Acts 18:1-17: Corinth
February 6, 2023
TODAY'S BIBLE READING:
Exodus 16-18, Psalm 29, Matthew 12:38-50, Acts 18:1-17
We come now to Paul’s ministry in Corinth. There are several things we can learn from his experience as described by Luke in this passage in Acts:
- Use the skills that you have to have an impact in evangelism and discipleship. Paul used his tent-making skills to provide an opportunity for him to do ministry. It is sometimes easy to forget that Paul was a tentmaker. That he used those skills—perhaps learned as a necessary part of being a Pharisee, or from his father as a family skill set—to provide for his needs, as well as to make useful friendships for the cause of the gospel.
- Seek to have single-minded and undistracted focus upon proclamation of the Word if you are called to preach the Bible. When Paul could devote himself exclusively to preaching, he did so. Being able to focus on preaching and the Word of God was a huge benefit for the gospel in that city.
- There can come a time to move on when the gospel is rejected. Paul preached in the synagogue for as long as it was accepted. But when his message of the gospel was completely rejected, he moved on with a word of warning and to find somewhere else to base his ministry.
- The sovereign God motivates our responsibility in evangelism. God’s sovereignty over salvation (“I have many people in this city”) was not a disincentive to Paul being proactive in personal evangelism, but the very opposite. He caused him to stay and be faithful to God’s Word. God’s sovereignty always functions as an incentive to evangelism in the Bible.
There is a time to use legal processes to seek to protect the freedom to proclaim the gospel. The opposition that came to the gospel in Corinth was used by God to protect his people. Gallio—brother of the famous Seneca who was one-time tutor of the notorious Nero—gave his legal decision that effectively provided legal cover for the gospel to continue to flourish.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Josh Moody (Ph.D., University of Cambridge) is the senior pastor of College Church in Wheaton, IL., president and founder of God Centered Life Ministries, and author of several books including How the Bible Can Change Your Life and John 1-12 For You.
To receive God Centered Life devotionals directly in your inbox, as well as other resources, enter your email address in the form at the bottom of this page and click "subscribe."