Paul’s Ministry in Corinth

“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.

Acts 18:1-17 (English Standard Version)

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