LIVE@5 – Friday, July 15, 2022

Acts 18:1–17 (NKJV)

1 After these things Paul departed from Athens and went to Corinth. 2 And he found a certain Jew named Aquila, born in Pontus, who had recently come from Italy with his wife Priscilla (because Claudius had commanded all the Jews to depart from Rome); and he came to them. 3 So, because he was of the same trade, he stayed with them and worked; for by occupation they were tentmakers. 4 And he reasoned in the synagogue every Sabbath, and persuaded both Jews and Greeks.
5 When Silas and Timothy had come from Macedonia, Paul was compelled by the Spirit, and testified to the Jews that Jesus is the Christ. 6 But when they opposed him and blasphemed, he shook his garments and said to them, “Your blood be upon your own heads; I am clean. From now on I will go to the Gentiles.” 7 And he departed from there and entered the house of a certain man named Justus, one who worshiped God, whose house was next door to the synagogue. 8 Then Crispus, the ruler of the synagogue, believed on the Lord with all his household. And many of the Corinthians, hearing, believed and were baptized.
9 Now the Lord spoke to Paul in the night by a vision, “Do not be afraid, but speak, and do not keep silent; 10 for I am with you, and no one will attack you to hurt you; for I have many people in this city.” 11 And he continued there a year and six months, teaching the word of God among them.

Acts 18:1-11

Paul traveled on to Corinth. He connected with a couple named Aquila and Priscilla, tentmakers from Italy, who took him and gave him work in their business. Paul reasoned with Jews and Greeks in the synagogue every Sabbath, winning many. Silas and Timothy joined him in Corinth, coming from Macedonia. Being led by the Spirit to continue testifying of Christ, he did, and met some opposition. Paul shook off responsibility by declaring that their blood was on their own hands, and proceeded to reach out to the Gentiles in Corinth. He met with anyone who would hear at the home of Justus, just next door to the synagogue. Crispus, the ruler of the synagogue believed on Christ, and revival continued. Paul taught in the house for a year and a half!

12 When Gallio was proconsul of Achaia, the Jews with one accord rose up against Paul and brought him to the judgment seat, 13 saying, “This fellow persuades men to worship God contrary to the law.”
14 And when Paul was about to open his mouth, Gallio said to the Jews, “If it were a matter of wrongdoing or wicked crimes, O Jews, there would be reason why I should bear with you. 15 But if it is a question of words and names and your own law, look to it yourselves; for I do not want to be a judge of such matters.” 16 And he drove them from the judgment seat. 17 Then all the Greeks took Sosthenes, the ruler of the synagogue, and beat him before the judgment seat. But Gallio took no notice of these things.

Acts 18:12-17

Gallio was the proconsul, or governing official, of Achaia. The Jews in Corinth chose to bring Paul before him at the judgement seat (bema seat). They accused him of subverting the law. Gallio would not adjudicate the situation, though, because it was not a Roman law dispute, but a Jewish law dispute. He drove them out, and the Greeks beat Sosthenes, the new ruler of the synagogue, right before the judgment seat. Gallio did not even care or intervene. While the Roman and Greek officials may have been oppressive, apathetic, and even corrupt in their dealings with conquered peoples, this is also an example of God’s providence. God gave Paul assurance that he would not be harmed, and God’s foreknowledge and influence over the city of Corinth and the region of Achaia was true and sufficient. It is wise to go to battle when the Lord goes before you and with you. So, just like Paul, do not fear if God speaks and instructs. Instead, prepare to do battle in whatever place you may be for the glory of the Lord.

Artwork from and Logos Bible Software Atlas

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