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Acts 18_01-17 - Reinforcements & Reassurance

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Reinforcements & Reassurance

Acts 18:1-17

Corinth: city of commerce, sport and immorality. Carnal & immoral.

1.      Reinforcements (1-8)

a.       Friends (1-4)

                                                               i.      Aquilla (Jew)

                                                             ii.      Priscilla: there are times her name is given before her husbands

1.       Acts 18:18 "And Paul after this tarried there yet a good while, and then took his leave of the brethren, and sailed thence into Syria, and with him Priscilla and Aquila; having shorn his head in Cenchrea: for he had a vow."

2.       Romans 16:3 "Greet Priscilla and Aquila my helpers in Christ Jesus:"

                                                            iii.      Came to stay with them because of their occupation (3)

                                                           iv.      Paul: Part-Time

                                                             v.      DO NOT CHARGE THE LOST: 1 Corinthians 9:11-14 "If we have sown unto you spiritual things, is it a great thing if we shall reap your carnal things? If others be partakers of this power over you, are not we rather? Nevertheless we have not used this power; but suffer all things, lest we should hinder the gospel of Christ. Do ye not know that they which minister about holy things live of the things of the temple? and they which wait at the altar are partakers with the altar? Even so hath the Lord ordained that they which preach the gospel should live of the gospel."

b.      Financial Support (5)

                                                               i.      Only through giving churches and individuals can missionaries and evangelists carry on the work of God as it ought to be done.

                                                             ii.      Silas & Timothy did not come to Paul empty handed. They had raised support for the work.

                                                            iii.      2 Corinthians 11:9 "And when I was present with you, and wanted, I was chargeable to no man: for that which was lacking to me the brethren which came from Macedonia supplied: and in all things I have kept myself from being burdensome unto you, and so will I keep myself."

                                                           iv.      Philippians 4:13-15 "I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me. Notwithstanding ye have well done, that ye did communicate with my affliction. Now ye Philippians know also, that in the beginning of the gospel, when I departed from Macedonia, no church communicated with me as concerning giving and receiving, but ye only."

                                                             v.      Paul could now commit all his time to the gospel ministry.

                                                           vi.      Now Paul had friends, fellow-laborers and finances.

                                                          vii.      Pray & Give & GO: Goers & Senders

c.       First to the Jews (5-6)

                                                               i.      Preached “Jesus was Christ”

1.       1 Corinthians 2:1-5 "And I, brethren, when I came to you, came not with excellency of speech or of wisdom, declaring unto you the testimony of God. For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified. And I was with you in weakness, and in fear, and in much trembling. And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man’s wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power: That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God."

                                                             ii.      “they opposed themselves”

                                                            iii.      Shook his raiment: Matthew 10:14-15 "And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear your words, when ye depart out of that house or city, shake off the dust of your feet. Verily I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrha in the day of judgment, than for that city."

                                                           iv.      “Your blood be upon your own heads”: Ezekiel 33:1-6 "Again the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, Son of man, speak to the children of thy people, and say unto them, When I bring the sword upon a land, if the people of the land take a man of their coasts, and set him for their watchman: If when he seeth the sword come upon the land, he blow the trumpet, and warn the people; Then whosoever heareth the sound of the trumpet, and taketh not warning; if the sword come, and take him away, his blood shall be upon his own head. He heard the sound of the trumpet, and took not warning; his blood shall be upon him. But he that taketh warning shall deliver his soul. But if the watchman see the sword come, and blow not the trumpet, and the people be not warned; if the sword come, and take any person from among them, he is taken away in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at the watchman’s hand."

                                                             v.      “I am clean”: Acts 20:26-27 "Wherefore I take you to record this day, that I am pure from the blood of all men. For I have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God."

                                                           vi.      “I go to unto the Gentiles”: focused outreach

                                                          vii.      Change of locations: Justus, “one that worshipped God”: Gentile

d.      Fruit (8)

                                                               i.      Crispus, the chief ruler of the synagogue

                                                             ii.      “Believed on the Lord with all his house”

                                                            iii.      “Many of the Corinthians hearing believed”: sometimes there are those who set the precedence…if they move, others will.

                                                           iv.      “and were baptized”

2.      Reassurance (9-11)

a.       From the Lord, “where could I go but the Lord”

                                                               i.      “Be not afraid”

1.       Comforting words God speaks to His people:
Abraham (Gen. 15:1), Isaac (Gen. 26:24), Jacob (Gen. 46:3), Jehoshaphat (2 Chron. 20:15–17), Daniel (Dan. 10:12, 19), Mary (Luke 1:30), and Peter (Luke 5:10)

2.       Paul had reason to be afraid.

                                                             ii.      “speak, and hold not thy peace:”

1.        “For I am with thee,”: He Leadeth Me

2.        “and no man shall set on thee to hurt thee:”

3.       “for I have much people in this city.”

                                                            iii.      “And he continued there a year and six months, teaching the word of God among them."

b.      Longest time he spent anywhere outside of Ephesus.

                                                               i.      It was here that he wrote 1 & 2 Thessalonians by inspiration of the Holy Spirit.

3.      Resistance (12-17)

a.       Revolt (12-13)

                                                               i.      Insurrection: Revolt; rebel, riot, uprising

                                                             ii.      Sosthenes had replaced the now converted Crispus (8) as the chief of the synagogue

                                                            iii.      The people were unified in their attack, persecution and attempted prosecution of Paul.

1.       Paul was not afraid, because he had the promise of God that: “and no man shall set on thee to hurt thee:”

2.       He had friends too: “for I have much people in this city.”

3.       Jesus had this well in hand…Paul would not even have to open his mouth (14)

                                                           iv.      Gallio, deputy of Achaia, had power to set precedence.

1.       The Jews charged Paul with persuading the people to worship God in ways contrary to the Roman law.

a.       Rome did not permit the propagation of new religions. Judaism was an accepted and established belief. These Jews were saying in effect that Christianity was a new and different cult, distinct from Judaism.

b.      However, Gallio saw it differently. To him Christianity came under Judaism and therefore was not a matter to be settled in a civil court.

2.       This decision was crucial for it was tantamount to legitimatizing Christianity in the eyes of Roman law.

3.       Don’t bother me with this… it is not a matter of wrong or wicked lewdness

                                                             v.      He had them chased out (16)

b.      Returning Stone (14-17)

                                                               i.      Sosthenes and the Jews had a rude surprise coming.

                                                             ii.      Proverbs 26:27 "Whoso diggeth a pit shall fall therein: and he that rolleth a stone, it will return upon him."

                                                            iii.      Acts 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."

                                                           iv.      This time it wasn’t Paul and his team getting beat…it was the opposition.

c.       Results Later (17)

                                                               i.      Sosthenes: 1 Corinthians 1:1 "Paul, called to be an apostle of Jesus Christ through the will of God, and Sosthenes our brother,"

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