The Holy Spirit's Guiding Ministry
Eventually, Paul was put on a ship for Rome, as we can read in Acts 27:1
When it was decided that we would sail for Italy, Paul and some other prisoners were handed over to a centurion named Julius, who belonged to the Imperial Regiment.
Unfortunately, he and those with him suffered a shipwreck, as foretold by Paul in Acts 27:21-26 After the men had gone a long time without food, Paul stood before them and said, “Men, you should have taken my advice not to sail from Crete; then you would have spared yourselves this damage and loss. But now I urge you to keep up your courage, because not one of you will be lost; only the ship will be destroyed. Last night an angel of the God whose I am and whom I serve stood beside me and said, “Do not be afraid, Paul. You must stand trial before Caesar; and God has graciously given you the lives of all who sail with you.” So keep up your courage, men, for I have faith in God that it will happen just as he told me. Nevertheless, we must run aground on some island.”
Thankfully, all the people on board, including Paul, were able to swim ashore when that eventually happened, as we can read in Acts 27:42-44 The soldiers planned to kill the prisoners to prevent any of them from swimming away and escaping. But the centurion wanted to spare Paul’s life and kept them from carrying out their plan. He ordered those who could swim to jump overboard first and get to land. The rest were to get there on planks or on pieces of the ship. In this way everyone reached land in safety.
While on the little island of Malta, Paul was bitten by a snake, as we can read in Acts 28:3-6 Paul gathered a pile of brushwood and, as he put it on the fire, a viper, driven out by the heat, fastened itself on his hand.
Initially, the people thought he must be a criminal, but when he did not die because of the bite they decided he must be a god, as we can read in Acts 28:4-6 When the islanders saw the snake hanging from his hand, they said to each other, “This man must be a murderer; for though he escaped from the sea, justice has not allowed him to live.” But Paul shook the snake off into the fire and suffered no ill effects. The people expected him to swell up or suddenly fall dead, but after waiting a long time and seeing nothing unusual happen to him, they changed their minds and said he was a god.
Truly, there is nothing new under the sun; people were fickle then, and people are fickle today…. In the meantime, Paul began to minister to the people, and many people were healed, including the father of a man named Publius, as we can read in Acts 28:7-9
There was an estate nearby that belonged to Publius, the chief official of the island. He welcomed us to his home and for three days entertained us hospitably. His father was sick in bed, suffering from fever and dysentery. Paul went in to see him and, after prayer, placed his hands on him and healed him. When this had happened, the rest of the sick on the island came and were cured. They honoured us in many ways and when we were ready to sail, they furnished us with the supplies needed.
After three months, they found another ship that was able to take them to Rome, as we can read in Acts 28:11
After three months we put out to sea in a ship that had wintered in the island. It was an Alexandrian ship with the figure head of the twin gods Castor and Pollux.
Eventually Paul arrived in Rome, as we can read in Acts 28:16
When we got to Rome, Paul was allowed to live by himself, with a soldier to guard him.
Here, too, he had opportunity to preach the gospel to Jews as well as to Gentiles, as we can read in Acts 28:30-31
For two whole years Paul stayed there in his own rented house and welcomed all who came to see him. Boldly and without hindrance he preached the kingdom of God and taught about the Lord Jesus Christ.
He lived in Rome for two years before being released because of lack of evidence against him. Some years later Paul was once again imprisoned, and at that time he was beheaded.
The Book of Acts is truly the Book of the Acts of the Holy Spirit who, either overtly or covertly, directed the believers. Wherever He was at work we have seen Him do a number of things:
1. He convinced people of their sins and had them come to faith in Christ Jesus.
2. He exposed the hardness of hearts of others.
3. He healed people.
4. He delivered people from demonic spirits.
The Holy Spirit is not less powerful today and will do the same work through us today, if we are willing and obedient.
1a. According to Acts 27:1, where was Paul going to?
1b. According to Acts 27:1, what is the name of the Centurion who was in charge of Paul and the other prisoners?
1c. According to Acts 27:1, what Regiment did Julius belong to?
2a. According to Acts 27:21-26, what did Paul predict would happen to the ship they were sailing on to Italy?
2b. According to Acts 27:21-26, did Paul say that any of the people on board be lost?
2c. According to Acts 27:21-26, who spoke to Paul in the night?
2d. According to Acts 27:21-26, what did the angel of the God whose he was and whom he served say to Paul?
2e. According to Acts 27:21-26, why was Paul not in danger of losing his life?
2f. According to Acts 27:21-26, what was going to happen to the ship?
3. What happened to the people on board the ship once it had run aground on some island?
4a. According to Acts 27:42-44, what did the soldiers on board the ship plan to do?
4b. According to Acts 27:42-44, why did the soldiers want to kill the prisoners?
4c. According to Acts 27:42-44, why did the soldiers not kill the prisoners?
4d. According to Acts 27:42-44, how did everyone reach land in safety?
5. Which island did Paul and the other prisoners end up on?
6. What happened to Paul while on the island of Malta?
7a. According to Acts 28:3, how was Paul bitten by a snake while on the island of Malta?
8. What did the inhabitants of the island of Malta initially think Paul was after his snake bite?
9. What did the inhabitants of the island of Malta think Paul was afterwards?
10a. According to Acts 28:4-6, why did the inhabitants of the island of Malta say to each other about Paul when they saw a snake hanging from his hand?
10b. According to Acts 28:4-6, what exactly did the inhabitants of the island of Malta expect would happen to Paul?
10c. According to Acts 28:4-6, after waiting a long time did the people of the island of Malta see anything unusual happen to Paul?
10d. According to Acts 28:4-6, what did the inhabitants of the island of Malta say next about Paul?
11. What does that prove the inhabitants of the island of Malta were?
12. Can people be as fickle today?
13. Did Paul begin to minister to the people of the island of Malta at that time?
14a. According to Acts 28:7-9, what is the name of the chief official of the island of Malta?
14b. According to Acts 28:7-9, for how many days did the chief official Publius entertain Paul?
14c. According to Acts 28:7-9, which relative of the chief official Publius was sick?
14d. According to Acts 28:7-9, did Paul show concern for the father of the chief official Publius?
14e. According to Acts 28:7-9, what else did Paul do for the father of the chief official Publius after he had gone to see him?
14f. According to Acts 28:7-9, what happened to the father of the chief official Publius after Paul prayed for him and laid hands on him?
14g. According to Acts 28:7-9, who came to see Paul after the father of the chief official Publius had been healed?
14h. According to Acts 28:7-9, how did the inhabitants of the island of Malta showed their gratitude to Paul?
15. How long did it take for Paul to find another ship to take him to Italy?
16a. According to Acts 28:11, what kind of ship did Paul go on?
17. Did Paul manage to get to Rome this time?
18. According to Acts 28:16, what were the living arrangements for Paul while in Rome?
19. What did Paul do during his time in Rome?
20a. According to Acts 28:30-31, for how long did Paul live in Rome?
20b. According to Acts 28:30-31, was Paul hindered in his gospel preaching while he lived in Rome?
21. What happened to Paul after living in Rome for two years?
22. What happened to Paul some years later?