Summary: Writing first letter to Corinth
A. REVIEW OF CORINTH MINISTRY (ACTS 18:1-17)
1. What was Corinth like? The city was a harbor and trade center. Small ships transported over the Isthmus on wooden rail. It was a city of loose morals. Greeks described immorality “to live like a Corinthian.”
2. Paul, the tent maker. Aquila and Priscilla were from Galatia who had moved to Rome until Claudius’ persecution drove them to Corinth.
3. Why did Paul turn to the Gentiles? Because of Jewish opposition. “. . . from now on I will go to the Gentiles” (Acts 18:6).
4. What new strategy emerged in Corinth? Paul left the synagogue and used a home. “. . . entered the house of a certain man named Justus, one who worshipped God, whose house was next door to the synagogue” (Acts 18:7). The church became primarily Gentile.
B. AQUILA AND PRISCILLA
1. Stayed together through moves. Originally they moved from Pontus (Turkey) to Rome. In 52 A.D. Roman Emperor Claudius expelled all Jews from Rome, so Priscilla and Aquila moved to Corinth.
2. They worked together. What is the first evidence of teamwork? “By their occupations, they were tent makers” (18:3, NIV).
a. Aquila would have gotten the trade from his father at Bar Mizpah, i.e., by teaching.
b. We are not sure of Priscilla’s heritage. Most think she was a Gentile.
3. Why did Paul work for Aquila and Priscilla?
a. Not a financial burden to the Corinthian church.
b. Work is an expression of a man.
c. Work was an opportunity to reach people and witness for Christ.
4. What happened when Paul came to live with them?
a. Friendship. They later traveled with Paul.
b. Salvation. They came to know and love Jesus Christ. A marriage is not complete until Jesus is at the center.
c. Learned the truth. They learned the faith so well from Paul they could discern Apollos (18:24-26) and “They expounded unto him the way of God more perfectly” (18:26).
d. Suffered together. “Priscilla and Aquila . . . who have for my life laid down their own necks” (Rom. 16:3-4).
e. Served together. “Priscilla and Aquila, my helpers in Christ Jesus” (Rom. 16:3).
5. What happened to them when Paul left town? “Paul took his leave of the brethren and sailed to Syria” (18:18). They taught Apollos.
Was Apollos saved?
a. “Mighty in the Scriptures” (18:24), Knowledge.
b. “Instructed in the way of the Lord” (18:25). Knows plan of salvation.
c. “Fervent in spirit,” Enthusiastic.
d. “Taught diligently the things of the Lord,” Gifted.
Was Apollos lost?
a. “Knowing only the baptism of John” (18:25). Old Testament.
b. “Expounded unto him the way of God more perfectly” (18:26) New Testament salvation.
c. “He (Apollos) mightily convinced the Jews . . . that Jesus was Christ” (18:28). Believed the deity of Jesus Christ.
6. A church in their house. How were they used toward the end of the New Testament? “The churches of Asia greet you, Aquila and Priscilla greet you heartily in the Lord, with the church in their house” (I Cor. 16:19, NIV). Their business had grown so that the church moved into their home, not Titus Justus’.
7. Church planting together. When they moved, what did they do? Aquila and Priscilla moved back to Rome and began a church in their home. “Greet Priscilla and Aquila . . . likewise greet the church that is in their house” (Rom. 16:3-5).
8. Finishing well together. Paul was in a Roman prison sixteen years after meeting Priscilla and Aquila. His death was at hand and he includes them in the last paragraph he writes. They now live in Ephesus. “Greet Priscilla and Aquila and the household of Onesiphorus” (2 Tim. 4:19).
a. Her house. She is mentioned with the house.
b. She is more gifted.
• Did not mean domination or headship.
• Did not threaten him.
• Did not mean only she served.
• Did not make her overbearing.
D. THE FIRST LETTER TO THE CORINTHIANS
Date: 58-59 A.D.
Place: From Ephesus as Paul finished his ministry.
Theme: Paul received word of problems in Corinth, but couldn’t go to help the church because of the revival at Ephesus. He wrote about seven problems: (1) divisions in the church (1 Cor. 1:10-11:34), (2) sexual immorality (1 Cor. 5:1-7:40), (3) limitations to Christian liberty (1 Cor. 8:1-10:15), (4) conduct at the Lord’s Table (1 Cor. 10:16-11:34), (5) the nature of spiritual gifts (1 Cor. 12:1-14: 40), (6) the resurrection of the dead (1 Cor. 15:1-58), and (7) the collection of the saints in Jerusalem (1 Cor. 16:1-4).
Key word: wisdom 1:24.