Summary: If we as God’s family will follow Christ together, we can win in the life struggles we face.
Together We Win!
Text: Acts 18:1-11
Intro: Patrick Henry once said, “United we stand, divided we fall.” This slogan proves true in politics, business, and many other areas. Even the animal kingdom understands the strength and safety in staying together. Predators generally go after the stragglers or they purposely try to cut off 1 or 2 animals from the rest of the herd so they can pick them off. As Christians, it is vitally important that we learn how to live this life together! By ourselves we face danger, loneliness, insecurity, and weakness. But together with other believers, we find encouragement, hope, strength, safety, and so much more!
-I’d like to show a video clip from Facing the Giants that reminds us how important it is for us to be together in this thing, and give encouragement and strength to one another. [Show clip]
Prop: If we will follow Christ together, we can win in the life struggles we face.
Interrogative: How does togetherness in Christ help us win?
TS: There are 4 wins I’d like to talk about from our text today.
I. Being Together Helps Us Conquer Loneliness (Acts 18:1-2)
1After this, Paul left Athens and went to Corinth. 2 There he met a Jew 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,
-Paul was in Corinth by himself to begin with and probably found himself in need of good Christian fellowship. He was human like us, and he was probably kind of lonely. He needed others around him who believed in Jesus. It just so happened that God had brought a man named Aquila and his wife Priscilla to Corinth recently. They and all Jews had recently been evicted from Rome, apparently due to the rioting among the Jews as they strongly opposed the followers of Jesus. The Roman historiographer Suetonius recorded that the Emperor Claudius “expelled the Jews because they were continually rioting at the instigation of Chrestus.” Most Christian scholars believe that Suetonius misspelled the Greek name, Christos, or perhaps Latinized it. Regardless, this appears to be a reference to Christ Jesus or more specifically, his followers. Suetonius probably knew little about Jesus and cared even less. He was simply recording the fact of the Jewish eviction from Rome.
-Nevertheless, God used these circumstances to bring Aquila and Priscilla to Corinth. Paul met them and then got together with them. It appears that they were already followers of Jesus, which established more common ground with Paul than the fact that they were tentmakers.
-Maybe you’ve struggled with loneliness before. It is not a pleasant feeling. There are times when we all need our space, but too much space makes us feel empty and alone. We were created to love and be loved, and that is not done well in isolation. God wants us to develop friendships with other believers so we can mutually encourage one another. Sometimes we need to cry and be cried upon. We need to laugh with others. There is something about sharing both joys and sorrows that meets an emotional and even spiritual need within us.
-We are not alone, so it is imperative that we don’t live like we are! I need you! You need me. We all need each other. So, being together is important. It helps us conquer loneliness, depression, and helps us see that we are going to make it!
-TS: Well, we can see that Paul did not just go and hang out with Aquila and Priscilla, but he started working with them. They had to make ends meet, so why not work at it together? Let’s look at it in v.3.
II. Working Together Helps Bring Provision (Acts 18:3)
3 and because he was a tentmaker as they were, he stayed and worked with them.
-Some people view work as a curse, as part of the Fall of man. However, work is a gift from God. The curse was that man would have to toil laboriously, living by the sweat of his brow. The ground was cursed, so man would have to cultivate it and take care of it in order to grow the needed food. Here is what it says in Genesis 3:17-19 “17 To Adam he said, "Because you listened to your wife and ate from the tree about which I commanded you, ’You must not eat of it,’ "Cursed is the ground because of you; through painful toil you will eat of it all the days of your life. 18 It will produce thorns and thistles for you, and you will eat the plants of the field. 19 By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food until you return to the ground, since from it you were taken; for dust you are and to dust you will return."