Sunday, February 22, 2015

Today´s Sermon notes

2015.02.22                                                Acts 18:12-28
                      Paul proclaims the Gospel
                        in Corinth and Ephesus
We are studying the early days of the church in the book of Acts... We study verse by verse so that we can see the big picture.... As we follow Paul missionary journeys we see wonderful adventures... We see very hard times.... As Paul finds the will of God we can learn from him and all that have gone before us.... Paul has been experiencing both open and closed doors…… Everywhere he goes he is being opposed by some of the Jewish leaders who refuse to repent and believe the Gospel…… It was a very difficult season in Paul´s ministry…… He was being beaten and harassed everywhere he went….  He was a great man…. He was  normally a fearless proclaimer of the Gospel…… But this string of difficult events had in fact discouraged Paul greatly…. Here is where pick up our text from last week….. You will remember that Paul went to Corinth as a discouraged man….. The Lord gave him some new friends in Corinth who would become lifelong friends and coworkers in the Gospel…. The Lord gave him fruit in Corinth too…. And even though those things helped Paul… He was still under a cloud of discouragement…. He was  wondering who would attack him next…. So God gave him a wonderful vision and 3 promises….
1 I myself am with you.
2 no one will harm you
3 I have many people in this city…..
The Lord said… Paul it´s ok…. I´m here….. I´ll protect you…. Get back to your mission…. Proclaim the Good news…! And that is exactly what he did for 18 months…. That was longer than he had ever spent in planting and strengthening a new group of believers…. As we  pick up the text now…. Paul is still in Corinth…  Acts 18… v12…
Acts 18: 12-17                     NKJV
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                     slt 2000
12 Als aber Gallion Statthalter von Achaja war,2 traten die Juden einmütig gegen Paulus auf und führten ihn vor den Richterstuhl
13 und sprachen: Dieser überredet die Leute zu einem gesetzwidrigen Gottesdienst!
14 Als aber Paulus den Mund öffnen wollte, sprach Gallion zu den Juden: Wenn es sich nun um ein Verbrechen oder um eine böse Schändlichkeit handeln würde, ihr Juden, so hätte ich euch vernünftigerweise zugelassen;
15 wenn es aber eine Streitfrage über eine Lehre und über Namen und über euer Gesetz ist, so seht ihr selbst danach, denn darüber will ich nicht Richter sein!
16 Und er wies sie vom Richterstuhl hinweg.
17 Da ergriffen alle Griechen Sosthenes, den Synagogenvorsteher, und schlugen ihn vor dem Richterstuhl; und Gallion kümmerte sich nicht weiter darum.
Verse 12…."And when Gallio was the proconsul of Achaia….. This sentence is historically significant and precise… We know exactly when Gallio was proconsul… Gallio  was an interesting guy….. He was like a governor under the Roman emperor….. A very important man….. He was the elder brother of a famous philosopher by the name of Seneca…. Seneca was the tutor of Nero…. It was a very famous family….. The Jews came against Paul and brought him to Gallio who was sitting in the judgment seat….. Any verdict by a Roman proconsul became law…  Here is their charge…..
Verse 13…. This one persuades men to worship God contrary to the law……   What law?
They were talking about Roman law…. because they were trying to get Gallio to convict Paul of a Roman crime….. Gallio saw Christianity as a sect of Judaism….. Therefore it came under what the Romans called "religio licita”….   That was a category of permitted religions…..
Judaism was one of them……   So there was no crime according to Roman law….
Verse 14…. When Paul was now about to open his mouth…
Paul was about to speak…. But Gallio stopped Paul and said to the Jews….. "If it were a matter of criminal wrong….
I would punish the man…. But there is no crime…. You are just disputing about your religion…. I´m not getting involved in that…. Case dismissed… The Jews were angry and would not take no for an answer…. So…
Verse 16… "He drove them from the judgment seat…..
"Clear the court!" he said, in effect…. The Apostle Paul hadn't even opened his mouth…..
Verse 17…. "Then all the Greeks….  took Sosthenes, the chief ruler of the synagogue, and beat him before the judgment seat, and Gallio cared for none of these things."
Basically there was a riot…. They beat Sosthenes the new leader of the Synagogue…..  But Gallio was not willing to help…..
By the way…. Some time later….. Paul sat down and wrote a letter back to the Corinthians….. This is what he said… 1 Corinthians 1:1….  
1 Corinthians 1:1   NKJV   slt 2000
1 Paul called to be an apostle of Jesus Christ, through the will of God, and Sosthenes our brother unto the church."
1 Paulus, berufener Apostel Jesu Christi durch Gottes Willen, und Sosthenes, der Bruder,
Pretty cool…. This one time enemy is now a co-laborer in the ministry with Paul….. Now that makes 2 Synagogue leaders saved in Corinth….! Crispus and Sosthenes….
Back to acts 18…v18…
Acts 18: 18-23                     NKJV
18 So Paul still remained a good while. Then he took leave of the brethren and sailed for Syria, and Priscilla and Aquila were with him. He had his hair cut off at Cenchrea, for he had taken a vow.
19 And he came to Ephesus, and left them there; but he himself entered the synagogue and reasoned with the Jews.
20 When they asked him to stay a longer time with them, he did not consent,
21 but took leave of them, saying, “I must by all means keep this coming feast in Jerusalem; but I will return again to you, God willing.” And he sailed from Ephesus.
22 And when he had landed at Caesarea, and gone up and greeted the church, he went down to Antioch.
23 After he had spent some time there, he departed and went over the region of Galatia and Phrygia in order, strengthening all the disciples.

