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Friday, December 30 2011

Introduction

In last week's study, among other issues, we heard Paul's sermon on Mar's Hill which concluded in three ways: firstly, Rejection "some begin to sneer" (V. 32), secondly, Delayed Decision "we shall hear you again concerning this" (V. 32) and thirdly Belief "some joined Paul and Believed" (V. 34). This is related to the parable of the Sower in Matthews 13 and we concluded that every sermon preached will always have these three effects.

In today's study we shall be looking at Paul's ministration in Corinth. Corinth was a Grecian city, on the isthmus which joins the Peloponnesus to the mainland of Greece. It is about 48 miles west of Athens. It is noted for its wealth, luxury, immoral and vicious habits of the people. It had a large mixed population of Romans Greeks, and Jews.

From Athens to Corinth; Verses 1 - 4

1 After this, Paul left Athens and went to Corinth. 2 There he met a Jew named Aquila, a native of Pontus, who had recently come from Italy with his wife Priscilla, because Claudius had ordered all Jews to leave Rome. Paul went to see them, 3 and because he was a tentmaker as they were, he stayed and worked with them. 4 Every Sabbath he reasoned in the synagogue, trying to persuade Jews and Greeks.

When Paul arrived at Corinth he meets with Aquila and his wife Priscilla whom had just sent out of Rome by Claudius the Roman Emperor. Verse 3 revealed that Paul was multi-skilled. The scripture also says in Acts 22:3 that Paul had a Formal Education where he studied to become a Rabbi (a minister, a teacher and also a lawyer all in one) according to Jewish customs however he had learnt a trade before entering into ministry. The trade he had acquired was the making of tents from goats' hair cloth and we realise that he did not let his work disturb him from preaching the Gospel in the synagogue every Sabbath and persuading both Jews and Greeks.

Arrival of Silas and Timothy Verses 5-8

 5 When Silas and Timothy came from Macedonia, Paul devoted himself exclusively to preaching, testifying to the Jews that Jesus was the Messiah. 6 But when they opposed Paul and became abusive, he shook out his clothes in protest and said to them, "Your blood be on your own heads! I am innocent of it. From now on I will go to the Gentiles."

 7 Then Paul left the synagogue and went next door to the house of Titus Justus, a worshiper of God. 8 Crispus, the synagogue leader, and his entire household believed in the Lord; and many of the Corinthians who heard Paul believed and were baptized.

In verses 5-8, the same thing that happened in Athens happened again! Some Jew were opposing him because he said that Jesus is Christ at the same time the Crispus  the ruler of the synagogue believed in the Lord; both him and his household and many of the Corinthians believed and were baptised.

Do Not Be Afraid; Verses 9 - 11

9 One night the Lord spoke to Paul in a vision: "Do not be afraid; keep on speaking, do not be silent. 10 For I am with you, and no one is going to attack and harm you, because I have many people in this city." 11 So Paul stayed in Corinth for a year and a half, teaching them the word of God.

God spoke to Paul in a vision this shows us that in any situation we find ourselves in the ministry we should be confident that God is watching over us and is able to lead us and direct us all we have to do is be in tuned with the Holy Spirit at all times

Gallio: An Unexpected And Unwitting Instrument of God; Verses 12 - 17

12 While Gallio was proconsul of Achaia, the Jews of Corinth made a united attack on Paul and brought him to the place of judgment. 13 "This man," they charged, "is persuading the people to worship God in ways contrary to the law."

 14 Just as Paul was about to speak, Gallio said to them, "If you Jews were making a complaint about some misdemeanor or serious crime, it would be reasonable for me to listen to you. 15 But since it involves questions about words and names and your own law?settle the matter yourselves. I will not be a judge of such things." 16 So he drove them off. 17 Then the crowd there turned on Sosthenes the synagogue leader and beat him in front of the proconsul; and Gallio showed no concern whatever.

When God speaks a word to us by His Spirit or through a vision we can be rest assured that he has all knowledge and all wisdom. In verses 12-17; when they brought Paul to the judgment seat accusing him of persuading men to worship God in a contrary way to the law, before he opened his mouth Gallio said to the Jews

"if it were a matter of wrongdoing or wicked crimes, O Jews, there would be reason why I should bear with you. But if it is a question of word and name and your own law, look to it yourselves for I do not want to be a judge of such matters."

LESSONS

So we can rest, assured that if God gives us a guarantee as He did Paul in verse 10; no one can harm us. He has placed many people in Corinth and our cities as well and as He encouraged Paul to continue to preach so we are encouraged too! He is more than able to deliver on His promise; this is what Jesus Christ says in Matthews 28: 18-20

"Then Jesus came to them and said, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age."

CONCLUSION

Paul continued to be consistent in preaching the Word; when the Word is preached, it always has varying effects on the people. Last week we saw three of them; Rejection, Delayed Decision and Belief. This week we saw two of them; Rejection (verse 6) and Belief (verse 70. We also learnt that God has all knowledge and all understanding of whatever we might be going through. He promised Paul that no one can harm him and He was true to His promise. Paul didn't need to defend himself on this occasion; God spoke through the mouth of the Gallio in his defence! He did it for Paul; He will do it for us!

Contributor: Isaac Adeniyi

Posted by: Isekhua Evborokhai AT 05:00 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
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