Acts 18:1-6

Sep 22, 2019 // By:Dave // No Comment

1 After these things he left Athens and went to Corinth. (circa 50 AD)

Corinth is at the bottleneck of the Greek peninsula

It’s also the crossing point for sea commerce (they rolled the boats over it from east to west)

Roman Empire started digging a canal … it was finally finished in 1893 

2 And he found a Jew named Aquila, a native of Pontus, having recently come from Italy with his wife Priscilla, because Claudius had commanded all the Jews to leave Rome. He came to them,

Remember when we looked at the accusation that the Thessalonians leveled against Paul in Acts 17:6 about “upsetting the world”. This had a lot to do with the turmoil that had taken place in Rome and Claudius responded by telling all the Jews to get out around 48-49 AD . (a riot among the Jews concerning Christos according to Roman historian Suetonius took place during reign of Claudius AD 41-54)

There were at least two expulsions of Jews from Rome before this event. 

In 139 BC the Jews were expelled after being accused of Judaizing among the local Gentiles. 

Then in AD 19 Tiberius once again expelled Jews from the city for similar reasons.

How did the Gospel get to Rome before Paul does ?  (remember Pentecost in Acts 2)

3 and because he was of the same trade, he stayed with them and they were working, for by trade they were tent-makers. 

(they were also believers and co-workers in ministry since they travel with Paul later in this chapter)

Paul had a trade, tent making.

Why does Paul know how to make tents ? (why does he continue doing so as an Apostle) ?

He supported himself so that he was not a burden to the fellowships he visited or ministered to

Among Jews, the boys were all compelled to learn trades. It was considered disreputable not to be acquainted with some branch of handicraft. A practical knowledge of a trade was regarded as an asset of personal independence. The Rabbis said, “Whosoever does not teach his son a trade is as if he brought him up to be a robber”. 

Tentmakers wove the black cloth of goat or camel’s hair of which tents were made. Paul supported himself in certain places weaving tents for those who wanted (Acts 20:34; 1 Cor 4:12; Th. 2:9; 2 Th 3:8.

As per 1 Cor 4:12, Paul was working with his own hands to feed himself (Acts 18:3; 20:34)

1Th. 2:9 ¶ For you recall, brethren, our alabor and hardship, how bworking night and day so as not to be a cburden to any of you, we proclaimed to you the dgospel of God.

 

2 Th. 3:8-10

8 nor did we aeat 1anyone’s bread 2without paying for it, but with blabor and hardship we kept cworking night and day so that we would not be a burden to any of you;
9 not because we do not have athe right to this, but in order to offer ourselves bas a model for you, so that you would 1follow our example.
10 For even awhen we were with you, we used to give you this order: bif anyone is not willing to work, then he is not to eat, either.

Paul has supplied all his basic necessities himself and others who were with him. (Acts 20:34)

and for reasons given in 2 Cor 11:9

2Cor. 11:9 and when I was present with you and was in need, I was anot a burden to anyone; for when bthe brethren came from cMacedonia they fully supplied my need, and in everything I kept myself from abeing a burden to you, 1and will continue to do so.

4 And he was reasoning in the synagogue every Sabbath and trying to persuade Jews and Greeks.

5 ¶ But when Silas and Timothy came down from Macedonia, Paul began devoting himself completely to the word, solemnly testifying to the Jews that Jesus was the Christ.

Why would Paul suddenly devote himself entirely to the word
(when he had just been making tents to support himself) ?

2Cor. 11:9 and when I was present with you and was in need, I was anot a burden to anyone; for when bthe brethren came from cMacedonia they fully supplied my need, and in everything I kept myself from abeing a burden to you, 1and will continue to do so.

6 But when they resisted and blasphemed, he shook out his garments and said to them, “Your blood be on your own heads! I am clean. From now on I will go to the Gentiles.”

