Daily Bible Studies & Sermon Notes

Acts 18:6-12
Pastor Steve Schell
Sunday: Acts 18:6
v6: As usual, Paul initially focused his preaching on the synagogue (v5), but as had been the case in one city after another, it didn’t take long for opposition to arise. To describe what happened, Luke uses a word which pictures an army lining up in order to engage another army in battle. He may have chosen this word because Paul was confronted by a line of angry men who prevented him from entering the synagogue and threatened to hurt him. Luke also mentions that these men blasphemed, meaning they said horrible things about Jesus. Sadly, such violent moments had become common in Paul’s life (Ac 13:50, 51, 14:4-6, 19; 16:22-24; 17:5, 13).

Monday: Acts 18:6
v6 (continued): Since his opponents were Jews rather than Gentiles, he used prophetic symbolism drawn from the Bible to warn them. By shaking the dust out of his robes he was saying, “Thus will God shake you out of His robes (His heavenly kingdom) on the day of judgment (Neh 5:13; Mt 10:14, 15; Lk 9:5). And by declaring, “Your blood be upon your own head” he was making it absolutely clear that they, not he, were morally responsible for their decision to reject Christ. This concept of blood-guiltiness goes clear back to the story of Cain and Abel. After Cain killed Abel, Abel’s blood cried out to God from the ground demanding justice (Ge 4:10, 11).

Tuesday: Acts 18:6
v6 (continued): With this image of Abel’s blood in mind, the Law of Moses viewed a person who murdered someone as guilty of defiling the land by spilling innocent blood on it, and only the murderer’s own blood through execution (justice) could lift that curse from the land (Nu 35:33). Later on in Israel’s history God used this concept of blood-guiltiness to warn the prophet Ezekiel that if he did not warn the people about the spiritual danger they were in, God would require their “blood… from the watchman’s hand” (Ezk 33:6), meaning God would hold the prophet guilty of murder, as though he had physically killed the people. To not warn them was to be morally responsible for their spiritual death. But God also told him that if he properly warned them and they refused to listen, then he would be innocent and each sinner’s blood would be “on his own head” (Ezk 33:4).

Wednesday: Acts 18:6, 7
v6 (continued): By symbolically shaking out his robes and telling them their blood-guiltiness was on their own head, Paul was stating that he had done all he could to save them and that by refusing the gospel they had placed themselves under condemnation. Then he added, “From now on I will go to the nations (Gentiles).” v7: Walking past them, he went into a house that was literally next door to the synagogue. It was owned by a Greek man, named Titius Justus, who had been attending the synagogue and had responded when Paul preached the gospel.

Thursday: Acts 18:7, 8
v7 (continued): To avoid violence Paul stopped attending the synagogue, but he didn’t go far. He began holding meetings next door, undoubtedly with the hope that more of his Jewish brothers and sisters would grow curious and come in to listen. And they did. v8: One member who began attending Paul’s meetings and believed, along with his entire family, was a man named Crispus. He was the “synagogue ruler,” meaning he was the elder who supervised the services to ensure that they were conducted in accord with tradition (The New Bible Dictionary, J.D. Douglas ed, Eerdmans, 1971, p. 1228).

Friday: Acts 18:8-11
v8 (continued): As time passed, many Corinthians came into that house, listened to Paul, believed, and were baptized. vs9-10: On the one hand, Paul must have been delighted that so many were coming to Christ, but on the other, a growing church right next door to a synagogue meant the tension between the two groups would grow. Based on past experience, it was only a matter of time before the situation exploded into violence, and as brave as he had been in one violent situation after another, Paul had become weary of being beaten. Apparently, he began to dread the violence that would surely come, but before that fear grew strong enough to control him, Jesus came to him at night in a vision saying, “Do not fear, but speak. Do not become silent, because I am with you, and no one will hit you (“lay a blow on,” Ac 16:23) to injure you, for I have many people (laos) who belong to Me in this city” (my translation). v11: And he chose not to flee, but to “sit down and rest,” teaching the Word of God among them for a year and six months.

Saturday: Acts 18:12
v12: Paul probably had been in Corinth for about a year before Gallio arrived and was installed as the proconsul of Achaia, the province which included all of Greece south of Macedonia. “Proconsuls” were senators sent by Rome to govern the peaceful provinces, those which did not need a standing army. Otherwise a general governed by martial law. Based on an inscription found at Delphia (Ac 16:16) the emperor Claudius appointed Gallio in July, A.D. 51 (or possibly July A.D. 52) (F.F. Bruce, Acts, Eerdmans, 1974, p. 374). His father was a famous teacher named Marcus Annaeus Seneca, and his younger brother Lucius Annaeus Seneca, was a famous Stoic philosopher who, at that point in time, was tutoring the future emperor Nero. Gallio had changed his name to honor a family friend who had adopted him and made him his heir (F.F. Bruce, Paul, Apostle of the Heart Set Free, Eerdmans, 1977, p. 253). He only served in Corinth for a short time before coming down with a disease (probably tuberculosis) which required him to leave the city to recuperate (F.F. Bruce, Acts).

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