see Rome.
31 Therefore watch, and remember, that by the space of three years I ceased not to warn every one night and day with tears.
13 Then Paul answered, What mean ye to weep and to break mine heart? for I am ready not to be bound only,
but also to die at
1 I say the truth in Christ, I lie not, my conscience also bearing me witness in the Holy Ghost,
2 That I have great heaviness and continual sorrow in my heart.
3 For I could wish that myself were accursed from Christ for my brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh:
For sanctification (18-19)
Paul wanted all those who were saved to reach their full potential for reaching others for Christ.
41 And he went through
7 And upon the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul preached unto them, ready to depart on the morrow; and continued his speech until midnight.
III. THE PLACES HE PREACHED (19-29)
WHERE THERE IS AN OPEN DOOR (22,24,29)
The Apostle Paul was willing to go wherever God opened the door of opportunity.
8 I know thy works: behold, I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it: for thou hast a little strength, and hast kept my word, and hast not denied my name.
1 Cor 16:9
9 For a great door and effectual is opened unto me, and there are many adversaries.
2 Cor 2:12
12 Furthermore, when I came to
WHERE THERE IS A SINCERE DESIRE (26-28)
The Missionary wants to carry the Gospel to those who will receive it.
The People in
They wanted to give to those who had brought the Gospel to them.
9 And a vision appeared to Paul in the night; There stood a man of
10 And after he had seen the vision, immediately we endeavoured to go into
WHERE THERE IS A CERTAIN DEFICIENCY
8 And he went into the synagogue, and spake boldly for the space of three months, disputing and persuading the things concerning the
9 But when divers were hardened, and believed not, but spake evil of that way before the multitude, he departed from them, and separated the disciples, disputing daily in the school of one Tyrannus.
10 And this continued by the space of two years; so that all they which dwelt in
Sometimes taking the Gospel door to door, across the country and throughout the world is done, not because they want to hear, but so that they will be without excuse.
15 And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.
19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:
20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.
It is our responsibility to take the Gospel, it is the responsibility of the Holy Spirit to bring conviction, but it is up to the individual to receive or reject the Gospel.
30 Now I beseech you, brethren, for the Lord Jesus Christ's sake, and for the love of the Spirit, that ye strive together with me in your prayers to God for me;
31 That I may be delivered from them that do not believe in Judaea; and that my service which I have for
32 That I may come unto you with joy by the will of God, and may with you be refreshed.
33 Now the God of peace be with you all. Amen.
Paul then concludes this chapter with a plea for prayer.
For Christ sake, for love of the Spirit, strive (devote serious effort or energy) together in prayer for me.
Pray that I may be delivered from those who do not believe.
That my service may be accepted.
That I may come to you in joy.
That I may be refreshed by your fellowship.
Then Paul prays for his brethren, that they may have the peace of God.