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A Tale of Three Cities

The Bible Study Hour / James Boice
The Truth Network Radio
September 3, 2020 8:00 am

A Tale of Three Cities

The Bible Study Hour / James Boice

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September 3, 2020 8:00 am

Another city, another Sabbath, another synagogue, another sermon. Ah, the life of a traveling evangelist! And in each new city, Paul and his companions see a pattern: enthusiastic crowds but also hostile opponents; the seed of a new church but also growing persecution.

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Another city, another Sabbath and another synagogue. Another sermon it's the life of a traveling evangelist and in each new city. Paul and his companions see a pattern, enthusiastic crowds, but also hostile opponents seed of a new church but also growing persecution welcome to the Bible study our radio and Internet program with Dr. James Boyce preparing you to think and act biblically the next 14 Luke tells what happened is Paul and his friends visited three more cities and started retracing their steps to head back to their home church after at least two years on the road. Let's listen now to Dr. Boyce are returning to our study of the book of acts, and we've come to the 14th chapter chapter which tells about Paul's ministry and an area of Turkey, which in his day was called Galatea dollars a great base in biblical circles about Galatea and how that term is used in the New Testament doesn't affect where Paul traveled course because the author of acts, Luke, who turned out to be Paul's companion. Later on in his journey makes it very clear he went to Antioch and Presidio which is different from Antioch in Syria from which he started out and then from Antioch and Presidio. He went to the three cities of I chromium blister and Derby and this chapter tells about the ministry in those cities, so there's no doubt about where he went. The question is when he later came to write the book that bears the name of Galatea was that word chosen as the term Galatea with a view to the old ethnic area of Turkey northern area of Galatia, or was it a term chosen with reference to the Roman area that was known by that name that embraced the larger area to the south.

Now if it was the former, it's referring to the old ethnic Galatea wherever people closely related to the balls came from and also people that spread westward in Europe. Then we have no more information about that in the book of acts. Paul just didn't travel there so far as we know he must have if that's true, because he wrote a letter but we don't have any information about on the other hand, if that term can be used to embrace the Roman province of Galatia which included the South then these are the cities that he visited and when later we come to read the book of Galatians we should understand that he's writing about Christians that he left behind in the cities of I chromium blister and Derby. Now it's a debate that is raged back and forth and there are strong arguments on each side. I hold to a southern Galatian view, because I think what we find here in this chapter relates very closely to what we find in the book of Galatians and I say that because everyone understand what's happening here. We get more than a picture just from this chapter we find Paul writing later to these people, we find they had difficulties, and yet even at a later date, in spite of the fact that they had been on their own for many years and had been subjected to the false teaching they nevertheless were true church and they did remain strong and were a source of strength for the expansion of the Christian missionary enterprise for many many centuries, the ancient church Asia minor was a real fortress for Christianity, now we find when we come to this 14th chapter that we are in the basic pattern that Luke intends us to understand was characteristic of most of this missionary activity. We already seen it and Antioch, and now we see it in each of these three cities when Luke says at the beginning of the chapter I Tony and Paul and Barnabas went as usual in the Jewish synagogue by the use of that word. As usual, suggesting that here there is a pattern merely in the fact that he went into the synagogue but basically in terms of how we operated and what kind of a response to God going through it because were going to see it again and again.

First of all, that was the preaching. Sometimes people today are so interested in miracles that they almost give the impression that if you want to be effective today or at any other time in church history.

The thing to do is to go into a community and do miracles and then after you get attention by doing miracles. Then you have an open door for the preaching of the gospel in these early days, God did accompany the apostles by miracles. It was a way they were authenticated as messengers from God. In an age when it was no New Testament to verify the message that they preached. It is interesting that even in the case of the apostles.

I did not go into the cities and do miracles and then preach but rather it was the other way around always wanted to preach first benefit please God are often healings is received brought in the story.

Blister of, but not necessarily everywhere, and not necessarily certainly not the thing of greatest importance as I say, the miracles verified that they were messengers from God. That's why Paul in one place can speak of signs and wonders. The things of the company and apostle trying to point out that important connection. But as I say, even in the case of the apostles.

What mattered was the preaching of the word. So that's what you find them doing and they do it in each of the cities.

