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God’s Will and Biblical Edification (Acts Ch. 18)

In this post, I am going to discuss Acts chapter 18 in detail. If you have been following my series on the Book of Acts, we have read that Paul has gone through a great deal of rejection during his ministry. However, he has not let the rejection stop him from continuing to preach the Gospel.

Acts 18:1-4: Paul in Corinth

In Acts 18:1-4 we see that Paul travels from Athens to Corinth. Corinth is known as a strong area for trade. When Paul arrives at Corinth, he meets Aquila and his wife Priscila. Paul does stay with them for a few days and even does work with Aquila as a tentmaker. Paul was not only skilled in ministering the Gospel but also had an occupation too. As Paul was in Corinth, we see that he continues his custom of reasoning in the synagogues. This is something we saw in Acts 17:2 (NKJV), “Then Paul, as his custom was, went into them, and for three Sabbaths reasoned with them from the Scriptures”.

Acts 18:5-11: Silas and Timothy Catch Up

As we get into the next few verses, we see Silas and Timothy arrive at Corinth and Paul continues preaching about Jesus Christ. In verse six we see the Jews oppose Paul, and we see that he shakes the dust off his garments. This reminds us of what Jesus said in Matthew 10:14 (NKJV), “And whoever will not receive you nor hear your words, when you depart from that house or city, shake off the dust from your feet.”. After he leaves that area, he then goes into the house of Justus who was a faithful man of God and lived next to the synagogue. In verse eight we see that the ruler of the synagogue, Crispus accepted the Gospel. We see that following Crispus accepting the Gospel that more Corinthians believed.

As it says in verse eight the people of Corinth heard the Gospel, believed the Gospel, and then were baptized. Far too often today churches just want new believers to say the sinner’s prayer without hearing the full Gospel. Too many people are sitting in church pews today who think they are saved, but they are self-deceived. More people are sitting in churches who have just said the sinner’s prayer and have no changed heart, no fruit to show, and the same love for their sinful habits. The main reason for this pandemic is because most preachers today are not qualified to carry the title pastor if anything, they are motivational speakers who focus on only speaking about how God wants to bless. We must ask ourselves are we only seeking God because we want prosperity and good health, or are we seeking God because we truly just want Jesus. I believe God can heal people and will provide blessings, but too many churches today advertise a Gospel that only focuses on the health and wealth of people, and not a Gospel that saves people from the price of sin.

In verses, nine through eleven we see that Paul had a vision where the Lord spoke to Him. The Lord told him that he would have a productive ministry in Corinth. This is quite contrary to what Paul experienced in previous areas he ministered in. Paul dealt with much tribulation and opposition when in other areas before Corinth. I believe this was God’s way of testing Paul and preparing him before he went to each following area to minister the Gospel. Never question the sovereignty of God when you go through trials.

Acts 18:12-21: God’s Will

We then see that the Jews in Corinth go to the proconsul of Achaia, Gallio, regarding Paul’s ministry. As we see Gallio wanted nothing to do with judging this manor. In verses 18-21 we see that Paul leaves Corinth to go to Syria with Priscilla and Aquila. Paul also stops at Ephesus but does not stay very long, however, he does promise to return if God wills. It is so important that we both know and respect God’s Will. God’s Will is better than anything we could ever come up with. When people are south of God’s Will in their life, it will usually be a total mess. If you are wondering why your life is such a mess right now, maybe it is God trying to grab your attention. Before we make any major decisions in our life we must know if it is within God’s Will. We must take time seeking God. Hebrews 6:3 (NKJV) tells us, “And this we will do if God permits.”. Additionally, James 4:13-17 (NKJV) tells us, “Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, spend a year there, buy and sell, and make a profit”; whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away. Instead, you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we shall live and do this or that.” But now you boast in your arrogance. All such boasting is evil. Therefore, to him who knows to do good and does not do it, to him it is sin.”.

Acts 18:22-23: Importance of Biblical Edification

In verses 22 and 23 we see that Paul goes to Caesarea, Antioch, Galatia, and Phrygia. While he was in Galatia and Phrygia, he strengthened the people, another word for strengthen is to edify which meant to build up believers. Far too often most preaching does not build people up spiritually, most preaching today skips the sin area in one’s life. We must continually teach people in a loving way how to put away the lusts of the flesh. Even the best of us will fall short from time to time and therefore we need preaching that addresses sin. Romans 14:18-19 (NKJV) tells us, “For he who serves Christ in these things is acceptable to God and approved by men. Therefore, let us pursue the things which make for peace and the things by which one may edify another.”.

Acts 18:24-28: Dealing with False Doctrine

In verses 24 through 28 we see Apollos, a man of God, comes along. One problem with Apollos is that his knowledge was only limited to John the Baptist. However, Aquila and Priscilla take him aside and correct him. We see that after he is corrected, he does help edify those who believed through grace. This is a great example for us to look at when dealing with people of different denominations. We have denominations and churches that are slightly off on minor issues, then we have churches that are off on major issues and in today’s world most of them would be considered heretics. In this example Apollos was very close to the full truth, he was just missing the who picture of Jesus being the Christ. What Apollos was missing was very critical, but Aquila and Priscilla took the time to work with him on this. Today we must always try to work with people and correct them when they are involved in heresy before we distance ourselves from them.

Final Thoughts

As always, the Book of Acts provides us with great examples for us as the body of Christ today. Sadly, most churches in America today do not meet the standard according to Scripture. It truly breaks my heart to see so much distortion in the church today. It is so important for all believers to get the Word of God in them daily. When you are filled with the Word of God you will be able to easily determine if something is Biblically correct or not. Most people in the church today cannot discern, which is honestly a tragedy. I want to challenge you to get into the Word, read more of the Bible each day. I don’t want you to just read it and rush through it, I want you to take your time and study the Bible. It is one thing to read through the Bible, but it is another thing to take the time and do a personal study of the Bible aside from your yearly reading plan. I would like to challenge you to pick one book out of the Bible to do a detailed study on each month and take your time to study it. Make some great notebooks! Fill yourself up with as much of the Word of Truth as you possibly can.



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