Paul's Long Road to Rome

Skip Heitzig

Skip Heitzig teaches through a series of messages on the life of Paul. Paul the Apostle stands out as one of history's greatest figures, towering above most everyone else, with the exception of his own Master, the Lord Jesus Christ. We'll take a peek into his unique background - a mix of both Jewish and Greco-Roman nurturing. Let's see how God used this distinctive individual as one of His finest tools.


 

Table of Contents

# SCRIPTURE: MESSAGE:
1 Acts 21; Philippians 3 Profile of a Radical Rabbi
2 Acts 7-9 Vendetta!
3 Acts 9:3-6 A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Damascus!
4 Acts 9:10-26 Calisthenics for New Converts
5 Acts 9:23-31;Galatians 1:1-24 Surprising Ingredients for Greatness
6 Acts 11:19-26 The Power of Applause
7 Acts 13:1-4 Growing, Growing, Gone!
8 Acts 15:1-21 How Amazing IS Grace?
9 Acts 13-14;2 Corinthians 12 The Seminary of Pain
10 Acts 15:36-41 An Apostolic Boxing Match
11 Acts 16:1-10 The Fork in the Road
12 Philippians 1:3-7;Acts 16 The Family Business
13 Acts 17:16-34 Surviving and Thriving in a Cultural Swamp
14 Acts 17:24-31 The Seed-Picker's Sermon
15 Acts 18:1-11 Maximum Impact!
16 Acts 19:11-22 Power Encounters! - Part 1
17 Acts 19:11-22 Power Encounters! - Part 2
18 Acts 20:7-12 Sleeping In Church
19 Acts 21:1-14 Are You Driven or Called?
20 Acts 24:10-27 The Deadly Art of Procrastination
21 Acts 27 Storm Stories
22 Acts 28:11-31 Rome Sweet Rome

 


 

SERIES: Paul's Long Road to Rome
MESSAGE: Profile of a Radical Rabbi
SPEAKER: Skip Heitzig
SCRIPTURE: Acts 21; Philippians 3
URL: http://SkipHeitzig.com/399

MESSAGE SUMMARY
Today we begin a series of messages on the life of Paul. I feel a sense of inadequacy in trying to "unpack" the life of this man. He stands out as one of history's greatest figures, towering above most everyone else, with exception of his own Master, the Lord Jesus Christ. Today we take a peek into his unique background—a mix of both Jewish and Greco-Roman nurturing. Let's see how God used this distinctive individual as one of His finest tools.

OUTLINE
I. His Secular Profile
A. Greek Culture (Acts 21:39; 22:3)
B. Roman Citizenship (Acts 22:25-29)

II. His Spiritual Profile (Phil 3:5-6)
A. Spiritual Upbringing
B. Spiritual Zeal
C. His Spiritual Practice

III. His Salvation Profile (Phil 3:7-9)

LIVING IT:
1. How has God used your own background and family profile to influence people?
2. Identify the key components of your upbringing and conversion and commit them to memory so you can share them with others in conversation. (This is your personal testimony).
3. What are the major changes that have occurred in your life since you were saved?

Topic: Paul's Life

Keywords: jewish upbringing, secular lifestyle, secular, greek, Jewish, Greco-Roman, zeal,

 


 

SERIES: Paul's Long Road to Rome
MESSAGE: Vendetta!
SPEAKER: Skip Heitzig
SCRIPTURE: Acts 7-9
URL: http://SkipHeitzig.com/402

MESSAGE SUMMARY
The salvation of Saul of Tarsus stands as one of the most significant events in history. But before he surrendered to the will of God, he was entrenched in blind religious zeal that was fueled by his rage. Let's trace the steps of this man's animosity towards early believers in Jesus Christ. This will help us to better appreciate the wonderful change in him and his influence on us today.

OUTLINE
I. Watching a Martyr (Acts 7:58)

II. Wanting a Murder (Acts 8:1)

III. Working a Mission (Acts 8:3)

IV. Wasting a Movement (Acts 9:1-2)

CONSIDER THIS:


  1. What were you like before you came to Christ? What was your view of Christians? What did you think about church? What did you think when you heard someone talking about Jesus?

  2. Whom do you know that you would consider "an impossible case" when it comes to getting saved? Does Paul's life and salvation give you any hope?

