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Acts of the Apostles: 34 - Acts 18:1-11

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Acts of the Apostles

34 - Acts 18:1-11



Acts of the Apostles: 34 - Acts 18:1-11


In this class we will discuss Acts 18:1-11 and look at the following: Paul arrives in Corinth and meets Aquila and Priscilla, who become his partners in tentmaking. He preaches in the synagogue every Sabbath, facing opposition from some Jews. He declares he will turn to the Gentiles. Many Corinthians, including Crispus, the synagogue leader, and his household, believe in Jesus and are baptized. In a vision, the Lord assures Paul of protection and encourages him to continue preaching boldly. Paul stays in Corinth for a year and a half, teaching the word of God.


[Darris McNeely] Let's get into Chapter 18. We left our hero, the Apostle Paul, kind of beat up and bruised in a spiritual sense out of the city of Athens. Last time, we covered the sermon that Paul gave to the Athenian philosophers on Mars Hill. And there is kind of abrupt dismissal when he started to talk about the resurrection from the dead and how they basically dismissed him at that point. He talked about the stoic philosophers, the epicurean philosophers that were there as a part of that.

Paul is now still in Greece, and I'm going to bring a slide up here on the screen. He is now making his way over to the city of Corinth. As we open up Chapter 18, it says, “After these things…” the things that he had encountered in Athens, which were not very productive. I mentioned at that time that not even does it seem that there were enough converts to start a Church. We have no record in the New Testament of a Church there. And I don't know that I've had any readings from mentioning a Church from any other extra-biblical readings that took place in Athens. But it's going to be a different story in the city of Corinth.

Acts 18:1 Says, “After these things, Paul departed from Athens and went to Corinth.”

Now, Corinth, if you look on the map that we have here on the screen, is just a short distance west of Athens and would not have taken him long to get there. This was a very large city, much larger than Athens. It was on a major trade route. They had cut basically a hole through the isthmus or a path for the sea and ships to come through right there at what was called the Isthmus of Corinth. And it's there to this day. It's a rock canyon, almost, that was cut through even in the time of Paul, and it aided the shipping that was going on.

If you look at the Mediterranean and, of course, Corinth and Greece here in this part sticks right kind of in the middle of the Mediterranean between Rome out on the far western regions and then the Asia, Ephesus, and Caesarea. And, of course, Alexandria and Egypt are down off the screen here, down on the north coast of Africa. But Corinth and this part of Greece was right in the middle. So, it was a major transit point for the ships. And because the passage for a ship along the southern route, the waters, the winds, the weather were a bit rougher down through there, ships were all basically by sail or by manpower in that day. They didn't have anything else.

And so what developed is ships passing from east to west would come through this Isthmus of Corinth and then pass on to Ephesus, or coming from Ephesus, they would go that route and onto Rome and other points west. And so a major transportation hub developed here at Corinth with shipping lanes going through there and overland routes as well. And so it grew into a large port city, and a large city as a result of that during this time. Back in the 2nd century BC, in the year 146 BC, Rome had fought a battle at Corinth as they were gobbling up Greece and moving their way from the west to the east. There had been a major battle, and Corinth had been decimated, but it was re-established, and by the year 44 BC, became a Roman colony under Julius Caesar.

So, it had a very large Greek population. It had also a fairly large Roman population of government officials and magistrates. Retired Roman army veterans were here as well. Latin was probably the official language of civic business at that time, and it grew into a very prosperous city of 200,000-plus at that time. That would have been about 20 times the size of Athens. And along with that prosperity and the types of people that a large metropolitan area, a shipping area with ships coming and going, and the type of people that were directed there, retired army people, seafaring people. You can imagine the type of people that then began to develop there and what went along with that.

Now as you studied the Book of Corinthians, I know probably it was pointed out to you that the problems that Paul addresses in his letter to the Church at Corinth indicate that there was a high problem of immorality. And that stems from the local conditions, the local culture. And again, a large port city with commerce coming and going and ships and men and whatever, led to a great deal of immorality, which was certainly augmented by the pagan religions of the time.

And Corinth had its share of temples, which, depending upon the deity, were the equivalent of brothels, money clearing houses. You got to remember, in the ancient world, temples were also kind of clearing houses for money and holding and repositories for money and wealth. They didn't have a large banking system like we're used to in the modern world. The ancient temples with their priesthood, they were also where people kept money and valuables. And that aided just the culture of less religion, but more of a worldly nature, and immorality being even endemic and a major part of the religious worship, those were magnets as well to the point that the idea was developed in the ancient world, to Corinthianize.

