Acts 27: Paul Sails for Rome
1 And when it was decided that we should sail for Italy, they delivered Paul and some other prisoners to a centurion of the Augustan Cohort named Julius.
2 And embarking in a ship of Adramyttium, which was about to sail to the ports along the coast of Asia, we put to sea, accompanied by Aristarchus, a Macedonian from Thessalonica.
3 The next day we put in at Sidon. And Julius treated Paul kindly and gave him leave to go to his friends and be cared for.
4 And putting out to sea from there we sailed under the lee of Cyprus, because the winds were against us.
5 And when we had sailed across the open sea along the coast of Cilicia and Pamphylia, we came to Myra in Lycia.
6 There the centurion found a ship of Alexandria sailing for Italy and put us on board.
7 We sailed slowly for a number of days and arrived with difficulty off Cnidus, and as the wind did not allow us to go farther, we sailed under the lee of Crete off Salmone.
8 Coasting along it with difficulty, we came to a place called Fair Havens, near which was the city of Lasea.
9 Since much time had passed, and the voyage was now dangerous because even the Fast was already over, Paul advised them,
10 saying, "Sirs, I perceive that the voyage will be with injury and much loss, not only of the cargo and the ship, but also of our lives."
11 But the centurion paid more attention to the pilot and to the owner of the ship than to what Paul said.
12 And because the harbor was not suitable to spend the winter in, the majority decided to put out to sea from there, on the chance that somehow they could reach Phoenix, a harbor of Crete, facing both southwest and northwest, and spend the winter there.
The Storm at Sea
13 Now when the south wind blew gently, supposing that they had obtained their purpose, they weighed anchor and sailed along Crete, close to the shore.
14 But soon a tempestuous wind, called the northeaster, struck down from the land.
15 And when the ship was caught and could not face the wind, we gave way to it and were driven along.
16 Running under the lee of a small island called Cauda, we managed with difficulty to secure the ship's boat.
17 After hoisting it up, they used supports to undergird the ship. Then, fearing that they would run aground on the Syrtis, they lowered the gear, and thus they were driven along.
18 Since we were violently storm-tossed, they began the next day to jettison the cargo.
19 And on the third day they threw the ship's tackle overboard with their own hands.
20 When neither sun nor stars appeared for many days, and no small tempest lay on us, all hope of our being saved was at last abandoned.
21 Since they had been without food for a long time, Paul stood up among them and said, "Men, you should have listened to me and not have set sail from Crete and incurred this injury and loss.
22 Yet now I urge you to take heart, for there will be no loss of life among you, but only of the ship.
23 For this very night there stood before me an angel of the God to whom I belong and whom I worship,
24 and he said, 'Do not be afraid, Paul; you must stand before Caesar. And behold, God has granted you all those who sail with you.'
25 So take heart, men, for I have faith in God that it will be exactly as I have been told.
26 But we must run aground on some island."
27 When the fourteenth night had come, as we were being driven across the Adriatic Sea, about midnight the sailors suspected that they were nearing land.
28 So they took a sounding and found twenty fathoms. A little farther on they took a sounding again and found fifteen fathoms.
29 And fearing that we might run on the rocks, they let down four anchors from the stern and prayed for day to come.
30 And as the sailors were seeking to escape from the ship, and had lowered the ship's boat into the sea under pretence of laying out anchors from the bow,
31 Paul said to the centurion and the soldiers, "Unless these men stay in the ship, you cannot be saved."
32 Then the soldiers cut away the ropes of the ship's boat and let it go.
33 As day was about to dawn, Paul urged them all to take some food, saying, "Today is the fourteenth day that you have continued in suspense and without food, having taken nothing.
34 Therefore I urge you to take some food. For it will give you strength, for not a hair is to perish from the head of any of you."
35 And when he had said these things, he took bread, and giving thanks to God in the presence of all he broke it and began to eat.
36 Then they all were encouraged and ate some food themselves.
37 (We were in all 276 persons in the ship.)
38 And when they had eaten enough, they lightened the ship, throwing out the wheat into the sea.
39 Now when it was day, they did not recognize the land, but they noticed a bay with a beach, on which they planned if possible to run the ship ashore.
40 So they cast off the anchors and left them in the sea, at the same time loosening the ropes that tied the rudders. Then hoisting the foresail to the wind they made for the beach.
41 But striking a reef, they ran the vessel aground. The bow stuck and remained immovable, and the stern was being broken up by the surf.
42 The soldiers' plan was to kill the prisoners, lest any should swim away and escape.
43 But the centurion, wishing to save Paul, kept them from carrying out their plan. He ordered those who could swim to jump overboard first and make for the land,
44 and the rest on planks or on pieces of the ship. And so it was that all were brought safely to land.
