Summary: On to Corinth. (PowerPoint slides to accompany this talk are available on request - email:

Reading: Acts chapter 18 verses 1-17.

• Last Sunday you looked at chapter 17 when the apostle Paul was in Athens

• This week in chapter 18 he has left Athens;

• And made a 90-mile journey west to Corinth.

• And unlike Athens, when he is with Christian friends (chapter 17 vs 15)

• This time Paul is alone,

• A 90 mile journey and he arrives in the winter of about A.D. 50.


• A man who bragged that he had cut off the tail of a man-eating lion;

• Using only a small pen knife.

• When someone asked him why he hadn’t cut off the lion’s head,

• The man looked embarrassed and replied: “Someone had already done that.”

Paul was a man of great courage:

• To go alone to a place like Corinth and share the good news of Jesus;

• Takes some doing!

• Ill: Open air prayer: “Let it rain!”

• Ill: Door to door prayer: “Let them be out!”

• To go alone to a place like Corinth and share the good news of Jesus;

• Takes some doing!


• Athens and Corinth were very different types of cities;

• There was great rivalry between the two cities.

• Athens had been the leading political and commercial centre in Greece.

• But now Corinth had replaced it! That alone caused major rivalry & opposition.


• Corinth & Athens were in every sense cities of contrast:

• Glasgow and Edinburgh.

• Athens was the university city, a cultural city,

• Where the eggheads, the intellectuals met and spent time in philosophical discussion.

• Corinth was a bustling port;

• It was a cosmopolitan city, containing a mixture of people and races,

(A). Cosmopolitan:

• Cosmopolitan simply means multi-ethnic, international, broad-based,

• Ill: Hounslow Holiday Club – at least 15 nationalities.


• Bob Telford – we must do something in Stratford – upon –Avon.

• Asked him why, he would reply; “Because you will meet people from all over the world!”

The city of Corinth was like that!

• People passed through from all over the world!

• The city was mostly populated by freedmen – ex slaves:

• They had either bought their freedom or earned it in some way.

• Ill: 7 years later Paul wrote the Church in Corinth a letter (1 Corinthians chapter 1 verse 26):

“Remember, dear brothers and sisters, that few of you were wise in the world’s eyes or powerful or wealthy when God called you.”

• Many of these ex-slaves had worked their way up the social ladder;

• They had become quite wealthy and they occupied some important positions in society.

(B). Commercial.

• Thanks to its location,

• The city was a centre for both trade and travel:

• It was seated at the crossroads of the Roman Empire.

• Corinth was a place where all trade routes met.

The southern part of Greece is very much an island.

• Ill: 10 miles away from Ports mouth (which is an island -cut off by water).

• A couple of man made roads that go into the city,

• All traffic in and out of the city must pass though those limited ways!

Similarly the southern part of Greece is almost an island:

• On the west is the Corinthian Gulf;

• On the east the Saronic Gulf.

• The only thing to join these two parts of Greece together is a little isthmus (ist-mus);

• A little strip of land four miles across.

• In ancient times it was called “The bridge of Greece”.

• Because all trade routes met and used this city.

• This meant that Corinth became a rich and populous city;

• With one of the greatest commercial trades in the ancient world.

(3). Corrupt.


• If In asked you to name some of the great ‘sin’ capitols of the world;

• You would probably come up with…..?

• Amsterdam, Buenos Aires, Bangkok, Las Vegas etc.

Well, in the ancient world Corinth was up their, with the worst of them!

• In New Testament times the Greek language had a verb; “To play the Corinthian”.

• Which meant; someone who lived a life of debauchery (shamelessness).

• Ill: Throughout Greece whenever a Corinthian was shown on the stage in a play,

• He was always shown drunk.


In fact, seven years later (AD 57) Paul wrote a letter to the Church at Corinth:

• He listed some of their lifestyles before they met Christ,

• (1 Corinthians chapter 6 verse 9-11).

• Some of you were ….wicked, thieves, greedy, drunkards, slanderers, and swindlers.

• He goes on to say....Sexual immoral, idolatrous, adulterous, homosexual and prostitution!

• It is an embarrassing list of sins to have read out publicly;

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