ACTS 18 - MISSIONARY PROBLEMS AND PROFIT

Rev. Thomas Tyree, Jr., Pastor, Grace Bible Church of Costa Mesa, California

Copyright 1995-2014 Rev. Thomas Tyree, Jr., All Rights Reserved


The apostle Paul is on his second missionary journey. He has just left the city of Athens and is moving on to the city of Corinth.

The Outrage at Corinth

A. Making new friends - Acts 18:1-3. Aquila and Pricilla shared the same trade as Paul (tent making) and they became faithful friends. (see also Romans 16:3, 1 Corinthians 15:19, and 2 Timothy 4:19)

After these things he left Athens and went to Corinth. And he found a certain Jew named Aquila, a native of Pontus, having recently come from Italy with his wife Priscilla, because Claudius had commanded all the Jews to leave Rome. He came to them, and because he was of the same trade, he stayed with them and they were working; for by trade they were tent-makers. (Acts 18:1-3)

Greet Prisca and Aquila, my fellow workers in Christ Jesus, (Romans 16:3)

If we have hoped in Christ in this life only, we are of all men most to be pitied. (1 Corinthians 15:19)

Greet Prisca and Aquila, and the household of Onesiphorus. (2 Timothy 4:19)

B. Ministering in the synagogue - Acts 18:4. Some opposed (Acts 18:6), some believed (Acts 18:8), God encouraged Paul (Acts 18:9-11).

And he was reasoning in the synagogue every Sabbath and trying to persuade Jews and Greeks. (Acts 18:4)

And when they resisted and blasphemed, he shook out his garments and said to them, "Your blood be upon your own heads! I am clean. From now on I shall go to the Gentiles." (Acts 18:6)

And Crispus, the leader of the synagogue, believed in the Lord with all his household, and many of the Corinthians when they heard were believing and being baptized. (Acts 18:8)

And the Lord said to Paul in the night by a vision, "Do not be afraid any longer, but go on speaking and do not be silent; for I am with you, and no man will attack you in order to harm you, for I have many people in this city." And he settled there a year and six months, teaching the word of God among them. (Acts 18:9-11)

C. Mistreated by the Jews - Acts 18:12-17. Fallio had just been appointed proconsul of the province of Achaia. He was the brother of the famous Roman philosopher Seneca.

But while Gallio was proconsul of Achaia, the Jews with one accord rose up against Paul and brought him before the judgment seat, saying, "This man persuades men to worship God contrary to the law." But when Paul was about to open his mouth, Gallio said to the Jews, "If it were a matter of wrong or of vicious crime, O Jews, it would be reasonable for me to put up with you; but if there are questions about words and names and your own law, look after it yourselves; I am unwilling to be a judge of these matters." And he drove them away from the judgment seat. And they all took hold of Sosthenes, the leader of the synagogue, and began beating him in front of the judgment seat. And Gallio was not concerned about any of these things. (Acts 18:12-17)

The Oath at Cenchrea - Acts 18:18-23

Paul visits a series of cities after fulfilling his Nazarite vow - Numbers 6:18. This is the end of the second missionary journey. The third missionary journey begins in Acts 18:25.

And Paul, having remained many days longer, took leave of the brethren and put out to sea for Syria, and with him were Priscilla and Aquila. In Cenchrea he had his hair cut, for he was keeping a vow. And they came to Ephesus, and he left them there. Now he himself entered the synagogue and reasoned with the Jews. And when they asked him to stay for a longer time, he did not consent, but taking leave of them and saying, "I will return to you again if God wills," he set sail from Ephesus. And when he had landed at Caesarea, he went up and greeted the church, and went down to Antioch. And having spent some time there, he departed and passed successively through the Galatian region and Phrygia, strengthening all the disciples. (Acts 18:18-23)

