Opposition Enhances Ministry Results

"A certain amount of opposition is a great help to a man. Kites rise against, not with the wind.” (Lou Nicholes - Missionary/Author).

Opposition

The arrival of his colleagues (Silas and Timothy) from Macedonia (v. 5) did a number of things for Paul.

  1. It relieved him of anxiety he had been feeling for his Thessalonian converts.
  2. He received a gift of money at this time from his friends at Philippi (2 Cor. 11:8) which enabled him to devote his full time to his missionary work.
  3. The presence of Silas and Timothy gave him much needed moral support. As a result,Paul threw himself with even greater zeal into the task of winning Jews to Jesus.

The expression “was pressed in the spirit” (v. 5) can be rendered “was engrossed in his witness.” It totally absorbed him. He went at it with a single-minded abandon of self.

As opportunities increased, the opposition increased as well. Charles Haddon Spurgeon said that the devil never kicks a dead horse. Such opposition is usually proof that God is at work, and this ought to encourage us. Jewish opposition had caused Paul to leave Thessalonica and Berea however, in Corinth it only made him determine to stay and get the job done. Paul was faithful to declaring the message of the Gospel, but the Jews continued to reject God’s truth. God brought a friend into Paul’s life, named Justus, who lived next door to the synagogue (v. 7). There Paul began preaching, and it gave him contact with the Jews and Gentiles. The chief ruler of the synagogue named Crispus, believed, along with his household (v. 8). Then many people believed the message Paul was preaching and were baptized to show they were turning from idols to trust in Jesus Christ.

Paul may have been thinking of leaving the city, when the Lord spoke to him in a vision or a dream, and told him not to be afraid. He was with him and no one would hurt him. Also God told him there would be many people who would believe when they heard the message. This was encouraging news to Paul, so he kept on teaching for a year and a half until a church was established in Corinth (v. 11).

Application

It is just like our Lord to speak peace to us when we need Him. He is the one that calmed the storm at sea and gave assurance to Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Daniel as well as others (Genesis 15:1, 26:24 and 46:3, Daniel 10:12,19). Whenever I feel alone or defeated I need to think on Hebrews 13:5 and Isaiah 41:10 because these verses will comfort and encourage me

Acts 18:5-11 (English Standard Version)

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." And he left there and went to the house of a man named Titius Justus, a worshiper 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. 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.

View this passage in NIV (Bible Gateway) »

More Acts commentaries

Acts 15:1-5
Jerusalem Council–Divisions Re: Circumcision

Acts 15:6-11
Jerusalem Council–Discussion Re: Moses’ Law

Acts 15:12-18
Jerusalem Council–Decisions Based on God’s Word

Acts 15:19-29
Jerusalem Council–Decisions for Unity

Acts 15:30-41
Paul and Barnabas Disagree About John Mark

Acts 16:1-5
Paul & Timothy – New Ministry Duo

Acts 16:6-10
Paul – Flexibility in the Itinerary

Acts 16:11-15
Lydia–Conversion to Christ and Hospitality Offered

Acts 16:16-34
Paul & Silas – Praising God While In Prison

Acts 16:35-40
Paul’s Ministry Produces "People” Change

Acts 17:1-9
Paul & Silas – Trust God’s Strategy for Ministry

Acts 17:10-15
Obstacles that Hinder the Work of the Lord

Acts 17:16-34
Religion ... Ridicule ... Results

Acts 18:1-4
Paul Adapts to His Audience

Acts 18:5-11
Opposition Enhances Ministry Results

Acts 18:12-17
Paul’s Roman Citizenship On Trial

Acts 18:18-23
God Works His Will in His Servants

Acts 18:24-28
Tactfulness–Words That Work Mightily

Acts 19:1-7
The Holy Spirit is a Person

Acts 19:8-16
Miracles Performed by Paul for Authentication

Acts 19:17-22
Beware of Cult Practices

Acts 19:21-41
Results of Religious Greed

Acts 20:1-6
Discipleship Despite Difficulties

Acts 20:7-12
When, Where, How & How Long to Worship

Acts 20:13-21
Paul–An Example of Faithfulness

Acts 20:22-24
Paul’s Determination To Go To Jerusalem

Acts 20:25-31
Paul’s Warning to the Ephesian Elders

Acts 20:32-38
Paul Shares About Giving

Acts 21:1-9
Paul Warned By the Christians

Acts 21:10-16
Paul’s Determination & Warning from Agabus

Acts 21:17-26
Compromise Recommended but Refuted

Acts 21:27-36
Disaster is the End Result of Compromise

Acts 21:37-40
Boldness At the Barracks