Paul is quoting the book of Ezekiel and in using this principle, he also declares that the guilt of rejecting the truth and warning of judgement to come is fully upon their own heads (since he has fulfilled his duty in warning them)

Ezekiel 33:1 The word of the Lord came to me: “Son of man, speak to your people and say to them: ‘When I bring the sword against a land, and the people of the land choose one of their men and make him their watchman, and he sees the sword coming against the land and blows the trumpet to warn the people, then if anyone hears the trumpet but does not heed the warning and the sword comes and takes their life, their blood will be on their own head. Since they heard the sound of the trumpet but did not heed the warning, their blood will be on their own head. If they had heeded the warning, they would have saved themselves. But if the watchman sees the sword coming and does not blow the trumpet to warn the people and the sword comes and takes someone’s life, that person’s life will be taken because of their sin, but I will hold the watchman accountable for their blood.’

“Son of man, I have made you a watchman for the people of Israel; so hear the word I speak and give them warning from me. When I say to the wicked, ‘You wicked person, you will surely die,’ and you do not speak out to dissuade them from their ways, that wicked person will die for[a] their sin, and I will hold you accountable for their blood. But if you do warn the wicked person to turn from their ways and they do not do so, they will die for their sin, though you yourself will be saved.

There is a connection between being able to boldly speak the full council of God and having financial support to do so:

if your income depends upon the people you need to preach to, you have a problem.

why?

Any one entrusted with the Gospel, the good news (in context of the bad news) is appointed as a type of watchmen

there were two types of watchmen:

  1. exterior danger
  2. interior danger

can anyone be an effective watchmen if they are afraid of irritating people in the middle of the night with their horn ?

Our purpose must be highest priority (especially over worrying about how other people may choose to see us or react to us)

What is our purpose ?  (why did God choose us to be His children) ?

Are we putting His purpose above our own self-defined purpose ?

Are we allowing ourselves to become distracted (entangled) by things of this world ?

remember, we are beings of Soul and Spirit (who happen to have bodies to live in this world)

Lets look at something Paul writes to his companion , Timothy, Later in ministry:

2Tim.1 ¶ You therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.

2 The things which you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses, entrust these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.

3 Suffer hardship with me, as a good soldier of Christ Jesus.

4 No soldier in active service entangles himself in the affairs of everyday life, so that he may please the one who enlisted him as a soldier.

5 Also if anyone competes as an athlete, he does not win the prize unless he competes according to the rules.

6 The hard-working farmer ought to be the first to receive his share of the crops.

7 Consider what I say, for the Lord will give you understanding in everything.

8 ¶Remember Jesus Christ, risen from the dead, descendant of David, according to my gospel,

9 for which I suffer hardship even to imprisonment as a criminal; but the word of God is not imprisoned.

10 For this reason I endure all things for the sake of those who are chosen, so that they also may obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus and with it eternal glory.

Paul is telling Timothy to keep focused, to keep his eye on the prize. 

  • a soldier is not put on the battlefield to have a picnic
  • a runner is not put out on the track to chase butterflies

How can we stay focused (especially when trials and hardships come) ?

example of leading us in worship when my job was eliminated right after using a good portion of our nestegg on car repairs)

example of Job (and accusation against Job which is really an accusation against all of humanity since God lifted him up as blameless)

do we praise God only when He gives us stuff ?

we are called and empowered to praise our Lord no matter what is happening because He is worthy !

What does it mean to stay focused ? (what would that look like)?

three input methods as check and balance:

  • Holy Spirit (John 16:13)
  • Word of God (Heb 4:12)
  • each other (Pvbs 27:17, Heb 10:25)

All three are needed (take any one of these out of the system and any believer can go off course, waste time, hurt people, destroy testimony, etc)

example of Pastor Ken, a brother, reached out to offer correction (to keep me on a narrower path)

 

2 Timothy 4:10 For Demas hath forsaken me, having loved this present world, and is departed unto Thessalonica; Crescens to Galatia, Titus unto Dalmatia.

Luke 8:14 And that which fell among thorns are they, which, when they have heard, go forth, and are choked with cares and riches and pleasures of this life, and bring no fruit to perfection.

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