Paul's First Missionary Journey Essay

1721 words - 7 pages

Paul’s first missionary journey points to an all loving God that grants salvation to all people and excludes no one. Acts 13:4-14:28 tells of Paul’s first missionary journey and the presentation of the Gospel of Christ to all people everywhere! While in Cyprus, Paul offers the Gospel to more than just the Jews. While preaching in Antioch, Paul experiences the rejection of the Gospel by the Jews. In Icomium and Lystra, Paul preaches to both Jews and Greeks and both groups of people receive the Gospel. Finally, Paul’s missionary journey ends with Paul’s ministry as a church planter proclaiming the Gospel to everyone. Paul’s first missionary journey is not just spreading the Gospel, it is the spreading of the Gospel to both Jew s and Greeks.
During Paul’s mission trip to Cyprus, Paul offered the Gospel of Christ to more than just Jews. Paul offered the Gospel of Christ to anyone who would listen. In Acts 13:4, the beginning of Paul’s first missionary journey is recorded with Paul and Barnabas going to Cyprus. While on the island of Cyprus they went to the town of Paphos where they were confronted by “a sorcerer, a Jewish false prophet names Bar-Jesus.” (Acts 13:6 HCSB) Along with this sorcerer, that was a man named Sergius Paulus. Sergius Paulus, a Gentile, wanted to hear the Gospel of Christ. Therefore, Paul and Barnabas begin telling Sergius Paulus the great message of Christ. The sorcerer, named Elymas, attempted to distract Sergius Paulus and turn him “away from the faith.” (Acts 13:8 HCSB) The story of Sergius Paulus and the sorcerer may seem as if it is unimportant, however, one must note that Paul and Barnabas did not go to Cyprus to minister to the Gentiles. In Acts 13:5, Paul and Barnabas are seen ministering in the Jewish synagogues. God did not want the Gospel of Christ to simply stop with the Jewish people, He desired that all people hear of the saving power of Christ no matter what the cost. Sergius Paulus happens to be the beginning of the great mission God had called Paul and Barnabas to.
Acts 13:9 records the first time that Paul is actually called Paul. Prior to Acts 13:9 Paul is called Saul. What is the significance of this name change? The significance of Saul changing his name to Paul is to better witness to the Roman cities or the Gentiles. Matthew Henry believes that there could be several reasons that Saul’s name was changed to Paul. First, it could be because Paul was Saul’s Roman name given to him at his citizenship. He also believes that it could be something that Paul used as a memorial to remember the conversion of Sergius Paulus. Finally, Matthew Henry believes that Paul could be the name that Sergius Paulus gave to Saul as a thank you. At Sergius Paulus’s conversion, Paul may have finally realized that he is to minister not only to the Jew, but also to the Gentile. This name change could have been Paul’s way of remembering his true calling. Whichever way one may look at the name change of Saul to...

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