Summary: Growing stronger in service and faith.
TITLE: “FINDING WAYS TO BUILD YOUR STRENGTH”
INTRODUCTION: A. Maltbie Babcock:
We are not here to play, to dream to drift;
We have had work to do, and loads to lift;
Shun not the struggle – face it; ‘tis God’s gift.
Say, “The days are evil. Who’s to blame?”
And fold the hands and acquiesce – oh, what shame!
Stand up; speak out, and bravely in God’s name.
It matters not how deep entrenched the wrong.
How hard the battle goes, the day how long;
Faint not – fight on! Tomorrow comes the song.
B. Three important historical events happened in 51 AD:
1. The Jews started to riot in Rome, so Claudius (45-54 AD), the fourth Roman
emperor, had them all banished from the capital.
2. This expuslion forced the Jewish couple Aquila and Priscilla, natives of Pontus who
were in the tent-making trade, to move to the city of Corinth.
3. At the same time Paul was on his second missionary journey with his associates
Silas,Timothy, and Luke.
a. They had preached in northern Greece, established churches in Philippi and
Thessalonica, and visited Berea.
b. Then Paul went into Athens alone and had an opportunity to share the good news
of Jesus on Mars Hill. Afterward he walked some fifty miles west and arrived in
the pagan city of Corinth, where his disciples again joined him.
C. Corinth was a seaport city on the southern tip of Greece with a population of a half-
million people from every walk of life.
1. It was known as the cradle of pleasure and a showplace of architectural beauty.
2. The hill of the Acropolis towered above the city, and on top of the hill stood the
great temple of Aphrodite, the goddess of love.
a. One thousand priests and priestesses who were religious prostitutes were attached
to that temple.
b. Every evening they would descend from their perch and come into the city
looking for worshippers of the goddess of love
3. The town had such a bad reputation that it became a slang term to call someone
who had very low morals a “Corinthian”
4. We sometimes think of Paul as being so bold, so fearless -- yet he suffered just as
we do from apprehensions, forebodings, and fears.
a. In fact in a letter to these very Corinthians he admits his trepidations
b. 1 Cor. 2:3 – “3 came to you in weakness and fear, and with much trembling.
c. He was very much in fear of what could happen in this particular city.
named Aquila, a native of Pontus, who had recently come from Italy with his wife
Priscilla, because Claudius had ordered all the Jews to leave Rome. Paul went to see
them, and because he was a tentmaker as they were, he stayed and worked with them.
Every Sabbath he reasoned in the synagogue, trying to persuade Jews and Greeks.
When Silas and Timothy came from Macedonia, Paul devoted himself exclusively to
preaching, testifying to the Jews that Jesus was the Christ. But when the Jews
opposed Paul and became abusive, he shook out his clothes in protest and said to