Acts 28: Paul on Malta
1 After we were brought safely through, we then learned that the island was called Malta.
2 The native people showed us unusual kindness, for they kindled a fire and welcomed us all, because it had begun to rain and was cold.
3 When Paul had gathered a bundle of sticks and put them on the fire, a viper came out because of the heat and fastened on his hand.
4 When the native people saw the creature hanging from his hand, they said to one another, "No doubt this man is a murderer. Though he has escaped from the sea, Justice has not allowed him to live."
5 He, however, shook off the creature into the fire and suffered no harm.
6 They were waiting for him to swell up or suddenly fall down dead. But when they had waited a long time and saw no misfortune come to him, they changed their minds and said that he was a god.
7 Now in the neighbourhood of that place were lands belonging to the chief man of the island, named Publius, who received us and entertained us hospitably for three days.
8 It happened that the father of Publius lay sick with fever and dysentery. And Paul visited him and prayed, and putting his hands on him healed him.
9 And when this had taken place, the rest of the people on the island who had diseases also came and were cured.
10 They also honoured us greatly, and when we were about to sail, they put on board whatever we needed.
Paul Arrives at Rome
11 After three months we set sail in a ship that had wintered in the island, a ship of Alexandria, with the twin gods as a figurehead.
12 Putting in at Syracuse, we stayed there for three days.
13 And from there we made a circuit and arrived at Rhegium. And after one day a south wind sprang up, and on the second day we came to Puteoli.
14 There we found brothers and were invited to stay with them for seven days. And so we came to Rome.
15 And the brothers there, when they heard about us, came as far as the Forum of Appius and Three Taverns to meet us. On seeing them, Paul thanked God and took courage.
16 And when we came into Rome, Paul was allowed to stay by himself, with the soldier that guarded him.
Paul in Rome
17 After three days he called together the local leaders of the Jews, and when they had gathered, he said to them, "Brothers, though I had done nothing against our people or the customs of our fathers, yet I was delivered as a prisoner from Jerusalem into the hands of the Romans.
18 When they had examined me, they wished to set me at liberty, because there was no reason for the death penalty in my case.
19 But because the Jews objected, I was compelled to appeal to Caesar---though I had no charge to bring against my nation.
20 For this reason, therefore, I have asked to see you and speak with you, since it is because of the hope of Israel that I am wearing this chain."
21 And they said to him, "We have received no letters from Judea about you, and none of the brothers coming here has reported or spoken any evil about you.
22 But we desire to hear from you what your views are, for with regard to this sect we know that everywhere it is spoken against."
23 When they had appointed a day for him, they came to him at his lodging in greater numbers. From morning till evening he expounded to them, testifying to the kingdom of God and trying to convince them about Jesus both from the Law of Moses and from the Prophets.
24 And some were convinced by what he said, but others disbelieved.
25 And disagreeing among themselves, they departed after Paul had made one statement: "The Holy Spirit was right in saying to your fathers through Isaiah the prophet:
26 "'Go to this people, and say, You will indeed hear but never understand, and you will indeed see but never perceive.
27 For this people's heart has grown dull, and with their ears they can barely hear, and their eyes they have closed; lest they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears and understand with their heart and turn, and I would heal them.'
28 Therefore let it be known to you that this salvation of God has been sent to the Gentiles; they will listen."
30 He lived there two whole years at his own expense, and welcomed all who came to him,
31 proclaiming the kingdom of God and teaching about the Lord Jesus Christ with all boldness and without hindrance.
Things to think about…
1.Luke is clearly an eyewitness and travel companion of Paul on his sea voyage to Rome. Look at the detail in Acts 27, especially vss 1-12. Who would blame the centurion for listening to the pilot of the ship as opposed to the Apostle Paul. He was the one who had experience sailing ships. However we see an opportunity for the centurion to really understand the God whom Paul serves. God had sent His angel to Paul and the whole ship was about to witness the Lord's deliverance, but only as they obeyed the instructions given to Paul by the angel. All things were working out for the good of the crew and for the Lord to get the glory. Obedience through the trial was the key. Same with us and our challenges through life.
2.The storm was initiated by God to show that the God whom Paul worships is the One who is in control of the wind and the waves. After 14 days you can imagine how exhausted the crew and the prisoners were, Acts 27:27. I think even if the prisoners wanted to escape there would have been no strength left in them to do so. Yet we see that this journey will testify to the character of Paul to the Centurion and ultimately allow him to speak well of Paul when they finally arrive at Rome. What trials are you presently going through that are speaking to others as they see you endure? Often we complain and bemoan the situations that we have been placed in by the Lord. It is not honouring to Christ when unbelievers see us whinge and doubt. If we truly believe all things are indeed working for good then we should act like it in faith knowing the Lord has not completed the story, perhaps only a trying chapter.