  3. How can religious belief actually be a dangerous thing? Think of some modern examples.


Topic: Salvation

Keywords: conversion, saved, salvation, transformed,

 


 

SERIES: Paul's Long Road to Rome
MESSAGE: A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Damascus!
SPEAKER: Skip Heitzig
SCRIPTURE: Acts 9:3-6
URL: http://SkipHeitzig.com/406

MESSAGE SUMMARY
Historians still talk about the amazing transformation of Saul of Tarsus. How did the chief opponent of the gospel become the chief proponent of the same gospel? The funny thing is that some who have investigated Saul's conversion have come to believe in the same Jesus. Let's examine the four stages of Saul of Tarsus' transformation on the Damascus Road.

OUTLINE
I. Interruption (Vss 3-4a)

II. Interrogation (Vs 4b)

III. Conviction (Vs 5)

IV. Resignation (Vs 6)

What About You?
1. Describe a way that God has gotten your attention? How has God used the episode to teach you about Him? What have you learned? Someone once stated, "God speaks to us through the regularity by which He disappoints our plans." Do you agree with that?

2. The goads of conviction: Can you still feel them from time to time? Is your heart getting more calloused to conviction or are you still tender-hearted?

3. When was the last time you asked the "second question" that Saul asked Jesus?

Topic: Salvation

Keywords: conversion, converted, transformation, rebirth, saved, salvation,

 


 

SERIES: Paul's Long Road to Rome
MESSAGE: Calisthenics for New Converts
SPEAKER: Skip Heitzig
SCRIPTURE: Acts 9:10-26
URL: http://SkipHeitzig.com/410

MESSAGE SUMMARY
Every new believer in Christ needs some basic training in spiritual disciplines. We often instruct them to read the bible daily, pray regularly, gather with other Christians habitually and witness for Christ frequently. Maybe we should include another: Prepare for persecution inevitably. Paul's conversion was not in a church nor in a crusade but on a desolate road. Yet the Holy Spirit prepares him for his future with a few spiritual exercises that will train him for effectiveness.

OUTLINE
I. On His Knees Praying

II. On a Team Partnering

III. On His Feet Preaching

IV. On the Run Fleeing

1. The daily disciplines of the Christian walk prepare us for effectiveness. How much time do you spend spiritually preparing for your day by praying and listening to God?

2. Do you regularly tell people about Christ? What keeps you silent? What would motivate you? Would this change if you viewed people with an eternal perspective?

3. When was the last time you were persecuted or ill-regarded for believing in Jesus?

Topic: Growth

Keywords: growing, growth, Lifestyle, change, changes, mature, maturity, Patience, faith,

 


 

SERIES: Paul's Long Road to Rome
MESSAGE: Surprising Ingredients for Greatness
SPEAKER: Skip Heitzig
SCRIPTURE: Acts 9:23-31;Galatians 1:1-24
URL: http://SkipHeitzig.com/412

MESSAGE SUMMARY
When people study the life of the Apostle Paul, they normally focus on his conversion on the Damascus Road and then his missionary journeys. Today we look at the most overlooked period of Paul's life—years shrouded mostly by silence and obscurity. During this time Paul was molded into greatness. What he emerges as later on is largely determined by what he experiences during these early years of privacy, difficulty and obscurity.

DETAILED NOTES
THREE TREES ILLUSTRATION

Once upon a mountain top, three little trees stood and dreamed of what they wanted to become when they grew up.

The first little tree looked up at the stars and said: "I want to hold treasure. I want to be covered with gold and filled with precious stones. I'll be the most beautiful treasure chest in the world!"

The second little tree looked out at the small stream trickling by on its way to the ocean. "I want to be traveling mighty waters and carrying powerful kings. I'll be the strongest ship in the world!"

The third little tree looked down into the valley below where busy men and women worked in a busy town. "I don't want to leave the mountain top at all. I want to grow so tall that when people stop to look at me, they'll raise their eyes to heaven and think of God. I will be the tallest tree in the world."

Years passed. The rain came, the sun shone, and the little trees grew tall. One day three woodcutters climbed the mountain.

The first woodcutter looked at the first tree and said, "This tree is beautiful. It is perfect for me."

With swoops of his shining axe, the first tree fell. "Now I shall be made into a beautiful chest, I shall hold wonderful treasure!" The first tree said.

The second woodcutter looked at the second tree and said, "This tree is strong. It is perfect for me." With swoops of his shining axe, the second tree fell. "Now I shall sail mighty waters!" thought the second tree. "I shall be a strong ship for mighty kings!"

