July 14

Acts 18

Acts 18:1-6-Paul goes to Corinth...where he met Aquila and his wife, Priscilla (cf. Romans 16:3; 1 Corinthians 16:19; 2 Timothy 4:19)...who had been among those that were thrown out of Rome by Claudius (A.D. 49 or 50).  They were tentmakers like Paul...so he stayed with them.  Paul was “reasoning” (to debate, argue, discuss) in the synagogue on the Sabbaths in an attempt to “persuade” (to win over, to induce to believe) people to accept Christ.  When Silas and Timothy arrived he began to do so every day…but directed his efforts towards the Jews.  However, those he was speaking to "resisted and blasphemed" (:5-they not only refused to accept what Paul said, but must have gone further and made derogatory remarks concerning Jesus).  What they said was so offensive to Paul, that he "shook out his garments" (:6-this speaks of an act displaying extreme contempt for someone and refusing to have any other dealings with them) and said that from that time on he would take his message to the Gentiles (:6).

Acts 18:7-11-Paul left and went to the home of Titius Justus, “a worshiper of God”…whose home was next to the synagogue.  There, he led many of the Jews to Christ (including the leader of the synagogue, Crispus, his family, and many other people in Corinth).  God spoke to Paul and told him to not worry about those who were opposing him...but to go on speaking (:9).  He stayed there for 1 1/2 years.

Acts 18:12-17-The Jews finally tried to bring Paul before the Roman Court…claiming that he was leading an unlicensed (not recognized by the government) religion.  Judaism was a licensed religion under Roman law and the Jews were claiming that Christianity was not part of it.  However, the Christians identified themselves as a sect, or part of the Jewish faith (something like a Christian denomination, today).  Gallio was proconsul of Achia in A.D. 51.  He refused to make judgment in matters that he felt to be of a religious nature between the Jews (:14-15).  He told them to settle their differences, themselves.  They then beat Sosthenes, the leader of those who opposed Paul in the synagogue, right in front of Gallio...but he showed no concern.  “If this is the same Sosthenes mentioned in 1 Cor. 1:1, perhaps the beating helped him to become a Chrisian!” (Ryrie).

Acts 18:18-22-Paul stayed in Corinth "many days longer" (:18)...then left for Syria...taking Priscilla and Aquilla with him.  In Cenchrea he made a vow and had his hair cut (Ryrie Study Bible- 18:18-The sign of the conclusion of a Nazarite vow).  They came to Ephesus and Paul debated with the Jews in the synagogue.  They wanted him to stay longer but he refused.  However, he told them that he would return if possible.  Paul left Priscilla and Aquilla in Ephesus.  He then left and went to Caesarea...where he met with the members of the church that was there.  Then, he continued to Antioch…from where he had begun this Second Missionary Journey.

Acts 18:23-21:26-This is Paul's Third Missionary Journey

Acts 18:23-19:41-Paul returns to Ephesus.

Acts 18:23-Paul stays in Antioch for a short time…then leaves and goes to the area of Galatia and then Phrygia..."strengthening all the disciples" (:23).

Acts 18:24-28-A Jew named Apollos (from Alexandria) came to Ephesus.  He was a believer, “fervent in spirit”...but was "acquainted only with the baptism of John" (:25-he had a limited understanding about Jesus).  Priscilla and Aquilla explained the "way of God more accurately" (:26) to him and he became a powerful speaker.  He felt led to go to Achaia.  The members of the church in Ephesus wrote a letter of introduction to the church in Achaia.  He was a great help to those believers…”demonstrating by the Scriptures” that Jesus was the Messiah.

Prayer: Lord, the Apostle Paul was constantly bringing new people into Your work.  He would teach them about You...and then send them out.  Please help me to facilitate people in the same way.  Help me to reach people with Your message, disciple them, and then send them out to do Your work.

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