Sunday, October 21, 2012

From Acts to Revelation Part 49 – Paul



From Acts to Revelation
Part 49 – Paul
Pastor Bruce A. Shields
House of Faith Church | www.PS127.org | www.TruthDigest.org

INTRODUCTION
Last week we read of Paul traveling to Corinth. There, he got a job as a tent maker, and preached in the Synagogue weekly, trying to convince the Jews and Greeks.

When Silas and Timothy arrived from Macedonia, Paul devoted himself exclusively to preaching.  However, the Jews opposed Paul, and became abusive.

Frustrated with the continual abuses by the Jews in every city, Paul tells them, “You blood be on your own heads! I am innocent of it. From now on I will go to the Gentiles.”

God then showed Paul a vision, telling him not to be afraid to speak, because God was with him. So Paul stayed in Corinth for a year and a half teaching the Word of God.

Today, we will see;

1)     Why God told Paul not to be afraid.
2)     How sometimes where we are in life is an advantage to our ministry.
3)     And what we can do with the Spiritual Gifts God has given us.


SCRIPTURE REFERENCE

Acts 18:12-23
While Gallio was proconsul of Achaia, the Jews of Corinth made a united attack on Paul and brought him to the place of judgment. 13 “This man,” they charged, “is persuading the people to worship God in ways contrary to the law.”
14 Just as Paul was about to speak, Gallio said to them, “If you Jews were making a complaint about some misdemeanor or serious crime, it would be reasonable for me to listen to you. 15 But since it involves questions about words and names and your own law—settle the matter yourselves. I will not be a judge of such things.” 16 So he drove them off. 17 Then the crowd there turned on Sosthenes the synagogue leader and beat him in front of the proconsul; and Gallio showed no concern whatever.
18 Paul stayed on in Corinth for some time. Then he left the brothers and sisters and sailed for Syria,accompanied by Priscilla and Aquila. Before he sailed, he had his hair cut off at Cenchreae because of a vow he had taken. 19 They arrived at Ephesus, where Paul left Priscilla and Aquila. He himself went into the synagogue and reasoned with the Jews. 20 When they asked him to spend more time with them, he declined. 21 But as he left, he promised, “I will come back if it is God’s will.” Then he set sail from Ephesus. 22 When he landed at Caesarea, he went up to Jerusalem and greeted the church and then went down to Antioch.
23 After spending some time in Antioch, Paul set out from there and traveled from place to place throughout the region of Galatia and Phrygia, strengthening all the disciples

I.       PAUL CHARGED AGAIN
a.      The Jews who opposed Paul, took him before the Proconsul of Achaia
i.       The Jews did this because they had no power to punish a Roman Citizen

ii.    In front of the Governor, they accused Paul of teaching people to worship God contrary to the Law.
a.      Not Roman law, but the Law of Moses
b.     Remember, they could not punish a Roman Citizen (which Paul was).

iii. Before, we have seen trumped up charges by the Jews against Paul, which did get him beaten, and thrown in prison more than once.

iv.   This time though, the Jews tried charging a Roman Citizen with a religious matter, that did not concern the Governor


b.      Governor Gallio Answers them
i.       Paul was just about to speak in his defense, as he had so many times before, when Gallio spoke.

ii.    Saying to the Jews, “If you Jews were making a complaint about some misdemeanor or serious crime, it would be reasonable for me to listen to you. 15 But since it involves questions about words and names and your own law—settle the matter yourselves. I will not be a judge of such things.”
a.      He put everything in the proper perspective, and left the matter alone.

b.     He told the Jews to settle the matter themselves, it had nothing to do with the Roman Court.

c.      In essence, he is saying, you will not use a Roman Court to carry forth your personal schemes.
c.      He then drove them from the judgment seat.
i.       This would have been somewhat humiliating to the Jews, not getting their case tried or further heard.


d.     The Greeks then took Sosthenes, the Chief ruler of the Synagogue, who took the place of Crispus after he accepted the Lord and left, and beat him in front of the judgment seat.
i.       The scriptures do not explain why this took place.

ii.    Perhaps the Greeks thought it was Sosthenes who told the Jews to charge Paul, and take him to the Governor?



II.    PAUL CONTINUED TO PREACH IN CORINTH
a.      We see from scripture why God encouraged Paul in the vision
i.       Do not be afraid, I have many men in Corinth.
ii.    Continue to speak!
iii. I am with you.

b.     The Jews in Corinth were powerless to do anything against Paul as far as the courts there were concerned.

c.      And I am sure that, after the beating the Chief ruler received from the Greeks, the Jews would probably no longer openly oppose Paul there.

d.     So Paul stayed a few more months before continuing his travels.



III. PAUL CONTINUED TO BUILD AND EDIFY THE CHURCH
a.      According to the timing of the Lord, Paul left when he was lead to by the Holy Spirit.


b.     Paul sailed to Syria, taking Priscilla and Aquila with him.
i.       They had become close friends after Paul first came to Corinth nearly two years before, living with them and working with them making tents.


c.      We read that Paul also shaved his head in Cenchrea to keep a vow he had made.
i.       We are not told what the vow was, just that he made it, and obviously kept it.


d.     Paul then traveled to Ephesus, where he left Priscilla and Aquila.


e.      Paul reasoned with the Jew in the Synagogue, and when they had left, they desired him to stay longer.
i.       But he did not.

ii.    However, it was here that Priscilla and Aquila stayed, and no doubt, continued to teach about Christ.


f.       Paul could not stay because he wanted to keep the feast of the Passover in Jerusalem.
i.       However, he does tell them, “I will return, if it is God's will.”


g.      Paul then went up to Caesarea, and saluted the Church there, he went down to Antioch.


CONCLUSION

Paul spent some time there, concluding his second missionary tip. When he left, it would begin his third missionary trip, and he would go all over the country of Galatia, and Phrygia in order, strengthening all the Disciples.

This probably lasted about six months. It is believed that Timothy, Erastus, Gaius, and Aristarchus may have been traveling with Paul at this time. Titus may have been included as well.

So we learned from the scripture today that;

1.      Why God told Paul not to be afraid.

Because God knew that more tribulation was going to come at the hands of the Jews in the form of opposition and accusation, but God also knew that it would not lead to anything.

2.      How sometimes where we are in life is an advantage to our ministry.

Paul was a Roman Citizen...because the charges brought against him had to do with the Law of Moses, and not Roman Law, he was actually saved from judgment.

God will use where we are in life, as well as what positions we may have, or office we may hold, to work towards His will.

Paul had the advantage of being a Roman Citizen. Some of us may be in positions where we are allowed certain privileges that others do not have. If so, we can use them for sharing the Gospel and Christ with others for God's Will.

3.      And what we can do with the Spiritual Gifts God has given us.

The scriptures tell us that we are all given different Spiritual Gifts, and these gifts are specifically to be used for the BUILDING and STRENGTHENING of the church!

Our spiritual gifts, although they differ from person to person, are for encouraging, building, strengthening, lifting up, edifying the people in the Churches, BECAUSE...

the PEOPLE ARE THE CHURCH!




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