Summary: How a Ministry is Multiplied - Acts 18:1-28
Paul at Corinth and After: Acts 18:1-28
1. Corinth was the political and commercial center of Greece as opposed to Athens, the intellectual capital. Perhaps, it would be like going from Oxford to London. It has a terrible reputation for immorality, wickedness and idolatry. Corinth had a diversified population, which allowed it to flourish commercially, economically and socially. After four cities where he did not see great results (Philippi, Thessalonica, Berea, Athens), he was able to start a church in Corinth where he stayed for 1.5 years. We will not often see results until after persevering through dry times.
2. Paul had an active, business like temperament that felt more at home in Corinth than in the word-splitting city of Athens. In Corinth Paul worked with and through a Jewish couple named Aquila and Priscilla. They were also fellow tent-makers and so Paul stayed at their house to support his ministry when funds ran low. It is essential to form local friendships with insiders if one is going to make a lasting impact in a community.
Learn that most ministries go in cycles that must be taken into a larger perspective of our entire lifespan.
3. Paul, from I Cor 1 and 2 shows us that he reasoned with his mind and conscience through the exposition of the Scriptures.
The apostle preached Christ not in demonstration of human wisdom but in demonstration of the Spirit and power so that their faith would not rest on the wisdom of men but on the power of God.
4. Paul persuaded the Corinthians through an appeal to their heart, mind and wills.
5. The Lord used faithful companions from Macedonia to cheer Paul with good reports from Thessalonica and with gifts from Philippi, which freed him for full time ministry.
Ask the Lord to give you faithful supporters who will be key to expanding the scope of your ministry.
6. God used Paul to lead Crispus, a synagogue ruler, to Christ, which led to many others who followed in his example.
The Lord overshadows our difficulties with key spiritual fruit just at the right time. (I Cor. 1:14) (Acts 18:7,8)
7. God spoke to Paul not to be afraid, but to keep on speaking. There are times when we need a special word from the Lord to keep persisting in the area where we are called to minister.
Ask the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart as you delight in Him. (Psa 37:3-9) Refuse to grow discouraged, frustrated or troubled in your heart when there does not seem to be any fruit.
Do not grow weary in well doing because in due season you will reap if you faint not. (Gal 6:7,8) Do not think that you are led to another work when the going gets tough.
It is enough to know that God says, “I am with you.” God told him, “I have many people in this city as jewels to be preached to.” (10b) God can reach the vilest of the vile with the gospel, never despair since you can do all things through Christ who strengthens you. (Phil. 4:13)
8. Paul obeyed God’s command by staying in Corinth for eighteen months. (vs 18) As a result of following God’s will Paul’s preaching spread the gospel throughout the whole of Achaia (2 Cor 1:1) including Cenchrea, a port of Corinth. (Rom. 16:1)
When we obey the Lord He multiplies our witness in ways beyond human imagination.
9. Paul endures another round of accusations and assaults by the Jews who claimed, “He was making people worship in ways that were contrary to the Law.” (vs 13) However, God gave Gallio the wisdom to see the true nature of the accusation – absurd and hollow jealousy.
The Lord knows how to rescue the godly and deliver them from any and all trouble. Gallio dismissed the case and cleared the court.
10. The Gentiles used the opportunity to vent their anger on the Jewish persecutors. People who accuse must be aware that their accusations often boomerang on them. (vs. 17) Even Gallio must have felt the Jews deserved their punishment.
Know that God will bring revenge to our oppressors in due time.
11. Paul picks up Apollos, a faithful companion at Ephesus (vs 24-28) who was eloquent in speech, mighty in the scriptures and fervent in spirit.
A great combination of criteria to select close friends. He was also teachable and had been recommended by the brethren in Ephesus to those in Achaia.
He was the one who knew how to nurture the believers to higher levels of maturity. He also convinced unbelievers of Christ’s Messiahship, publicly and by means of the scripture (vs 28)
Ask the Lord to give you such bold, discerning and complimentary people in your ministries.