The Word divides


A. Rapport for the time
B. Reading of the text
C. Review of the text
Paul has spent some 18 months in Corinth last week and he was given a vision from the Lord.
Acts 18:9–11 ESV
9 And the Lord said to Paul one night in a vision, “Do not be afraid, but go on speaking and do not be silent, 10 for I am with you, and no one will attack you to harm you, for I have many in this city who are my people.” 11 And he stayed a year and six months, teaching the word of God among them.
In his time in Corinth the church is founded and begins to flourish.
1 Corinthians 4:15 ESV
15 For though you have countless guides in Christ, you do not have many fathers. For I became your father in Christ Jesus through the gospel.
2 Corinthians 10:14 ESV
14 For we are not overextending ourselves, as though we did not reach you. For we were the first to come all the way to you with the gospel of Christ.
D. Relevance of the text

I. Living in an opinion driven world

Acts 18:12 ESV
12 But when Gallio was proconsul of Achaia, the Jews made a united attack on Paul and brought him before the tribunal,
Gallio is proconsul of Achaia around 51-52 AD giving us another marker as to the time that Paul is bringing his second missionary journey to an end. Achaia is the province in which Corinth is the capital city. That make Gallio like a governor in our mind who is able to sit over proceedings and pronounce judgments.
The Jews bring a united attack--
United—homothumadon—has been used already by Luke to describe the Christian community
Schreiner, Patrick. Acts: The Christian Standard Commentary (p. 558). B&H Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.
Acts 2:46 ESV
46 And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts,
Acts 8:6 ESV
6 And the crowds with one accord paid attention to what was being said by Philip, when they heard him and saw the signs that he did.
Schreiner makes the point that “Either one is part of a virtuous community or an immoral community. THE WORD DIVIDES people into two groups. There are not 4 or 5 different options according to scripture.
Gospel—lost people this morning—
Believers in this room—you are responsible to another.
Acts 18:13–17 ESV
13 saying, “This man is persuading people to worship God contrary to the law.” 14 But when Paul was about to open his mouth, Gallio said to the Jews, “If it were a matter of wrongdoing or vicious crime, O Jews, I would have reason to accept your complaint. 15 But since it is a matter of questions about words and names and your own law, see to it yourselves. I refuse to be a judge of these things.” 16 And he drove them from the tribunal. 17 And they all seized Sosthenes, the ruler of the synagogue, and beat him in front of the tribunal. But Gallio paid no attention to any of this.
Charges are brought before Gallio and Paul is ready to defend himself—or most likely share the Gospel which is what we has seen him do in similar situations. But his time....Gallio doesn’t even want to hear anything as he tells the Jews it has nothing to do with Rome in anyway. He tells them their problems are based on Jewish Laws and they should figure this out themselves and leave him alone kicking them out of the place.
Philippi—Accused of Disturbing the city, promoting customs no legal for Romans—Gentiles—he is beaten and imprisoned—Acts 16:19-24...
Thessalonica—accused of turning the world upside down, acted contrary to Caesar’s decrees by saying there is another king…Jews…Expelled and bound Acts 17:5-9....
Athens—Accused of preaching foreign deities—gentiles…Ridiculed Acts 17:18-20..
Corinth—Accused of persuading people to worship God in ways contrary to the law…Jews..Dismissed
This is some second missionary Journey for Paul don’t you think.
Acts 18:17 ESV
17 And they all seized Sosthenes, the ruler of the synagogue, and beat him in front of the tribunal. But Gallio paid no attention to any of this.
Sosthenes—ruler of the synagogue—some of the group grab Sosthenes and beat him in front of the Gallio but he is indifferent to the happenings. Crispus was the leader of the synagogue in Corinth last week and we witnessed his entire house coming to know the Lord. Now we have Sosthenes as the new ruler and he is beaten by his own people.
1 Corinthians 1:1–2 ESV
1 Paul, called by the will of God to be an apostle of Christ Jesus, and our brother Sosthenes, 2 To the church of God that is in Corinth, to those sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints together with all those who in every place call upon the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, both their Lord and ours:
Sosthenes is with Paul when he writes back to the Corinthians. On this day he was bringing Paul before the tribunal and would later become a follower of the Lord with Paul. The word divides!

