Introduction and Prayer
Read Acts 18:1-3
Then Paul left Athens and went to Corinth. There he became acquainted with a Jew named Aquila, born in Pontus, who had recently arrived from Italy with his wife, Priscilla. They had left Italy when Claudius Caesar deported all Jews from Rome. Paul lived and worked with them, for they were tentmakers[b] just as he was.
Why would Caesar have been deporting Jews from Rome?
How would you feel if suddenly you had to leave your home? What would you take with you? How might Priscilla and Aquila have felt about this move?
In what areas of the globe today are Christians seeing similar situations of being “moved out?”
How did God work through the commonalities of Paul and this new couple to begin a relationship that would be kingdom purposed?
Read Acts 18:4-6
Each Sabbath found Paul at the synagogue, trying to convince the Jews and Greeks alike. And after Silas and Timothy came down from Macedonia, Paul spent all his time preaching the word. He testified to the Jews that Jesus was the Messiah. But when they opposed and insulted him, Paul shook the dust from his clothes and said, “Your blood is upon your own heads—I am innocent. From now on I will go preach to the Gentiles.”
What was Paul’s habit on the Sabbath?
What changed when Timothy and Silas came from Macedonia?
Who was Paul primarily speaking to and what was the response?
What was Paul’s response? How is Paul’s response different from God’s response?
What can we say or do as we reason with people today? How should we respond if they reject the message?
Read Acts 18:7-8
Then he left and went to the home of Titius Justus, a Gentile who worshiped God and lived next door to the synagogue. Crispus, the leader of the synagogue, and everyone in his household believed in the Lord. Many others in Corinth also heard Paul, became believers, and were baptized.
Paul now begins to preach to the Gentiles. How is his message received here?
What happens as a result of Paul moving from the previous town and preaching only to Jews?
How can we apply this portion of scripture to our situations today in sharing Christ?
Read Acts 18:9-11
One night the Lord spoke to Paul in a vision and told him, “Don’t be afraid! Speak out! Don’t be silent! For I am with you, and no one will attack and harm you, for many people in this city belong to me.” So Paul stayed there for the next year and a half, teaching the word of God.
Why might Paul have needed affirmation from God to speak in this location?
What specific comfort did he recieve?
How might this scripture comfort us?
Read Acts 18:12-17
But when Gallio became governor of Achaia, some Jews rose up together against Paul and brought him before the governor for judgment. They accused Paul of “persuading people to worship God in ways that are contrary to our law.” But just as Paul started to make his defense, Gallio turned to Paul’s accusers and said, “Listen, you Jews, if this were a case involving some wrongdoing or a serious crime, I would have a reason to accept your case. But since it is merely a question of words and names and your Jewish law, take care of it yourselves. I refuse to judge such matters.” And he threw them out of the courtroom. The crowd then grabbed Sosthenes, the leader of the synagogue, and beat him right there in the courtroom. But Gallio paid no attention.
What was Gallio’s motivation for stopping the case? How did God use Gallio to protect Paul?
Cross reference the scripture of John 16:33. What does this passage tell us about what we can expect when following Jesus?
Sosthenes seems to be caught up in this as a bystander? What similarities can we see between this situation and our culture?
Read I Corinthians 1:1 What do we learn about Sosthenes from this passage?
Whether he was beaten as a result of being in the crowd or as a result of being a Christian in Acts 18 we do not know, but we do see that he follows Christ from the Corinthians passage. What does this tell us about the hardship of persecution vs. the fulfillment of following Jesus?
Share examples of persecution from modern day times and the results you’ve seen?
How does this build or suppress your faith?
Read Acts 18:18-21
Paul stayed in Corinth for some time after that, then said good-bye to the brothers and sisters[d] and went to nearby Cenchrea. There he shaved his head according to Jewish custom, marking the end of a vow. Then he set sail for Syria, taking Priscilla and Aquila with him. They stopped first at the port of Ephesus, where Paul left the others behind. While he was there, he went to the synagogue to reason with the Jews. 20 They asked him to stay longer, but he declined.
What type of vow might this have been?
Paul had a mission to go from city to city and teach about Christ. What is your mission?
Who are the people in your life like Prscilla and Aquila?
Why is it important to be with others in the faith on mission?
Read Acts 18:18-21
As he left, however, he said, “I will come back later, God willing.” Then he set sail from Ephesus. The next stop was at the port of Caesarea. From there he went up and visited the church at Jerusalem and then went back to Antioch. After spending some time in Antioch, Paul went back through Galatia and Phrygia, visiting and strengthening all the believers.
How is Paul spending His time at this point?
Though we may not be traveling as much as Paul, how can we use the tools God has given us at this point to continue to share the story of Jesus with whomever we meet?
What are some of the barriers we find in doing this?
Read Acts 18:24-27
Meanwhile, a Jew named Apollos, an eloquent speaker who knew the Scriptures well, had arrived in Ephesus from Alexandria in Egypt. He had been taught the way of the Lord, and he taught others about Jesus with an enthusiastic spirit and with accuracy. However, he knew only about John’s baptism. When Priscilla and Aquila heard him preaching boldly in the synagogue, they took him aside and explained the way of God even more accurately Apollos had been thinking about going to Achaia, and the brothers and sisters in Ephesus encouraged him to go. They wrote to the believers in Achaia, asking them to welcome him. When he arrived there, he proved to be of great benefit to those who, by God’s grace, had believed. He refuted the Jews with powerful arguments in public debate. Using the Scriptures, he explained to them that Jesus was the Messiah.
What conclusions can we draw about Apollos?
How are we alike or different from Apollos?
What can we do to strengthen our knowledge of the Bible?
What conclusions from vs 27 can we make about how God speaks through other solid believers in our life?
Think on This… What are some ways you can better prepare yourself to reason with others about the message of the Gospel once you begin a spiritual conversation?