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as one who was expert in all customs and questions which are amongst the Jews." Paul pleads that he had as a young man been a Pharisee, the most straitest sect of our religion"; and that he is now judged for the hope of the promise made by God unto our fathers." He then relates how he became a believer in Jesus from being a persecutor, telling the story of his conversion on the road to Damascus, and of the mission given him to go to the Gentiles. He lays great stress on the fact that Moses and the prophets had foretold the sufferings of the Messiah and the Resurrection.
The most important point about these speeches is that St. Paul claims the right to teach Christianity as the true outcome and part of the Jews' own religion. This was because in the Roman Empire every religion had to be registered and receive sanction before it could be practised; the Jews had received this permission, but they would like to have proved that it did not cover the teaching about Jesus; but Paul contends that in Jesus the hope of Israel is fulfilled.
ST. PAUL AND THE CHURCH.
The teaching and practice of St. Paul in the Church may be classed as follows:
Christian Baptism and the Baptism of John.
St. Paul himself was baptized and received the Holy Ghost (ix. 17-18); and we learn that he insisted on the baptism of his own converts, thus Lydia and her household were baptized (xvi. 15), so also the jailor of Philippi and "all his." These two instances show that the entire family was admitted to baptism where the head of the family received the Gospel, and the same thing seems to have happened in the case of Crispus of Corinth (xviii. 8).
St. Paul's teaching concerning Christian baptism is learnt from his references to the Baptism of John at Pisidian-Antioch and at Ephesus.
Both at Antioch and at Ephesus he describes the baptism of John, as it is called in the Gospels, a “baptism of repentance" (xiii. 25; xix. 4); at Ephesus he found on his second visit some who had only received the baptism of John, and ordered them to be baptized "in the name of the Lord Jesus," and then laid his hands on them that they might receive the Holy Ghost; thus he emphasizes the chief points of difference between the two baptisms, viz., Baptism into the Name, and the reception of the Holy Ghost through the laying on of hands.
St. Paul also regarded baptism as washing away sin, since he relates that Ananias urged him after his conversion to "be baptized and wash away thy sins;" and that
he should call on the name of the Lord," which implies some confession of faith on the part of the baptized.
The Breaking of Bread.
We read of this service being held on the first day of the week at Troas; it seems to have been held in the evening (xx. 11), and followed St. Paul's discourse. Paul himself presided at the service.
The Christian Sunday.
The incident at Troas also is the first indication of the observance of Sunday; it is not called the Sabbath, but the first day of the week ; the Sabbath would still mean the Jewish Sabbath on the Saturday.
The Christian Ministry.
St. Paul always provided for the government of the churches he founded; we read that he and Barnabas on their return from the first journey " ordained them elders in every church (xiv. 23). The work of the elders or "bishops (R.V. xx. 28) was "to feed the church of God"; and St. Paul sets before them at Miletus his own ministry as an example. He regards the office as conferred by the Holy Ghost (xx. 28).
Authority in the Church.
St. Paul evidently retained the supreme authority in the churches he founded; in his absence the local elders had charge of the church as at Ephesus.
He recognized the right of the whole body of Apostles and elders to settle questions which affected the whole church, e.g., the circumcision of the Gentile converts (c. xv.); and delivered the decrees of the Council to the churches (xvi. 4).
He also showed respect to the position of James as head of the church at Jerusalem on his last visit to the city (xxi. 18 ff.).
THE ACTS OF ST. BARNABAS.
Barnabas is one of the great connecting links between the two parts of the book. We meet with him first in c. iv., and he passes out of sight at the end of c. xv.
Barnabas is, next to SS. Peter and Paul, perhaps the most important character in the book. St. Luke was evidently very fond of him. He gives to him as to Stephen a most beautiful character: "He was a good man, and full of the Holy Ghost and of faith" (xi. 24).
Barnabas is also the great connecting link between the two great sections of the church, the Jewish and the Gentile Christians; between the church at Jerusalem (the mother-church) and the church at Antioch, the great church of the mission to the Gentiles; he is also
the connecting link between Paul, the Apostle, to the Gentiles and the earlier Apostles.
Although St. Luke drops him out of his history at the end of c. xv. yet it is without a word of reproach; in all the earlier part he has nothing but good to say of him.
We will follow him with St. Luke :
(a) He was by birth a Levite, and a man of Cyprus, therefore a Hellenist. In the opinion of the Twelve he held a high place from the first: they had given him the name Son of Exhortation," or, as the A.V. renders it, Son of Consolation." This shows that he was already taking an active part in the life of the church before he sold his field for the benefit of the needy disciples (iv. 36–37). This liberality of his is placed in contrast with the evil deed of Ananias and Sapphira.
(b) He introduced Saul to the Apostles, after Saul had returned from Damascus. The disciples at Jerusalem were very suspicious of Saul, because he had persecuted them; and they refused to believe that he had been converted (ix. 26). But Barnabas took him to the Apostles, and told them the story, how he had seen the Lord in the way.
(c) His work at Antioch.
After the death of Stephen the believers were scattered and many went right away to Antioch in Syria, and taught there. They also did what had not yet been done. They preached to the Gentiles, or as St. Luke calls them, Greeks. The church at Jerusalem heard of this, and sent Barnabas to take control of the work. St. Luke speaks in the highest terms of what Barnabas did here : When he was come, and had seen the grace of God, [he] was glad; and he exhorted them all, that with purpose of heart they would cleave unto the Lord (xi. 23).
