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Acts 20

The Road to Rome 
Part I

Acts 20:1
And after the uproar was ceased, Paul called unto him the disciples, and embraced them, and departed for to go into Macedonia.

Paul departs from Ephesus, a place that saw the blessing of the prevailing Word of God and faced the intensity of attacks from the Adversary. Exactly how intense these three years were for Paul we cannot see from the words of God. But God does give us a glimpse of the intensity. 

2 Corinthians 1:8-10
For we would not, brethren, have you ignorant of our trouble [thlipsis] which came to us in Asia, that we were pressed out of measure, above strength, insomuch that we despaired even of life: But we had the sentence of death in ourselves, that we should not trust in ourselves, but in God which raiseth the dead: Who delivered us from so great a death, and doth deliver: in whom we trust that he will yet deliver us;

When your life is on the line, the One to trust is the One who is Life! God brings deliverance when the Adversary attacks. Consider Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego (Daniel 3), that was pressure, bow or burn! God provided another option, protection and life!

The Apostle Paul was an amazing man for God. Before the events on the road to Damascus, he had a love for God, and the people of God, with a zeal to carry out the will of God. But it was a life that lacked an accurate knowledge of God’s Word.

Romans 10:2
For I bear them [Israel] record that they have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge.

Like Israel, Paul had a zeal, but it was not according to an accurate knowledge of God’s Word. Once the ascended Jesus appeared to Paul on the road to Damascus, to instruct him more perfectly, Paul moved with a love for God, and the people of God, with a zeal to carry out the will of God. Paul’s desire and motivation never changed, his knowledge and understanding of God’s Word changed.

Acts 23:1
And Paul, earnestly beholding the council, said, Men and brethren, I have lived in all good conscience before God until this day.

Even while he was in Ephesus and teaching daily at the school of Tyrannus the other churches never left his mind. While in Ephesus he wrote the epistle to the Galatians because they were being seduced into working for the righteousness God had already given to them. He also sent an epistle to the Corinthians as they were dragging the wisdom and culture of the world into the fellowships.

Paul was not responsible to believe for others. But he was responsible to give doctrine, reproof, and correction, as needed, so that others knew the right way to believe.

2 Timothy 2:23-26
But foolish and unlearned questions avoid, knowing that they do gender strifes. And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient, in meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth; and that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will.

While doing these things, Paul was also planning a trip into Macedonia and then Achaia, with a final destination of Rome. He was also organizing an offering of shared abundance both in Macedonia and Achaia.

2 Corinthians 11:28
Beside those things that are without, that which cometh upon me daily, the care of all the churches.

What things are outside of his care for the churches?

2 Corinthians 11:23-27
Are they ministers of Christ? (I speak as a fool) I am more, in labours more abundant, in stripes above measure, in prisons more frequent, in deaths oft. Of the Jews five times received I forty stripes save one. Thrice was I beaten with rods, once was I stoned, thrice I suffered shipwreck, a night and a day I have been in the deep; In journeyings often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils by mine own countrymen, in perils by the heathen, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren; In weariness and painfulness, in watchings often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness.

These verses detailed some of the physical things, and some of the mental things, and some of the emotional things Paul encountered, in his life and ministry, up to the point he was writing Second Corinthians.

Now place the writing of Second Corinthians in its proper context. Paul is on a ship leaving Ephesus and bound for Macedonia. While in Macedonia, he will write this second epistle to Corinth.  

We have read, almost verse by verse, Paul’s ministry and travels from Acts thirteen through the opening of Acts twenty. The things we have seen and read that Paul has encountered and endured have been incredible. Now, add in all these other things that have occurred between Acts thirteen and Acts twenty.

Why did God not share all these incidents as they occurred in the Book of Acts?

In the Old Testament God employed the figure of speech, idioma of the verb by permission. “Active verbs were used by the Hebrews to express, not the doing of the thing, but the permission of the thing which the agent is said to do.”1

Meaning, God is said to have taken an action, when the Adversary is the actual party taking the action. Because God is Just, He allows the Adversary to exercise the authority that Adam transferred to him in the Garden in Eden.

For example: in Exodus 4:21 we read that God will harden the heart of Pharaoh. The figure of speech, idioma of the verb by permission, shows us God will not take the action, rather He will permit or allow the action. The Adversary hardens the heart of people so that they refuse God’s Word (Matthew 13:14-15, 18-19; 2 Corinthians 4:3-4, 11:3). The Adversary operates under the authority he received from Adam.

