Introduction

Introduction to Epistles 1

Epistles I is a survey of the following Pauline Epistles: I & II Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians, and Colossians.

Paul completed at least three missionary journeys:

  1. (A.D. 46-49)  Journey to Galatia - Acts 13-14
  2. (A.D. 50-52) Journey to Greece - Acts 15-18
  3. (A.D. 53-58) Journey to Asia and Greece  - Acts 18-21

Paul wrote Epistles for churches he had help establish or visited during his missionary journeys.

The Pauline epistles can be ordered as following:

  1. (A.D. 50-51) 1 & 2 Thessalonians 
  2. (~A.D. 50-56) Galatians 
  3. (A.D. 56) 1  & 2 Corinthians 
  4. (A.D. 57-58) Romans 
  5. (A.D. 60-62) Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, Philemon ; during 2 year captivity in Rome
  6. (~A.D. 65) 1 & 2 Timothy 
  7. (~A.D. 63-66) Titus and Hebrews 
  8. (~A.D. 65-67) Traditionally, Paul was beheaded in Rome

Paul's Second Missionary Journey

 

Let us set the scene for the epistles in our study by taking a brief look at Paul's Second Missionary Journey (Acts Chapters 15-18). After this foundation is laid, we will begin a study on the epistles or letters that Paul wrote to the churches. Paul's Second Missionary Journey was between A.D. 50 to A.D. 52.

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Revisiting Churches (15:36)

Acts 15:36 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.

Paul and Barnabas determined to go and visit the Believers in cities they had already preached, but sharp contention arose between them about John Mark. The dispute concluded with Barnabas taking John Mark with him to Cyprus and Paul taking Silas with him through Syria and Cilicia confirming the churches. From this dispute we can observe that personal conflicts are often harder to deal with than doctrinal differences.

Came to Derbe and Lystra (16:1)

Timothy joins Paul and Silas. Timothy must have been very young at this time for years later he was still admonished in I Timothy 4:12 to let no man despise his youth. Paul had a history at Lystra for it was there he was stoned to death according to Acts 14:1. Paul delivered the decrees as ordained by the apostles and elders and the churches were established in the faith and increased daily. With all false doctrines spreading among the early church, Paul's visit with his solid doctrinal message was very timely.

Phrygia & Galatia. (16:6)

Forbidden to preach in Asia.

Mysia. (16:7)

Suffered not to go to Bithynia by the Holy Spirit

Troas. (16:9)

Paul is learning to follow the leading of the Spirit. A vision of the Macedonian call—a man saying"Come over and help us."

Samothracia, Neapolis and then Philippi. (16:11-13,23-37)

Prayer meeting at the river side. New convert is Lydia. Paul cast out a devil out of a woman. Paul and Silas beaten and cast into prison. Paul and Silas sing and praise at the midnight hour. Everyone's bands were loosed. The jailer was saved. Paul being a Roman asked them to come to him. Paul was asked to leave.

Amphipolis, Apollonia and then Thessalonica (17:1-5,13)

Reasoned three days out of the Scripture on the risen Christ. Some Jews believed and a great multitude of Greeks believed. Some Jews rejected the Gospel. Paul and Silas sent to Berea.

Berea Thessalonica. (17:13,11)

Jews stirring up the people. Timothy and Silas stay at Berea while they send Paul to Athens. Bereans searched the Scriptures daily.

Athens. (17:16-22,34)

Paul's spirit stirred because of the idolatry. The Epicurean and Stoic philosophers brought Paul to Areopagus. Mar's Hill sermon.

Corinth. (18:1-11)

Paul meets Aquila and Priscilla and teaches in the synagogue every Sabbath and Silas and Timothy came to Corinth. Some opposed and some believed. A night vision. Paul teaches in Corinth for a year and a half..

Ephesus. (18:18,19,21)

Left Priscilla and Aquila here. Reasoned with the Jews in the Synagogue and bade them farewell.

Jerusalem (18:21,22)

Landed at Caesarea and went to Jerusalem

Antioch. (18:22;14:26-28)

Saluted the Church and reported the results as he had done after his first journey (Acts 14:27).