The third tree felt her heart sink when the last woodcutter looked her way. She stood straight and tall and pointed bravely to heaven.
But the woodcutter never even looked up. "Any kind of tree will do for me."
He muttered. With a swoop of his shining axe, the third tree fell.

The first tree rejoiced when the woodcutter brought her to a carpenter's shop. But the carpenter fashioned the tree into a feedbox for animals. The once beautiful tree was not covered with gold, with treasure. She was coated with saw dust and filled with hay for hungry farm animals.

The second tree smiled when the woodcutter took her to a shipyard, but no mighty sailing ship was made that day. Instead the once strong tree was hammered and sawed into a simple fishing boat. She was too small and too weak to sail to an ocean, or even a river; instead she was taken to a little lake.

The third tree was confused when the woodcutter cut her into strong beams and left her in a lumberyard. "What happened?" The once tall tree wondered. "All I ever wanted was to stay on the mountain top and point to God..." Many many days and nights passed. The three trees nearly forgot their dreams.

But one night, golden starlight poured over the first tree as a young woman placed her newborn baby in the feedbox. "I wish I could make a cradle for him." her husband whispered. The mother squeezed his hand and smiled as the starlight shone on the smooth and the sturdy wood. "This manger is beautiful." she said. And suddenly the first tree knew he was holding the greatest treasure in the world.

One evening a tired traveler and his friends crowded into the old fishing boat. The traveler fell asleep as the second tree quietly sailed out into the lake. Soon a thundering and thrashing storm arose. The little tree shuddered. She knew she did not have the strength to carry so many passengers safely through with the wind and the rain. The tired man awakened. He stood up, stretched out his hand, and said, "Peace." The storm stopped as quickly as it had begun. And suddenly the second tree knew he was carrying the king of heaven and earth.

One Friday morning, the third tree was startled when her beams were yanked from the forgotten woodpile. She flinched as she was carried through an angry jeering crowd. She shuddered when soldiers nailed a man's hands to her. She felt ugly and harsh and cruel. But on Sunday morning, when the sun rose and the earth trembled with joy beneath her, the third tree knew that God's love had changed everything. It had made the third tree strong. And every time people thought of the third tree, they would think of God. That was better than being the tallest tree in the world.

Topic: Paul's Life

Keywords: difficulty, privacy, persecution, hesitation, Obscurity

 


 

SERIES: Paul's Long Road to Rome
MESSAGE: The Power of Applause
SPEAKER: Skip Heitzig
SCRIPTURE: Acts 11:19-26
URL: http://SkipHeitzig.com/414

MESSAGE SUMMARY
Encouragement greases the wheels of relationships. Marriages, business partnerships, and churches run smoothly when encouragers are near. We have Barnabas to thank for the ministry of Paul. He not only introduced him into fellowship but gave him a position of leadership. At key moments in Paul’s early ministry, Barnabas stood in Paul's balcony cheering him onward.

OUTLINE
I. Following up New Converts (Vss 19-22)
A. Persecution Brought Evangelism
B. Evangelism Brought Conversion
C. Conversion Brought Obligation

II. Furthering a Fresh Commitment (Vss 23-24)
A. His Activity
B. His Quality

II. Finding an Old Comrade (Vss 25-26)
A. A Helper Sought
B. A Team Developed
C. A Movement Started


WHAT ABOUT YOU?


1. Who were the most influential people in your early Christian walk? How about now? What did they do or say to help you along? How are you doing the same for others?

2. How important is it to have the right person in the right place doing the right thing?

3. Some people are “Yes” first people; others are “No” first people. Their first response to a new idea or a new person is one response or the other. Which are you?

Topic: Encouragement

Keywords: Encouragement, encourager, cheering, cheer, encouraged, inspired, growth, growing, exhortation, enthusiastic

 


 

SERIES: Paul's Long Road to Rome
MESSAGE: Growing, Growing, Gone!
SPEAKER: Skip Heitzig
SCRIPTURE: Acts 13:1-4
URL: http://SkipHeitzig.com/423

MESSAGE SUMMARY
We often measure physical growth in terms of inches. “My how you’ve grown!” is a common refrain describing our reaction to the development of a niece or nephew. It seems like one minute the children are babies, and then they’re moving out and going to college! But how do we measure spiritual growth? The first Gentile church at Antioch was Paul’s base of operations for his first missionary journey. Let’s see what things marked the stages of growth for the believers there.