(d) He fetched Saul from Tarsus to help in the work. Barnabas had not forgotten Saul, who had now been some years in his home at Tarsus, in Cilicia. He knew how valuable his help would be to the church at Antioch; so he went to Tarsus and found him out, and took him back with him to Antioch, where they remained teaching for a year (xi. 26).
(e) He went with Saul to Jerusalem to carry alms. About this time, A.D. 44, there was a great famine, which Agabus, a prophet of the church at Antioch, foretold. The brethren at Antioch therefore sent money to the disciples at Jerusalem; and Barnabas and Saul were given the task of taking and distributing it (xi. 27–30; xii. 25). After they had done the work, they returned to Antioch taking with them the cousin of Barnabas, John Mark.
(f) St. Paul's companion on the first missionary journey.
The account of his work with St. Paul is told on p. xviii. See c. xiii.-xiv.
(g) His second visit to Jerusalem with St. Paul. When they arrived back at Antioch, they found that certain of the Jewish Christians from Judæa were at Antioch urging the Gentile converts to submit to circumcision, which the Jews required of all proselytes. Paul and Barnabas said it was not necessary for the converts from heathenism; and after great disputing the church at Antioch sent the two Apostles to the Apostles and elders at Jerusalem to get the question settled. Thus Barnabas was present and spoke at the Council of Jerusalem (xv. 1-5, 12).
(h) His Separation from Paul.
On their return from the Council to Antioch, Paul wanted to visit the churches they had founded on the first journey. Barnabas wished to take his cousin Mark, who had been with them as far as Perga on the former journey; but Paul would not take him because he had left them at Perga, and had gone home (See p. 3). This caused a quarrel between the two Apostles; and they determined to part. Paul went with Silas instead of Barnabas; whilst Barnabas went to Cyprus taking Mark. Here St. Luke leaves him. St. Paul mentions him once in his letter to the Corinthians (1 Cor. ix. 6); and we can believe that the quarrel had by that time been forgotten.
(2) Why St. Luke calls him an St. Luke definitely gives this title to Barnabas and Paul, besides the Twelve (xiv. 14); probably because they were both directly called to their mission by divine revelation (ix. 15; xiii. 2).
ST. PAUL'S COMPANIONS.
First Missionary Journey :-Barnabas and Mark. Mark left them at Perga on the way out. Barnabas and Mark afterwards went without Paul to Cyprus.
Second Journey :-Silas (who was sent from Jerusalem by the Council to Antioch with the decree) and Timothy (whom Paul circumcised because his mother was a Jewess).
At Troas Luke joined them, but left them at Philippi. From Beroa Paul went alone to Athens; Silas and Timothy meeting him at Corinth.
On the return from Corinth Aquila and Priscilla went as far as Ephesus with him.
The Third Journey :-Timothy, Erastus, Gaius and Aristarchus were with Paul at Ephesus; he sent Timothy and Erastus in front of him into Macedonia.
On his return the representatives of the churches were with him at Troas. How far they went we are not sure; but Trophimus was with him at Jerusalem, and probably Aristarchus. They were:
Thessalonica, Aristarchus and Secundus.
Gaius and Timothy.
Luke was also with St. Paul, and went to Jerusalem with him.
Mnason of Cyprus went up from Cæsarea with them.
On the voyage to Rome :-Luke and Aristarchus.
Luke is never mentioned by name: we can tell when he is present by his use of the word "we."
OTHER PERSONS MENTIONED IN THE ACTS (xiii-xxviii).
(i.) From the Old Testament.
ABRAHAM: Paul addresses the congregation at Antioch in Pisidia as the stock of Abraham "(xiii. 26). DAVID: Paul, in the synagogue in Pisidian Antioch, speaks about the choice of David in the place of Saul, and says that of David's seed, God according to promise brought unto Israel a Saviour, Jesus" (xiii. 22-23). He also quotes the words, "I will give you the holy and sure blessings of David" as fulfilled in the resurrection (34); and, like Peter, he mentions that David's body had gone to corruption, but that Christ's had not (35-37).
In James' speech at the council (xv. 16), there is an allusion to "the tabernacle of David, that is fallen," a quotation from Amos (ix. 11).
ESAIAS (Isaiah). Quoted by St. Paul at Rome (xxviii. 25).
MOSES: Paul says in his speech in the synagogue at Pisidian Antioch that by Jesus every one that believeth is justified from all things, from which ye could not be justified by the law of Moses " (xiii. 39).
At Antioch, in Syria, the Jews urged that the Gentile converts must be circumcised after the custom of Moses " (xv. I and 5).
At the council James says, "Moses, from generations of old, hath in every city them that preach him, being read in the synagogues every sabbath" (xv. 21).
Paul is thought by the Jews to have forsaken “ Moses " (xxi. 21).
Paul appeals to Moses as prophesying that the Christ should suffer (xxvi. 22).
Paul expounds to the Jews at Rome out of the "Law of Moses " (xxviii. 23).
SAMUEL: Paul says at Pisidian Antioch that God' gave them judges until Samuel the prophet (xiii. 20). SAUL: King of Israel, mentioned by Paul in his speech in the synagogue in Pisidian Antioch (xiii. 21).
(ii.) Persons connected with the History of the Church.
AGABUS: A prophet of Jerusalem, who went to Antioch. He foretold the famine in the days of the