Acts 18: 18-23                    slt 2000
18 Nachdem aber Paulus noch viele Tage dort verblieben war, nahm er von den Brüdern Abschied und segelte nach Syrien, und mit ihm Priscilla und Aquila, nachdem er sich in Kenchreä das Haupt hatte scheren lassen; denn er hatte ein Gelübde.
19 Und er gelangte nach Ephesus und ließ jene dort zurück; er selbst aber ging in die Synagoge und hatte Gespräche mit den Juden.
20 Als sie ihn aber baten, längere Zeit bei ihnen zu bleiben, willigte er nicht ein,
21 sondern nahm Abschied von ihnen, indem er sprach: Ich muß unter allen Umständen das bevorstehende Fest in Jerusalem feiern; ich werde aber wieder zu euch zurückkehren, so Gott will! Und er segelte von Ephesus ab;
22 und als er in Cäsarea gelandet war, zog er hinauf3 und grüßte die Gemeinde und ging dann hinab nach Antiochia.
23 Und nachdem er einige Zeit dort zugebracht hatte, zog er weiter und durchreiste nacheinander das Gebiet von Galatien und Phrygien und stärkte alle Jünger.
v 18 says, "And Paul after this tarried there a good while." Things calmed back down and Paul was able to stay in Corinth even longer…. He was able to continue his ministry….. Paul is nearing the end of his second Missionary journey now…. We are following along as Paul travels to every city where he had been…. He even went to the places where they tried to kill him….
Paul had a pastor’s heart…. He loved and cared for the people of God….. no matter what the danger…. He taught and strengthened the disciples… He raised up elders in every church….. It was a hard life…. It is no wonder that he got discouraged at first here in Corinth…. Now he is ready to move on…. He headed for Syria…. And he took Aquilla and Pricilla with him….
They had become friends and co-laborers in the Gospel….… here in verse 18 we see that Paul had made a vow to the LORD…..
This was a Nazarite vow that could be for thanksgiving or dedication to the LORD…. He was deeply moved by what had happened lately and he humbled himself by taking this vow…
It may have had something to do with his time in Corinth…. We do not know…. But he needed to go to Jerusalem to complete the vow….V19…
v19,20,21… And he came to Ephesus…. Ephesus was in Asia minor….. Remember that back in Acts 16…v6… Paul wanted to go to Asia…. But the Holy Spirit did not allow it…. You could say that the Lord said…. Not yet…. Wait…. The door was closed….. Finally now Paul is allowed to go…. He does a little ministry by going to the synagogues before he heads to Jerusalem…. Paul is setting up headquarters here in Ephesus….. This is his next church plant….. He will come back as soon as he finishes in Jerusalem….
Paul was sometimes frustrated by the refusal of some Jews to repent and believe the Gospel…. He even said…. That´s it … from now on I will go to the Gentiles and stop wasting my time with you….
But in fact His heart was broken for his kinsmen…. Romans 9….v1-5… Romans 10..v1… Turn to Romans 10…v1…
Romans 10:1-4                      NKJV   
1 Brethren, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for Israel is that they may be saved. 2 For I bear them witness that they have a zeal for God, but not according to knowledge. 3 For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and seeking to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted to the righteousness of God. 4 For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes.
Romans 10:1-4                         slt 2000
1 Brüder, der Wunsch meines Herzens und mein Flehen zu Gott für Israel ist, daß sie gerettet werden.
2 Denn ich gebe ihnen das Zeugnis, daß sie Eifer für Gott haben, aber nicht nach der rechten Erkenntnis.
3 Denn weil sie die Gerechtigkeit Gottes nicht erkennen und ihre eigene Gerechtigkeit aufzurichten trachten, haben sie sich der Gerechtigkeit Gottes nicht unterworfen.
4 Denn Christus ist das Ende des Gesetzes zur Gerechtigkeit für jeden, der glaubt.
 Back to acts 18… As always….. Paul preaches Salvation by grace through faith in the Messiah…. The Lord Jesus Christ…. in the Synagogues and then he leaves Aquilla and Pricilla there…. And  even though they want him to stay…. He says no…. not yet…. And he goes on toward Jerusalem…. He sailed from Ephesus….. v22..
v22… And when he had landed at Caesarea, and gone up and greeted the church, he went down to Antioch….
He landed and went up to Jerusalem….. there he completed his vow…. And then he hit the road again and went down to Antioch….. You will remember that was the church that had sent him out as a missionary… This is the completion of his second missionary journey… He has traveled 3000 miles…. He planted churches and led many to saving faith in Christ…. He also suffered very much….
v23…. After he had spent some time there, he departed and went over the region of Galatia and Phrygia in order, strengthening all the disciples…..
This is Paul….. He continues to teach and encourage the believers everywhere that he went… He is beginning his third missionary journey now…. He visits every city again…. Even those places where he had suffered…. He has experienced great success as the Lord Honored His Word…. and many came to Christ…..
We have followed Paul on his travels…. You could say that we have followed in Paul´s footsteps…. He has proclaimed the Good News of the Gospel everywhere he went…. Even when it was very dangerous to do so…… The Lord has done great things through Paul…. Not because of his abilities….. But rather because of his availability…. Paul is a great example to us…. I would like for us to really learn from Paul´s Godly example….. Paul is a man worth following…. He knew that the church was watching him….. He knew that he had a responsibility to be a Godly Example to them and us…. Much of what we know about the way that God expects us to love and care for each other…. is found in his letters to the churches and to his elders and leaders….. The letters to Corinth and Ephesus are filled with solid advice for the Christian life and service to the body of Christ….  Both Corinthians and Ephesians have long and careful explanations of our responsibilities to each other as genuine believers…. I want to read just a few verses from Corinthians and Ephesians this morning…. Turn to 1 Cor 10…v23…
1 Corinthians 10:23,24                NKJV    slt 2000
23 All things are lawful for me, but not all things are helpful; all things are lawful for me, but not all things edify. 24 Let no one seek his own, but each one the other’s well-being.
23 Es ist mir alles erlaubt — aber es ist nicht alles nützlich! Es ist mir alles erlaubt — aber es erbaut nicht alles!
24 Niemand suche das Seine, sondern jeder das des anderen.
All things are lawful….. It´s true that we are free in Christ…. But Paul reminds us that we are responsible to be Godly examples…. We are expected to seek what is best for others…. To edify…. To build each other up in Christ…. He says I am careful about what I do…. and I put others first…. Then he says … v24… You do the same…
Turn with me to 1 cor 11…v1…
1 Corinthians 11:1                    NKJV   slt2000
1 Imitate me, just as I also imitate Christ.
1 Seid meine Nachahmer, gleichwie auch ich [Nachahmer] des Christus bin!
Paul says… Look I am just following Jesus…. You follow me… He goes on in all of his letters to exhort and strengthen the church with more solid Christ centered advice…
As we look at the big picture of Paul´s teaching to the church….. He is exhorting us to  maximize our usefulness for the LORD…. Let´s read from Eph 2…v1…
Ephesians 2:1-10                         NKJV   slt 2000
1 Once you were dead because of your disobedience and your many sins. 2 You used to live in sin, just like the rest of the world, obeying the devil—the commander of the powers in the unseen world. He is the spirit at work in the hearts of those who refuse to obey God. 3 All of us used to live that way, following the passionate desires and inclinations of our sinful nature. By our very nature we were subject to God’s anger, just like everyone else.