OUTLINE
I. Saved (Vs 1a)

II. Serving (Vs 1b)

III. Sensitive (Vs 2)

IV. Sending (Vss 3-4)

LIVING IT

1. At what point in your Christian experience did you decide that being a “spiritual consumer” was not enough? What did you feel then? What did you do about those feelings?

2. In your daily Bible reading (devotions, quiet time, etc), how much time do you spend waiting on the Lord to listen to Him? How about trying to actively practice “worshipful reflection” to process your thoughts in reverential worship.

3. Think about the concept of “ministering to the Lord” versus “ministering for the Lord.” Is there any difference? Should one come first? How do they work together?

Topic: Growth

Keywords: growing, growth, Lifestyle, change, changes, mature, maturity, Patience, faith,

 


 

SERIES: Paul's Long Road to Rome
MESSAGE: How Amazing IS Grace?
SPEAKER: Skip Heitzig
SCRIPTURE: Acts 15:1-21
URL: http://SkipHeitzig.com/425

MESSAGE SUMMARY
The most popular Christian song by far ever written is the hymn penned in 1779 by John Newton entitled “Amazing Grace.” Why has it endured in its appeal more than 200 years? Is it the melody? Is it the words of the song? Perhaps these are some of the reasons for its success. But I suggest it’s because Grace really IS amazing! However, if one group had their way 2000 years ago, this song could never have been written. Paul faced a doctrinal dilemma of epic proportions after his first missionary journey. Let’s see what happened.

OUTLINE
I. A Doctrinal Dilemma (Vss 1-5)

II. A Notable Debate (Vss 4-12)
A. The Religionists: Pharisees (Vs 5)
B. The Realist: Peter (Vss 6-11)
C. The Revivalists: Barnabas & Paul (Vs 12)

III. A Scriptural Decision (Vss 13-21)
A. Caution to Established Believers
B. Command to Brand-New Believers


LIVING IT


1. On what basis do you regard yourself as a Christian today? Have you been saved by grace alone through faith alone? Is there anything else you’re trusting in like personal goodness or family heritage?

2. Why do you suppose we tend to strap our own traditional baggage on other people before we accept them?

3. What are some personal freedoms that we should restrict ourselves from for the sake of others? Read 1 Corinthians 10:23-25.

Topic: Legalism

Keywords: law, Legalism, Pharisee, grace,

 


 

SERIES: Paul's Long Road to Rome
MESSAGE: The Seminary of Pain
SPEAKER: Skip Heitzig
SCRIPTURE: Acts 13-14;2 Corinthians 12
URL: http://SkipHeitzig.com/427

MESSAGE SUMMARY
Will Durant, the great American historian remarked concerning his own education, “Sixty years ago I knew everything; now I know nothing!” Funny how that works, isn’t it? The Apostle Paul emerged on the church scene after years of theological training in Judaism. But his education was just beginning. God had His own school for Paul to enroll in—The Seminary of Pain! A study of Paul’s life would not be complete without considering this important aspect.

OUTLINE
I. The Curriculum
  A. Emotional Pain 101 (Acts 13-14; 2 Cor 1, 6, 11)
  B. Physical Pain 101 (Acts 14:19-20)

II. The Examination (2 Cor 12)
  A. The Test of Exaltation (Vss 1-6)
  B. The Test of Affliction (Vss 7-9)

III. The Graduation (2 Cor 12:9-10)
  A. Diploma of Weakness
  B. Cap & Gown of Humility


LIVING IT


1. Describe an experience of God enrolling you in His school of pain. How have you been doing on the tests?

2. How could your experience help others who are facing the same situation? Read 2 Corinthians 1: 3-7 and apply it by becoming a comforter.

3. Ever consider changing your prayer? Rather than praying “How can I get out of this?”, how about praying “What can I get out of this?”

Topic: Suffering

Keywords: pain, suffering, suffer, Affliction, trial, tribulation,

 


 

SERIES: Paul's Long Road to Rome
MESSAGE: An Apostolic Boxing Match
SPEAKER: Skip Heitzig
SCRIPTURE: Acts 15:36-41
URL: http://SkipHeitzig.com/429

MESSAGE SUMMARY
It may seem surprising that two of the Early Church’s great leaders didn’t see eye to eye; in fact they hotly disagreed. But it should also comfort us. G. Campbell Morgan wrote, “I am greatly comforted whenever I read this…if I had never read that Paul and Barnabas has a contention, I should have been afraid.” What can we learn about handling disagreements within our spiritual family?

