“A certain amount of opposition is a great help to a man. Kites rise against, not with the wind.” (Lou Nicholes - Missionary/Author).
Paul traveled from Athens to Corinth (v. 1) where he quickly found friends, Aquila and his wife Priscilla, a Jewish couple (v. 2). They were fellow tentmakers who invited Paul to come and stay with them (v. 3). They became steadfast ministry partners for Paul, serving faithfully and even risking their lives for him (Rom. 16:3). Paul visited the synagogue weekly to reason with the Jews and Greeks about Christ Jesus (vv. 4-5). Once Silas and Timothy arrived in Corinth, Paul was able to fully focus on the ministry. Paul made tents to get by, but he much preferred full-time ministry.
As opportunities increased, the opposition increased as well. Paul had left Thessalonica and Berea to avoid Jewish opposition, but in Corinth opposition only made him more determined to stay. Paul left the synagogue (v. 6) and moved next door to the house of Justus (likely a Gentile believer) (v. 7). Surprisingly, Crispus, the ruler of the synagogue, joined Paul in leaving the synagogue, having also become a follower of Christ (v. 8a). Many people responded to Paul’s gospel message, believed, and were baptized (v. 8b). Amid all this success and opposition, Paul received a vision at night (vv. 9-10). The Lord told Paul: (1) to not be afraid, (2) to go on speaking, and (3) to not be silent, because (1) the Lord was with Paul, (2) the Lord would protect Paul, and (3) the Lord had many people in Corinth who needed to hear Paul’s message. With this encouragement, Paul stayed in Corinth for a year and six months and taught the Scriptures to them (v. 11).
During his time in Corinth, the Jews tried to use Roman law against Paul, accusing him of spreading illegal religion (vv. 12-13). Judaism was a recognized religion of the empire and was given the protection of the courts. The Romans, however, couldn’t distinguish the teachings of Jesus from Judaism (at least, not at first). Gallio, the Roman proconsul, refused to try the case, believing it was a matter of semantics, not an actual legal matter (vv. 14-15). There is a BIG difference between Judaism and Christianity, but God in His sovereignty allowed the early church to avoid legal persecution from the Romans. The Jews were driven from the court (v. 16), and Sosthenes, the ruler of the synagogue, was beaten by some of the anti-Semitic Gentiles in the crowd. Gallio intentionally ignored all of this (v. 17).
It is just like our Lord to speak peace to us when we need Him. Whenever I feel alone or defeated, I need to think on Hebrews 13:5 and Isaiah 41:10 since these verses comfort and encourage me.
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Acts 15:1-11The Jerusalem Council
Acts 15:6-11Jerusalem Councilâ€“Discussion Re: Moses’ Law
Acts 15:12-21A Decision based on God’s Word
Acts 15:22-29A Decision for Unity
Acts 15:30-41A Disagreement about John Mark
Acts 16:1-15Flexibility in the Ministry
Acts 16:6-10Paul â€“ Flexibility in the Itinerary
Acts 16:11-15Lydiaâ€“Conversion to Christ and Hospitality Offered
Acts 16:16-24Paul Frees the Slave Girl
Acts 16:25-40Praising in Prison
Acts 17:1-9Paul & Silas Trust God’s Strategy
Acts 17:10-21Obstacles that Hinder the Work
Acts 17:22-34Paul Preaches in Athens
Acts 18:1-17Paul’s Ministry in Corinth
Acts 18:5-11Opposition Enhances Ministry Results
Acts 18:12-17Paul’s Roman Citizenship On Trial
Acts 18:18-28God Works His Will in His Servants
Acts 18:24-28Tactfulnessâ€“Words That Work Mightily
Acts 19:1-10The Holy Spirit is a Person
Acts 19:11-20Miracles Performed by Paul for Authentication
Acts 19:17-22Beware of Cult Practices
Acts 19:21-41Results of Religious Greed
Acts 20:1-12Paul’s Journey to Troas
Acts 20:7-12When, Where, How & How Long to Worship
Acts 20:13-24Paulâ€“An Example of Faithfulness
Acts 20:22-24Paul’s Determination To Go To Jerusalem
Acts 20:25-38Paul’s Warning to the Ephesian Elders
Acts 20:32-38Paul Shares About Giving
Acts 21:1-9Paul Warned By the Christians
Acts 21:10-16Paul’s Determination despite Warning
Acts 21:17-26Paul arrives in Jerusalem
Acts 21:27-40Boldness at the Barracks
Acts 21:37-40Boldness At the Barracks