Secondly, there was a division when the word was preached always does produce a division of that happened in Paul's ministry just as it happened in the ministry of Jesus Christ and as it happens when the word of God is preached today. That's because when the word of God comes into a dark area. Whether that is the human heart and environment. It does what likes God's will, either on the one hand, because the creatures of the dark evildoers to scatter because as our Lord said they cannot stand before the lights or else it will warm the heart and bring forth the fruits of spiritual life which God has already put their when Paul went into the synagogue as was his custom on the Sabbath day and began to preached always produced a division were those who heard it believed were those who heard it resisted the message and when as proved to be the case. He had to leave the synagogue go out into the Gentile community some cases, making it very plain that he was making that movement, shaking off the dust of his feet against the synagogue as a witness to the people in the synagogue the same thing happened to the Gentile world where people would believe then there were others who wouldn't and we see that pattern throughout and the third thing we notice in this typical development of the ministry in these Greek cities is that there was persecution. First of all, of the vision you say, but then on the side of the rejection of the message, a rejection that became so intense it eventually resulted in persecution. So again and again in these cities, we find the story ending by the fact that people from this area are from that area were Jews from the city or that city of the Gentiles, stirred up by other people moved against wall and he had to flee the and his associates and so they went by. That means from city to city Benicia for thing in the final thing that is very important we see that that is in spite of the division in spite of the persecution, they always left behind him a growing church.

Let's look at these three cities beginning with I chromium I spoke of for parts of this pattern preaching the division persecution and growth of the church. But when we come to the story of Paul's work and I chromium. What we have emphasized here is the division which ends in persecution division is explained at some length Jews first to refuse to believe stirred up the Gentiles and poisoned their minds against the brothers, how we shouldn't be surprised at that. As I've said, Lord himself indicated that only Diddy demonstrated in his own life when he said I am the light of the world and he showed how the light of the world affects those upon whom it falls, but he also said quite openly when he was speaking about his kingdom that the preaching of the word will always produce a variety of results and that's very true in our day were to certainly preach people here at all times on the radios and televisions and books and pamphlets, newspapers together so much of the devils work around justice snatching up.

No sooner does that begin to seem to be known to people than the devil is there to snatch away, other things come in and just take its place. Sometimes people hear it and it's like that seen falling on rocky soil springs up, but the sooner this life gets tough, the sooner some of the persecutions that accompany the Christian life of the hardships that accompany the Christian life comes the person who has made a profession seem to be alive in Christ.

That person fades away and sometimes the forms which are the cares of the world choke it out. It's only enough force of the instances of your supposed to divide us up percentage wise 25% of the time would save the Lord is saying that the word actually falls upon good soil, but when it falls upon good soil, look, this is what's encouraging when it falls on good soil, soil, and God is prepared to spring up and it does bear fruit, and it bears fruit.

That is, to the glory of God. Well, that's what happened here and I chromium. The division is emphasized. But although there was much persecution undoubtedly some who at the beginning seem to respond later follow I never let some of it really fell in soil that God had previously prepared. That took root and grow and that was life, and fruit. So they came back later. They found a church in the city of I chromium now. We passed a list and from there to derby.

But as we do, we pass, figuratively speaking.

Verse six I call your attention to verse six because it was a very significant verse in the life of Sir William Ramsey, whom I have mentioned already several times in the study is a great student of the book backs and of Paul's travels. Sometimes people say well you know you're talking about verses are going to make a difference in people's lives and for which there converted. You have to narrow it down to a few is it said salvation versus verses like John 316, and so on. Who would think that a man could be converted by verse like this they found out about it and fled to the likely insidious of Lucifer and Derby and the surrounding country where they continue to preach the good news. Now that's the case of this man Ramsey. This, together with other verses really produced a transformation in his thought that brought into a high trust in the reliability of Scripture and the price that it proclaims the Ramsey was a scholar very great classic scholar somewhat like the man sleep a lot who discovered Troy in his own century. Ramsey came from Scotland and because classic scholars in those days… I'd like to go visit the countries they were studying.

Ramsey set out for Asia minor. We call Turkey and nobody knew much about Turkey in those days as matter fact speaking even a normal company today, very few people today would know much about Turkey most days was a lot harder. Travel was difficult the road so many places didn't even existence. If you're thinking not only of the way the world was in the 19th century, but if you're thinking back into the past people does have very little idea of how that was the time of Jesus Christ was a problem there in the thinking of most people.

Scholars in those days slot because of some of the ancient records and boundary stones and been found that the border between the city and like chromium fell between the cities of Lestrade and dirty. Now that's all right, nobody would think twice about that.

