Sunday, October 14, 2012

From Acts to Revelation Part 48 – Corinth



From Acts to Revelation
Part 48 – Corinth
Pastor Bruce A. Shields
House of Faith Church | www.PS127.org | www.TruthDigest.org

INTRODUCTION
Last week we saw how Paul, finding himself in what would be considered the capital of Rome, Athens, standing on Mars hill, a place dedicated to the Roman god of war. The place was filled with statues to every known and un-known god in Roman culture.

Paul seized the opportunity he saw, instead of attacking the people for worshiping false gods, he connected with them, explaining that he knew who the unknown God was, and would love to share this with them.

Athens, being a place of knowledge and teaching, they listened intently to Paul, and many were saved!

After leaving Athens, Paul traveled to Corinth, one of the major cities in Rome. Here he would settle in for a while, and this is where our scripture picks up today.

In today's message, we will learn the following;

1)     Why Paul had a job while preaching the gospel

2)     Why Paul finally became fed up with the Jews

3)     And we will see that, if God sends you to do something, He will enable you to do what it is He sent you to do.












SCRIPTURE REFERENCE

Acts 18:1-11
18 After this, Paul left Athens and went to Corinth. 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 Jews to leave Rome. Paul went to see them, and because he was a tentmaker as they were, he stayed and worked with them. Every Sabbath he reasoned in the synagogue, trying to persuade Jews and Greeks.
When Silas and Timothy came from Macedonia, Paul devoted himself exclusively to preaching, testifying to the Jews that Jesus was the Messiah. But when they opposed Paul and became abusive, he shook out his clothes in protest and said to them, “Your blood be on your own heads! I am innocent of it. From now on I will go to the Gentiles.”
Then Paul left the synagogue and went next door to the house of Titius Justus, a worshiper of God.Crispus, the synagogue leader, and his entire household believed in the Lord; and many of the Corinthians who heard Paul believed and were baptized.
One night the Lord spoke to Paul in a vision: “Do not be afraid; keep on speaking, do not be silent.10 For I am with you, and no one is going to attack and harm you, because I have many people in this city.” 11 So Paul stayed in Corinth for a year and a half, teaching them the word of God.

I.       AFTER MARS HILL IN ATHENS
a.      Paul leaves Athens and travels to Corinth
i.       A great city in the Roman Empire


b.     In Corinth, Paul meets a Jew named Aquila, and his wife named Priscilla
i.       They were in Corinth because the Emperor Claudius ordered all Jews to leave Rome

ii.    This took place approximately 49-50A.D.


c.      They were tent makers, like Paul
i.       He stayed with them and worked.

ii.    He probably found them looking for work.


d.     Sometimes, ministers of the gospel have to work outside the church
i.       1 Thessalonians 2:9, Paul reminds the people why he worked at a job while preaching; Surely you remember, brothers, our toil and hardship; we worked night and day in order not to be a burden to anyone while we preached the gospel of God to you.”

ii.    2 Corinthians 11:9, Paul said, “And when I was with you and needed something, I was not a burden to anyone, for the brothers who came from Macedonia supplied what I needed. I have kept myself from being a burden to you in any way, and will continue to do so.”


e.      Isn't the Pastor supposed to receive his livelihood from the church?
i.       Yes. 1 Corinthians 9:14 "In the same way, the Lord has commanded that those who preach the gospel should receive their living from the gospel.”

ii.    HOWEVER, 1 Thessalonians 2:6, “We were not looking for praise from men, not from you or anyone else. As apostles of Christ we could have been a burden to you,”

iii. 2 Thessalonians 3:9, “We did this, not because we do not have the right to such help, but in order to make ourselves a model for you to follow.”

iv.   And what was the model for the followers of Christ to follow? 
a.      Not to be a burden to the Church, even if it is the Churches responsibility to help

b.     A minister is to receive his pay for his work in the church, as long as it is NOT a burden or jeopardizes the church financially.

c.      This is why, when we had hard times a few years ago, I went many months without pay.

d.     And why I have not taken a pay raise in years, even though the cost of living continues to rise.

e.      And why I work, so I will not be a burden to the church.



II.    FRUSTRATED WITH THE JEWS
a.      In verse 4, we see that, although Paul is working as a tent maker in Corinth, every Sabbath he reasoned in the Synagogue, and persuaded the Jews and the Greeks.


b.     Silas and Timothy eventually arrived from Macedonia
i.       At this time, we can see in Verse 5,”Paul devoted himself exclusively to preaching, testifying to the Jews that Jesus was the Messiah.”

ii.    At the Holy Spirits leading, Paul began to bear down harder, presenting Jesus as the Christ.


c.      Some protested, even blaspheming
i.       Paul, frustrated with their bullheadedness, shook his clothes and said to them, “Your blood be on your own heads! I am innocent of it. From now on I will go to the Gentiles.”

ii.    Remember, in every city, the Jews resisted him, fought with him, argued, debated, attacked, beat, imprisoned, took him to court, etc. etc.

iii. This doesn't mean he would no longer minister to the Jews if he was presented with an opportunity. We know this because we can read in Acts 19:8 he did so in Ephesus. It simply means, his attention would mostly be on the Gentiles now.



III. PROTECTED BY GOD
a.      While Paul preached the Gospel, a man named Justus accepted Christ.
i.       As did Crispus, the Chief Ruler of the Synagogue.

ii.    And many of the Corinthians, upon hearing, believed and were baptized.


b.     Many Gentiles (Corinthians) were now being saved!


c.      Paul then had a vision
i.       “Be not afraid. But speak, and hold not your peace.”

ii.    “For I am with you, and no man shall set on you to hurt you: for I have much people in this city.”


d.     So Paul continued preaching there for 1 ½ years.
i.       Teaching the Word of God among them.


CONCLUSION
In today's message, we will learn the following;

1.       Why Paul had a job while preaching the gospel
Because he did not want to be a financial burden to the new church.

2.       Why Paul finally became fed up with the Jews
Their continual refusal as a group to accept Jesus as the Christ, and attacks on Paul, both verbally and physically.

3.       And we will see that, if God sends you to do something, He will enable you to do what it is He sent you to do.
God protected Paul as he taught the Word of God to the people.





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