And I'll put that on the board for at least our audience online. But the idea of to Corinthianize, and there was a Greek term for that, it meant to be immoral. It was a euphemism for all sorts of the immorality of the time. And this is of religious type and of just plain human types of immorality. I mean, you did have to join a temple to engage in these sinful acts. And this reflected on the Church. And that's what Paul covers in great detail in the letter to the Corinthians.

But in spite of that, this is going to be a very fertile ground of people coming into the Church for Paul. He's going to spend 18 months in Corinth. A year and a half. And this was going to be the longest period to date in the story of Acts of Paul's travels anyway. We keep in mind that when he was in Philippi, he didn't stay very long, you know, a few days, a few weeks at the most. When he had to leave town, he went down to Thessaloniki and he had to leave town there as well. Berea was the same case. So, he had very short stays there. And then in all three of them, he was either imprisoned, almost arrested. Unrest caused him to leave. And Athens, he didn't have a whole lot of success, nor did he spend time there. And so in Corinth, he's going to spend a year and a half. So, he's entering into a very interesting period in his ministry.

Now, when we get to the next chapter, Paul is going to go over here to the city of Ephesus on the Asia Minor coast. And in Ephesus, he's going to stay three years. Three years. And so he's in a pocket of time, three and a half years when you add in what he spends in Corinth to what he will spend in Ephesus. And that will lend some stability to his life, and also the opportunity to, in a sense, observe and think about the cultures that he is now encountering.

He's in the heart of the Greco-Roman world, as I've mentioned, but now he has time to set, talk to people, gauge the impact of this world on people's lives. And what is going to happen here, and some of the commentators bring this out, but I think it's evident by the fertility of his writing at this time. Thessalonians will be written from Corinth. When he goes over to Ephesus, he will write 1 and 2 Corinthians back to that. During this time as well, the Book of Romans will be written. These are major books of the New Testament, major letters from Paul from which we obtain a lot of his thinking, his understanding about God, and theology, and Christian living.

But keep in mind, as you have studied Romans, Thessalonians, Corinthians, in those letters, you see Paul's reaction to this world in which he is now immersed. And that's shaping his ministry. It's shaping his perceptions so he knows how to react to it. And in Corinth, he's going to have success. He's going to establish a Church, which by all accounts, seems to be a flourishing Church at this time. And so with that background, understand what we're kind of moving into as we see some of the events that take place. So, let's go back to verse 2 of Chapter 18.

Acts 18:2 “When he came to Corinth, he found a certain Jew named Aquila and born in Pontus, who had recently come from Italy with his wife Priscilla, because Claudius had commanded all the Jews to depart from Rome, and he came to them.”

And so this is a period of time in about 50 AD, is when we're looking at, 49 to late 50 AD when Paul now comes to this, and the events, actually, the expulsion from Rome that is referred to here by Claudius, and it probably puts Paul in here at about 51 AD. And this is where you come into contact with this one so named Roman emperor Claudius. And again, I'll just mention that you should know the names of the Roman emperors that pertain to the New Testament, not just Acts, but the Gospels and be able to list them. And that takes you all the way to the Book of Revelation and the Emperor Domitian and the ones who are impactful upon the story of the New Testament. So, make sure that... I gave you a handout on that earlier this year.

But now we come into contact with Claudius, who is of the Claudian line. He's a descendant from Augustus by a very interesting set of circumstances and a family there. The Roman emperor at this status, at this time, is basically a family business founded and started by Julius Caesar, taken to his height by Augustus. But it's the family, you know what I mean? And it's a mob. There's no really better way to put it than to understand it in terms of it's a family operation. And the family grown large like that with power and money, it's a highly corrupt family. What is called the Claudia-Julian line makes fascinating reading. Whole series of movies have been made about this. Probably the better one, although it's more than 30 years old and it's not maybe as up-to-date cinema-wise, was a movie called “I, Claudius.” I'll put an I right here in front of it. And there was a whole series that was done on PBS years ago, “I, Claudius,” and it kind of centers on Claudius. And he tells the story, but it goes all the way back to Augustus and Julius Caesar and tells the story of this line with all of the intrigue and everything else, which makes it still popular for all kinds of adaptations today.

But what had happened during this time, there was some unrest in Rome. And it says that Claudius had commanded all the Jews to depart from Rome. Well, what happened is not all the Jews did leave Rome, but some did. And it appears that some of, let's say, the Christians, followers of Jesus did. And some feel that more of them left than Jews did. There was a very large Jewish population in Rome. And it would have been a huge blow to the economy and so many things had every Jew left Rome.

