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Paul's Choices (Acts 18,19)

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Acts 18

Paul preaches at Corinth
After these things he departed from Athens and went to Corinth. 2 And he found a certain Jew named Aquila, a man of Pontus by race, lately come from Italy with his wife Priscilla, because Claudius had commanded all the Jews to depart from Rome; and he went to them. 3 And because he was of the same trade, he stayed with them and they worked together, for by trade they were tentmakers. 4 And he reasoned in the synagogue every Sabbath, and persuaded Jews and Gentiles.
   5 But when Silas and Timothy came down from Macedonia, Paul was occupied with the word, testifying to the Jews that Jesus was the Christ. 6 And when they opposed and reviled him, he shook out his garments and said to them: Your blood is on your own heads! I am innocent. From now on I will go to the Gentiles. 7 And he departed from there, and went into the house of a certain man named Titus Justus, one that worshiped God, whose house was attached to the synagogue. 8 And Crispus, the ruler of the synagogue, believed in the Lord with all his family; and many of the Corinthians, hearing, believed and were baptized. 9 And during the night in a vision, the Lord said to Paul: Do not be afraid, but speak out and do not keep silent. 10 For I am with you, and no one shall attack or harm you. For I have many people in this city. 11 And he lived there a year and six months, teaching the word of God among them.
   12 But when Gallio was proconsul of Achaia, the Jews with one accord rose up against Paul and brought him before the judgment seat, 13 saying: This man persuades men to worship God contrary to the law. 14 But when Paul was about to open his mouth, Gallio said to the Jews: If indeed it were a matter of wrong or of criminal villainy, O you Jews, it would be logical that I should bear with you. 15 But if they are questions about words and names and your own law, look to it yourselves. I refuse to be a judge of these matters. 16 And he drove them from the judgment seat. 17 And they all laid hold on Sosthenes, the ruler of the synagogue, and beat him before the judgment seat. And Gallio cared for none of these things.
   18 And Paul, having stayed after this for many days, took his leave of the believers, and with Priscilla and Aquila sailed to Syria, having shorn his head in Cenchrea. For he had made a vow. 19 And they came to Ephesus; and he left them there, but he entered into the synagogue and reasoned with the Jews. 20 And when they asked him to stay a longer time, he did not consent 21 but took his leave of them, saying: I will return again to you if God wills. He then set sail from Ephesus. 22 And when he had landed at Caesarea, he went and greeted the church, and then went down to Antioch. 23 And having spent some time there, he departed and went through the region of Galatia and Phrygia, in that order, strengthening all the disciples.

The conversion of Apollos
24 Now a certain Jew named Apollos, an Alexandrian by race, an eloquent man, came to Ephesus; and he was mighty in the scriptures. 25 This man had been instructed in the way of the Lord, and being fervent in spirit, he spoke and taught accurately the things concerning Jesus, although he knew only the baptism of John. 26 And he began to speak boldly in the synagogue. But when Priscilla and Aquila heard him, they took him aside and explained to him the way of God more accurately. 27 And when he decided to go into Achaia, the brothers encouraged him, and wrote to the disciples to receive him; and when he arrived, he helped them who through grace had believed. 28 For he powerfully refuted the Jews publicly, showing by the scriptures that Jesus was the Christ.


18:6 As explained throughout Ezekiel 33:2-7, if we do not witness to people and they die in ignorance, then we must bear the responsibility for their loss of salvation.

18:8 Baptism always follows belief. Infant baptism can’t be right because the infant cannot understand or believe the Gospel.

18:10 Somehow, everything will work out all right for us if our focus is upon bringing people to be part of God’s people.

18:12 When this happened, Paul must have kept remembering the promise of verse 10, trying to reassure himself that God will not break His promises.

18:26 More accurately- There are unbelievers and there are misbelievers. We mustn’t assume that everyone outside our circle of understanding is the enemy, not of God etc. There are misbelievers, who need correction and more teaching, but we cannot judge their standing with God.

18:27 We believe “through grace”. Salvation is of grace; we believe not only because we read the Bible and want to believe, but because God opened our hearts to believe (Acts 16:14; Ps. 119:18). If this factor wasn’t at work, then salvation would be by our own strength of will and understanding. Those factors are significant, but the “grace” element must never be lost sight of. It’s this which will keep us humble.