Archive for May, 2007

Acts 27:39-28:10 – June 3, 2007

SHIPWRECK ON THE WAY TO ROME – PART 4 (verses 39-44) and A FRIENDLY EXCHANGE AT MALTA (verses 1-10)

Each study will have an error in one of the questions. It is our duty as believers to test everything that we read or hear with the Bible. So this will be a mini exercise in testing what is being said in class.

Q1) In verse 41, how did the front part of the ship get broken?

Clues)    This was the trick question.  It was actually the back part of the ship.

Discussion)    It got broken by being beat upon by the waves as they were going into the bay of Malta.

Q2) In Acts 27:11, Julius the centurion ignored what Paul had to say and believed the ship owner instead. Now read Acts 27:43. Why do you think the centurion was willing to listen to Paul’s advice now and help him?

Discussion)    The is a two part answer.  Firstly Paul had been right in everything that he had said was going to happen.  Secondly when he was right and others were wrong he did not hold it over them.  He was more concerned about the person than who was right or wrong. 

Q3) Why are the inhabitants of this island called barbarous people?

Discussion)    These were not barbarians in the sense that we would think of barbarians today.  Here the term barbarians refers to any group of people that did not speak Greek.

Q4) We see in verse 3 that Paul wasn’t above doing menial tasks. He had a servants heart. How did he display his servant hood in verse 3?

Discussion)    He showed the servant’s heart that he had by gathering firewood for the fire.  We would say that Paul was important, but yet he showed that no matter how far God takes you that you are not above doing anything menial.  That includes taking out the garbage, washing bathrooms, mowing the lawn, shoveling the sidewalk, whatever it takes to help people see that they need Jesus.

Q5) In verse 3-5 we see that a snake bit Paul and even fastened onto his hand. What did the natives think about this in verse 4?

Discussion)    They thought that Paul was a murderer since he was being “judged” by a snake biting him.  

Q6) The chief of the islands’ name was Publius. He was kind to the entire shipwrecked bunch by lodging, warming, and feeding them for three days. What encounter with God did these island people have through Paul?

Discussion)    Through the Lord acting through Paul, the father of Publius was healed of sickness and dysentery.  This was a hug moment in the lives of the people of Malta.

LIFE APPLICATION: In light of Paul’s life, why is it important for believers to know the Word of God, to know God’s promises, and to know and wlak with Him closely?

Discussion)    Here we brought everything together.  We need to put ourselves in the shoes of Paul, who wrote that we are to be ready in season and out of season.  Here we see that Paul could of complained about the shipwreck, being bit by a snake, then being lost on an island no one knew about.  Instead after he was shipwrecked he made sure that the fire had more fuel for it.  When he got bit by the snake he made sure that no one thought that he was a god.  This opened up the door for the natives to take him to Publius who then after three days had Paul pray for his father.  What we would see as road blocks or horrible times, Paul saw as opportunities to further the kingdom of God.

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May 27, 2007 at 10:31 pm Leave a comment

Acts 27:27-38 – May 27, 2007

SHIPWRECK ON THE WAY TO ROME – PART 3 (verses 27-38)

Each study will have an error in one of the questions. It is our duty as believers to test everything that we read or hear with the Bible. So this will be a mini exercise in testing what is being said in class.

Q1) How did the crew and passengers finally discover they were near land?

Discussion)    It was discussed that most mariners can usually tell when they are near land.  Since this is their profession it is natural for them to know when they are near land (whether they hear the waves crashing next to the rocks or can tell by the rapidity of the tides we do not know).  We want to remember here that this is at the end of the fourteen days of being tossed to and fro on the waves without being able to see the sun or the stars.

We also talked about verse 28 were the mariners took soundings.  They did not have the sonar technology that we are accustomed to today, but they did have a sounding where they dropped a rope with an anchor and when it hit bottom, the rope told how deep it was.

Q2) In verse 29, why do you think they dropped the four anchors?