If God had not used this figure of speech, we would constantly read in the Old Testament what the Adversary was doing. By the same token, we do not need to read more about how the Adversary operated in the Book of Acts. God shows us the means and the methods of the Adversary and how to overcome him.

So, this summary of events listed in Second Corinthians shows us the Adversary brings a constant attack against righteousness and righteous people. But even with the constant attacks and pressure from the Adversary, look at the success and victory of Paul, and the other believers, as they continued to stand for and with God. 

How did Paul endure? How does any child of God endure the onslaught of the Adversary’s world against the righteousness of a child of God?

2 Corinthians 12:1
It is not expedient for me doubtless to glory. I will come to visions and revelations of the Lord.

When chapters were added to the Bible, in 1227 A.D., by Stephen Langton, he should have started chapter 12 a few verses earlier. Although, in his defense, verses were not added until 1551 A.D.

Go back to chapter 11 and we will begin with the correct starting point of chapter 12.

2 Corinthians 11:30
If I must needs glory, I will glory of the things which concern mine infirmities.

In the context, this is when Paul starts discussing boasting or bragging. The word translated “glory” is the Greek word kauchaomai and is better understood as to boast or to brag. If he were to brag, it would be about his infirmities. “Infirmities” is the Greek word astheneia and should have been translated weaknesses. 

Why? Why would anyone boast about those areas where they have weakness? 

2 Corinthians 12:9-10
And he said unto me, my grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness [astheneia]. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory [same word meaning to boast] in my infirmities [astheneia], that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore, I take pleasure in infirmities [astheneia], in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ's sake: for when I am weak [astheneo -verb form], then am I strong.

When his flesh does not have the answer or the strength, he relies upon the power of God to bring deliverance in the situation. Many people understand this type of situation. You are painted into a corner, you have no answer, you have tried everything. You are at your wits end! Finally, you turn to God, for many in panic prayer, perhaps begging for deliverance. You offer God a deal, “Help me out of this and I will….”

The difference? Paul understood the power of God, in Christ, in himself. Paul understood he had the power of God within himself by way of God’s gift of holy spirit. The difference? The average Christian, the one offering God deals to get out of trouble, has no idea what I just said about the power of God within every Christian.

Paul understood the power of God in himself, in every child of God. Therefore, Paul says he will brag, he will boast about his weakness in the flesh, because that is when the power of God kicks into high gear. Paul “takes pleasure” in infirmities [no answers, no strength in the flesh], in reproaches [the prideful attacks of others, insults], necessities [pressure imposed upon you], persecutions [pursuit by others to harm you], distresses [squeezed into a narrow place]. Most Christians would be embarrassed to admit these things occurred in their lives. But Paul takes pleasure [eudokeo – good opinion], it is his good opinion to have these things because then he has the power [dunamis = potential power] of Christ in him.

God told Paul, “…my grace is sufficient for thee…” but most Christians do not see the depth of this statement. People have the definition that grace is divine favor. I know this definition and I agree with it. But does it help you understand God’s answer to Paul’s request? 

In the first century believers held a different view of grace than what we hold today. I hope this will enlarge your understanding of God’s grace. 

In the first century there were no banks and therefore no loans. You had to borrow money from a wealthy person to start a business. Generally, these wealthy people would charge you an interest rate that would keep you in debt forever. 

But there were other wealthy people that would give people money to do things, like start a business, but it was a literal gift. These people were known as patrons (prostatis) because of their patronage to people of a lower station or social class. This act of patronage was known as grace (charis), a gift. It was a lifelong relationship, a lifelong commitment between the giver of the gift and the receiver of the gift (cliens - Latin). 

This grace (charis) relationship was to be a relationship of trust and loyalty. Both the patron and the client had their part, their commitments to fulfill. The patron would make his resources available to the client, the client’s social status would be elevated, and the patron would give protection to his client. The patron also had the right to make special requests of his client. The client was expected to give his patron respect, and gratitude, and to remain faithful (pistos). The client was also expected to carry out any special requests made by the patron.

Now, as a student of the Bible you no doubt recognized the word charis as the Biblical word for grace and that pistos, faithful, is a form of the word pistis

God taught Paul about a believer’s relationship with El Shaddai through this worldly, first century arrangement. God used this arrangement but with some major and exciting changes.

