Acts Chapter 18

June 9, 2011

This Preaching in Shorts Bible study is on the Book of Acts. Each chapter is read verse by verse with the major points highlighted and discussed.

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Acts Chapter 18 from Preaching In Shorts on Vimeo.

Acts 18:1-28 (NIV)
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 the 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. 5 When Silas and Timothy came from Macedonia, Paul devoted himself exclusively to preaching, testifying to the Jews that Jesus was the Christ. 6 But when the Jews 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 clear of my responsibility. From now on I will go to the Gentiles.” 7 Then Paul left the synagogue and went next door to the house of Titius Justus, a worshiper of God. 8 Crispus, the synagogue ruler, and his entire household believed in the Lord; and many of the Corinthians who heard him believed and were baptized. 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 for a year and a half, teaching them the word of God. 12 While Gallio was proconsul of Achaia, the Jews made a united attack on Paul and brought him into court. 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 the Jews, “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 had them ejected from the court. 17 Then they all turned on Sosthenes the synagogue ruler and beat him in front of the court. But Gallio showed no concern whatever. 18 Paul stayed on in Corinth for some time. Then he left the brothers and sailed for Syria, accompanied by Priscilla and Aquila. Before he sailed, he had his hair cut off at Cenchrea because of a vow he had taken. 19 They arrived at Ephesus, where Paul left Priscilla and Aquila. He himself went into the synagogue and reasoned with the Jews. 20 When they asked him to spend more time with them, he declined. 21 But as he left, he promised, “I will come back if it is God’s will.” Then he set sail from Ephesus. 22 When he landed at Caesarea, he went up and greeted the church and then went down to Antioch. 23 After spending some time in Antioch, Paul set out from there and traveled from place to place throughout the region of Galatia and Phrygia, strengthening all the disciples. 24 Meanwhile a Jew named Apollos, a native of Alexandria, came to Ephesus. He was a learned man, with a thorough knowledge of the Scriptures. 25 He had been instructed in the way of the Lord, and he spoke with great fervor and taught about Jesus accurately, though he knew only the baptism of John. 26 He began to speak boldly in the synagogue. When Priscilla and Aquila heard him, they invited him to their home and explained to him the way of God more adequately. 27 When Apollos wanted to go to Achaia, the brothers encouraged him and wrote to the disciples there to welcome him. On arriving, he was a great help to those who by grace had believed. 28 For he vigorously refuted the Jews in public debate, proving from the Scriptures that Jesus was the Christ.

Acts 18:1

Without any explanation by Luke, Paul leaves Athens and heads to Corinth which was about 50 miles away.

Corinth is a lot different from Athens. Athens was known for its culture and learning, Corinth is know for commerce and sin. Corinth was a center for the worship of Aphrodite, a false goddess of love, whose followers promoted immorality in the name of religion. Paul is still alone apparently, as Silas and Timothy have not caught up with him yet. Paul writes of his own apprehension as he goes to Corinth alone:

1 Corinthians 2:1-5 (NIV)
1 When I came to you, brothers, I did not come with eloquence or superior wisdom as I proclaimed to you the testimony about God. 2 For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. 3 I came to you in weakness and fear, and with much trembling. 4 My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power, 5 so that your faith might not rest on men’s wisdom, but on God’s power.

Acts 18:2-4

Paul meets Aquila and Priscilla, Jews who had recently come from Rome, and as they were tentmakers like he was, he stays with them, supporting his own ministry of reasoning in the synagogue every Sabbath until Silas and Timothy arrive.

Acts 18:5

Silas and Timothy show up (with a financial gift from Macedonia) which frees up Paul to devote himself completely to the mission.

Acts 18:6

You know what happens next? The religious leaders get jealous and oppose Paul.

Acts 18:7

Paul doesn’t leave Corinth, he just moves his ministry next door to the synagogue in the house of Titius Justus.

Acts 18:8

Many people in Corinth come to believe in the Lord, including Crispus, the synagogue ruler.

Acts 18:9-11

Paul gets a vision from the Lord that he should stay in Corinth, despite the threats and opposition, and he stays there for a year and a half.

Acts 18:12-17

As the new synagogue ruler leads the charge against Paul, they try to use the Roman court system to get him out. Gallio decides that the matter is not his problem. While the Jews were trying to say that Christianity was a separate religion (which would have made it illegal in Rome as the Romans tolerated existing religions but wouldn’t allow new ones), Gallio’s decision not to see Christianity as a separate entity ultimately clears the way to legalizing Christianity in Roman law. So, the Jewish leaders decide to beat up the new synagogue ruler Sothenes instead.

Acts 18:18

Paul gets a hair cut, (at some point he had made a Nazarite vow which meant that he would not cut his hair for some length of time) and heads back towards Antioch, his home church.

While Paul was in Corinth, he wrote 1 and 2 Thessalonians.

Acts 18:19-22

Aquila and Priscilla accompany Paul as far as Ephesus. Timothy and Silas stayed in Macedonia and Achaia to oversee the churches there. Paul is well received in Ephesus, and the people there want him to stay, but Paul leaves, goes to Jerusalem and greets the church there and then goes to Antioch. This ends the second missionary journey.

Acts 18:23

After spending some time in Antioch, Paul sets out for missionary journey number three. More on that in the next chapter.

Acts 18:24-28

Luke ends this chapter with events that happened while Paul was in between journeys. It seems that Aquila and Priscilla have a church going in Ephesus. Apollos shows up in Ephesus, with great Zeal and knowledge of the scriptures, but having a gap in his knowledge of the Lord that only takes him through John’s baptism. Aquila and Priscilla mentor him a little, and he goes on to Corinth to help the church that is there.

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