Acts Chapter Fourteen, Paul's First Missionary Journey...

In our study of Acts chapter fourteen, we look at the first missionary journey of Paul and Barnabas. As we saw in chapter 13, jealousy and opposition broke out against Paul and Barnabas in Antioch so they left for Iconium. This was the start of visits to several cities which is commonly called "Paul's first missionary journey".

Acts 14:1

"At Iconium Paul and Barnabas went as usual into the Jewish synagogue. There they spoke so effectively that a great number of Jews and Gentiles believed." NIV translation

As usual, Paul and Barnabas went to the synagogue to speak to the people. Once again, God used them to reach a large number of the people.

Acts 14:2

"But the Jews who refused to believe stirred up the Gentiles and poisoned their minds against the brothers." NIV translation

Once again, the leaders of the synagogue became jealous and opposed Paul and Barnabas. The leaders did not want to lose their power and influence so they told lies. It was more important to them that they have followers than getting people to follow God. It is much the same in many "churches" of today as many are following a man or a tradition instead of the leading of God through the Holy Spirit. 

(You can read a testimony about escaping from this at Saved From Tradition.)

Acts 14:3

"So Paul and Barnabas spent considerable time there, speaking boldly for the Lord, who confirmed the message of his grace by enabling them to do miraculous signs and wonders." NIV translation

In the face of opposition, God demonstrates his power as Paul and Barnabas were enabled to do "miraculous signs and wonders". You see, by allowing these demonstrations, God was showing the people whose side he was on in this matter. We, as Christians, can take heart from this passage and realize that, when we face opposition, it is God himself who is at work in and through us.

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