Dr. Oscar T. Moses
Tuesday, June 14, 2016
The Holy Spirit’s Affirmation, Assurance and Assistance
The Big Picture: The Holy Spirit does not always remove opposition but will give that which is needed to complete what has been assigned.
In Acts 18 Paul has left Athens and traveled to Corinth. Corinth was a large city known for its trade and commerce. It was located by a seaport, which made it accommodating to neighboring cities. Below are some of the specific details in Acts 18:
The Common Attraction
(1-3) – When Paul made his arrival to Corinth he found Aquila, a Jew from Pontus and his wife Priscilla. They had a common attraction. They were both tent makers. Priscilla and Aquila were in Corinth because of the edict of Claudius (The expulsion of Jews in 53 A.D.). There is no evidence that these two were Christian at the time they met Paul. They were more likely to have been converted as a result of Paul living with them and sharing the gospel.
The Congregation’s Assistance
(4-5) – Every Sabbath Paul preached at the meeting place doing his best to convince the listeners of Jesus Christ. Paul had to work because he had no congregation to support him. However, when Silas and Timothy showed up from Macedonia they came with a collection from the congregation at Macedonia and Paul was “freed up” to give himself to the ministry.
The Resistant Crowd
(6-7) – Paul preached to the Jews that Jesus was the Christ but they were resistant to the Spirit. Paul threw up his hands and moved forward. He went to the house of Titus Justus who lived next door the Jews meeting place.
The Rewarding Converts
(8) – Paul discovered that all was not lost for to his surprise, Crispus, the meeting place leader accepted Christ. His entire family believed with him. In the course of listening to Paul, a great many Corinthians believed and were baptized.
The Spirit’s Assurance
(9-11) – The Holy Spirit encouraged Paul not to give up! “I am with you and I have many people on my side in this city!” (MSG) (This could mean that there were many to be saved in that city that was not yet converted.) This promise of the Lord did not mean that men would not assault Paul, but they would be unsuccessful in their efforts to stop his preaching. Paul stayed for another year and six months.
The Spiteful Accusations
(12-17) – Paul was brought to Gallio, the governor of the province and accused of trying to stir up the people with illegal worship and false religion. Before Paul had a chance to defend himself Gallio made an interruption and threw the case out. Sosthenes was the new meeting place leader that replaced Crispus and it is likely that he became a Christian as well, he was accused as Paul, and beat up. Gallio could not care less.
The Confident Farewells
(18-23) – Paul left Corinth in the confidence of the Holy Spirits work among the Corinthians. When Paul left Corinth he took Priscilla and Aquila with him. Scholars believe Aquila shaved his head. “There is nothing in the text that absolutely obliges us to understand this action as belonging to St. Paul. It seems to have been the act of Aquila alone; and therefore both Paul and Priscilla are mentioned before Aquila; and it is natural to refer the vow to the latter.” A Commentary and Critical Notes.
They landed in Ephesus. Aquila and his wife stayed. Paul left the ship briefly to go to the meeting place and preach to the Jews. They wanted him to stay longer, but he couldn’t. After saying good-bye, he promised with confidence, “I’ll be back, God willing.” Paul goes through various cities, not to stay, but to check on the welfare of church plants.
The Christ like Correction
(24-28) – Luke described a man named Apollos that came to Ephesus. He was a Jew that was a good preacher and eloquent in the scriptures. He was correct up unto a point! He only preached up to the baptism of john. Priscilla and Aquila took him aside and told him the rest of the story and his ministry grew.
- What did Paul have in common with Aquila and Priscilla?
- Why was Paul in the synagogue every Sabbath?
- Who came from Macedonia?
- When the Jews opposed Paul’s witness of Christ what did he do?
- Why was Paul able to stop tent making when his friends arrived from Macedonia?
- Whose house did Paul go to when he left the synagogue?
- What happened to the leader or chief ruler of the synagogue and his family?
- What did many of the Corinthians do?
- What did the Lord tell Paul in a night vision?
- How long did Paul stay in Corinth after the night vision?
- What happened when Gallio was deputy of Achaia?
- What happened as Paul began to defend himself?
- What happened to the new temple leader Sosthenes? Why?
- When Paul left Corinth who did he take with him?
- As soon as Paul got off the ship in Ephesus what did he do?
- Who did Paul go from Ephesus?
- After Paul left Antioch what did he do?
- Who was Apollos?
- How was Apollos limited in the scriptures?
- Who gently corrected Apollos?
- How did Apollos put his gifts and knowledge to good use?
- How did Apollos serve God with his skills and abilities?
- How did God use Apollos in Achaia?
- What approach did Apollos use in defending the Christian faith?
- How does the Holy Spirit affirm us in the face of conflict?
- What difference would it make if the church did not financially support ministry?
- How do we take for granted the freedom to practice our faith?
- When you are discouraged how does the Holy Spirit give you assurance?
- How do you correct someone who has erred in the scriptures?
- How does the Holy Spirit assists in ministry?