After all, batteries could be anywhere they please. But the problem is that when Luke wrote this he said that they found out about it and fled to the Lycoming in the cities of Lester and Derby. In other words, Luke is putting Lister and Derby in the same province to province of Lycoming. The boundary came between the two cities was inaccurate.

At that point now. Ramsey had been brought up in all the liberalism of the 19th century believe the liberalism we went out there. He began to retrace the steps of Paul studying the cities the roads were there the Roman roots see why Paul went where he did and what he did that, the more he discovered he discovered that Paul was not arbitrary and what he did he follow very rational principles for the expansion of the gospel.

Given the communities he was to reach and when he got to these two cities of Lucifer and Derby discovered deed that there was a boundary stone. The other seemed to indicate a division between the toe, but he also discovered something else. He discovered that it been moved wasn't where it was originally and this stimulated his imagination. He began to search it out more carefully and if you read today. It was published in 1895, but still perhaps the best study of this area that exists in the English language, and perhaps any language to be read today is book entitled St. Paul traveler and the Roman citizens got to his account of Paul's ministry here and I chromium Lister and Derby. You'll find them pointing out that Luke is remarkably accurate.

Once again, at this point because as he said these two cities were in the same province.

The province of Lycoming between the years 37 and 72 a day but not before, and not afterwards those of the years. Of course Paul was there find that again and again as you study this great book sort of thing that has been written about FF Bruce wrote about the New Testament documents are they reliable. He talks about the extraordinary reliability of Luke as in story I sometimes say if you want to seem very wise and popular today make a career of criticizing the Bible show all the places where modern scholarship shows it's wrong. That is if you're not afraid of looking very foolish. About 2530 4050 years from now, and perhaps much sooner, but you want to look wise in the future and are not unwilling to be thought foolish by the wise of this generation. Then you take your stand on this book and you'll find the same sort of things that Ramsey and others have found both before and since the same story. By the way that that took place in the case of William Foxwell Albright, the great archaeologists he started out as a very liberal man but as he investigated the sites he discovered the Old Testament text because his interest was largely the Old Testament. That they were accurate as well. Anyway, become the Lister verse eight, and here we have a miracle now someone is going to say isn't that a contradiction of what you said earlier you said when all Barnabas others as they later traveled with them went into a city always began to preach first and they did the miracles afterwards.

If God chose to do miracles which he didn't do always here we come to verse eight. It starts off with a man crippled in speech well know this is not an exception because when you come to verse nine you read this, he listened to Paul as he was speaking Luke and telling the story begins with reference to the man because he wants to tell about the healing because it led all the events that is going to tell about in this most lengthy paragraph of the chapter, but it didn't begin with the healing and began speaking all did the same thing he always did. He went into the city began to preach while he was preaching he noticed this lame man there who was giving great attention to what he was saying all a great perception as Peter others before them did as he looked this man in the context of his preaching. He saw that he had faith.

Sometimes you can do that today. I recall that Dick Lucas gave story and which he was preaching in one of the medical centers in London and saw a man looking at them so intensely. He was sure that the man really was intent upon his words and was on the verge of becoming a Christian about one already, and when he talked to them afterwards. He discovered the opposite was the case man said.

I believe the things you were preaching, so I suppose today even in the case of a man obviously is perceptiveness is Dick Lucas, that we don't have infallible insight in that the apostle Paul had good insight.

Maybe the apostles have special insight. Certainly, Peter did earlier in very similar story iritis ball looked at him. We are told in that same verse, Paul saw that he had faith to be healed that's different than the story of the healing of the lame man in chapter 3 doesn't say that a man had faith to be healed, and was baking in that instance held out his copies and give me something and Peter replied, silver and gold I do not have what I do have I give you the name of Jesus of Nazareth rise and walk. There was a miracle de novo, as it were, out of nothing, based on the man's part so far as we can see God just did it and any use that is the occasion for a great sermon of Peterson Jerusalem was that way here similarities the external circumstances, but here we are told that as Paul looked at that man while he was speaking while he was preaching the gospel he saw that the man believed it was a strong faith in the true faith, so he turned to him and said stand up on your feet and at that man jumped up and began to walk the responses the same. You say is, in the case of chapter 30. The situation is different now. When Paul passed to this area. He must've passed into an area where he didn't understand the language most everywhere, everybody spoke Greek, even if that wasn't the native language in Antioch and Presidio. Presumably that was the dominant language, but now here you say is in an area like owning a where there speaking their native tribal language, and so when the miracle takes place and the people begin to babble on about it.