4 But God is so rich in mercy, and he loved us so much, 5 that even though we were dead because of our sins, he gave us life when he raised Christ from the dead. (It is only by God’s grace that you have been saved!) 6 For he raised us from the dead along with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ Jesus. 7 So God can point to us in all future ages as examples of the incredible wealth of his grace and kindness toward us, as shown in all he has done for us who are united with Christ Jesus.
8 God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. 9 Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it. 10 For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.

Ephesians 2:1-10                            slt 2000
1 Auch ihr wart früher tot aufgrund eurer Sünden.
2 Ihr habt genauso in der Sünde gelebt wie der Rest der Welt, beherrscht von Satan, der im Machtbereich der Luft regiert. Er ist der Geist, der in den Herzen derer wirkt, die Gott nicht gehorchen wollen.
3 Wir alle haben früher so gelebt und uns von den Leidenschaften und Begierden unserer alten Natur beherrschen lassen. Wir wurden mit dieser Natur geboren und waren Gottes Zorn ausgeliefert wie alle anderen Menschen auch.
4 Doch Gott ist so barmherzig und liebte uns so sehr,
5 dass er uns, die wir durch unsere Sünden tot waren, mit Christus neues Leben schenkte, als er ihn von den Toten auferweckte. Nur durch die Gnade Gottes seid ihr gerettet worden!
6 Denn er hat uns zusammen mit Christus von den Toten auferweckt und wir gehören nun mit Jesus zu seinem himmlischen Reich.
7 So wird er für alle Zeiten an uns seine Güte und den Reichtum seiner Gnade sichtbar machen, die sich in allem zeigt, was er durch Christus Jesus für uns getan hat.
8 Weil Gott so gnädig ist, hat er euch durch den Glauben gerettet. Und das ist nicht euer eigenes Verdienst; es ist ein Geschenk Gottes.
9 Ihr werdet also nicht aufgrund eurer guten Taten gerettet, damit sich niemand etwas darauf einbilden kann.
10 Denn wir sind Gottes Schöpfung. Er hat uns in Christus Jesus neu geschaffen, damit wir zu guten Taten fähig sind, wie er es für unser Leben schon immer vorgesehen hat.
Paul says….. All of you were lost in sin and rebellion…. But now you have been saved by grace….. v10….
Now it´s time to become a man or woman of God…. Because he has saved us to prepare us to do ministry…
He has planned Christian service for us to do….. turn a page or 2…. to Eph 5… v15… Paul say…. So…
Ephesians 5:15-20                      NLT    
15 So be careful how you live. Don’t live like fools, but like those who are wise. 16 Make the most of every opportunity in these evil days. 17 Don’t act thoughtlessly, but understand what the Lord wants you to do.
18 Don’t be drunk with wine, because that will ruin your life. Instead, be filled with the Holy Spirit, 19 singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs among yourselves, and making music to the Lord in your hearts. 20 And give thanks for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Ephesians 5:15-20                          Neues Leben
15 So seht nun sorgfältig darauf, wie ihr euer Leben führt, nicht als Unweise, sondern als Weise,
16 und kauft die Zeit aus; denn es ist böse Zeit.
17 Darum werdet nicht unverständig, sondern versteht, was der Wille des Herrn ist.
18 Und sauft euch nicht voll Wein, woraus ein unordentliches Wesen folgt, sondern lasst euch vom Geist erfüllen.
19 Ermuntert einander mit Psalmen und Lobgesängen und geistlichen Liedern, singt und spielt dem Herrn in eurem Herzen
20 und sagt Dank Gott, dem Vater, allezeit für alles, im Namen unseres Herrn Jesus Christus.
v15… So be careful how you live…. Don´t be fools… be wise…
v16… Make the most of every opportunity in these evil days….. to get as much as you can and enjoy your life….? No!!!
Make the most of every opportunity to love and serve each other and the LORD Jesus Christ….
v17… Understand what the LORD wants you to do…
v18… don´t be drunk with wine… be filled with the Holy Spirit….
v20…. Give thanks for everything…. Everything?
That´s not easy when things are going wrong…. It´s not our first reaction when Disaster strikes us or our loved ones….
We hit the panic button…. Why are you doing this Lord?
We forget the scriptures which can comfort us at those moments….
Sometimes we need a Word from the Lord to encourage us in our hard times…. or to convict us when we sin and rebel…..  Sometimes we need Him to pick us up from our despair and sorrow…  Sometimes we are really upset about almost everything going on in our lives…. We find ourselves complaining about others…. When we find a complaint welling up in our hearts…. It does us good to remember Paul’s words…. (Philippians 2:14)….. 14 Do all things without grumbling or disputing” 14 Tut alles ohne Murren und Bedenken….  This is one of the reasons Scripture memory is so important — the commands and promises of God won’t jump out at us in the moment of need and crisis if they’re not there already….. We need to hide them in our hearts….. If we commit them to memory we will remember them when we need a Word from the Lord…. The Word of God will ring in our ears and we will give thanks…. instead  of complaining….
Here at Calvary Chapel we are on the verge of really being able to affect this city for the Gospel…. We need to be united and stand fast in our commitment to the Authority of the Word of God…. And our loving commitment each other…. We need to reflect the grace of God in everything we do….. That´s exactly what we just read in Ephesians…. 2…
Warning! Danger!