OUTLINE
I. The Conflict: Round One
  A. People Duke it Out
  B. Spiritual People Duke it Out

II. The Confrontation: Round Two
  A. A Featherweight Flees
  B. Jabs are Thrown

III. The Consequences: Match Over
  A. A Knockout to a Partnership
  B. Saved By the Bell


WEIGHING IN


1. How many disagreements have you had this week? Are you easy to get along with?

2. When conflict arises how do you handle it? (Hold it in? Gossip to others about it? Tell the person directly, face to face?)

3. Which is most important—venting your feelings or resolving the issue? What steps should be taken to ensure such conflict resolution?

Topic: Confrontation

Keywords: Repentance, Response, Humble, Accountability, Confrontation, humbled, dispute, fight, strife, battle,

 


 

SERIES: Paul's Long Road to Rome
MESSAGE: The Fork in the Road
SPEAKER: Skip Heitzig
SCRIPTURE: Acts 16:1-10
URL: http://SkipHeitzig.com/433

MESSAGE SUMMARY
Big doors turn on small hinges! What may seem difficult or confusing at the time may actually be the hand of God redirecting our steps. And God uses a variety of things to get our attention and to give us direction. A phone call, a chance meeting, an overheard comment or a distasteful experience can all be ways that God supernaturally uses in natural ways. Let’s consider how God guides and directs His people.

OUTLINE
I. Retracing of Their Steps (Vss 1-5) Natural Guidance
  A. The Team Expanded
  B. The Travel Extended

II. Resistance of Their Plans (Vss 6-7) Negative Guidance
  A. Unable to Go Southward
  B. Unable to Go Northward

III. Redirection in Their Mission (Vss 8-10) Noticeable Guidance
  A. Man in a Vision
  B. Men on a Mission


SUGGESTION


This week take time to think back over the creative ways God has directed you. Be sure to thank those that have contributed to your understanding of God’s will for your life. Pause to thank God for sending you the Holy Spirit (heavenly GSP) to be your personal Guide.

Topic: Guidance

Keywords: Guidance, direction, will, called, calling, lead, leads, Trust, choice, will, plan, direction, guide,

 


 

SERIES: Paul's Long Road to Rome
MESSAGE: The Family Business
SPEAKER: Skip Heitzig
SCRIPTURE: Philippians 1:3-7;Acts 16
URL: http://SkipHeitzig.com/435

MESSAGE SUMMARY
You and I are part of a family business. We’re partners with God our Father and with our spiritual brothers and sisters. In this age of individuality and independence it’s time to reconsider this family business and our participation in it. Let’s see how it works as we consider Paul’s ministry at Philippi.

OUTLINE
I. A Look Backward—The Partnership Begins (Vss 3-5, Acts 16)
  A. Thankful for the Gospel’s Power
  B. Prayerful for the Gospel’s Partners


II. A Look Inward—The Partnership Blossoms (Vs 6)
  A. The Senior Partner’s Performance
  B. The Junior Partners Participation


III. A Look Forward—The Partnership Broadens (Vs 7)
  A. The Gospel Defended
  B. The Gospel Expanded


APPLYING THE MESSAGE

1. Name something specific you’ve thanked God for lately that caused you personal discomfort but enhanced God’s reputation and spread His message.

2. Are you prone to take credit for good things done or pass the glory on to God? How does each response demonstrate one’s relationship to God?

3. Have you ever asked God to fill you with His Holy Spirit and make you bold in declaring His life-changing gospel? Why not ask Him to do it this week? (Happy fishing)

Topic: Church

Keywords: family, church, congregation, participation, ministry, team, church plant, Philippian, gospel,

 


 

SERIES: Paul's Long Road to Rome
MESSAGE: Surviving and Thriving in a Cultural Swamp
SPEAKER: Skip Heitzig
SCRIPTURE: Acts 17:16-34
URL: http://SkipHeitzig.com/437

MESSAGE SUMMARY
To visit one of the great cultural centers of the world (New York, Paris, London) can be exciting. Museums, plays and galleries fill the landscape. Activity is constant and creativity is rampant. But beneath this veneer of cultural glitz is a murky swamp of loneliness and vulnerability—a spiritual void. How can we survive in our culture? And even more importantly, how can we be a significant influence in it? Today we consider four things that will help us make an impact.