Paul and Barnabas, who were there at first don't understand what's going on. I did notice that the people are impressed.

The date would be. Here's a great miracle when the people are saying in their language. The gods of come down to us in human form. Paul and Barnabas just didn't understand what they were saying their proceeding on their way, not really understanding what's going on when before very long. Here comes a procession out of the city toward them. The priest local temple leading an animal that has been made ready to sacrifice must've said to themselves all look here we have, the feast day, the holy religious day here they are practicing their pagan rights.

Isn't that too bad we have to speak to them about this in due time. Then they discover as we fly to their horror, the people were coming out to do sacrifice to them, why do that well because they believed, as we discover Barnabas Zeus the greatest of all the gods in human form and Paul was the chief speaker was Hermes or Mercury, the spokesman for the gods they were coming out to worship them now isn't surprising that they did this. I guess this could've happened in any ancient city but we do know something very interesting about this area something the law that writes in his metamorphoses, but in his metamorphoses has a lot of stories that have to do with changes people being changed in one thing or another in one place in the metamorphoses all the tells a story the concerns is very area of Asia minor. It would seem according all the story of Zeus and Hermes came to visit Valley Valley right near here from door-to-door and as they went from door-to-door the people didn't want take the men they just look like common people.

Even poor people and the people of this area were most inhospitable. Finally, they came to one poor little house occupied by a man named Philemon the same name as the runaway slave, though obviously not the same person and his wife focus as this elderly poor. Couple did receive Zeus and Hermes, so they stayed the night and then morning Zeus and Hermes took the couple up out of the city to a mountain and while they were there in the mountain. I turned around and looked back and they saw that Susan Hermes two gods had flooded the entire valley drowning all the people that live there while they were looking on this poor couple Philemon of Bacchus saw that the gods had transformed their poor hovel into a great temple with the glittering gold roof now stories and undoubtedly circulated how it is in the local community of something of any national or international importance as happened in your community. That's sort of thing that everybody knows everybody talks about a did you know that Grace Kelly was born right here in Philadelphia. Did you know that this is the home of Dr. J did you know that's the way people talk about their hometown and undoubtedly that story was known here in Liska well you see if a miracle had been done. It might very well be according to their thinking, Zeus and Hermes had returned and if they had returned. The last thing in the world these people in Liska wanted to do was offend them because they know what happened the last time Zeus and Hermes came so here they are a great big festival procession ready to do these two men on her and then Paul and Barnabas discover what's going on. We find that their aghast verse 14 when the apostles Barnabas and Paul heard of this lake tour there closed and they rushed into the crowd shouting and why are you doing this, we too are only men human like you. We're bringing you good news, telling you to turn from these worthless things to the living God, I can't help but think how different that was from the way the Lord Jesus Christ responded to such praise.

Recall that in the 20th chapter of John after his resurrection, some doubted the resurrection was convinced on this occasion by the appearance of the Lord himself fell at his feet and said, my Lord and my God. Jesus did not say as Paul and Barnabas did all know know why are you doing this, you're making a very big mistake.

I am human just like you.

Quite the contrary, Jesus received the worship and he said Thomas and you believe you're blessed for believing, but those who believe without seeing that is live in our day.

You haven't actually seen the person of the risen Christ. There even more blessed he received the honor to say because it was God. He was more than man.

Yet here Paul and Barnabas, though they are ambassadors for the living God very anxious that people not to the water.

I think we need to learn from this.

Today, particularly Christians that are in prominent places the more prominent you are, the more people look up to you.

I don't know why it is probably all preachers. I don't know why God doesn't do this, but all preachers should be made short, ugly, balding, and whatever other repulsive characteristic. They may have.

I suspect it would not be very unveiling because of something about standing in a podium, you know, even if you're a tiny little man when you stand up here with a microphone in front of you have big voice.

Well, seems like something and ministers get carried away with that they have in all ages, and more so perhaps in our day because the media are there to blow it all up and out in the 19th century to speak with the big boys should be a preacher but I usually have to be a big voice microphone and you're having trouble as I am tonight having trouble with my voice leaders lean little closer and you're alright so that media blow things up today and this microphone will do it with a radio makes it even more so. And God forbid television is the most impressive of all is very easy to get carried away with that and say well yes it's true I'm not Jesus of course don't anybody think that but I am close. I know them well and that if you want to know what he really thinks will you ask me, and I'll ask about Jesus.