Today we are going to celebrate Communion together…. Together…. We belong to each other… The symbolism of communion points us to 2 great truths….. 1… Jesus Has redeemed us with his precious blood…. We have been bought with a price…. That´s why we are cautioned to examine our hearts….
We must not use the grace of God as an excuse to indulge in our sin…. They makes us hypocrites….. We need to let the Lord show us our sin and pride…. so that we can repent and let Him wash us clean… Then we can really be trophies of his grace….And 2… We are members one of another just like the cup that we share and the bread that we break….. The fact is that we are a family….  We have big responsibilities to each other… We are exhorted to love and serve and care for each other…. To hold each other up in the hard times…. Let´s take this time to search our hearts…. and renew our commitment to Him and each other…

1 Cor 11: 27-34                 NKJV   

27 Therefore whoever eats this bread or drinks this cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord. 28 But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of the bread and drink of the cup. 29 For he who eats and drinks in an unworthy manner eats and drinks judgment to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body. 30 For this reason many are weak and sick among you, and many sleep. 31 For if we would judge ourselves, we would not be judged. 32 But when we are judged, we are chastened by the Lord, that we may not be condemned with the world.

33 Therefore, my brethren, when you come together to eat, wait for one another. 34 But if anyone is hungry, let him eat at home, lest you come together for judgment. And the rest I will set in order when I come.

1 Cor 11:27-34          sch 2000

27 Wer also unwürdig dieses Brot ißt oder den Kelch des Herrn trinkt, der ist schuldig am Leib und Blut des Herrn.
28 Der Mensch prüfe aber sich selbst, und so soll er von dem Brot essen und aus dem Kelch trinken;
29 denn wer unwürdig ißt und trinkt, der ißt und trinkt sich selbst ein Gericht, weil er den Leib des Herrn nicht unterscheidet.
30 Deshalb sind unter euch viele Schwache und Kranke, und eine beträchtliche Zahl sind entschlafen.
31 Denn wenn wir uns selbst richteten, würden wir nicht gerichtet werden;
32 wenn wir aber gerichtet werden, so werden wir vom Herrn gezüchtigt, damit wir nicht samt der Welt verurteilt werden.
33 Darum, meine Brüder, wenn ihr zum Essen zusammenkommt, so wartet aufeinander!
34 Wenn aber jemand hungrig ist, so esse er daheim, damit ihr nicht zum Gericht zusammenkommt. Das übrige will ich anordnen, sobald ich komme.

1 Cor 11:23- 26    NLT

23 For I pass on to you what I received from the Lord himself. On the night when he was betrayed, the Lord Jesus took some bread 24 and gave thanks to God for it. Then he broke it in pieces and said, “This is my body, which is given for you. Do this to remember me.” 25 In the same way, he took the cup of wine after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant between God and his people—an agreement confirmed with my blood. Do this to remember me as often as you drink it.” 26 For every time you eat this bread and drink this cup, you are announcing the Lord’s death until he comes again.

1 Cor 11:23- 26    Neues Leben
23 Das Folgende hat der Herr selbst gesagt, und ich gebe es euch so weiter, wie ich es empfangen habe: In der Nacht, als er verraten wurde, nahm Jesus, der Herr, einen Laib Brot,
24 und nachdem er Dank gesagt hatte, brach er ihn und sprach: »Das ist mein Leib, der für euch hingegeben wird6. Tut das zur Erinnerung an mich.«
25 Ebenso nahm er nach dem Abendmahl den Weinkelch und sprach: »Dieser Kelch ist der neue Bund zwischen Gott und euch, besiegelt durch mein Blut. Wann immer ihr daraus trinkt, tut es zur Erinnerung an mich.«
26 Denn jedes Mal, wenn ihr dieses Brot esst und aus diesem Kelch trinkt, verkündet ihr den Tod des Herrn, bis er wiederkommt.

