ACTS 18: 1-13
(Verses 1-3) Paul arrives in Corinth and meets Aquila and Priscilla.
18.1 After these things Paul departed from Athens, and came to Corinth;
Corinth was a Roman colony and the most influential city of the province of Achaia.
18.2 And found a certain Jew named Aquila, born in Pontus, lately come from Italy, with his wife Priscilla; (because that Claudius had commanded all Jews to depart from Rome:) and came unto them.
Aquila and Priscilla were a sold out couple for The Lord Jesus Christ. Every place in Scripture that we read their names, they are ministering together in The Lord.
Ac 18:18,26 Ro 16:3,4 1Co 16:19 2Ti 4:19.
When Paul left Corinth, they went with him to Ephesus where they set up shop while Paul continued his journey to Jerusalem. When Apollos came to Ephesus they ministered to him. When Paul wrote his first letter to the Corinthians from Ephesus in about 59 AD, he told them that Priscilla and Aquilla send their greetings along with the church that was in their house. When a year later Paul wrote to the church in Rome, he told them to greet Priscilla and Aquilla who were his helpers in Christ Jesus.
What would God write about you and your spouse’s commitment to serving Christ in your home, in your church and in your community?
I suggest to you that Aquila and Priscilla are not the extreme, but the norm for each couple here this morning.
There are many people like them in this congregation and you do not hear about them, but what a great influence they have on others and what a wonderful work they do for the kingdom of God.
18.3 And because he was of the same craft, he abode with them, and wrought: for by their occupation they were tentmakers.
Jewish fathers were urged to teach their sons a trade, and Paul learned tent making, an important industry in Tarsus. They had a saying that if you did not teach your son a trade, you were preparing him to be a thief.
Acts 20.33 I have coveted no man’s silver, or gold, or apparel. Yea, ye yourselves know, that these hands have ministered unto my necessities, and to them that were with me
1 Thessalonians 2.9 For ye remember, brethren, our labour and travail: for labouring night and day, because we would not be chargeable unto any of you, we preached unto you the gospel of God.
1 Corinthians 9 may reflect this period of Paul’s ministry in Corinth when he supported himself rather than receive support from te Corinthians.
(Verses 4-8) Paul’s ministry among the Jews and Gentiles of Corinth
18.4 And he reasoned in the synagogue every sabbath, and persuaded the Jews and the Greeks.
Greek means to dispute. To converse, discourse with.
We know from Acts 17.2 , that when Paul went into the synagogue, Paul, as his manner was, went in unto them, and three sabbath days reasoned with them out of the scriptures, Opening and alleging, that Christ must needs have suffered, and risen again from the dead; and that this Jesus, whom I preach unto you, is Christ.
The Scriptures that Paul used to testify abut Jesus being the Messiah were the Old Testament.
By the grace of God, Paul was a powerful witness for Christ.
Acts 17.17 Therefore disputed he in the synagogue with the Jews, and with the devout persons, and in the market daily with them that met with him.
For too many Christians, the great commission has become the great omission. We are called to live a missional lifestyle in word and deed for the glory of God.
18.5 And when Silas and Timotheus were come from Macedonia, Paul was pressed in the spirit, and testified to the Jews that Jesus was Christ.
When Timothy came, he brought news about how the Christians in Thessalonica were remaining steadfast in the faith (1 Thessalonians 3:6-10). This brought Paul great joy, spurring him on in ministry (Paul was compelled by the Spirit). He answered back by writing 1 Thessalonians from Corinth.
He was compelled or constrained by The Spirit of God to testify about Jesus Christ. The Revised Version reads that he was constrained by the word, that is, by the gospel message.
Paul was not only moved by the love of Christ. He was also moved by the fear of eternal judgment.
2 Corinthians 5.11 Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord, we persuade men; but we are made manifest unto God; and I trust also are made manifest in your consciences.
Beloved, what we are doing here this morning is not playing church and the gospel of Jesus Christ is no joke.
18.6 And when they opposed themselves, and blasphemed, he shook his raiment, and said unto them, Your blood be upon your own heads; I am clean: from henceforth I will go unto the Gentiles.
The blasphemy was directed against Jesus, because Paul was preaching Jesus as the Messiah.
The deep prejudice that many people have against Jesus can only be explained by understanding that Satan has blinded their eyes.
Shook his raiment. Clothing. Shaking the dust from his garment was a sign of his innocence of their blood (20:26-27) but judgment upon them (Luke 9:5).
Your blood be on your own heads, he was referring to their destruction and their own responsibility for it (cf. 33:1–6). Paul has told them the truth. It is not his fault if they reject it.
Saints, you and I are not responsible for results. God holds us accountable for being faithful, regardless of how many people turn to Christ.
18.7 And he departed thence, and entered into a certain man’s house, named Justus, one that worshipped God, whose house joined hard to the synagogue.
The first home of the Corinthian church. Titius Justus was a Gentile adherent to the faith at the synagogue, and a Roman citizen.