Instead of a human patron that has limited resources, a believer has God Almighty, El Shaddai, defined as, “…God (El), not as the source of strength, but of grace, not as Creator, but as the Giver. Shaddai is the All-bountiful. This title does not refer to His creative power, but to His power to supply all the needs of His people.”
Instead of looking for people of a lower class, God looks for people without God and therefore, without hope. But God does not raise their social statis, He makes them righteous citizens of heaven.
Instead of a lifelong relationship based on loyalty, the believer of God receives eternal life, an eternal relationship that is founded in love. 
Instead of a patron/client relationship, it is a Father/child relationship, a family. 
Instead of the limited resources of a wealthy person, the child of God has the unlimited resources of El Shaddai. 

Therefore, God reminded Paul, “my grace is sufficient for you.” Paul had the unlimited resources of El Shaddai available to him through God’s gift (charisma) of holy spirit. See Chart

Paul follows his statement of boasting about his weakness with the example of his escape from Damascus.

2 Corinthians 11:31-33
The God and Father of our [the] Lord Jesus Christ, which [who] is blessed for evermore, knoweth that I lie not. In Damascus the governor under Aretas the king kept the city of the damascenes with a garrison, desirous to apprehend me: and through a window in a basket was I let down by the wall and escaped his hands.

What an embarrassing way to leave the city. Some would think, “I should be able to walk out of the city through the main gate! I am God’s child!” Chest puffed out; shoulders squared. Paul accepted the deliverance of God, in a basket, even boasting about it! 


Because God delivered him!

Now back to our question, how did Paul endure? How does any child of God endure the onslaught of the Adversary’s world against the righteousness of a child of God?

2 Corinthians 12:1
It is not expedient for me doubtless to glory [boast]. I will come to visions and revelations of the Lord.

“Not” is ou and means absolutely not. The Greek word for “expedient” is symphero and in this context means profitable. “For me” is not in the text. “Doubtless” is the Greek word dei and means truly, really, or indeed. The conjunction de, which means but is not translated. 

“I will come” is the Greek word erchomai meaning to come to something or to go on to something. Here it is better translated with the mindset of to go on to because Paul is about to go on to speak of this revelation he had received. In the context it is not about future revelations but about a previous revelation.

2 Corinthians 12:1
Must I go on boasting, though there is nothing to be gained by it? But I will move on to the visions and revelations I have had from the Lord.
Jerusalem Bible

A more accurate understanding of this verse would read, “It is truly not profitable to boast, but I will move on to the visions and revelations I have had from the Lord.” The phrase “I have had” supplied in the context by the figure ellipsis. 

2 Corinthians 12:2
I knew a man in Christ above fourteen years ago, (whether in the body, I cannot tell; or whether out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth;) such an one caught up to the third heaven.

“Knew” is the Greek word eido and should be translated know. “Above” is the Greek preposition pro and means more than or before. Since 2 Corinthians was written toward the end of 57 A.D., we are looking at revelation that was given to Paul over 14 years ago in 43 A.D., while Paul was still in Tarsus.

The phrase, “whether in the body, I cannot tell; or whether out of the body, I cannot tell: God knows” is two different figures of speech. The figure epitrechon, which is a parenthetic addition thrown in and not complete in itself,4   and the figure ecphonesis which is an outburst of words prompted by emotion.5  Paul is excited about the revelation he received while in this vision and has no real care about how he received it.

“Caught up” is the Greek word harpazo and should be translated caught away. Anyone who has studied the three heavens understands that they are linear in time, not vertical.

2 Peter 3:13
Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.

Revelation 21:1
And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first [former] heaven and the first [former] earth were passed away; and there was no more sea.

Second Peter chapter 3, covers all three heavens and earths, contextually it is a wonderful read. Paul was caught away in time to the third heaven. In time since we know the third heaven does not yet exist. As Second Peter explains, the third heaven is still future. Therefore, Paul was caught away in time verses caught away to a place that currently exists.

2 Corinthians 12:3
And I knew such a man, (whether in the body, or out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth;)

Again, the same two figures are used to express Paul’s emotion, his excitement about this revelation. Here we also have the figure of speech antimetathiesis where Paul switches from the first person to the third person.6  This figure is used to intensify and enhance the dialogue. 


What dialogue? 

2 Corinthians 12:5
Of such an one will I glory: yet of myself I will not glory, but in mine infirmities.

The dialogue is between Paul who will boast of his infirmities and speaking in the third person to boast of revelation received.

