Paul's First Missionary Journey with Map
Brief Overview of the Events in Acts 15
- And certain men came down from Judea and taught the brethren, "Unless
you are circumcised according to the custom of Moses, you cannot be saved."
- Therefore, when Paul and Barnabas had no small dissension and dispute
with them, they determined that Paul and Barnabas and certain others of them
should go up to Jerusalem, to the apostles and elders, about this question.
- So, being sent on their way by the church, they passed through Phoenicia
and Samaria, describing the conversion of the Gentiles; and they caused
great joy to all the brethren.
- And when they had come to Jerusalem, they were received by the church
and the apostles and the elders; and they reported all things that God had
done with them.
- But some of the sect of the Pharisees who believed rose up, saying, "It
is necessary to circumcise them, and to command them to keep the law of
- Now the apostles and elders came together to consider this matter.
- And when there had been much dispute, Peter rose up and said to them:
"Men and brethren, you know that a good while ago God chose among us, that
by my mouth the Gentiles should hear the word of the gospel and believe.
- "So God, who knows the heart, acknowledged them by giving them the Holy
Spirit, just as He did to us,
- "and made no distinction between us and them, purifying their hearts by
- "Now therefore, why do you test God by putting a yoke on the neck of the
disciples which neither our fathers nor we were able to bear?
- "But we believe that through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ we shall
be saved in the same manner as they."
- Then all the multitude kept silent and listened to Barnabas and Paul
declaring how many miracles and wonders God had worked through them among
- And after they had become silent, James answered, saying, "Men and
brethren, listen to me:
- "Simon has declared how God at the first visited the Gentiles to take
out of them a people for His name.
- "And with this the words of the prophets agree, just as it is written:
- 'After this I will return and will rebuild the tabernacle of David,
which has fallen down; I will rebuild its ruins, and I will set it up;
- So that the rest of mankind may seek the Lord, even all the Gentiles who
are called by My name, says the Lord who does all these things.'
- "Known to God from eternity are all His works.
- "Therefore I judge that we should not trouble those from among the
Gentiles who are turning to God,
- "but that we write to them to abstain from things polluted by idols,
from sexual immorality, from things strangled, and from blood.
- "For Moses has had throughout many generations those who preach him in
every city, being read in the synagogues every Sabbath."
- Then it pleased the apostles and elders, with the whole church, to send
chosen men of their own company to Antioch with Paul and Barnabas, namely,
Judas who was also named Barsabas, and Silas, leading men among the
- They wrote this letter by them: The apostles, the elders, and the
brethren, To the brethren who are of the Gentiles in Antioch, Syria, and
- Since we have heard that some who went out from us have troubled you
with words, unsettling your souls, saying, 'You must be circumcised and keep
the law'-- to whom we gave no such commandment--
- it seemed good to us, being assembled with one accord, to send chosen
men to you with our beloved Barnabas and Paul,
- men who have risked their lives for the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
- We have therefore sent Judas and Silas, who will also report the same
things by word of mouth.
- For it seemed good to the Holy Spirit, and to us, to lay upon you no
greater burden than these necessary things:
- that you abstain from things offered to idols, from blood, from things
strangled, and from sexual immorality. If you keep yourselves from these,
you will do well. Farewell.
- So when they were sent off, they came to Antioch; and when they had
gathered the multitude together, they delivered the letter.
- When they had read it, they rejoiced over its encouragement.
- Now Judas and Silas, themselves being prophets also, exhorted and
strengthened the brethren with many words.
- And after they had stayed there for a time, they were sent back with
greetings from the brethren to the apostles.
- However, it seemed good to Silas to remain there.
- Paul and Barnabas also remained in Antioch, teaching and preaching the
word of the Lord, with many others also.
- Then after some days Paul said to Barnabas, "Let us now go back and
visit our brethren in every city where we have preached the word of the
Lord, and see how they are doing."
- Now Barnabas was determined to take with them John called Mark.
- But Paul insisted that they should not take with them the one who had
departed from them in Pamphylia, and had not gone with them to the work.
- Then the contention became so sharp that they parted from one another.
And so Barnabas took Mark and sailed to Cyprus;
- but Paul chose Silas and departed, being commended by the brethren to
the grace of God.
- And he went through Syria and Cilicia, strengthening the churches.
Paul's First Missionary
Journey with Map
Gal 4:4 "But when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His
Son, born of a woman, born under the law"
There is no doubt in what the Word of the Lord says, that Jesus came, "in the
fullness of time." Politically, intellectually, morally, and everything else
in the Graeco-Roman world was ready for the message of the gospel. One note
worth mentioning is that in the gentile world, it is told, there was an
expectation of a great One who about this time would come from Judaea (Tacitus,
History v. 13; Suetonius, Vespas. 4).
When Jesus died on a Roman cross it was not the end but the beginning. His
followers would spread a message called the "gospel" meaning good news
starting in Jerusalem and spreading to the farthest parts of the known world.
Their message was:
Jesus, a lowly Jewish carpenter from the despised city of Nazareth, was
rejected by His own Jewish nation and crucified by the Roman governor was indeed
the Messiah and the Savior of mankind, who rose from the dead and anyone who
would accept Him would be forgiven of all sins and would rise with Him in glory.
Those who spread the message were mostly Jews and were commanded by the Lord to
go to the Jewish brethren first and then to the gentiles. When they entered
Jewish synagogues they were scorned and persecuted by most of the Jews, and even
the Greco-Roman cultures referred to their message as "superstitious rabble."
Yet the Book of Acts reveals that the message about Jesus Christ spread to all
who of those who had open hearts throughout the whole Mediterranean world and,
as Jesus had promised, the Holy Spirit entered hearts and lives.
Around 48 AD, in the springtime, Paul and his companions Barnabas and Mark were
called on a mission by the Holy Spirit and sent out by the church in Antioch.
This would be the first of Paul's Missionary Journey's. In his missions he
preaches the Word, performs many miracles, makes many disciples and raises up
elders for the new Churches. He is also heavily persecuted, yet his life and
ministry is one that has set an awesome example of dedication and courage for
all to remember. You can look at the Map to trace the route of their first
6 Lystra Asia
8 Attalia Asia
Paul's First Missionary Journey
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