The word for these people. He asked them because of their Bible -like title are you and everybody's looking at them very easy to do that we have to learn from this. I mentioned preachers because I am one. But you know the same thing is true of people who are not preachers were Christians. You can get into a position with somebody whom you're explaining things begins look up to you as if you had the answers of the greatest lessons you can learn in the Christian life is you don't have any answers at all mentioned Dick Lucas earlier when I first heard him speak of her stomach never heard him speak was at the Keswick convention 5000 people there to hear speakers and medication, all waiting for some great part of the Lord, and he stood up. The first thing he said was I don't have any message for you what he meant was I don't have any message for you is that the only message we have is the message God has given us in the book and that's what I come to teach. We need to learn that because we learned that then we have taken a position of humility before God, and God blesses his word.

God loves his word God, who says in his word.

I have set my word about my name.

God will bless that word and lead people to face. Well that's what happened in this occasion Paul began to preach, it's a short sermon. No doubt Lucas condensed it got a comparative that is the sermon of this chapter of the sermon of chapter before the sermon of chapter 13, was preached in the synagogue were largely Jewish audience you notice as you read that how many times he quotes the Old Testament how we begins God's great acts in the Old Testament time and God's great acts in Jesus Christ things I was calling the charisma the Old Testament great in the New Testament correctly when we were talking about that chapter is what he does here is speaking here to a Gentile audience. A pagan audience, an audience of any knowledge of the Scriptures we can talk about God's great acts in the Old Testament. With his people Israel. I would know what he was talking about.

So it picks up the point at which they did have understanding and it which they were accountable speaks of God is the God of creation God who made heaven and earth and see everything in them in the God of Providence got a blessing.

He is not left you without testimony you shown kindness by giving you rain from heaven and crops in their seasons provide you with plenty of food and fills your hearts with joy.

I don't know because the sermon breaks off. At that point whether Lucas shortening it and Paul actually went on a medication to preach the gospel, or whether the situation was so out of hand that he couldn't get any further does seem to indicate the latter because he says versus 18. Even with these words, they had difficulty keeping the crowd from sacrificing to them whether he preached on that occasion or later, he certainly did get to the gospel because they began to believe the same divisions that happen elsewhere happen there and eventually as we read the persecution came as a result of trouble came from Jews traveling there from Antioch and I coning them. The crowd was one over the same crowd who days before was ready to worship them as Zeus and Hermes everyone over and they stoned Paul and dragged him out of the city, thinking he was dead walked fickle people. They were yet no difference in people in our time, people are very very fickle at all times. I intended to say, especially Americans, I am attempted to say, especially Americans living in our decade or so tuned into the latest fad and we passed from one thing to the others why it makes Christian work so difficult. She's hopefully something like this, read it. That's the way they treated Paul here, there, ready to worship him one moment send their killing in the next just as they did with his master. Hallelujah, here's the one who comes in the name of the Lord and then crucified him crucified him sleep. That's the way people are and if anything of any permanence. If wives are to be changed if that seed is the ball into the soil and bear fruit, do it year after year. It's going to be by the grace of God say that humbles us because it means is not by our wisdom is not because we have the answers. It's not because we're eloquent in the way we talk about it. It humbles us. But at the same time it encourages us because of that's what God does. God is going to do it and he can do it even if we don't have the right answers all the time, or if were not very eloquent or if we stumble insider in our speech. Someday when I get to heaven. I want to ask God proportionately doesn't have to give it exactly, but just in general terms what portion of people are there in heaven because they were won by the great evangelist to get the attention of what portion of people are in heaven because there one by somebody who was afraid to speak and who stuttered as they did and didn't have the right answers but all kinds of mistakes but nevertheless love somebody wanted to share Jesus Christ with a buy am convinced great portion of people who are what would be one by people in the latter category is if you say to yourself, I'm never going to stand in the pulpit like that speak. I just pray every night that God will never cost somebody stick a microphone in my face and make me articulate the gospel, that's all right. Don't you worry about that. You just love your neighbor's and show something of the character, Jesus Christ. Don't be afraid to talk to some of the market like that some of them are going to turn against you, but your task is to do it anyway. Knowing that as you do. God will bless God delights to do that, say, when Paul spoke of his own preaching. He said writing to the Corinthians in income among you with great eloquence or wisdom, but I came in the power of the Holy Spirit preaching the word of God. That's what God blesses really stoned him a dragon outside of the city thinking he was dead he wasn't. He could've been. Others died under the circumstances, but God had more for Paul to do so. He didn't die, God is more for you to do you won't die either, keep you living until you do it because God who has ordained your salvation has also at the same time ordain good works for you to do well is the time to leave Westra and so they did. They went on the Derby doesn't tell us much about the ministry there tells us the end of verse 20 they went to Derby and then in verse 21 he told Saul we learn about that city. They preach the good news in that city and they won a large number of disciples see in the earlier case, it emphasizes the division of the persecution here that emphasizes the results is no church there today.

