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Summary: The Kingdom is about people, friends, foes, and most who are neither. When we lose our focus on people, we lose our focus on the kingdom.

Paul in Corinth

(Acts 18:1-17)

1. One young blogger writes, Today, my mom tells my sister that she is worried about her because she has a headache and feels like she might be getting a slight cold. I have had the flu for two weeks and have a 103 degree fever. I ask, "What about me?" Her response? "Stay away from your sister."

2. Families are complex. One Christian psychologist suggests that in a family with multiple children, there is often a family hero who can do no wrong in the eyes of at least one parent, and a family villain who can do no right. Often true.

3. People are complex beings. And most pastors try to not only understand God and the Bible, but also human nature, human needs, and human problems.

4. The Kingdom of God is the same. We are to love God, but also to love people. Church meetings involve worshiping God, but they also involve connecting to, building up, and relating to people. The vertical and horizontal go together.

5. Of the four Gospel writers, Luke —who also wrote Acts — is the one most interested in people. You see this in his Gospel: Zechariah, Elizabeth, Anna, Simeon, Elizabeth, conversion of the thief on the cross. You see it in today’s text in Acts, which is anchored around people.

Main Idea: The Kingdom is about people, friends, foes, and most who are neither. When we lose our focus on people, we lose our focus on the kingdom.

I. Priscilla and Aquila: SUPPORTIVE Helpers (1-4)

“Greeces most splendid commercial city” [Unger’s Bible Dictionary], capital of Achaia

A. Fellow out-of-town JEWS (1-2)

1. Why they were there — Jews expelled.

2. Probably already believers…

3. Key players in Apollos growth and housed a church (Pink and Jane)

B. Fellow TENT makers (3)

We use the term “tent-making missionaries.” Often can get into closed countries.

C. Provided a HOME for Paul as he did outreach (4)

1. He presented the Case for Jesus as the Christ in the synagogue

2. Application: Paul was a big name, behind him were many supporters; faithful lay persons are the backbone of the church.

The Kingdom of God is not just about God, but people, too!

II. Silas, Timothy, Titius, and Crispus: Faithful BELIEVERS (5-11)

A. Silas and Timothy: ASSISTANTS and understudies (5)

1. Found Paul at work evangelizing; joined in.

2. Note the phrase, “Your blood be upon your own heads!” (Ezekiel)

3. Paul now focuses defaults to the gentiles.

4. Jesus tells him to stay put and keep up the work; many (elect) people.

B. Titius Justus, Was a God-fearing Gentile Who Lived NEXT to the Synagogue (7).

• Can you imagine how this enraged the synagogue leaders? In your face.

• Sometimes we can get bitter when people leave our church, but we need to remember, if they are going somewhere reasonable solid, that we are still brothers & sisters are part of Kingdom of God. This was different. Like leaving our church for a cult/non-evangelical religion. Maybe still attended.

C. Crispus, the main synagogue LEADER, believed in Jesus (8-11).

1. His household also believed.

2. Many gentiles believed & were baptized. At God’s direction, remained 18 mos

3. Gentiles started from a deficit compared to Jewish folks; many problems.

4. Same issues today: background determines how much deficit we begin with.

5. Kids starting school now have a “word deficit.” We are assuming people know what they do not know.

Application: The church is made up of people at different stages of maturity from all kinds of backgrounds. If we are blessed to reach more people, we may have to teach classes on things like social skills, basic ethics and manners. Deficit society.

The Kingdom of God is not just about God, but people, too!

III. Gallio and Sosthenes: A Helpful OUTSIDER and a FUTURE Believer (12-17)

A. The Jews got together and presented Paul as a TROUBLEMAKER before Gallio (12-13).

1. Whenever you go to court, a surprise is always possible! [To Tell the Truth]

2. Jesus taught a principle: settling out of court when possible (Mat 5:25)

B. Gallio did not want to mess with Jewish RELIGION (14-15).

1. Was he a model of religious tolerance, or just indifferent ? Or some of both?

2. The idea of religious freedom was unknown in the ancient world.

C. He was indifferent when some Greeks beat another synagogue ruler, Sosthenes, who later became a BELIEVER (16-17).

1. Anti-semitism was always near the surface of the empire.

2. Sosthenes was probably the replacement synagogue leader after Crispus became a believer; then Sosthenes became a believer, too!

I Corinthians 1:1, “Paul, called by the will of God to be an apostle of Christ Jesus, and our brother Sosthenes…”

D. You never know who is a PRE-CHRISTIAN!

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