So, again, this is kind of an overspeak on the part of Luke. There may have been a command for that to have happened, but it literally did not expel all the Jews from Rome. There was a dispute. It seems at the time that there were rioting at the instigation of Christus. And the spelling on this is C-⁠H-⁠R-⁠I-⁠S-⁠T-U-S, Christus. And a bit enigmatic, but most feel that there was a stirring up, and this is speaking of Christ, and there were certain conflicts. And for some reason, the Church or disciples were kind of in the midst of that and they probably bore the brunt of it. And there's not any information to give us any details, but there were certain riotings that were taking and people got banished from Rome.

And we have Luke focusing on these two that Paul comes in contact with, Aquila and Priscilla. And so these come to Corinth, and it says in verse 3.

Acts 18:3 “Because Paul was of the same trade, he stayed with them and worked, for by occupation they were tentmakers.”

Now, Paul himself was a tentmaker. That was his trade. It was very common for a Jew in that age as they were being raised, regardless of the track they were eventually going to go on. Let's say Paul was an intellectual, and we know that he was schooled at the feet of Gamaliel, he later says, in his school in Jerusalem, but Paul had to learn to trade.

And some scholars feel that it was by tent-making, that it was a family business, that by tent-making, Paul's family may have obtained their Roman citizenship because they had a concession to provide hides, sails, cloth for the Roman armies out of Tarsus. And that may have been a path to the citizenship Paul so proudly used and did have. I'm not saying that he was overly proud about it, but he knew how to use it. And we have seen that already in Philippi, and we'll see it again when he's arrested in Jerusalem. Because he has that Roman citizenship, he can appeal to Caesar, and he does. But how he got that, we don't know, having been born a Jew. But some think that maybe the family business did this. Paul did not let that family business, in a sense, fade from his life. He carried whatever tools he needed along with him, it seems.

And here it says that he meets up with these two people because they were of the same trade. How did they find each other? Well, one possibility is that Paul would have found where they were working. And the way things worked in the day, you had these large agoras, these marketplaces, and in those agoras were all the shopkeepers, goods and sails, and repair shops. And there was always a need for a tentmaker, somebody to repair the hides or to create new hides. And being a tentmaker means that, yeah, he did make tents out of animal hides and/or canvas material, and sails for ships and other uses. And it was a very important commodity. And so any tentmaker worth his salt in this time would have been able to set up and have a viable business.

And so Priscilla and Aquila, it seems likely that they had set up shop somewhere in Corinth and probably in the area of the agora, and they would have been in the area of the trades. There would have been other tradesmen in that area. And so Paul comes into Corinth and he is being led to realize he's going to have to kind of put down roots here, he's going to have to support himself. This was his method. He had money coming from the congregations. Philippi, we know, sent him money, but not enough to perhaps live completely on.

And we don't know how all the outflows went for Paul and his party, Timothy, and Silas, and all that it would take, but Paul was not beyond working with his hands to keep things going. And he does this in Corinth, he'll do it later in Ephesus. And so essentially what you have to understand is he was a card-carrying tentmaker, which meant he was in the tentmakers union by our standards today. And so he could go into these cities, find a shop, and get a job. And that's what he does.

In many of these ancient cities that have been excavated, you can actually go to the trade area and you can see where the stalls were. When we go to Ephesus, we'll see that in the agora. There's a spot outside of Rome, Ostia. Ostia was the port of Rome. And I've been there. And you can go into the agora, and you're walking by, and the remains of these small stalls or shops. And out in front, the mosaics are still there. In the mosaics were symbols of a tentmaker, or a candle maker, or a silversmith, and whatever that symbol was. And so you walked by and you knew what kind of shop it was. So, Paul goes into that area of the city and he's looking for work. He is led to meet these two individuals who have the same trade going on with him at this time.

Now, this is our introduction to this couple. They are Church members. They have come from Rome. They will later go back to Rome. You read in the Book of Romans that Paul greets them. But they've come from Rome. And Aquila, the man born in Pontus, with his wife, Priscilla... In other references, at least two other references in the New Testament where these are referred to, Priscilla is mentioned first. And the commentators make a point of this, her name is known to be a Roman name. And the thought is that Priscilla was a Roman and Aquila was not. Maybe a freedman, but probably a gentile being born in Pontus.

