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Bible Commentaries

Charles Box's Commentaries on Selected Books of the Bible
Acts 18

 

 

Introduction

Paul's Work At Corinth

- Acts Eighteen -

After Paul left Athens he went to Corinth. His preaching work continued there for eighteen months. There Paul associated himself with Aquila and Priscilla. They had come to Corinth from Italy because Claudius had ordered all Jews to leave Rome. Paul stayed with them because they were all tent makers.

On the Sabbath days Paul reasoned with the Jews out of the scriptures and persuaded both Jews and Greeks that "Jesus" is the Messiah. "When Silas and Timothy came down from Macedonia, Paul was completely given up to the word, preaching to the Jews that Jesus was Christ." Sadly many of them spoke evil against him. Paul said, "Your blood be on your heads, I am clean: from now I will go to the Gentiles." How sad it is when anyone fails to believe that God gives eternal life to all that obey Jesus.

Not all rejected Jesus: (1) Justus worshipped God, (2) Crispus believed on the Lord, and (3) many of the Corinthians hearing, believed, and were baptized.

With all the rejection Paul had faced it would have been easy for him to become discouraged. The Lord told Paul not to be afraid. God wanted him to speak with boldness. He promised Paul, "I am with thee, and no man shall set on thee to hurt thee: for I have much people in this city." The Lord Jesus Christ had not forgotten Paul nor would He forget him.

Paul was accused of causing people to serve God in a manner that was contrary to the law. Gallio would not hear the matter because he knew it was not a matter of wicked lewdness. Even when the Greeks took Sosthenes and beat him before the judgment seat Gallio did not care! Later Sosthenes would be a part of Paul"s letter to Corinth. (1 Corinthians 1:1)

Paul stayed long enough to strengthen the brethren in Corinth. He left Corinth by way of Cenchrea. Before He left Cenchrea he cut off his hair to demonstrate the accomplishment of a vow he had made before God.

Paul made a brief stop at Ephesus on his way to Jerusalem. Priscilla and Aquila were left there. Paul"s travels took him to Caesarea, then to Jerusalem and finally back to Antioch. This described the ending of the second journey and the beginning of the third. On this journey Paul visited "Galatia and Phrygia in order, strengthening all the disciples."

Our attention is turned back to Ephesus where Paul had left Priscilla and Aquila. "A certain Jew named Apollos, an eloquent man" came down to the city of Ephesus. He was a great preacher but he knew only the baptism of John. After Priscilla and Aquila heard him preach they took him aside and gave him fuller teaching about the way of God. He became a powerful defender of the faith.


Verses 1-11

Paul"s great success at Corinth - Acts 18:1-11 : After Paul"s sermon in the Areopagus and the good result of it he traveled to Corinth. At Corinth he associated with Aquila and his wife Priscilla. They had come from Italy because Claudius had given orders that all Jews were to depart from Rome. Their trade of being tent makers brought them together.

Every Sabbath day Paul went into the Jewish synagogue and reasoned with them out of the Scriptures. He proved that Jesus was the Christ. He taught them concerning the necessity of Jesus' sufferings, death and resurrection. Many Jews and Greeks were persuaded by the truth Paul taught. When Silas and Timothy arrived Paul was stirred even more to preach Christ.

The rejection of the gospel by the Jews caused Paul to turn to the Gentiles. He said, "Your blood be on your heads, I am clean: from now I will go to the Gentiles." Paul meant what he said because he left the synagogue he went into the house of a man named Justus, a Gentile believer. Luke gave this simple account of conversions in Corinth. "Crispus, the chief ruler of the synagogue, believed on the Lord with all his house; and many of the Corinthians hearing believed, and were baptized." (Acts 18:8)

The Lord used a vision to encourage Paul to keep on preaching Christ. He promised to be with him and to preserve him.


Verses 12-17

The coldness of Gallio toward Paul - Acts 18:12-17 : The Jews brought Paul before Gallio"s judgment seat saying, "This man is teaching the people to give worship to God in a way which is against the law." Gallio said he would have heard the case if it involved some wicked lewdness. He refused to be a judge in spiritual matters. He literally drove them from his judgment seat.

The profane and unconverted Greeks beat Sosthenes. He was the chief ruler of the synagogue. Likely he was chosen to this position after Crispus became a Christian. Gallio cared for none of these things. Latter Sosthenes would have a part with Paul in writing the letter of First Corinthians. (1 Corinthians 1:1)


Verses 18-23

Paul watered what he had planted - Acts 18:18-23 : At Cenchrea Paul shaved his head because of a vow he had made. One would be hard pressed to prove that this vow was one peculiar to the Law, which it would be improper for Christians to observe. We must remember Paul"s refusal to impose the Law upon Gentiles. It must not be inferred, from this that we are at liberty to make foolish or wicked vows, that would be better broken than kept.

Paul, along with Aquila and Priscilla, journeyed to Ephesus. After a stay there when Paul preach in synagogue he traveled on leaving Aquila and Priscilla behind. Paul"s desire was to make the feast at Jerusalem and to return to Ephesus later, if it was the will of God. Paul made his way by Caesarea to Jerusalem. After visiting Jerusalem Paul visited many churches, (1) confirming them in the faith, (2) fortifying their minds against temptations, and (3) encouraging them to be faithful under persecution.


Verses 24-28

An account of Apollo"s spiritual growth - Acts 18:24-28 : Apollos came to Ephesus. He was powerful in speech and prudent. This man had a great knowledge of Scriptures, but he knew only the baptism of John. He preached boldly in the synagogue. Upon hearing him preach Priscilla and Aquila took him aside and expounded unto him the way of God more perfectly.

Apollos desired to go into Achaia. The brethren helped him and sent letters to the disciples requesting them to take him in among them. He gave much help to the believers. He overcame the Jews in public discussion, and made it clear from scripture that Jesus was the Christ.

 


Copyright Statement
These files are a derivative of an electronic edition available at BibleSupport.com. Public Domain.

Bibliography Information
Box, Charles. "Commentary on Acts 18:4". "Charles Box's Commentaries on Selected books of the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/box/acts-18.html. 2014.

Lectionary Calendar
Thursday, December 5th, 2019
the First Week of Advent
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