Paul in Corinth
Text: Acts 18:1-22
I. Athens never produced a strong church. It is never mentioned in the Scriptures again, even though some there had believed.
A. Paul, though, moved onto more productive ground in Corinth.
B. In Corinth he met a couple named Aquila and Priscilla
1. They had recently come from Rome because the emperor, Claudius, had commanded all the Jews to leave the city.
2. One historian, Suetonius, mentioned that it was due to the frequent rebellions by Jews.
3. The exile only applied to Rome, but it appears that Aquila and Priscilla traveled a distance for extra safety.
4. They met up because they were in the same trade.
a. Everyone in those days learned a basic trade, even if they did not continue in it.
b. Paul’s was tent making.
c. Paul probably returned to his trade to support himself while he was on his own.
C. As Paul lived and worked with Aquila and Priscilla, he spent each Sabbath reasoning with the Jews and Greeks about Jesus
D. When Silas and Timothy eventually caught up with Paul, Paul devoted himself to the work of the gospel full-time.
1. It is likely that Silas and Timothy had brought funds with them from Philippi in Macedonia for Paul - Philippians 4:15-16
2. With the increased effort, the Jews became more resistant – to the point of blasphemy.
3. Paul merely told them they hold their own responsibility. He moved on to teach the Gentiles.
II. Paul left the synagogue and went next door to the home of a man named Titius Justus, who was a believer in God
A. Interestingly, one of the Jews who believed Paul’s message was Crispus, who was the head of the synagogue.
B. He and all his household believed and were baptized.
C. God tells Paul in a vision to speak out boldly without fear because there were many believers in Corinth. God would protect Paul from harm.
D. So Paul continued to work in Corinth for 18 months.
III. Eventually, some Jews hauled Paul into court
A. The charge was converting Jews away from their original beliefs
B. Before Paul could respond, the judge, Gallio, told the Jews that his court is for crimes. For other things he doesn’t have to put up with them.
C. If they want to argue Jewish law, they will have to settle their own matter
1. The new leader of the synagogue, Sosthenes, was attacked by his cohorts, probably for embarrassing them in public.
2. The judge pretended not to notice.
IV. Several days later, Paul decides to return to Antioch of Syria
A. Aquila and Priscilla join him for the journey
B. He took on a vow in Cenchrea (a city next to Corinth) and in demonstration of the vow, he shaved his head.
1. Such was a part of a Nazarite vow - Numbers 6
a. The head was shaved at the beginning and end of the vow
2. We do not know what the vow was about
C. When they reached Ephesus, Paul left his companions to speak in the synagogue
1. He was asked to remain in Ephesus for a time, but Paul declined
2. Instead, he said he would return if God would allow it.
D. They then sailed to Caesarea on the coast of Palestine and then journeyed briefly to Jerusalem and then went north to Antioch.