And at times when you see her name, Priscilla and Aquila, rather than Aquila and Priscilla, that can indicate her status within the culture, within society, and it's used in that particular way. But they become coworkers, fellow laborers with Paul as they set up shop here. And we will see them again in Ephesus. And, of course, you read about them in other places in the New Testament.

Acts 18:4 Then he goes on, “Paul reasoned in the synagogue every Sabbath and persuaded both Jews and Greeks.”

So, he finds a ready audience from Jews, from gentile, God-fearers, this class of people who have no doubt attached themselves to the synagogue. And perhaps, in his other encounters with the Greek-speaking, Greek, or gentile population, he makes some converts, he persuades some others. So, it could have been a combination of just engaging people outside of the synagogue as well as within the synagogue there.

Now, one other point I want to make about, let's say, the population of Corinth, and a reason that I think is a very viable reason for Paul's success, to whatever size this Church grew in Corinth, but it appears to be a viable, sizable group of people. I'm not saying it was thousands or some kind of a megaChurch, nor even am I saying that it was several hundred. We don't know. Again, most of the Churches in the New Testament period were much smaller than we would think. And yet, the population of Corinth, a group of people who are laborers, they're caught up in the culture, they're impacted by the morality, the ethics, the city that is here. Paul finds a fertile ground for evangelizing and for people to respond.

And I think that that tells us probably that the majority of the members were, let's say, working-class people, middle class to lower class, people who had been bitten hard by the world and had been broken by the world. And the Gospel appeals to them. Again, remember, the pagan world by this time and this age had run its course. It was a theology religion of failed promises. And so for Paul to find people among the Jews and among the Greeks, by his work here in verse 4, to persuade them, means that they were ripe for the Gospel. Their lives needed mending.

When you stop to think about what immorality does and how it spreads through, let's say, a city, but down into the granular level of the family and becomes generational, and then the truth comes in and somewhere along the line, somebody decides to say, “The problem stops with me.” I have seen that so many times in my work in the ministry with God's people. Paul will talk in his letter to the Corinthians about those who were the first fruits of Achaia. Achaia is this region of Corinth. That's the region of Achaia. And in his letter, he says they were the first fruits of Achaia, meaning that they were among the first members from this region to come into the Church in Corinth. Now, here's the way things work. And I want you to think about your family, your congregations, and your knowledge of the history of the Church.

God does work with families. Sometimes one person is called in a large clan. Maybe they have four or five children. Maybe they have four or five brothers and sisters. One person picks up a magazine, hears a broadcast, learns about the Sabbath, comes to the Church. The Gospel makes sense to them. The truth begins to resonate in their life and they change. And then a daughter comes in, a son, a sister. Maybe it's the patriarch that first comes. Maybe it's the matriarch of the family, and others follow along. I have seen this pattern time and time again. And all of a sudden, you've got a clan in the Church. You got a family, an extended family.

Think about your families that you come from and the networks that have been a part of the Church, present and past. And right here in our congregation, we've got the same thing. It's one person who decides to break the chain of dysfunction, of brokenness, whatever that brokenness is, addiction, immorality, and the fruits of it, and then the truth of God begins to make a change in people's lives.

This type of Corinthian culture, I'm making the point, was a fertile ground for people to hear and respond to the Gospel of people who were broken. And Paul's learning how to express this to tell them about the message of the kingdom about Jesus Christ and that it is the solution to your problems, that it is hope. There is a hope of the resurrection. And the life you've been living caught up in this swill of this seaside port city with all of its industry and all of its addictions and problems and wrongheaded pagan thinking, this is truth. It changes. And all it takes is one person to get their reality squared around. Boom. They see it and then their life begins to change. They talk about it with their sister, their brother, their mother, their father, their children, and people come along. That's how I'm here.

My mother learned about it through her father, who by coincidence or reality, he didn't come into the Church but he started to learn, pass along to my mother. She was the one who needed the Gospel more than he did, I guess. He never took the step of membership. She was given hope at a time in her life where she needed that and she came into the Church, and that's how I learned it. And so I've got my little small networks. Not as large as some others, perhaps, but that's the way that it all works. And so this is the seed for this.

Acts 18:5 Tells us, “Silas and Timothy had come from Macedonia…”

And keep in mind Macedonia is the region Northern Greece. Macedonia includes Berea, Thessaloniki, Philippi. That's the other region. And, of course, that's where they were left. Remember when he left Berea? So, they come. And Paul then is compelled by the Spirit, and he testified to the Jews that Jesus is the Christ. Now, Paul writes to the Thessalonians in 1 Thessalonians 3:6 the good news that Silas and Timothy brought from them about their state, as well as a gift of money, it seems. And so things are flush here for a moment. They can set up a house or whatever and work, but with work coming in and money that's from others, they are able to focus on preaching. And it was some good news that came to Paul at that time. And 1 Thessalonians tells us that story.