2 Corinthians 12:4
How that he was caught up into paradise, and heard unspeakable words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter.

“How that he…” still in the third person, was caught away in time, because the third heaven is still in the future. He was caught away to paradise, an element of the future third heaven. Then, while in this vision of paradise in the third heaven, he received revelation that he is not permitted to speak.

What good is this revelation if he is not permitted to speak of it? It is of enormous value to Paul, for it shows him the end. God gives Paul a vision and revelation about the end of time and the beginning of eternity for believing humanity. The glorious redemption and victory of all who believe God.

Do you remember the account of Peter going onto his rooftop to pray in Acts chapter 10? Let’s put Paul in a comparable situation. In 43 A.D., while still learning God’s Word pertaining to the Administration of Grace, Paul sits down to pray. During his time of prayer Paul receives a vision and, in this vision, he receives revelation, word of knowledge and word of wisdom.

Peter also had a vision and he also received revelation in his vision. But Peter was not immediately sure of the meaning of the vision and revelation he had received. Paul however was excited, he understood what he learned in his vision.

This vision and revelation is showing Paul the time of the third heaven and earth, specifically, he is seeing paradise. But the word of wisdom he has received is, you are not permitted to share what you have received by word of knowledge.

So, what then is the point of this vision and revelation? It is strictly for Paul’s personal life and walk with God.

Acts 9:15-16
But the Lord said unto him, go thy way: for he is a chosen vessel unto me, to bear my name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel: For I will shew him how great things he must suffer for my name's sake.

“Must” is connected to suffering because the god of this world is the Adversary. Consider righteous Lot. He sat in the gate of his city, as a judge, yet he suffered. 

2 Peter 2:7-9
And delivered just Lot, vexed with the filthy conversation of the wicked: (For that righteous man dwelling among them, in seeing and hearing, vexed his righteous soul from day to day with their unlawful deeds;) The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished:

The suffering does not necessitate beatings or torture, but it will always have the vexing in the heart and soul of a child of God. Vexed is the Greek word kataponeo and means a wearing down. How does a child of God endure the pressure of the world? He sees the end, the complete victory of God.

Romans 8:18
For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.

God knew all that Paul would encounter, all that he would have to endure, therefore God gave Paul the hope of eternal life by showing him the third heaven, by showing Paul paradise. 

This also gives us further insight into Paul’s time in Tarsus.

Paul was continuing to learn the Gospel of God’s Grace from his Lord, while also continuing to study Old Testament scriptures.

Acts 26:16
But rise and stand upon thy feet: for I have appeared unto thee for this purpose, to make thee a minister and a witness both of these things which thou hast seen, and of those things in the which I will appear unto thee. 

This is part of what Jesus said to Paul when he appeared to him on the road to Damascus, “I will appear unto thee,” future tense. What God had Jesus teach Paul was the doctrine of God’s abundant grace to mankind, the doctrine of the Administration of Grace. 

Consider the operation of a dam.

A dam is constructed to retain water over a larger area, generally being fed by a river. The purpose could be multifaceted, such as irrigation, recreation, hydroelectric, city water, or several other reasons. Now, you have water continuing to come in from the river, a large body of water being retained, and water being released through the dam to fulfill a purpose. A dam operates on the principle of receive, retain, release.

This same principle is in God’s Word as a method of learning and growing. During Paul’s time in Tarsus, he was continuing to learn God’s Word through personal study and his Lord appearing to him to teach him (receive). Then he would retain what he was learning in his mind (retain). Then he could teach the Judeans in Tarsus things from God’s Word (release).

But some will say, he did not begin to teach the Gospel of Grace until Acts 13, and they are correct. However, there are many things to teach the Judeans in Tarsus concerning Jesus the Christ that are outside of the Gospel of Grace, consider the epistle to the Hebrews. God is the author of Hebrews with no human writer identified. Yet we can see there is much to teach the Judeans about the Christ.

Acts 9;19-20
​And when he had received meat, he was strengthened. Then was Saul certain days with the disciples which were at Damascus. And straightway he preached Christ in the synagogues, that he is the Son of God.

Acts 9:22
But Saul increased the more in strength, and confounded the Jews which dwelt at Damascus, proving that this is very Christ.

We can tell Paul was still learning God’s doctrine pertaining to the Administration of Grace because believers in the Administration of Grace are not destined for paradise. Israel is promised paradise while those who believe in the Administration of Grace have citizenship in heaven.