Let's pray.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Sundays Sermon notes

2015.02.15                                             Acts 18:1- 11
           Paul Preaches the Gospel in Corinth
We are studying the early days of the church in the book of Acts... We study verse by verse so that we can see the big picture.... As we follow Paul we see wonderful adventures... We see very hard times.... As Paul finds the will of God we can learn from him and all that have gone before us.... Paul has been experiencing both open and closed doors…… Everywhere he goes he is being opposed by the Jewish leaders who refuse to repent and believe the Gospel…… They chased him out of Thessalonica…. And so Paul went to Berea….. The Bereans were careful to search the scriptures and many believed….. But when his enemies and found out that he was in Berea they followed him there….. They were determined to shut him up….. He was like a lightning rod attracting their hatred and so Paul left Timothy and Silas in Berea and he went to Athens…. There he proclaimed Jesus as the one true God and creator of everything…. It was a very difficult season in Paul´s ministry…… He was being beaten and harassed everywhere he went….  He was a great man…. And normally a fearless proclaimer of the Gospel…… But this string of difficult events had in fact discouraged Paul greatly…. Here is where pick up our text from last week….. acts18…v1…

Acts 18: 1-3                            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.
Acts 18: 1-3                            slt 2000
1 Danach aber verließ Paulus Athen und kam nach Korinth.
2 Und dort fand er einen Juden namens Aquila, aus Pontus gebürtig, der vor kurzem mit seiner Frau Priscilla aus Italien gekommen war, weil Claudius befohlen hatte, daß alle Juden Rom verlassen sollten;1 zu diesen ging er,
3 und weil er das gleiche Handwerk hatte, blieb er bei ihnen und arbeitete; sie waren nämlich von Beruf Zeltmacher.
v1-3… At this point Paul is feeling very discouraged…. Luke did not directly record these facts in the Acts….
We know this from the letters that he wrote… As we will see Paul spent 18 months in Corinth… He wrote some of his letters from there… Let´s look at what he wrote to the church in Corinth as he looked back on his time with them…. 1 cor 2…v3
1 Corinthians 2:3               NKJV   slt 2000
3 I was with you in weakness, in fear, and in much trembling.
3 Und ich war in Schwachheit und mit viel Furcht und Zittern bei euch.
He arrived in Corinth…. Beaten and bruised… He was dealing with some real discouragement…..   The   sinfulness and wickedness of the city must have caused his fear and trembling to increase…..
So God sets about to comfort the apostle through a series of circumstances that we find in the founding of the church at Corinth……. It´s often difficult to wait and trust Him…. It is hard for us to wait while God to puts us through deep waters and times of uncertainty…. It is hard to find the patience to wait and see what He's going to do…... We know that Paul took comfort from the Word of God in His hard times….. He encouraged the Romans to learn patience and find comfort from the scriptures…. Turn with me to Romans 15…v4….
Romans 15: 4-6                               NKJV 
4 For whatever things were written before were written for our learning, that we through the patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope.
5 Now may the God of patience and comfort grant you to be like-minded toward one another, according to Christ Jesus,
6 that you may with one mind and one mouth glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Romans 15: 4-6                               slt 2000
4 Denn alles, was zuvor geschrieben worden ist, wurde zu unserer Belehrung zuvor geschrieben, damit wir durch das Ausharren und den Trost3 der Schriften Hoffnung fassen.
5 Der Gott des Ausharrens und des Trostes4 aber gebe euch, untereinander eines Sinnes zu sein, Christus Jesus gemäß,
6 damit ihr einmütig, mit einem Mund den Gott und Vater unseres Herrn Jesus Christus lobt.
I´m sure that Paul read and repeated the Word of God to himself when times were tough…. There are so many places in the scriptures to find comfort and encouragement….Take a look at what the psalmist wrote in Psalm 27….v11…
Psalm 27: 11-14            NKJV   slt 2000
11 Teach me Your way, O Lord, And lead me in a smooth path, because of my enemies.
12 Do not deliver me to the will of my adversaries; For false witnesses have risen against me, And such as breathe out violence.
13 I would have lost heart, unless I had believed That I would see the goodness of the Lord In the land of the living.
14 Wait on the Lord; Be of good courage, And He shall strengthen your heart; Wait, I say, on the Lord!

Psalm 27: 11-14                     NKJV   slt 2000
11 Zeige mir, Herr, deinen Weg und leite mich auf ebener Bahn um meiner Feinde willen!
12 Gib mich nicht preis der Gier meiner Feinde, denn falsche Zeugen sind gegen mich aufgestanden und stoßen Drohungen aus.
13 Ach, wenn ich nicht gewiß wäre, daß ich die Güte des Herrn sehen werde im Land der Lebendigen —
14 Harre auf den Herrn! Sei stark, und dein Herz fasse Mut, und harre auf den Herrn!
Two times in verse 14…. We read wait on the LORD…. Don´t panic…. Wait….
Let´s look at what Isaiah wrote in the great comfort chapter….40…. It starts out in verse 1 saying Comfort ye…. Comfort ye my people…. Let´s read…v31….
Isaiah 40: 31                               NKJV   slt2000
31 "They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength. They shall mount up with wings as eagles. They shall walk and not be weary. They shall run and not faint."