OUTLINE
I. Vision—How You See (Vss 15-16a, 22-23)

II. Emotion—What You Feel (Vs 16)

III. Action—What You Do (Vss 17-21)

IV. Expression—What You Say (Vss 22-34)


GO DEEPER

1. Many people reject the gospel today not because they perceive it to be false but because they perceive it to be trivial. How could you change that? How has the gospel made your life attractive to unbelievers?

2. Could it be that we don’t speak as Paul spoke because we don’t feel about our world as Paul felt? How can a proper worldview help develop a proper emotional response to our culture?

3. An idol is a God-substitute. What are the common idols of our culture that you struggle with most? Is there anything that occupies the place God should have in your life?

Topic: Hope

Keywords: culture, downcast, worldly, Vision, loneliness, vulnerability, hope,

 


 

SERIES: Paul's Long Road to Rome
MESSAGE: The Seed-Picker's Sermon
SPEAKER: Skip Heitzig
SCRIPTURE: Acts 17:24-31
URL: http://SkipHeitzig.com/439

MESSAGE SUMMARY
The Athenian philosophers who encountered Paul accused him of being a "babbler" (literally, a seed picker). The word refers to one who picks up scraps of thought from various sources. They thought Paul was some "armchair philosopher" and so they invited him to speak to them. What a surprise they were in for! Paul's message was filled with solid theology to counter their flimsy philosophy. Let's see what Paul believed about God.

OUTLINE
I. The Invitation to Preach (Vs 19)
A. Brought on by a Reaction (Vs 18)
B. Bolstered by an Accusation (Vss 18-19)

II. The Presentation of the Preacher (Vss 24-31)
A. God is Creator (Vs 24)
B. God is Sustainer (Vs 25)
C. God is Ruler (Vss 26-27)
D. God is Father (Vss 28-29)
E. God is Adjudicator (Vss 30-31)


MAKING THE SERMON LIVE


1. How different is your formal theology from your practical theology? (I.e. How does what you say you believe about God differ from how you actually live?)

2. Write down a few brief points about God, your relationship to Christ and salvation that would be helpful for unbelievers. Now commit these things to memory and ask God for the opportunity to share them this week.

Topic: Truth

Keywords: philosophy, theology, truth, gospel, preaching, teaching, orthodoxy, orthodox, doctrine,

 


 

SERIES: Paul's Long Road to Rome
MESSAGE: Maximum Impact!
SPEAKER: Skip Heitzig
SCRIPTURE: Acts 18:1-11
URL: http://SkipHeitzig.com/441

MESSAGE SUMMARY
Life cannot be lived in a vacuum. We live our lives in public, rubbing shoulders with people, both believers and unbelievers who are always watching us. How can we influence people with maximum impact? What ways can our example make an eternal difference right where we live? Paul's excellent example shows us exactly that. Below are the four "ships" that can noticeably impact the sea of our own sphere of influence.

OUTLINE
I. Relationship
 A. Living With People (Vs1-2)
 B. Working With People (Vs 3)

II. Worship
 A. Consistent Expression (Vs4)
 B. Bible Exposition (Vs11)

III. Apostleship
 A. Going Out (Vs1)
 B. Speaking Out (Vss 4-5)

IV. Hardship
 A. Response to Resentment
 B. Response to Reassurance

 


 

SERIES: Paul's Long Road to Rome
MESSAGE: Power Encounters! - Part 1
SPEAKER: Skip Heitzig
SCRIPTURE: Acts 19:11-22
URL: http://SkipHeitzig.com/450

MESSAGE SUMMARY
On Paul's way to Rome he encountered both victory and opposition. While in Ephesus, where he stayed longer than anywhere else, Paul interacted with the spirit world in a dramatic way. Today and next week we will study these "power encounters" and discover what our relationship to the supernatural is and should be. In part one of this study we will consider how both the miraculous and the demonic affect our world and thus our lives.

