7/5/16 Paul’s Adventures In Corinth

Paul leaves Athens and travels to Corinth for a while, as he continues to await the arrival of Silas and Timothy.  He meets a Jewish man there named Aquila, who was born in Pontus and has just come from Italy with his wife Priscilla because of the edict of Claudius Caesar that all Jews must leave Rome.  In speaking with the man, Paul discovers that they share the same trade of tentmaking.  The two become friends, and Paul stays with them as they ply their trade together.  As they work, Paul shares the message of Jesus with Aquila  and Priscilla, and they become believers.  He also continues to spread the message to all the people of the city, going into the synagogue each Sabbath day and again preaching to all the Jews there through the scriptures that describe the coming of the Messiah and how He is to be recognized.  Soon, a small group of Jewish and Gentile believers has formed and a new Corinthian church is born.  But the majority of the Jews of Corinth remain unbelievers and scorn Paul’s words.  When Silas and Timothy finally arrive from Macedonia, the Holy Spirit urges Paul to try one more time to persuade the Jews of Corinth that Jesus is indeed the Messiah.  But they cry out against him and his words, and so Paul symbolically shakes his robes, showing that he is done with them and bears no responsibility for the state of their souls when the day of judgment comes.  “Your fate is of your own making; my conscience is clean.  From now on I will go to the Gentiles.”  And he departs from the synagogue.  He recognizes the anger of the Jews in the synagogue and wants to be somewhere that they cannot easily get to him to harm him.  He decides to take shelter in the home of a Gentile believer in Judaism, a man named Titus Justus, who happens to live right next to the synagogue.  As a Gentile, the Jews will not be inclined to enter his home.  And he has looked favorably upon Paul’s message.  Soon, there comes a knock on the door, and Paul, never one to shrink from any opportunity to share Jesus’ message, opens it to find Crispus, the leader of the synagogue, standing before him.  Paul glances around him, looking for the angry mob he is expecting to find, but Crispus has come alone.  “I believe you,” he states simply, and Paul embraces him as a new brother.  Together, the two men discuss Jesus for several hours, after which, Crispus calls his entire household over to hear Paul, and Paul baptizes every one of them.  Though overjoyed at this turn of events, Paul is still wary of the remaining Jews, and so he is cautious in his words and actions in the city.  But even so, many Corinthians hear that Crispus and his family have become believers in Jesus and come to believe in Him also.  One night, Paul has a vision, and God speaks to him, saying, “Don’t be afraid.  Don’t stay silent – speak out boldly as you have done before, because I AM with you.  I have many people in this city, and nobody will lay a hand on you to hurt you.”  After this, Paul returns to his usual bold methods of proclaiming Jesus’ message.  He stays another year and a half in Corinth, teaching and building the new Corinthian church.

 

Acts 18:1-9

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