31 aber die auf den Herrn harren, kriegen neue Kraft, daß sie auffahren mit Flügeln wie Adler, daß sie laufen und nicht matt werden, daß sie wandeln und nicht müde werden.
This is an important lesson for us…… If we learn to wait on the Lord…. Even in the most difficult circumstances…… We will find ourselves encouraged……. Paul learned from his own experiences with very hard times….. that God is the God of all comfort…… This is exactly what Paul wrote back to the Corinthians in 2 Cor 1…. He said "God is the God of all comfort."… Let´s read it….v3,4…
2 Corinthians 1: 3,4                          NKJV   slt 2000
3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, 4 who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.
3 Gelobt sei der Gott und Vater unseres Herrn Jesus Christus, der Vater der Barmherzigkeit und Gott alles Trostes,
4 der uns tröstet in all unserer Bedrängnis, damit wir die trösten können, die in allerlei Bedrängnis sind, durch den Trost, mit dem wir selbst von Gott getröstet werden.
What a great text…. What a great Bible truth that Paul shares with us in these verses…. Paul wrote about the God of all comfort from His own real life experiences……. He says….. Man it was horrible…... But God saw me through…..
God moves to comfort him encourage him….. Through the circumstances at Corinth….. As we will see… God really sets about to encourage His discouraged apostle…..
Next God encouraged him with companionship……
v2…The apostle is introduced to two people who become lifelong friends and co-laborers in the Gospel….. God encouraged him in his loneliness and discouragement…. God was preparing him to face the very difficult task that was before him…..  the task of evangelizing this sinful city of Corinth……  And so Paul meets Aquilla and Priscilla and they become friends and coworkers….. He finds himself to be a little stronger….. and so he begins to preach in the Synagogue…. That was his normal routine….
Routines help us to cope with our disappointment and discouragement…. He was ministering one day at a time…. back to Acts 18…v4…
Acts 18: 4-8                      NKJV
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.

Acts 18: 4-8                      slt 2000
4 Er hatte aber jeden Sabbat Unterredungen in der Synagoge und überzeugte Juden und Griechen.
5 Als aber Silas und Timotheus aus Mazedonien ankamen, wurde Paulus durch den Geist gedrängt, den Juden zu bezeugen, daß Jesus der Christus ist.
6 Als sie aber widerstrebten und lästerten, schüttelte er die Kleider aus und sprach zu ihnen: Euer Blut sei auf eurem Haupt! Ich bin rein davon; von nun an gehe ich zu den Heiden!
7 Und er ging von dort weg und begab sich in das Haus eines gottesfürchtigen Mannes mit Namen Justus, dessen Haus an die Synagoge stieß.
8 Krispus aber, der Synagogenvorsteher, wurde an den Herrn gläubig samt seinem ganzen Haus; auch viele Korinther, die zuhörten, wurden gläubig und ließen sich taufen.
v4… And he reasoned in the synagogue every Sabbath…. Paul was effective as he reasoned among the Jews and Greeks….. The Greeks present in the synagogue were Gentiles interested in Judaism…… They were usually proselytes….. They had accepted the Word of God and Judaism but were not circumcised….