Discussion)  For stability since dropping only one anchor would have either meant that the ship would be sent in a spiraling motion or that the one anchor rope would have broken off.  

We also talked about how in verse 28, towards the end, that it says we prayed for day to come (the KJV says we wished).  This fits with the classic phrase that there are no atheists in fox holes.  In other words we see that during great hardship and trials that much praying is done.

Q3) In verse 30, who did the shipmen think of first? Read Philippians 2:3-4, Romans 12:10, Romans 15:2-3, and I Corinthians 13:4-5. What does Jesus tell us to do?

Discussion)    The mariners were thinking of themselves first.  With the Scriptures that were read and what Paul did later in this chapter we see that we are to put others first above ourselves.

Q4) Why do you think the soldiers leave the ropes alone in verse 32?

Clues)    This is the trick question.  The soldiers cut the ropes to get in verse 32.

Discussion)   The soldiers cut the rope to the lifeboat because one of two reasons in that the either got caught trying to escape or it was weight that the captain wanted to get off of the ship.
Q5) In verses 33 and 34, in what ways does Paul encourage the people?

Discussion)    He encourages the people (all 276 of them) by letting them know that they are not going to die and giving them all something to eat.  There was some conversation about whether the mariners were sick or not for the 14 days.  There is one mode of thinking that they were not since they were used to this.  Another mode of thinking states that they were since they did not eat and they did not usually sail at this time of the year.  In any case it is true that they did not eat for 14 days so this was a great thing that Paul did.

Q6) After Paul gave thanks for the food he began to eat – then all 276 people on board began to eat. Then in verse 38, it says they had eaten plenty and cast the wheat into the sea. Why?

Discussion)    They got rid of the wheat because they lightened the load of the ship.

LIFE APPLICATION: Here Paul is still a prisoner and anchored on an unknown shore. But he begins to talk to the people and gives thanks to God for the food they do have. What is Paul’s attitude here? How can we be a Godly example or influence others toward the Lord, both to the saved and unsaved?

Discussion)    Paul could have easily gotten bitter since no one on the ship had wanted to listen to him in the first place.  Instead the captain gave him the opportunity to speak to the whole ship.  Instead of forcing their need for Jesus as their Savior (which everyone needs) he attended to their physical needs which was to feed everyone.  At times we are to attend to the physical needs of a person before the spiritual needs (make sure that we are always listening to what God, Jesus, and/or the Holy Spirit say).  This will always open the door to attending to the spiritual needs of a person.

May 20, 2007 at 7:53 pm Leave a comment

Acts 27:13-26 – May 20,2007

SHIPWRECK ON THE WAY TO ROME – PART 2 (verses 13-26)

Each study will have an error in one of the questions. It is our duty as believers to test everything that we read or hear with the Bible. So this will be a mini exercise in testing what is being said in class.

Q1) What is Euroclydon in verse 14?

Discussion)    The Euroclydon (or in some translations it is called the Euraquilo) is the convergence of the winds from the Aegen sea and the Adriatic Sea that meet around Crete.  These winds that meet cause a tempestuous wind that most sea bearing vessels could not survive.  This wind only happened in the winter months.  We also looked at Jonah 1:4 and this was the same wind that caused havoc on the ship that Jonah boarded to go to Tarshish.

Q2) In verse 15, when their ship ran adrift, they all had a meeting and decided to go ashore here. Why?

Clues)    This was the trick question.  They did not have a meeting but they let the ship take its course.

Discussion)    They did this because there was no way at this time that they could steer the ship, so they let it (in this verse) take its course until they made it near Clauda, then they brought the life boat in then put the steering anchor out and brought the sails down to have the ship go away from land.

Q3) In verses 17-19 it describes the work the crew decided to do to try and prevent shipwreck and loss of life. In what ways are we sometimes like this boat and crew, and how can we remedy it?

