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Acts 18:1-22

Acts: The Story Continues  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  41:56
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Radiant Church, March 1, 2020 Mike Rydman Acts 18:1-22 Acts 18:1-3 After this Paul left Athens and went to Corinth. And he found a Jew named Aquila, a native of Pontus, recently come from Italy with his wife Priscilla, because Claudius had commanded all the Jews to leave Rome. And he went to see them, and because he was of the same trade he stayed with them and worked, for they were tentmakers by trade. Corinth (45 miles SW from Athens) had 750,000 people. Destroyed by the Romans, but rebuilt by Julius Caesar in 64BC Athens = Boston (intellectual) Corinth = NYC (commercial center) Ephesus = LA (cultural) Rome = Washington DC (governmental) Emperor Claudius had mandated the removal of Jewish Christians from Rome Corinth had the temple of Aphrodite (with prostitutes looking for “worshippers”) so Paul always had to teach on sexual purity to the Corinthian Christians Aquilla and Priscilla (Romans 16:3-4) co-workers who had risked everything Acts 18:4 And he reasoned in the synagogue every Sabbath, and tried to persuade Jews and Greeks. Acts 18:5-6 When Silas and Timothy arrived from Macedonia, Paul was occupied with the word, testifying to the Jews that the Christ was Jesus. And when they opposed and reviled him, he shook out his garments and said to them, “Your blood be on your own heads! I am innocent. From now on I will go to the Gentiles”. Silas and Timothy probably arrived with funds, so Paul could go full time again Paul worked hard. Kevin Durant “Hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work” And there was again opposition Ezekiel 3:19 But if you warn the wicked, and he does not turn from his wickedness, or from his wicked way, he shall die for his iniquity, but you will have delivered your soul. Acts 18:7-8 And he left there and went to the house of a man named Titius Justus, a worshipper of God. His house was next door to the synagogue. Crispus, the ruler of the synagogue, believed in the Lord, together with his entire household. And many of the Corinthians hearing Paul believed and were baptized. How will you be remembered after you are gone? What is the legacy you WANT to leave behind? Acts 18:9-11 And the Lord said to Paul one night in a vision, “Do not be afraid, but go on speaking and do not be silent, for I am with you, and no one will attack you to harm you, for I have many in this city who are my people.” And he stayed a year and six months, teaching the word of God among them. Paul had moments of weakness and fear. Jesus responds Rebuke (18:9a), Mandate (18:9b, God’s Sovereign Promises (18:10) “I have many people in this city.” – they’re His, even though they don’t yet know John 6:37, 39 All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever come to me I will never cast out…And this is the will of Him who sent me, that I should lose nothing of all that he has given me, but raise it up on the last day. Discouragement, despair, depression, even failure are not disqualifiers for fruitful ministry And Paul stayed so long in Corinth, because discipleship takes time, because the Holy Spirit told him to. Acts 18:12-16 But when Gallio was proconsul of Achaia, the Jews made a united attack on Paul and brought him before the tribunal, saying, “This man is persuading people to worship God contrary to the law.” But when Paul was about to open his mouth, Gallio said to the Jews, “If it were a matter of wrongdoing or vicious crime, O Jews, I would have reason to accept your complaint. But since it is a matter of questions about words and names and your own law, see to it yourselves. I refuse to be a judge of these things.” And he drove them from the tribunal. Acts 18:17 And they seized Sosthenes, the ruler of the synagogue, and beat him in front of the tribunal. But Gallio paid no attention to any of this. “They” likely the Gentile onlookers. Anti-Semitism was alive in the Greco- Roman world Acts 18:18 After this, Paul stayed many days longer and then took leave of the brothers and set sail for Syria, and with him Priscilla and Aquilla. At Cenchreae he had cut his hair, for he was under a vow. Cutting his hair meant his Nazarite vow was completed Thanks for blessings, or petition for future blessings Acts 18:19 And they came to Ephesus, and he left them there, but he himself went into the synagogue and reasoned with the Jews. When they asked him to stay for a longer period, he declined. But taking leave of them he said, “I will return to you if God wills,” and he set sail from Ephesus. When he had landed in Caesarea, he went up and greeted the church, and then went down to Antioch. Why is mission so hard? We live disconnected lives: The demise of conversation – now limited to monologues The death of confession – now high arrogance but low self-esteem Paul connected to Jesus, to others, to the mission of the gospel His strength through our weakness
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