v5… When Silas and Timothy had come from Macedonia   When Timothy came, he brought news about how the Christians in Thessalonica were remaining strong in the faith… Paul wrote to them from Corinth as well…. 1 Thessalonians….. Timothy  was a tremendous blessing and encouragement to Paul….. He reported that the Church in Thessalonia was doing well….. Paul was deeply blessed and thankful…. This brought Paul great joy….. The good report and the money that they gave encouraged  him on in ministry…. He was able to step up his evangelism and not have to work so much….
You could translate this next part… Paul was then totally given over to the Word, or the ministry of the Word….. He boldly testified to the Jews that Jesus is the Christ…. The long promised Messiah…. But then…. Opposition raises its ugly head again….. Another blow for Paul… His skin is still a little thin….
v6a….They opposed themselves, blasphemed…. Everytime the Gospel is proclaimed those who hear are forced to decide….. They either repent and believe the Gospel…. Or they refuse to repent and become enemies of the Gospel….
v6b… and he shook his raiment…. That means that he released himself from responsibility by that gesture….. He said, "Your blood is on your own heads. I'm clean…… In other words, "I've delivered the Gospel…… I've done my part……   You're responsible….. From now on, I will go to the Gentiles…..
Then he began his ministry among the Gentiles….. He departed from there, entered a certain man's house named Titus Justus….. It seems that this is probably the Gaius mentioned in 1 Corinthians 1:14….  
He went into this man's house….. This man was one who worshipped God….. a Gentile God fearer…..  His house was next door to the synagogue……  
 Notice that Paul did not forbid Jews from coming to Jesus….. He continued to minister to individuals whenever he could…. But he began to focus more on the Gentiles….
v8a… Crispus, the ruler of the synagogue, believed on the Lord with all his household…. That must've been a fantastic event…..  Crispus in his office as the chief of the synagogue…. Was loved and respected by the jews...… It must have been difficult enough for the Jews see the salvation of the man who lived next door…..  Now they see their own leader saved…..
It´s clear that others were converted upon hearing that the man who knew the Scriptures better than any one in the city….. Had repented and believed the Gospel.....
v8b… And many of the Corinthians, hearing, believed and were baptized…..  This shows us once again that the Good News of the Gospel…. The Word of God is what the Holy Spirit uses to transform lives…. What good news indeed….. Here in Corinth…. Some opposed…. But many believed…. 
What an exciting time….. Just that little phrase, "many of the Corinthians believed," has in it many wonderful testimonies that we couldn't begin to describe…... Corinth was a very wicked place…. It was full of sexual sin and ever sin that one could imagine…
When we read in the Bible….  many of the Corinthians believed….. we might say ya…. und…. Who were they….. what were they saved out of? 
Well Paul also wrote the letter to the Romans from here in Corinth…. Some theologians believe that Paul´s description of Gentile sin and wickedness in Romans 1….is a mirror of what he found in Corinth…… Romans 1:22-32
The phrase….  many were saved doesn't sound very exciting…..  But in another place Paul himself told us about these many who were saved…. Turn with me to 1 Corinthians 6…v9…
1 Corinthians 6: 9-11                           NKJV   
9 Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, 10 nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God.
11 And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God.
1 Corinthians 6: 9-11                           slt 2000
9 Wißt ihr denn nicht, daß Ungerechte das Reich Gottes nicht erben werden? Irrt euch nicht: Weder Unzüchtige noch Götzendiener, weder Ehebrecher noch Weichlinge, noch Knabenschänder,
10 weder Diebe noch Habsüchtige, noch Trunkenbolde, noch Lästerer, noch Räuber werden das Reich Gottes erben.
11 Und solche sind etliche von euch gewesen; aber ihr seid abgewaschen, ihr seid geheiligt, ihr seid gerechtfertigt worden in dem Namen des Herrn Jesus und in dem Geist unseres Gottes!
In verse 8 of Acts 18….. Inside the simple word "many are many testimonies….   Someday when we get to heaven we can hear all about it….. God was doing miracle after miracle after miracle in the salvation of souls….. Awesome…
How´s Paul doing now? Better but he is not out of the woods yet…. There was still a shadow over Paul…..
The reality of ministry on the front lines of the Spiritual battle….. Weighed on him constantly….
God sent him encouragement…. First of all, I believe that he must have  been encouraged by reminding himself of the Word of God….. Like in the Psalms…. and secondly,  by his friends new and old….. Good Christian friends can be a blessing and encouragement in our hard times…  thirdly…. By these new converts…. There were many…. Can you imagine the thrill in his heart when he started seeing God   save these people out of the Corinthian society one at a time?
What a miracle… Transformed hearts and lives are the greatest miracles…. And yet it is clear that Paul was still struggling with the pressure of Ministry in Corinth…. He was still discouraged…. Even after all these things…
In 1 Samuel 30 David was also very discouraged…. Turn with me to 1 Sam 30…v3…….
1 Samuel 30: 3-6                        NKJV   slt 2000
3 So David and his men came to the city, and there it was, burned with fire; and their wives, their sons, and their daughters had been taken captive.
4 Then David and the people who were with him lifted up their voices and wept, until they had no more power to weep.
5 And David’s two wives, Ahinoam the Jezreelitess, and Abigail the widow of Nabal the Carmelite, had been taken captive.
6 Now David was greatly distressed, for the people spoke of stoning him, because the soul of all the people was grieved, every man for his sons and his daughters. But David strengthened himself in the Lord his God.
1 Samuel 30: 3-6                            NKJV   slt 2000
3 Als nun David samt seinen Männern zur Stadt kam, siehe, da war sie mit Feuer verbrannt, und ihre Frauen, ihre Söhne und Töchter waren gefangen weggeführt worden.
4 Da erhoben David und das Volk, das bei ihm war, ihre Stimme und weinten, bis sie nicht mehr weinen konnten.
5 Auch die beiden Frauen Davids, Achinoam, die Jesreelitin, und Abigail, die Frau Nabals, des Karmeliters, waren gefangen weggeführt worden.
6 Und David war sehr bedrängt, denn das Volk wollte ihn steinigen, weil die Seele des ganzen Volks erbittert war, jeder wegen seiner Söhne und wegen seiner Töchter. David aber stärkte sich in dem Herrn, seinem Gott.
V6… David comforted himself in his God….. Paul Knew these Bible passages very well….. He knew something about people wanting to stone him…. And he was also able to take comfort in all of the things that the Lord had done for him….. He reminded himself of God´s Chesed….. His unfailing love….. I´m sure that he quoted the Word of God to himself….. Especially when he was going through hard times…. He surely also enjoyed the comfort of his new friends….. I´m sure that He rejoiced to see so many come to the Lord Jesus…… Even some of his own countrymen believed the Good News….. But as I said he was not in the clear yet….
Let´s continue in the text….acts18…v9…
Acts 18: 9-11                        NKJV
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 18:9-11                          slt 2000
9 Und der Herr sprach durch ein Gesicht in der Nacht zu Paulus: Fürchte dich nicht, sondern rede und schweige nicht!
10 Denn ich bin mit dir, und niemand soll sich unterstehen, dir zu schaden; denn ich habe ein großes Volk in dieser Stadt!
11 Und er blieb ein Jahr und sechs Monate dort und lehrte unter ihnen das Wort Gottes.
v9… the LORD spoke in a vision…. Do not be afraid….
The LORD gave Paul this vision because he was afraid…. Maybe he worried that his work would be cut short by either opposing Jews as in Thessalonica and Berea……. or by the incredible idolatry and sinfullness around him……
Notice that Jesus didn't tell Paul that his opponents wouldn't try to stop him…… He did not promise to Zap away all his troubles and trials if he had enough faith…. He only said that his enemies would not be successful……The solution to Paul's fear is for him to obey Jesus' command to not be afraid…. and to speak and not keep silent……. He was to keep getting the Word of God out…..
Paul was really being threatened at that time….. The Gospel could come to a grinding halt at any moment…… Unreasonable and wicked men were threatening and persecuting him…. At that point he needed super encouragement….. so God Himself comes to Paul’s aid…..
v 9…Then spoke the Lord to Paul…. 
Here he was at a time of discouragement and persecution.…. When you look in the book of Acts you don't very often see Paul running out of boldness….  but here you do…..
Paul right here was at the point of stopping his preaching…... It was so difficult….. He was at the point of quitting right here….. You say, "How do you know that?" Because the Lord came to him and said, "Be not afraid….. verse 9……"but speak and hold not your peace…. That shows that Paul was really thinking about stopping his preaching……The Lord says, "Don't stop….. You just keep preaching…..  
Then to encourage Paul….  The Lord gives Paul 3 promises….  they're in verse 10….. .
 They're three promises that we as genuine believers can apply in our own lives…..
1 I  am with you!....
2 No one will hurt you!.....
3 I have many people in this city….
v10… point 1… Keep preaching, Paul, for I am with thee….
What a powerful statement…..  In the Greek it's  emphatic….. "I Myself am with thee." The emphasis is on God's very presence…… That's the promise of power…..  I don't think any of us can get a hold of the immense power of God….. Maybe it helps to remember the    fact that once there was nothing and the next instant there was everything….. God has unbelievable power…..
So He says, "Paul, don't stop preaching…. I Myself am with you…...  
The second promise He says is…. No man shall set on thee to hurt thee."
2… No one will hurt you…. I´m sure that was good news….. He had already suffered much for the sake of the Gospel…..  He was a great man of God….. But he certainly did not look forward to being attacked and beaten or stoned… The Lord…. Relax…. No one will hurt you….
When we understand the power of the God and His promise to protect us…. We have nothing to fear…..  
Now let’s see the third reason for Paul not to give up……
Verse 10… "I have many people in this city." The third reason to keep preaching is really powerful….. He says, "Because I promise you results….. You are not wasting your time…. Some will believe and repent….. You must continue to Proclaim the Good News….. three wonderful promises….
1 I myself am with you!.... You are not alone in these trials
2 No one will hurt you!..... I will protect you and never forsake you…
3 I have many people in this city…. Proclaim the Good News…. I will give you fruit….. converts….. God´s Word always accomplishes its purposes…. After this vision Paul finds comfort and strength and renews his commitment to God´s purposes….
v11… And he continued there a year and six months…. Paul was in Corinth a year and a half….. That seems to be longer than in any other city where he founded a church…... His ministry at Corinth is described simply….. teaching the word of God among them….. That means that he loved and taught and prayed for them…. We learn from 1 Cor 4… That he sent Apollos and Timothy to minister to them as well….. And when it was necessary… He rebuked them… Corinth was a wild wild west kind of a town….. And Paul invested greatly in them….I would like to read I last text this morning… Turn to 2 cor 1…v3.….
2 Corinthians 1:3-11                    NLT Neues Leben
3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, 4 who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. 5 For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also abounds through Christ. 6 Now if we are afflicted, it is for your consolation and salvation, which is effective for enduring the same sufferings which we also suffer. Or if we are comforted, it is for your consolation and salvation. 7 And our hope for you is steadfast, because we know that as you are partakers of the sufferings, so also you will partake of the consolation.