Philippians 3:20
For our conversation [citizenship] is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ:

Before Paul departed Ephesus, he sent two men to Macedonia to prepare for his arrival.

Acts 19:22
So, he sent into Macedonia two of them that ministered unto him, Timotheus and Erastus; but he himself stayed in Asia for a season.

From Macedonia Timothy was to travel to Corinth.

1 Corinthians 4:16-17
Wherefore I beseech you, be ye followers of me. For this cause have I sent unto you Timotheus, who is my beloved son, and faithful in the Lord, who shall bring you into remembrance of my ways which be in Christ, as I teach everywhere in every church.

We can see toward the end of First Corinthians that Timothy has not gone to Corinth yet. He is going to Corinth, but only after he goes to Macedonia.

1 Corinthians 16:10
Now if Timotheus come, see that he may be with you without fear: for he worketh the work of the Lord, as I also do.

The word “if” is a first-class conditional clause which is always assumed in the positive. That is why the New International Version translates this verse without the word “if.”

1 Corinthians 16:10
When Timothy comes, see to it that he has nothing to fear while he is with you, for he is carrying on the work of the Lord, just as I am.
New International Version 

Paul is not saying Timothy is afraid to make the trip. Paul is saying, you guys have a lot of different factions, do not give Timothy a reason to be concerned for his health.

The First Epistle to the Corinthians would have time to arrive before Timothy, because of his time in Macedonia. Timothy was not being sent to Corinth to handle doctrinal issues; Paul will send another to handle those issues. Timothy is being sent to Corinth to communicate the heart of Paul, the Corinthians Father in God’s Gospel of Grace. Timothy is sent to show the Corinthians the heartbeat of a man of God.

As Paul leaves Ephesus aboard a ship, his first stop is in Troas.

2 Corinthians 2:12-13
Furthermore, when I came to Troas to preach Christ's gospel, and a door was opened unto me of the Lord, I had no rest in my spirit, because I found not Titus my brother: but taking my leave of them, I went from thence into Macedonia.

This means Paul sailed from Ephesus, bypassing Corinth, north into the Aegean Sea to Troas and Macedonia. But why is Paul upset about Titus? 

God did not share with us exactly when Titus was sent to Corinth. But Paul was expecting him back from Corinth before this point in his trip to Macedonia.

When Paul arrives in Troas, he has an open door to speak God’s Word and we know Paul’s manner as it has been stated again and again since Acts 13. But still “in my spirit” he had no rest. “Rest” is anesis in the Greek, it means relaxation. He could not relax, he wanted to know the report of Titus concerning Corinth and his epistle. Paul knew there were some hard statements in his epistle, and he wanted to know how it had been received.

You understand that feeling. Perhaps you are awaiting the test results from a doctor. Each time the phone rings you jump, is this the results? Your mind just will not relax until you know the results. The same example could be applied to a teen waiting for the results of major test at school or perhaps a person waiting for the response from a job interview. The point is that you understand that anxious feeling when you are waiting to hear information you deem important. 

The phrase “in my spirit” refers to the spirit of man. Paul’s mind would not relax until he heard from Titus. Being anxious while waiting to hear about something is anxiety, and that we understand.

2 Corinthians 2:1-2
But I determined this with myself, that I would not come again to you in heaviness. For if I make you sorry, who is he then that maketh me glad, but the same which is made sorry by me?

Originally, Paul wanted to go to Corinth after he left Ephesus. But he knew there were some hard statements in his epistle to them. They needed to receive the epistle and repent, or his arrival in Corinth would just bring more heaviness to the situation. In this we see the responsibility Paul gave to Titus.

2 Corinthians 2:3-4
And I wrote this same unto you, lest, when I came, I should have sorrow from them of whom I ought to rejoice; having confidence in you all, that my joy is the joy of you all. For out of much affliction and anguish of heart I wrote unto you with many tears; not that ye should be grieved, but that ye might know the love which I have more abundantly unto you.

Paul was up front and honest with what they were doing wrong. Not to be a lord over them, not to walk their spiritual walks for them, but because he loved them and wanted them to receive all that God was offering them in Christ. 

2 Timothy 2:25-26
In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth; And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will.

Look at the heart of Paul in reproving the Corinthians. Paul is providing the Truth, but it is they who must believe the Truth in order to recover themselves from the snare of the devil.