Discussion)    This is a dual purpose.  First of all this is a sign of forgiveness that when we ask Jesus to forgive our sins and truly give them to Him then there is a load of burden that comes off of us.  Secondly it is a picture that there are times when we come to difficult situations that we try to take the burdens on ourself instead of going directly to Jesus.  

Q4) In verse 24, Paul is encouraging the crew and other prisoners. Remember, he is still a prisoner and he tried to warn them of a shipwreck and loss of life, but they refused to listen. Now he is telling them to cheer up, none of you will die, only the ship will be lost. How can he be so patient and kind at a time like this?

Discussion)    He did not harp on that he was right, instead he gave them encouraging words that everyone will be safe.  He was displaying the fruit of the Spirit.

Q5) How did Paul know there would be NO loss of life?

Discussion)    An angel visited him and told him so.

Q6) Why was Paul so positive they would NOT die in this storm?

Discussion)    Because the angel told him so.

LIFE APPLICATION: What “natural” or “fleshly” reactions might Paul have had towards this crew that we ourselves have probably gone through? How can these “fleshly” reactions be changed or avoided?

Discussion)    We need to encourage others when they do go through difficult times, even though it may be their own doing that the difficult times come.  Yes we can say that we told them so, but do not camp out in that place, since that is not encouraging but self-edification.

May 13, 2007 at 8:05 pm Leave a comment

April 27:1-12 – May 13, 2007

SHIPWRECK ON THE WAY TO ROMEPART 1 (verses 1-12)

Each study will have an error in one of the questions. It is our duty as believers to test everything that we read or hear with the Bible. So this will be a mini exercise in testing what is being said in class.

Q1) Who is the “we” in verse 1?

Discussion)    The we in verse 1 means that Luke is now on board the ship.

We stopped here that this was a reunion of sorts for Paul.  Not only had Luke shown up on the ship but also Aristarchus from verse 2 is on the ship.  This is the same person that was thrown in jail in Ephesus in Acts 19:29 and Paul mentions him as a fellow prisoner in Colossians 4:10.  We can see here that not only was Paul persecuted for a long time in prison that Aristarchus was also.

Q2) In verse 3, why do you think that Julius gave Paul freedom to go and visit friends?

Discussion)  First of all the favor of God was shown upon Paul through Julius.  The way that Julius treated Paul so nicely either Julius was a Christian or he found that Paul the prisoner was extremely trustworthy.

Q3) Verse 9 mentions that the Fast was already over and sailing was dangerous at this time. What time of the year is it?

Discussion)    This means that it was the beginning of winter time in which the northern winds were blowing which was very harsh on ships.

Q4) How or why would Paul know anything about sea travel and warn them about sailing during this time of the year? (Read II Corinthians 11:25)

Discussion)    According to this verse Paul had been shipwrecked two times beforehand so he knew quite a bit about sailing.

Q5) What advice do you think Paul gave Julius and the captain/owner of the ship?

Discussion)  The advice was not a word of knowledge but a word of experience.  Notice that in verse 10 Paul states that everyone would lose their life.  That means all on board, including him, which is contrary to what God had promised him earlier.  We need to be very careful of words of experience because they can have doom and gloom in them and not be true words of knowledge from God.

Q6) The captain/owner of the ship listened to Paul and immediately tied up his boat and stayed in Fair Havens. Then what happened?

Clues)    This was the trick question.

Discussion)  Instead the owner decided to press on instead of docking at the harbor since it was not suitable to dock at.

LIFE APPLICATION: What are some of the adversities Paul has to deal with in this lesson? What are we to do when we face some of the same adversities, when life gives us strormy seas – windy weather – everything we try to do, everywhere we go, there is another storm to pass through? When the Lord has us warn someone of impending doom and they don’t believe us what should we do?

Discussion)    We need to make sure that we do not take this personally.  If we take anything personally, then that will allow bitterness to come in which will then allow offenses or sicknesses to happen.

May 6, 2007 at 8:43 pm Leave a comment


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