8 For we do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, of our trouble which came to us in Asia: that we were burdened beyond measure, above strength, so that we despaired even of life. 9 Yes, we had the sentence of death in ourselves, that we should not trust in ourselves but in God who raises the dead, 10 who delivered us from so great a death, and does[a] deliver us; in whom we trust that He will still deliver us, 11 you also helping together in prayer for us, that thanks may be given by many persons on our behalf for the gift granted to us through many.
2 Corinthians 1:3-11                     Neues Leben
3 Gelobt sei der Gott und Vater unseres Herrn Jesus Christus, der Vater der Barmherzigkeit und Gott alles Trostes,
4 der uns tröstet in all unserer Bedrängnis, damit wir die trösten können, die in allerlei Bedrängnis sind, durch den Trost, mit dem wir selbst von Gott getröstet werden.
5 Denn wie die Leiden des Christus sich reichlich über uns ergießen, so fließt auch durch Christus reichlich unser Trost.
6 Haben wir Bedrängnis, so geschieht es zu eurem Trost und eurer Rettung, die sich wirksam erweist in standhafter Erduldung derselben Leiden, die auch wir erleiden; werden wir getröstet, so geschieht es zu eurem Trost und eurer Rettung;
7 und unsere Hoffnung für euch ist gewiß, da wir wissen: Gleichwie ihr Anteil an den Leiden habt, so auch am Trost.
8 Denn wir wollen euch, Brüder, nicht in Unkenntnis lassen über unsere Bedrängnis, die uns in [der Provinz] Asia widerfahren ist, daß wir übermäßig schwer zu tragen hatten, über [unser] Vermögen hinaus, so daß wir selbst am Leben verzweifelten;
9 ja, wir hatten in uns selbst schon das Todesurteil, damit wir nicht auf uns selbst vertrauten, sondern auf Gott, der die Toten auferweckt.
10 Er hat uns denn auch aus solch großer Todesgefahr gerettet und rettet uns noch; und wir hoffen auf ihn, daß er uns auch ferner retten wird,
11 wobei auch ihr mitwirkt durch eure Fürbitte für uns, damit wegen der von vielen Personen für uns [erbetenen] Gnadengabe auch von vielen gedankt werde um unsretwillen.
Let’s pray….