A. Apollos in Ephesus

1. His good points

a. eloquent - Acts 18:24

Now a certain Jew named Apollos, an Alexandrian by birth, an eloquent man, came to Ephesus; and he was mighty in the Scriptures. (Acts 18:24)

b. mighty in the Scriptures - Acts 18:24

c. instructed in the way of the Lord

d. fervent in spirit - Acts 18:25

This man had been instructed in the way of the Lord; and being fervent in spirit, he was speaking and teaching accurately the things concerning Jesus, being acquainted only with the baptism of John; (Acts 18:25)

e. spoke boldly - Acts 18:26

and he began to speak out boldly in the synagogue. But when Priscilla and Aquila heard him, they took him aside and explained to him the way of God more accurately. (Acts 18:26)

f. mightily convinced the Jews - Acts 18:28

for he powerfully refuted the Jews in public, demonstrating by the Scriptures that Jesus was the Christ. (Acts 18:28)

2. His lack (Acts 18:25) He knew only the baptism of John

This man had been instructed in the way of the Lord; and being fervent in spirit, he was speaking and teaching accurately the things concerning Jesus, being acquainted only with the baptism of John; (Acts 18:25)

3. His help - Aquila and Pricilla helped him.

B. Apollos in Corinth - Acts 18:27-28

And when he wanted to go across to Achaia, the brethren encouraged him and wrote to the disciples to welcome him; and when he had arrived, he helped greatly those who had believed through grace; for he powerfully refuted the Jews in public, demonstrating by the Scriptures that Jesus was the Christ. (Acts 18:27-28)

Study Questions

1. What was Paul's trade?

2. Who were Aquila and Pricilla? - Acts 18:2, Acts 18:18, and Acts 18:26

And he found a certain Jew named Aquila, a native of Pontus, having recently come from Italy with his wife Priscilla, because Claudius had commanded all the Jews to leave Rome. He came to them, (Acts 18:2)

And Paul, having remained many days longer, took leave of the brethren and put out to sea for Syria, and with him were Priscilla and Aquila. In Cenchrea he had his hair cut, for he was keeping a vow. (Acts 18:18)

and he began to speak out boldly in the synagogue. But when Priscilla and Aquila heard him, they took him aside and explained to him the way of God more accurately. (Acts 18:26)

3. What books of the Bible were subsequently written as letters to the church at Corinth?

4. Where did Paul get a haircut? - Acts 18:18

And Paul, having remained many days longer, took leave of the brethren and put out to sea for Syria, and with him were Priscilla and Aquila. In Cenchrea he had his hair cut, for he was keeping a vow. (Acts 18:18)

5. What did Paul usually do when he went into a synagogue? - Acts 18:4, Acts 18:19, Acts 14:1, Acts 17:1-3, and Acts 17:17

And he was reasoning in the synagogue every Sabbath and trying to persuade Jews and Greeks. (Acts 18:4)

And they came to Ephesus, and he left them there. Now he himself entered the synagogue and reasoned with the Jews. (Acts 18:19)

And it came about that in Iconium they entered the synagogue of the Jews together, and spoke in such a manner that a great multitude believed, both of Jews and of Greeks. (Acts 14:1)

Now when they had traveled through Amphipolis and Apollonia, they came to Thessalonica, where there was a synagogue of the Jews. And according to Paul's custom, he went to them, and for three Sabbaths reasoned with them from the Scriptures, explaining and giving evidence that the Christ had to suffer and rise again from the dead, and saying, "This Jesus whom I am proclaiming to you is the Christ." (Acts 17:1-3)

So he was reasoning in the synagogue with the Jews and the God-fearing Gentiles, and in the market place every day with those who happened to be present. (Acts 17:17)

6. What were some of the good points of Apollos? - Acts 18:24-25

Now a certain Jew named Apollos, an Alexandrian by birth, an eloquent man, came to Ephesus; and he was mighty in the Scriptures. This man had been instructed in the way of the Lord; and being fervent in spirit, he was speaking and teaching accurately the things concerning Jesus, being acquainted only with the baptism of John; (Acts 18:24-25)

7. How did Aquila and Pricilla help Apollos? - Acts 18:26

and he began to speak out boldly in the synagogue. But when Priscilla and Aquila heard him, they took him aside and explained to him the way of God more accurately. (Acts 18:26)

8. How did Apollos speak in the synagogue? - Acts 18:26

9. What were the results of the ministry of Apollos? - Acts 18:28

for he powerfully refuted the Jews in public, demonstrating by the Scriptures that Jesus was the Christ. (Acts 18:28)


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