OUTLINE
I. Supernatural Activity (Vss 11-12)
  A. Unusual Miracles
  B. Undeniable Might

II. Superficial Authority (Vss13-14)
  A. Itinerant Exorcists
  B. Priestly Spiritists
    1. Self-Called
    2. Superstitious


PART II:


III. Superhuman Capacity (Vss15-16)
  A. Verbal Contradiction
  B. Violent Opposition

IV. Superintended Priority (Vss17-21)
  A. Jesus was Glorified
  B. Believers were Purified
  C. Direction was Clarified

Topic: Spiritual

Keywords: power, spiritual, holy spirit, supernatural, miracles, healing, spiritual gifts, miraculous,

 


 

SERIES: Paul's Long Road to Rome
MESSAGE: Power Encounters! - Part 2
SPEAKER: Skip Heitzig
SCRIPTURE: Acts 19:11-22
URL: http://SkipHeitzig.com/456

MESSAGE SUMMARY
On Paul's way to Rome he encountered both victory and opposition. While in Ephesus, where he stayed longer than anywhere else, Paul interacted with the spirit world in a dramatic way. Today and next week we will study these "power encounters" and discover what our relationship to the supernatural is and should be. In part one of this study we will consider how both the miraculous and the demonic affect our world and thus our lives.

OUTLINE
I. Supernatural Activity (Vss 11-12)
  A. Unusual Miracles
  B. Undeniable Might

II. Superficial Authority (Vss13-14)
  A. Itinerant Exorcists
  B. Priestly Spiritists
    1. Self-Called
    2. Superstitious


PART II:


III. Superhuman Capacity (Vss15-16)
  A. Verbal Contradiction
  B. Violent Opposition

IV. Superintended Priority (Vss17-21)
  A. Jesus was Glorified
  B. Believers were Purified
  C. Direction was Clarified

Topic: Spiritual

Keywords: power, spiritual, holy spirit, supernatural, miracles, healing, spiritual gifts, miraculous,

 


 

SERIES: Paul's Long Road to Rome
MESSAGE: Sleeping In Church
SPEAKER: Skip Heitzig
SCRIPTURE: Acts 20:7-12
URL: http://SkipHeitzig.com/460

MESSAGE SUMMARY
Have you ever sat next to someone in church who is nodding off, even snoring? It can be funny and embarrassing. But before you judge them too harshly (there are lots of reasons people get tired), consider the first guy who was caught sleeping in church—during one of Paul's sermons! Today let's get beyond the physical to a deeper issue—those who are asleep spiritually: whose bodies are present at church but their heart is absent.

OUTLINE
I. A Devoted Congregation
  A. They Were Together
  B. They Were Tired
    1. After a Day of Laboring
    2. After of Night of Listening

II. A Drowsy Congregant
  A. A Deep Sleep
  B. A Long Fall
  C. A Great Joy

III. A Deeper Concern


A SPIRITUAL WAKE-UP CALL


1. Can you identify a time when you were spiritually awakened? What changed in your life? How are you different now?

2. Could it be that you are right now is a spiritually comatose condition? Are you “asleep in the light?” How could today become an alarm to wake you?

3. What things can you think of that would cause spiritual lethargy?

Topic: Disillusionment

Keywords: sleeping, disillusionment, giving-up, tired, weary, burdened,

 


 

SERIES: Paul's Long Road to Rome
MESSAGE: Are You Driven or Called?
SPEAKER: Skip Heitzig
SCRIPTURE: Acts 21:1-14
URL: http://SkipHeitzig.com/470

MESSAGE SUMMARY
This world is full of driven people. We need to see more who are called. There is a difference. Driven people are motivated by a sense of accomplishment and see life only in terms of results. They work hard and want to be noticed for doing so. Called people have a settled sense of who they are and an inner strength to move forward even against all odds. To understand Paul, we must comprehend what moved him. He was not driven by the flesh but rather led by the Spirit.

DETAILED NOTES
I. The Decision of a Caring Man (19:21, 20:16, 22)
  A. Longing for His Brothers in the Flesh
  B. Love for His Brothers in the Faith

II. The Disagreement of Concerned Men
  A. Christians in Tyre (21:4)
  B. Clergy from Judea (21:10-11)
  C. Companions in Travel (21:12)

III. The Determination of a Called Man
  A. Ready for Anything (21:13)—Servant
  B. Receiver of Everything (20:24)—Steward
  C. Resolute in This Thing (21:14, 20:24)—Soldier

1. Have you ever been caught between man’s advice and God’s calling? Sometimes these two are in harmony; sometimes they are not. When have you noticed the greatest disparity?

2. How has our culture helped to produce driven individuals? What ways help counteract this? How can you foster an atmosphere to hear God’s voice?