Acts 18:6 He says, “When they opposed him…” So, again the same pattern happened, the Jews opposed him, “He shook his garments and said to them, ‘Your blood be upon your own heads. I'm clean. From now on, I will go to the gentiles.’”

He makes a conscious decision here in Corinth for that moment not to go back into the synagogue. Now, it doesn't mean that he did not enter the synagogue later. He did in Ephesus. We'll see that. But here in Corinth, he says, “Okay, I've done what I can do. I'm just going to focus on the gentiles.” And so this idea of the blood be upon your head is their refusal to heed the warning. They're guilty.

And it kind of flows from statements in Ezekiel 3, where God says to the prophet, "Preach the message to the people. Give them a warning, give them a witness. If they don't respond and the sword comes upon them, then they are libel. The blood is on them. You will be saved because of what you've done." And so this is the same idea. Paul has given a warning. The Gospel is a warning. It's a warning of repentance. Change from your ways. There is a day of judgment coming. He already spoke that back in Chapter 17. Part of his message to the Athenians was of the judgment that is to come. And so there was a warning to change your life and to begin to obey God.

Acts 18:7 “He departed from there and entered the house of a certain man named Justus, one who worshipped God, whose house was next to the synagogue.”

Now, this is a Roman name. And so he has a house, and it's right next to the synagogue. He becomes a believer, and he probably had a large enough home for people to gather there, maybe up to 40 or 50 people, sizeable enough. And this is where Paul then sets up. But conveniently, it's right next to the synagogue. So, any interested Jew, who on a Sabbath starts to hear whatever's being taught in the synagogue and they think, “Oh, boy, this is kind of boring. I think I'll go next door and see what Paul's talking about.”

It was the equivalent in their day of switching off one online feed and going to somebody else's online feed on the Sabbath if you're hearing a bad sermon, right? And what is your judgment there? The convenience of it. I'm not saying that's what you should do, by the way, but we do cherry-pick today, don't we? People do. And I have to think that the house of Justus being right next door to the synagogue gave some maybe to go back and forth, which probably happened anyway. They had friends in the synagogue and they hadn't been expelled completely from the synagogue. And so there's a bit of convenience here. But it's interesting to note in verse 8.

Acts 18:8 It says, “Then Crispus, the ruler of the synagogue, believed on the Lord with all of his household.”

The ruler of the synagogue. This was a significant figure. This was the arche, sunagōgḗ, as the Greek would put it. This was the guy in charge of the synagogue and he defects with his household. That blows a hole in the congregation of the synagogue. He believed on the Lord. Now, they appointed somebody else. The Jews didn't leave a vacuum, and we'll see in a moment. But there would have been only one lead person in the synagogue. That's the way it worked. There were other, in a sense, elders, and sub-leaders, but only one ruler of the synagogue as is said here. He believes, and they're baptized.

Acts 18:9-10 “Now the Lord spoke to Paul in the night by a vision. ‘Do not be afraid, but speak, and do not keep silent. For I am with you, and no one will attack you to hurt you, for I have many people in this city.’”

This is encouragement. And it comes to Paul at night in a vision from the Lord. And, of course, remember, when he was struck down on the road to Damascus, Paul heard the voice of Jesus. So, he had no doubt that this was who was speaking to him here. He didn't have to necessarily test the spirits. It was, I'm sure, very clear who he was being communicated to by, and it was the Lord.

And really Paul needed this encouragement here. He had been imprisoned and beaten in Philippi, run out by night from Thessaloniki. They had to throw him on a ship and leave Berea. And in Athens, he was kind of ridiculed and looked down upon as kind of an itinerant philosopher, interesting for a time, but a lot of people didn't pay attention to him. And here God gives him some encouragement. He needed that encouragement. And God says in verse 10.

Acts 18:10 “I am with you. No one will attack you to hurt you.” We're going to see that he's attacked but he's not beaten and he's not hurt. “No one will attack you to hurt you for I have many people in this city.”

And so this word of encouragement helps Paul realize that probably to redouble his efforts, to work harder, open up another Bible study, spend more time with people, make more visits, whatever it was necessary. He begins to see the fruit of his ministry and of his labor, and he pushes on. That's a critical key here. And again, keep in mind what I've said, the culture, to Corinthianize, the immorality, the whole culture of Corinth. There was a pool of people that were... It was fertile ground. It was a seedbed for the Gospel. And Paul gets that encouragement. God's going to use him in a significant manner. God had people to call in Corinth.

