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…
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.