Sermons

Summary: Expository message on passage

SERIES: “LESSONS FROM THE EARLY CHURCH”

TEXT: ACTS 18:12-23

TITLE: “WORDS OF IMPORTANCE”

INTRODUCTION: A. We live in a society where what we say is not intended to be what we mean

1. Several years ago, this phenomenon was given the title the “politic of meaning”

--We say whatever sounds good at the time and then “spin” it in a different

direction at a later date if not popular

2. Here’s a statement that accurately describes this particular thing: “I know that you

understand what you think I said. But, I am not sure you realize that what you

heard is not what I meant.”

B. Those who believe that what we say is not important need to hear what the Word of

God says concerning this subject:

1. Mt. 12:36-37

2. Col. 3:17

C. Yet, no matter how hard we try or how accurate we try to be, sometimes we just get

misunderstood

-- In the days when you couldn’t count on a public facility to have indoor

plumbing, an English woman was planning a trip to Germany. She was registered

to stay in a guest house owned by the local schoolmaster and his wife.

The English woman was concerned, however, about whether or not the guest

house contained a “W.C.” (In England, a bathroom is commonly referred to as the

“W.C.”, which stands for “water closet.”) So she wrote the German schoolmaster a

letter, inquiring about the location of the “W.C.”

The schoolmaster was not a fluent speaker of English so he asked the local

parish priest if he knew the meaning of “W.C.” Together they pondered possible

meanings of the two letters and finally decided that the lady must be referring to a

wayside chapel. They concluded that the lady wanted to know if there was a

wayside chapel somewhere near the house. The schoolmaster wrote the following

reply:

My Dear Madam:

I take great pleasure in informing you that the W.C. is situated nine miles from

the house in the center of a beautiful grove of pine trees surrounded by lovely

grounds. It is capable of holding 229 people and it is open on Sundays and

Thursdays only. As there are a great number of people expected during the summer

months, I suggest that you come early, although usually there is plenty of standing

room. This is an unfortunate situation, especially if you are in the habit of going

regularly.

It may be of interest to you to know that my daughter was married in the W.C.

and it was there that she met her husband. I can remember the rush for seats. Why,

there were ten people to every seat usually occupied by one. It was wonderful to

see the expressions on their faces.

You will be glad to hear that a good number of people bring their lunch and

make a day of it, while others wait until the last minute and arrive just on time. I

would especially recommend your ladyship to go on Thursdays when there is an

organ accompaniment. The acoustics are excellent and even the mot delicate sound

can be heard everywhere.

The newest addition to the W.C. is a bell, which rings every time a person

enters. A bazaar is to be held to provide plush seats for all since the people eel it is

long needed. My wife has been ill and so she hasn’t been able to go recently. It has

been almost a year since she went last which naturally pains her very much.

I shall be delighted to reserve the best seat for you, where you shall be seen by

all. In fact, I look forward to escorting you there myself.

With kindest regards,

The schoolmaster

D. Let’s study the words of our text this evening so we don’t get confused.

I. WORDS OF PROTEST

--Acts 18:12-13 – “While Gallio was proconsul of Achaia, the Jews made a united attack on Paul and brought

him into court. “This man,” they charged, “is persuading the people to worship God in ways contrary to

the law.”

A. We’ve picked up where we left off last Sunday evening

1. The apostle Paul is in Corinth – the most wicked of cities in the Roman Empire

a. It was an important city for commerce so all kinds of people lived in Corinth

b. It was also had a huge pagan temple to Aphrodite: goddess of love and sexuality

--The temple was worked by a thousand pagan priests and priestesses who were little more than

temple prostitutes

c. Paul was afraid and worried about the work of the gospel there in Corinth but God came to him

directly with words of comfort, strength, and encouragement

--Paul stayed in Corinth longer than any other place except for Ephesus – a year and a half

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