Did you catch that after Paul fled from the synagogue, he went right next door into the home of this saved Gentile!
18.8 And Crispus, the chief ruler of the synagogue, believed on the Lord with all his house; and many of the Corinthians hearing believed, and were baptized.
Crispus was the leader of the synagogue whom Paul led to Christ. Paul baptized him (1Co 1:14).
Many of the Corinthians hearing believed, and were baptized. This describes the gospel process of conversion. The word is preached; faith comes by hearing (Ro 10:17), confession (Ro 10:10) and baptism (Ro 6:3,4) follow.
(Verses 9-11) God’s special encouragement to Paul in Corinth.
18.9 Then spake the Lord to Paul in the night by a vision, Be not afraid, but speak, and hold not thy peace:
Be not afraid implies that Paul had fears about how ministry was going here in Corinth.
18.10 For I am with thee, and no man shall set on thee to hurt thee: or I have much people in this city.
Please note that Jesus didn’t tell Paul that his opponents wouldn’t try to stop him, only that they would not be successful.
In the face of opposition, God steps in with faithful love to strengthen Paul’s.
God promises (1) Protection: despite the danger of Paul’s opponents, God will ensure that they do not harm him; and (2) Presence: God himself will be with Paul.
It is God’s presence (“I am with you”; Acts 18:10) that not only energizes believers but protects them in the midst of fear, anxiety, and doubt. This is a recurring theme in Scripture: God’s perfect love and presence casts out fear
I have much people in this city. The Lord knows those that are His, yea, and those that shall be His. Through the preaching of the gospel, God will gather in His chosen flock from the places where they are scattered.
He will gather those who place faith in Jesus Christ this morning. The doctrines of election and predestination do not diminish the need for evangelism, they actually compel us to evangelize.
18.11 And he continued there a year and six months, teaching the word of God among them.
Vision- This was the third of six visions given to Paul (cf. 9:3–6 16:9–10 22:17–18 23:11 27:23–24).
I have much people in this city. Though they were not yet converted, the Lord Jesus knew His chosen sheep whom He had redeemed and made sure they heard the gospel through His servant (Acts 13:48; John 10:14-16).
A year and six months. Paul’s longest stay in any city, except Ephesus (20:31/3 years) and Rome (28:30/2 years). It was during this stay in Corinth that he wrote 1–2 Thessalonians.
Acts 14.3 Long time therefore abode they speaking boldly in the Lord, which gave testimony unto the word of his grace, and granted signs and wonders to be done by their hands.
Acts 20.31 Therefore watch, and remember, that by the space of three years I ceased not to warn every one night and day with tears.
(1Verses 2-17) The Jews of Corinth attempt (unsuccessfully) to convict Paul before the civil authorities.
18.12 And when Gallio was the deputy of Achaia, the Jews made insurrection with one accord against Paul, and brought him to the judgment seat,
The brother of Seneca, the philosopher, who was the tutor of Nero.
Deputy or proconsul. The proconsul of a province was its chief judicial officer.
18.13 Saying, This fellow persuadeth men to worship God contrary to the law.
Contrary to the law. The Jews were claiming that Paul was advocating a religion not recognized by Roman law as Judaism was.
In approaching the proconsul of Achaia, the Jews of Corinth are trying to “legally” put a stop Paul not only in Corinth, but also in the entire province. These same kinds of things are happening in our day and age.
18.14 And when Paul was now about to open his mouth, Gallio said unto the Jews, If it were a matter of wrong or wicked lewdness, O ye Jews, reason would that I should bear with you:
18.15 But if it be a question of words and names, and of your law, look ye to it; for I will be no judge of such matters.
Gallio was correct in seeing that the government has no legitimate role in attempting to decide religious matters, though government does have a legitimate role in matters of wrongdoing or wicked crimes.
18.16 And he drave them from the judgment seat. 18.17 Then all the Greeks took Sosthenes, the chief ruler of the synagogue, and beat him before the judgment seat. And Gallio cared for none of those things.
A Sosthenes is included with Paul in the writing of 1 Corinthians (1:1). Perhaps he was the second ruler of the synagogue at Corinth to become a Christian in response to Paul’s preaching (see v. 8).
What have you done with the gospel of Jesus Christ?
What could a person possibly have against Jesus Christ is beyond me.
He taught that we were to love one another as we loved ourselves.
He taught us to be merciful towards those were opposed to us.
He taught us to pray for our enemies.
He taught us to forgive people their trespasses against us.
They taught us to help those who are in need.
What could you possibly have against the teaching of Jesus?
You may not want to hear this but Jesus Himself said in John 14.6 I Am the way, the truth and the life and no man can come unto The Father but by Me.
Jesus also said that the reason why men do not believe His gospel is because the god of this world blinds them and because they loved darkness rather than light because their deeds were evil.
But today, God is once again calling out to you to repent and believe upon His Son Jesus Christ for the remission of your sin. If you would like prayer and talk about this new life in Jesus Christ, contact me.