2 Corinthians 7:6
Nevertheless God, that comforteth those that are cast down, comforted us by the coming of Titus.

Paul was in Macedonia when he and Titus finally caught up to one another. “Cast down” refers to Paul having grief concerning the hardness of his first epistle. Was it too hard for them to receive? This was the task of Titus, to help them receive what Paul had written.

2 Corinthians 7:8-10
For though I made you sorry with a letter, I do not repent, though I did repent: for I perceive that the same epistle hath made you sorry, though it were but for a season. Now I rejoice, not that ye were made sorry, but that ye sorrowed to repentance: for ye were made sorry after a godly manner, that ye might receive damage by us in nothing. For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of but the sorrow of the world worketh death.

At one point Paul repented that he had sent the epistle, but not now. At first the Corinthians received the epistle poorly. But they saw the Truth of it and repented, they changed their minds and then saw the Truth in what Paul had written. 

“They repented,” is this like a second work of grace? You know, like going down to the front of the church to get saved again? No! Repent means to change your mind. It is all internal. For those who believe in the Administration of Grace it is renewed mind. It is auxano growth, internal for the individual.

What Paul said bothered them for a time. You understand that as well. Did your parents ever call you out for your wrong or incorrect actions? We all have faced that situation. Someone in authority letting us know what we did was wrong. For a season, it stings! If we learn from the situation we acknowledge our mistake, correct our behavior, and move forward.

Timothy was sent to Corinth to show the Corinthians the heartbeat of a man of God.
Titus was sent to Corinth to show the Corinthians the heart of God.

Our journey through Acts has shown us the heart and life of the Apostle Paul. In an earlier teaching we stopped and looked at Timothy, a child standing as a man, but who is Titus?

Galatians 2:3
But neither Titus, who was with me, being a Greek, was compelled to be circumcised:

Titus is a Gentile who traveled with Paul and Barnabas to Jerusalem in Acts chapter 15, and as you can see in this verse, he was not circumcised.

Titus 1:4
To Titus, mine own son after the common faith: Grace, mercy, and peace, from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ our Saviour.

The word “son” is teknon and means genuine child or true child who has an intimate relationship born of love. That was the relationship between Paul and Titus. Paul only identified three men as a son or teknon, Timothy, Titus, and Onesimus. 

Titus was part of the group that traveled with Paul from city to city. They slept on the ground together, they had their meals together, they would have sat around a campfire together as Paul shared God’s Word. 

“Common faith” is the believing that is common to all believers. We all believed the words of God for salvation. It is the adjective form, kionos, of koinonia, a full sharing. A believing that all believers share.

2 Corinthians 8:23
Whether any do enquire of Titus, he is my partner and fellowhelper concerning you: or our brethren be enquired of, they are the messengers of the churches, and the glory of Christ.

“Partner” is koinōnos, the masculine form of koinonia, meaning Titus shares fully with Paul in ministering to the Corinthians. “Fellowhelper” is synergos which means a worker together. Paul and Titus were working toward the same goal in Corinth, the goal of edification. Here the word “glory” is doxa in the Greek and means the majesty or preeminence of Christ.

2 Corinthians 12:18-19
I desired Titus, and with him I sent a brother. Did Titus make a gain of you? walked we not in the same spirit? walked we not in the same steps? Again, think ye that we excuse ourselves unto you? we speak before God in Christ: but we do all things, dearly beloved, for your edifying.

Walked we not in the same spirit? Walked we not in the same steps...” What an awesome and amazing statement about the harmonious walk of two men as they follow their Lord Jesus Christ and their Heavenly Father. The heartbeat of a man of God provides information about the heart. The heart of the Truth is God. Men of God proclaim His Word. 

2 Corinthians 12:18-19
I urged Titus to go to you and I sent our brother with him. Titus did not exploit you, did he? Did we not walk in the same footsteps by the same Spirit? Have you been thinking all along that we have been defending ourselves to you? We have been speaking in the sight of God as those in Christ; and everything we do, dear friends, is for your strengthening.
New International Version

What amazing verses! To walk in the same steps and with the same spirit. That is the Body of Christ in action! Paul sent Titus to Corinth to show them the grace of God in Christ.

From Troas Paul continues his journey to Macedonia. The year is 57 A.D.