I think the lesson for us is that, you know, at times we might get discouraged in thinking that the Church isn't growing or somebody...maybe there's a spate of deaths within a congregation. Sometimes they'll come in... You know, several people will die in a short period of time. And things can discourage us. And when those times come that we have to dig deep into the Spirit of God and when it might look a little bit hopeless, we push on. We keep doing what we have to do. That's what we must do in the Church. Our mission is to preach the Gospel, and we have to keep doing that. We cannot let up, no matter what the numbers might say sometime or the situations that come and go. That is the mission that is given to us. We have that clear from Scripture, and we have to keep doing it.

And sometimes in our own personal life, we have a streak of bad luck. There's a streak of trials. And our job, your job, my job is to kind of analyze ourselves. Why? Is it my fault? Is it my cologne or lack thereof? Whatever it might be. What have I said? What am I doing? How have I been reacting? Have I turned inward, focused only on myself? Maybe. Have I been offensive? Have I neglected relationships? You know, relationships have to be nurtured and fed. You want a friend, you have to be a friend. To be a friend means you have to show up. To be a friend means you need to cultivate the relationship with time, with actions, with encouragement. When they need somebody, you have to be there on notice and help them through.

And so we have to examine ourselves. Why are we in this phase? Why are we in this stage? And we need to pray about it. We need to ask God to show us. Every year, as we enter into the Passover season, we go through a time of examination. Paul said to examine ourselves, whether we are in the faith. And it is a time of examination, and it's not done once. It's not even done once a year. It should be done on a regular basis. But as we approach the Passover, there's a focus in our lives, and we do it every year. And we grow and we develop in that way to be more effective instruments in the hands of God.

I mentioned recently about this Asbury revival that took place down here at Asbury Theological Seminary in Kentucky. Two weeks or so, or maybe it was three weeks, I forgot, of prayer, singing, and gathering of students. And by itself, okay, there's worse things to do.

The idea of revival among religious circles is interesting. And sometimes you will see a sign on a Church, “Revival in Progress,” and they might invite in a different traveling speaker, a bit more charismatic to revive the life of a congregation. Bible necessarily doesn't use that explicit term, and we don't use that in our culture. But the Bible does tell us to examine ourselves. And every year before Passover, we are to examine our lives and the light of God's Word with God's Spirit. And it's a measured examination that should revive us. It should energize us. It should motivate us to righteousness that is lasting, not based on emotion, not based on the crowd. And I talked to you last week about how you can get caught up in a group think and a crowd think in terms of, let's say, an emotional experience that can sweep quickly through a group of people religiously oriented. That doesn't mean it's a lasting change, and it doesn't always mean that it's of God.

The Bible teaches us to examine ourselves. That is a measured methodical, not devoid of emotion, but in the right way. And it should be directed inside and not necessarily always manifested in kind of open confessions like that. We can shed a tear in the privacy of our prayer closet as God leads us to repentance, to see things about ourselves. We can come across a Scripture reading, and it can catch us right there in the moment and choke us up and, yeah, maybe bring a tear. That's okay, that's fine. But it doesn't necessarily always have to be shared, and something that we try to motivate with other people or make a show of it.

The type of examination that Scripture teaches us about our life is more of one that is ongoing, and it produces real change through God's Spirit in our heart and in our life. And the fruits, the fruits of love, of joy, of peace, and all the others are evident. That then is, in a sense, a revival that can be of God in the inner man to create that new man. And this is, I think, what was going on with people in the city of Corinth as they worked themselves through repentance from a very immoral, corrupting society to the culture of the kingdom of God.

Acts 18:11 Tells us, “He continued there a year and six months teaching the Word of God among them.”

So, 18 months and a productive, effective ministry. This is generally understood to be between the years 50 A.D. to 52 A.D. So, that's where we are in the story flow of Acts, 50 A.D. to 52 A.D. Keep in mind that this is a period of time where Paul is shaping through experience, reflection, God working with him, and the people that he's interacting with. He's shaping and understanding how to preach the Gospel, how to put it in a way that changes lives. And this is part of the reason that there is this fruitful period of time.

I'll cut it off there and we'll pick it up at verse 12 and get into some of the things that happened here as the focus comes down to certain specific incidences there in the city of Corinth. He is going to have a bit of trouble. And we'll get into that in our next class.