Coney Hill Baptist Church

Demonstrating God’s Love Together

Commitment in Corinth

Acts 18:1-21

Intro:

The final destination of this, second, journey.  Clearly significant – the capital city, much bigger, at this time, than Athens, more challenging too, from provincial university town to bustling metropolis, been described as moving from Boston to Las Vegas, or in UK terms, Oxford to London.

In New Testament terms as well, ministry in the place was to have a massive impact.  Yet Paul was tired, alone, weary.  He could well have been excused wanting to get home as soon as possible. He arrived in ‘fear and trembling ( 1 Cor. 2:3)

Maybe that’s why the account of this visit focuses more on people than it does strategy. Paul’s ministry was always personal, offered with friends to individuals, often by name, or household, tailored to reflect the personal concern of God for each of us.

 

The Encouragement of Personal Friends (v.2-3):

– Priscilla and Aquilia Rom. 16:3-4 – “Greet Priscilla[c] and Aquila, my fellow workers in Christ Jesus. They risked their lives for me. Not only I but all the churches of the Gentiles are grateful to them.”

Sufferers, co-workers, providers of hospitality

Building up God’s people purposefully...

 

The Encouragement of Practical Support (v.5):

Silas’s and Timothy’s return provided him with resources to concentrate fully on preaching the gospel...

Giving to God’s work generously...

 

The Encouragement of God in Action (v’s. 8-10):

The coming to faith of Crispus, the synagogue leader, and his whole household must’ve been a very welcome experience and then to receive a vision of direct encouragement, a motivation to speak, a promise of protection, an assurance of support  (and ‘success’) inspired him further.  So much so that he stayed another 18 months.

Seeking God prayerfully...

 

 The Encouragement of Increasing Impact (v’s. 12-16)

Gallio, the Roman provincial Governor, by far the most senior figure Paul had ever appeared in front of, effectively set a precedent for the whole of the Roman Empire, that the new Christian faith was able to continue, free from interference from the Imperial state.  It was still a long way (250 years) for Christianity being adopted as the faith of Rome, but it was a significant step away from being an underground sect. 

Recognising God’s blessing thankfully...

 

Conc.

Paul’s vow, before he set sail for home, demonstrated that although his journey was nearly done, his commitment was stronger than ever and he was always looking for new ways to express it, forever open to a fresh calling a new direction, a deeper expression of his faith, Paul was going home, but ready to go again.