I have been told I need to update my dating from Anno Domini, which is Latin. Anno means in the year and domini Lord. The modern term is C.E. which stands for Common Era. Some Christians have called it the Christian Era. Although I think there is a spelling mistake in C.E. It is more accurately spelt Common Error. The error is in trying to remove the Lord from our recognition of time. That of course is dokeo.

2 Corinthians 2:13
 I had no rest in my spirit, because I found not Titus my brother: but taking my leave of them [Troas], I went from thence into Macedonia.

The great blessing in Macedonia is the return of Titus from Corinth with news of the Corinthian believers.

2 Corinthians 7:5
For, when we were come into Macedonia, our flesh had no rest, but we were troubled on every side; without were fightings, within were fears.

“Troubled” is the Greek word thlibo, which means to be pressed or pressured. It was used by the Greeks for pressing grapes. Thlibo is the root word of thlipsis which speaks of mental pressure. Paul and the believers were feeling pressured from every side. “Fightings” is the Greek word mache, which means fight or quarrel. “Fear” is phobos which means fear or respect. In the context fear is a good translation.

We cannot tell from the information that is available what the fighting or quarreling is about or to whom it is directed. The believers appear to have some fear. Again, we cannot tell of what with the information that is available. But mental pressure is being felt from all directions.

You will recall that Paul’s previous trip through Macedonia came with persecution. Business leaders in Philippi and religious leaders in Thessalonica. Could some of the things listed in Second Corinthians chapter eleven have taken place between Troas and the writing of Second Corinthians in Macedonia? They were pressured on every side.

In Paul’s previous trip through Macedonia, we only heard of Paul in a few cities. However now, he speaks of preaching all the way out to Illyricum.

Romans 15:19
Through mighty signs and wonders, by the power of the Spirit of God; so that from Jerusalem, and round about unto Illyricum, I have fully preached the gospel of Christ.

From Macedonia Paul travels down to Achaia to winter in Corinth as he promised the believers. It is the winter of early 58 A.D.

Acts 20:2-3a
And when he had gone over those parts, and had given them much exhortation, he came into Greece, and there abode three months. 

During this winter in Corinth Paul is strengthening the Corinthians and he writes the Epistle to the Romans. There are interesting additions to his itinerary as he is closing out the epistle to the Romans.

Romans 15:23-24
But now having no more place in these parts and having a great desire these many years to come unto you; whensoever I take my journey into Spain, I will come to you: for I trust to see you in my journey, and to be brought on my way thitherward by you, if first I be somewhat filled with your company.

Does the road to Rome now becomes the road to Spain? Paul can consider such a distant trip for his fourth missionary journey because he believes his work in these first three areas of missionary work, (Southern Galatia, Macedonia and Achaia, Ephesus and Asia), is now completed.

Romans 15:23a
But now since I have no further opportunity for work in these regions…
Amplified Bible

Romans 15:23a
But now I no longer have any work to do in these provinces…
Holman Christian Standard Bible

Romans 15:23a
But now that there are no further opportunities for me in these regions…
Berean Study Bible

These words agree with what Paul will soon tell the leadership of Ephesus.

Acts 20:25
And now, behold, I know that ye all, among whom I have gone preaching the kingdom of God, shall see my face no more.

Paul’s travels from Ephesus, through Macedonia and Achaia have now been accomplished. A few steps closer on the road to Rome and possibly Spain. But the detours along this road are numerous and some are hazardous.

If you will recall, when we looked at Acts 19:21 I pointed out an area we would need to be aware of as we continued in the Book of Acts. 

Specifically, I said, “Remember Paul walked all the way across Asia looking for direction from God before he had his itinerary on his second journey. Then for his third trip Paul was only going to Ephesus if it was the will of God. Now, he has set his itinerary based on his own thoughts. We will have to pay close attention to what God’s Word has to say as we move through this section of God’s Word.”

We have finished the first section of Paul’s journey to Rome. Now we move on to Paul’s Road to Jerusalem.


Figures of Speech Used in the Bible, page 823, E.W. Bullinger
  When were the books of the Bible divided into chapters and verses? Who did the dividing? (
  Divine Names of God, The Companion Bible, Appendix 4, E.W. Bullinger
  Figures of Speech Used in the Bible, page 472, E.W. Bullinger
  Figures of Speech Used in the Bible, page 927, E.W. Bullinger
  Figures of Speech Used in the Bible, page 898, E.W. Bullinger

© Auxano Ministry 2023

A Journey through the Book of Acts