Acts 18

Acts 18

Acts 18 Commentary

by Brad Boyles

Corinth had a bad reputation for being a city chock full of immorality. It was known as the hub for Aphrodite (fertility goddess) worship. It was also known for having a major temple dedicated to Apollo. Among the Greeks, it was a well-known and interchangeable phrase to refer to someone steeped in sexual immorality as a “Corinthian” even if they weren’t from Corinth.

As he did many times in a new city, Paul started by bringing his message to the Jews. After it became apparent that they were not open to the Gospel, he moves almost exclusively to the Gentiles. I’m sure Paul was relieved to get a message from the Lord promising his protection as he had been beaten badly in other cities. That message was enough to propel Paul into an aggressive and determined state of mind. We need this many times in our lives. When we open the Word, we can be encouraged that the promises of God are readily available to His children.

Immediately after receiving this message from the Lord, the text states that Paul set up camp. He knew he would be in Corinth for awhile and he knew he would be protected while he was there. For a year and a half, Paul told everyone he could about the Gospel. This infuriated the Jews and they had heard enough. Ironically, there was a new proconsul named Gallio who was appointed by the Roman senate to govern the province of Achaia. The Jewish leaders undoubtedly planned to take advantage of this new governor by bringing charges against Paul.

And, that’s exactly what they tried to do. The problem was, Gallio wasn’t budging. In fact, it’s very likely God hardened Gallio’s heart toward the Jews in order to fulfill his promise to protect Paul during his time in Corinth. Once the charges were brought, Paul didn’t have to say a word. Keep in mind, this decision not only had ramifications for Paul personally, but the Jews wished for Gallio to ban Christianity completely. Judging Christianity to be illegal would have sent the church reeling as persecution would have been looked upon favorably by the Roman government.

However, God already had a plan. Gallio considered Christianity to be a sect of the Jewish religion and therefore not a crime against Rome. He basically told the leaders to work it out on their own. All of this is a reminder to us of how God protects us as He’s promised. For some Christians today, hearing a promise like Paul received can send them into a comfortable and complacent mindset. Instead of warring for the Gospel, they take it as a moment to relax. Do we trust God enough to invest like Paul did? God’s Word was enough for Paul. He was all in.

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