This is a ruin. Today, many of the ancient cities are just ruins side of history is swept over after just a few scattered stones, but this was a great church for a long time are you going to find out something about it later on as we as we go on an actual going to find as we read about it in the 20th chapter in the fourth verse that when Paul went to Jerusalem with the offering, the church Derby center representative along so they were strong enough to have taken a collection contributed to it and they sent somebody along to represent them as they went there all that from a short ministry recorded by Luke, the author and just one verse. It wasn't quite over, because in this very last section of the chapter we find Paul and Barnabas retracing their steps going back through the cities where they had been persecuted and for which they had been ejected but nevertheless returning order that they might strengthen the church. I find doing a number of things here. I find them. First of all, giving encouragement to these Christians needed. This was a hostile pagan community in which they were called the liver, Jesus Christ. I didn't even know much about Christ. So went to encourage them and they went to teach them to find that mentioned as well, encouraging them to remain true to the faith.

Paul went on to say things we must go through many hardships enter the kingdom of God and so I began to teach a number of things they have encouragement teaching the third thing you have is organization here for the first time in the look of actually find the appointing of elders which we learn later was to become Paul's natural pattern ministry appointing elders to lead the church in each place where he visited. I do know how elderly they were going to Lanman Christians for very long because God when even been there very long anyway to found a church well I don't know we Presbyterians wouldn't do it the slow careful all in all an ineffective, but Paul had faith in what God was doing and there was a church there and they need an organization so he appointed elders in the church drive. That's the third thing in the last thing is, he prayed for them. That's what we should be doing.

We should be praying those whom we witness. I get to the very end of something marvelous, at least I find it marvelous. Verse 26 from Italia.

They sail back to Antioch where they had been committed to the grace of God for the work that they had now completed is really neat.

They completed it was only one famous in Paul's ministry was the first of the journeys that were going to go on after more than that was meant to be the trip to Rome and who knows beyond that.

Maybe a trip to Spain, but they were commissioned to do this task, and they did it and I went home and they said the task is.that's a great thing to be able to say how many Christians and started out the Christian life may have bought finish the race.

Many Christians been given the task to do because of the hardships of the divisions of the persecutions I say well I think I better quit the race is not to those who start racist of those who finish is what Jesus said you must finish.

You must persevere to the end. It's those he made it even in terms of our salvation as those who persevere to the end shall be saved.

I'm sure it was a great joy of the apostle Paul's life we came to the end was writing to Timothy in second letter to be able to say of himself. I have finished my course, I have kept the faith say he race the whole way to the finish line and when he reached the finish line. He passed over in the glory.

How wonderful it would be if God would do that with each of us.

Let us pray our father like those who receive the word stony ground are mixed with thorns, and it springs up and perishes so those who start out in Christian work to do the kind of things that Paul and Barnabas and the others did, but to fade along the way we sorrow for them. We take confidence ourselves from one others like Paul and Barnabas of Don from your power that makes it possible for your people to stand for the prayers of others. The prayers of Jesus Christ to does pray for us and she said, in the case of Peter.

I have prayed for you that your faith a lot and who, as we know, in the case of Stephen will be waiting there at the end as we complete our life's race pass through the portal of death into his presence. We confess our father that is hard confess our father there many times when we are ready to quit when the divisions of the persecutions and even the stoning's the fear of zonings would make us turn back father keep us on track.

Keep us faithful because of who we are, but because of who you are and bring fruit for the sake of your church in your kingdom, through Jesus Christ our Lord. You are listening to Bible study hours with a Bible teaching of Dr. James Boyce, a listener supported ministry of the alliance of confessing Evangelicals.

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