Paul Adapts to His Audience

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Adaptability

Paul left Athens and went to Corinth (v. 1). Have you ever wondered why some people refuse to make any adjustments to changing situations?  The great apostle demonstrated adjustments in his methods to the Corinthians, because he knew they were less philosophical than the Athenians and more commercially motivated. Paul used a public approach in Athens, but switched to a private ministry in Corinth. Adaptable people are flexible enough to consistently modify their approaches to suit new conditions.

The cities of Athens and Corinth were only 50 miles apart, however, they were very different.  Athens was noted for its culture and learning, while Corinth was noted for its commerce and wickedness.  Paul came to Corinth following his ministry to the philosophers in Greece, and he came determined to magnify Jesus Christ. According to I Corinthians 2:1-5, Paul came to Corinth with weaknesses, fear and trembling. He had not been in Corinth long before he found friends.

He knew a Jew named Aquila and his wife Priscilla (v. 2). They were tent makers, like Paul, and they invited him to come and stay with them (v. 3). As is common in the Middle East, his workshop may have been downstairs and his living quarters upstairs. From Romans 16:3, we know Aquila and Priscilla served faithfully, and even risked their lives for Paul. Every Sabbath day they went to the synagogue where the Jews worshiped (v. 4). There Paul preached unto them Jesus the Son of God and tried to win them over to the Lord.

Application

Paul went to a wicked city alone, which was a difficult place for him to minister. I have never had to stand alone in difficult areas like Paul. God provided friends for Paul. How long has it been since I have provided hospitality in my home for a missionary family? One of the greatest blessings my family can possibly experience is to have missionaries in our home. Lord, help me to think of someone I can invite, and set up the date with them.

Acts 18:1-4 (English Standard Version)

After this Paul left Athens and went to Corinth. And he found a Jew named Aquila, a native of Pontus, recently come from Italy with his wife Priscilla, because Claudius had commanded all the Jews to leave Rome. And he went to see them, and because he was of the same trade he stayed with them and worked, for they were tentmakers by trade. And he reasoned in the synagogue every Sabbath, and tried to persuade Jews and Greeks.

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