Topic: Balanced Living

Keywords: Resilience, called, calling, lead, leads, persistence, steadfastness, strength,

 


 

SERIES: Paul's Long Road to Rome
MESSAGE: The Deadly Art of Procrastination
SPEAKER: Skip Heitzig
SCRIPTURE: Acts 24:10-27
URL: http://SkipHeitzig.com/474

MESSAGE SUMMARY
Someone remarked, "Tomorrow must be the longest day in the week—judging from the number of things we are going to do then." We all have things we rather put off until later. But when it comes to spiritual choices they must be made today. Every delay to follow Christ is a gamble with eternity. Paul's Road to Rome included a pointed conversation with a man who had mastered the deadly art of spiritual procrastination.

OUTLINE
I. Explanation (Vss 10-21)
  A. His Behavior
  B. His Beliefs

II. Fascination (Vss 22-24)
  A. Because of His Past
  B. Because of This Preacher

III. Trepidation (Vs 25a)
  A. Righteousness
  B. Self Control
  C. Judgment to Come

IV. Procrastination (Vss 25b-26)


LIVING IT


1. When was the last time you told someone about your faith in Jesus? Were you as cheerful (vs 10) as Paul? How closely does your confidence in Scripture resemble his? (vs 14)

2. Are you curious about spiritual things without being committed? What keeps you back from trusting Christ completely? Why not talk with someone about it today?

3. What spiritual priorities are you putting off until later?

Topic: Salvation

Keywords: conversion, saved, salvation, transformed,

 


 

SERIES: Paul's Long Road to Rome
MESSAGE: Storm Stories
SPEAKER: Skip Heitzig
SCRIPTURE: Acts 27
URL: http://SkipHeitzig.com/481

MESSAGE SUMMARY
When Paul the Apostle took this final and eventually fatal journey to Rome, there was no navigational equipment, no GPS, no Electronic Chart-plotter, no color depth sounder nor radar aboard. A storm came suddenly without warning and threatened these travelers. But the divine GPS (God's Positioning Spirit) was aboard to direct them to Rome. From Paul's storm experience, what can we learn about facing difficulties in our own lives?

OUTLINE
I. Storms Bring Change
  A. Change of Plans (26:32-27:2)
  B. Change in Comfort (vss 4, 7-9, 14)
  C. Change of Values (vss 16-19)

II. Storms Bolster Confidence
  A. Confidence in God’s Plan (vss 21-24)
  B. Confidence in God’s Promises (vs 25)


NAVIGATIONAL NOTES


1. When storms hit your life suddenly how you react is usually determined by what preparations you've made up until that moment. See what Job did when sudden tragedy occurred (Job 1:13-22; 2:7-10) See also Proverbs 3:25

2. Share a storm story with a friend facing a tempest. What lessons have you learned that will help others stay anchored in the gale?

3. What do you know about the nature of God that you’ve learned only in storms?

Topic: Suffering

Keywords: difficulties, trouble, difficult, weakness, trials, tribulation, affliction,

 


 

SERIES: Paul's Long Road to Rome
MESSAGE: Rome Sweet Rome
SPEAKER: Skip Heitzig
SCRIPTURE: Acts 28:11-31
URL: http://SkipHeitzig.com/482

MESSAGE SUMMARY
The day finally arrived when all that Paul dreamt of came true. He arrived at Rome, lived there under house arrest and then…the book ends abruptly, without a suitable ending. Why? What happened to Paul next? How did he die? As we move from the actual and the historical into the probable, we wonder if the Holy Spirit isn't trying to communicate something to us through such an unusual ending to this great story of Paul's long road to Rome.

OUTLINE
I. The Arrival—Fellowship (Vss 11-16)
A. Lifelong Dream
B. Loving Demonstration

II. The Gospel—Stewardship (Vss 17-29)
A. To the Jew
B. To the Gentile

III. The Probable—Apostleship (Vss 30-31)
A. Trial and Discharge
B. Travel and Discipleship
C. Trial and Death


ENDNOTES


1. How could your fellowship through a phone call, visit or email encourage someone like Paul who may be feeling alone and weary from a long journey through a difficult time?

2. Does Paul's approach to the religious folks of his day give you any ideas for witnessing to religious people around you who think they are saved but are not?

3. How could your own home become a "fulcrum" from which to change this city?

Topic: Paul's Life

Keywords: arrest, Rome, Stewardship, Apostleship,


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