II. Desire to Honor God

Acts 18:18 ESV
18 After this, Paul stayed many days longer and then took leave of the brothers and set sail for Syria, and with him Priscilla and Aquila. At Cenchreae he had cut his hair, for he was under a vow.
Paul leaves Corinth along with him are Priscilla and Aquila leaving behind an established church he feels has the leadership to grow having spent 18 months pouring into them. It is mentioned in this verse that at Cenchreae(eastern port of Corinth) he has his hair cut.
Acts 18:9-10 (ESV)
Acts 18:9–10 ESV
9 And the Lord said to Paul one night in a vision, “Do not be afraid, but go on speaking and do not be silent, 10 for I am with you, and no one will attack you to harm you, for I have many in this city who are my people.”
Paul is honoring God by taking a vow for a time as he is heading back to Jerusalem. The Lord has seen fit to protect him in Corinth just like he said he would in the vision.
Numbers 6:2–5 ESV
2 “Speak to the people of Israel and say to them, When either a man or a woman makes a special vow, the vow of a Nazirite, to separate himself to the Lord, 3 he shall separate himself from wine and strong drink. He shall drink no vinegar made from wine or strong drink and shall not drink any juice of grapes or eat grapes, fresh or dried. 4 All the days of his separation he shall eat nothing that is produced by the grapevine, not even the seeds or the skins. 5 “All the days of his vow of separation, no razor shall touch his head. Until the time is completed for which he separates himself to the Lord, he shall be holy. He shall let the locks of hair of his head grow long.
—in Paul’s day, if someone made the vow while away from Jerusalem, at the termination of his vow he would shave his head, as Paul did, and afterwards present the shorn hair at the temple withing 30 days. MacArthur..
Shaving of the head marks the end of the vow he made to the Lord while in Corinth.
App…lack of fear from Paul and the amount of Faith he had in the Lord at this point in his second missionary journey

III. Establishment of the church

Acts 18:19–21 ESV
19 And they came to Ephesus, and he left them there, but he himself went into the synagogue and reasoned with the Jews. 20 When they asked him to stay for a longer period, he declined. 21 But on taking leave of them he said, “I will return to you if God wills,” and he set sail from Ephesus.
In just one verse we have Paul in Ephesus establishing a church there and leaving Priscilla and Aquila. They would have the church in their house and set up their business in Ephesus.
1 Corinthians 16:19 ESV
19 The churches of Asia send you greetings. Aquila and Prisca, together with the church in their house, send you hearty greetings in the Lord.
It has been so amazing to see how the word of God has worked in the lives of Paul and other believers as they have been focused on the journey that the Lord has for them to use them for the establishment of his Kingdom.
Royal priesthood---set aside for the advancement of the kingdom of God.
1 Peter 2:9 ESV
9 But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.
Paul making a stop in Ephesus but he is heading to Jerusalem but in vs. 21 he says if God Wills…Giving a picture of the 3rd missionary journey of Pauls that will begin in Chapter 19.

IV. Desire to strengthen others

Acts 18:22–23 ESV
22 When he had landed at Caesarea, he went up and greeted the church, and then went down to Antioch. 23 After spending some time there, he departed and went from one place to the next through the region of Galatia and Phrygia, strengthening all the disciples.
Acts 15:35–41 ESV
35 But Paul and Barnabas remained in Antioch, teaching and preaching the word of the Lord, with many others also. 36 And after some days Paul said to Barnabas, “Let us return and visit the brothers in every city where we proclaimed the word of the Lord, and see how they are.” 37 Now Barnabas wanted to take with them John called Mark. 38 But Paul thought best not to take with them one who had withdrawn from them in Pamphylia and had not gone with them to the work. 39 And there arose a sharp disagreement, so that they separated from each other. Barnabas took Mark with him and sailed away to Cyprus, 40 but Paul chose Silas and departed, having been commended by the brothers to the grace of the Lord. 41 And he went through Syria and Cilicia, strengthening the churches.
Church at Antioch is the one that sent Paul out. He now returns to share the good news of what God has been doing. Think of all that he has to tell them. He has been gone years.
Application leading to the Lord’s supper....
The word has been divided and brought us to this place....
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