3.The Maltese were friendly people. God's grace can influence others even though they may not believe the gospel. Paul heals Publius' dad, Acts 28:8. All the sick on the island are then brought to Paul and are healed – the islanders, rather than being burdened by almost 300 people to minister to, are the ones who are blessed. After 3 months they set sail for Rome. This time it is plain sailing, Acts 28:13. The Lord confirms that this is exactly where He wants the Apostle Paul. God's promises are sure, let's never doubt His love or concern for us even in the storms of life.
4.Paul is clearly a low risk prisoner. He is allowed to stay by himself in a rented house, with one soldier guarding him., Acts 28:16. Paul's first plan is to allow the Jews in Rome to speak with him. This happens, some believe, some doubt. This is of course the same pattern that happened when he initially went into the synagogues throughout Asia (modern day Turkey). After a while they will not hear Paul anymore. Paul simply affirms that their hardness of heart was predicted by Isaiah (Isa 6:9, c.f Jer 31:31-34), Acts 28:26, 27 and that their rejection of the gospel confirms his freedom to speak to the Gentiles. This he did, with all boldness and without hindrance, Acts 28:31. This is the epitome of a perfect ministry opportunity. People came to Paul because he had the fame of being the bold Apostle. And now he is in Rome where everyone can have full and free access to him. After two years the whole elite Roman guard had heard the reason why Paul was in chains, Phil 1:13 and many others came to hear his testimony and gospel centred explanation of the OT prophets. A blessing to both Paul and his hearers.
CBC's Vision :- To be a growing biblical church community, significantly influencing our city and beyond, through intentional outreach, fulfilling our mission.
1.Please pray for 4 young people in their 20's who are unbelievers who will be coming to CBC next Sunday morning. Pray the 19th Jan would be the day of their salvation. Bec, Joe, Mary and Anthony.
2.The bushfires have so far burned more than 12 million acres, they have killed at least 27 people, 20 from NSW alone 2000 homes have been destroyed. Please consider supporting CBC's Malacoota bushfire appeal. You may give now directed in the announcements.
3.Pray for continued follow up rain across Australia – especially NSW and Vic.
4.Ministry planning and events calendar for this year.
5.Young girl (5 yo) Amelia lost her fight for life with a congenital heart disorder. Daisy is her mother. Please pray for Daisy who is hurting and does not know the Lord. Phil Weston has more details.
6.Our outreach initiatives as well as the Axiom podcast.
7.Sunday's message on Acts 26 "Paul's testimony and ours" by Jay.
8.Finish "Bean Redeemed" coffee shop and podcast area.
9.Church finances to meet our expenses.
10.Our City and Country – Pray for revival over our city and the leadership of our country.
11.Some aren't well Tessa Torrington and John Ward. Pray for relief and healing.
1.Rain falling in drought affected areas of Qld, NSW and Vic today and forecast for the rest of this week.
2.Two more new people joined CBC this week.
3.Recharge youth – pray for Jay, leaders, youth and their parents/carers.
4.Rain presently falling over fire affected parts of NSW and Victoria. More needed.
5.Safe return of those travelling from holidays. Continue to pray as others still travel.
6.Massive donations seen in Australia and overseas for bushfire victims. Pray for CBC's appeal and your involvement.
7.Praise God for easing of temperature for those fighting fires. Praise the Lord for our fireys.
8.Preachers who have looked after the pulpit while Jay was on holiday – Doug, Graham and Luke.
9.Praise God for what He will do as we begin and plan for ministry this year at CBC.
10.Unity, peace and Christ's love over our church.
1.Denning group - Hosting, morning tea next Sunday morning.
2.No Evening Axiom services until the 2nd of February
3.Bushfire appeal – no target has been set but CBC will be raising money towards fireys and bush fire victims. You can donate directly through our "Give" tab on the website http://www.chuwarbaptist.com/give . Label your offering "Bushfire appeal"
4.Picnic at Kholo Gardens – 12pm at Kholo Gardens after church – 26th Jan – Australia Day. Bring a cook, cold meats, salads. There are BBQ's there but they are notoriously slow to heat up. Best to bring food ready to eat.
5.All Kids@Church and Recharge parents will be on a roster to teach their children and attend throughout the year. Rosters will be finalized this week. See Helen to get the email for when you are rostered on.
6.Recharge youth starts at 7pm, Fri 31st Jan for all High Schoolers.
7.Kids@church – for all primary aged children starts 10am Sunday 2nd Feb.
January's catechism question...
Question. 8. What is the second petition?
Answer. "Your kingdom come."
Bible Reference – Matt.6:10; Luke 11:2.
"Call to me and I will answer you, and will tell you great and hidden things that you have not known" Jer 33:3