Acts 18:1-11 After this, Paul left Athens and went to Corinth. 2 There he met a Jew named Aquila, a native of Pontus, who had recently come from Italy with his wife Priscilla, because Claudius had ordered all the Jews to leave Rome. Paul went to see them, 3 and because he was a tentmaker as they were, he stayed and worked with them. 4 Every Sabbath he reasoned in the synagogue, trying to persuade Jews and Greeks.
5 When Silas and Timothy came from Macedonia, Paul devoted himself exclusively to preaching, testifying to the Jews that Jesus was the Christ. 6 But when the Jews opposed Paul and became abusive, he shook out his clothes in protest and said to them, “Your blood be on your own heads! I am clear of my responsibility. From now on I will go to the Gentiles.”
7 Then Paul left the synagogue and went next door to the house of Titius Justus, a worshiper of God. 8 Crispus, the synagogue ruler, and his entire household believed in the Lord; and many of the Corinthians who heard him believed and were baptized.
9 One night the Lord spoke to Paul in a vision: “Do not be afraid; keep on speaking, do not be silent. 10 For I am with you, and no one is going to attack and harm you, because I have many people in this city.” 11 So Paul stayed for a year and a half, teaching them the word of God.
Ministry to Sin CityActs 18:1-18 & 1 Corinthians 1-7 Every country has their “sin city” Las Vegas: “What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas” As Paul continued on his journey, he went to Corinth, the sin city of the Mediterranean
Port city: crossroads of trade/cultures Famous for promiscuity: Verb “korinthianzethai” – to live like a Corinthian…to live a life of sexual immorality Reputation of drunkenness “Trust not a Corinthian and make him not your friend” (Menander)
Ministry in Corinth started by Paul, with the help of Priscilla and Aquila, two Jewish Christians who had been expelled from Rome As usually, Paul started his ministry at the synagogue… but they didn’t want anything to do with his message about Jesus.
So he went on to the house next door, continuing to preach about the salvation offered through Jesus Christ. New believers came from a wide background: Jews, God-fearers, some from immoral behavior, idolatry, financial corruption
Paul stayed and ministered in Corinth for a year and a half (A.D. 51-52) The church was a diverse group: Some were rich, most were poor Some were educated, most not Both Jew and Gentile Slave and free Male and female
Diversity made for some unique problems; it’s not fair to criticize them. When Paul moved on to Ephesus, he heard that were troubles at the fledgling church in Corinth. 1 Corinthians was written as a letter to address those problems in A.D. 55.
2 big problems: • Divided loyalty • Church discipline • Paul addressed these issues and called the church to a higher standard.
Problem 1: Divided loyalty Church members were aligning with various leaders… this was causing divisions.
1 Corinthians 1 • 11 My brothers, some from Chloe’s household have informed me that there are quarrels among you. 12 What I mean is this: One of you says, “I follow Paul”; another, “I follow Apollos”; another, “I follow Cephas”; still another, “I follow Christ.” 13 Is Christ divided?
1 Corinthians 3 3 You are still worldly. For since there is jealousy and quarreling among you, are you not worldly? Are you not acting like mere men? 4 For when one says, “I follow Paul,” and another, “I follow Apollos,” are you not mere men? 5 What, after all, is Apollos? And what is Paul? Only servants, through whom you came to believe—as the Lord has assigned to each his task.
6 I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God made it grow. 7 So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow. 8 The man who plants and the man who waters have one purpose, and each will be rewarded according to his own labor.
9 For we are God’s fellow workers; you are God’s field, God’s building. 10 By the grace God has given me, I laid a foundation as an expert builder, and someone else is building on it. But each one should be careful how he builds.
Paul laid the foundation of Christ. Many others would do their part to build up the church.
Problem 2: Church discipline Issues of sexual immorality & lawsuites 5:1 tells of immoral behavior of a brother …behavior that is even repulsive in sin city! Their reaction to the situation was wrong. Paul says, “Expel the wicked man from among you.” (5:13)
Paul calls the church to hold Christian brothers/sisters accountable. Believers should know better! • 5:11 • But now I am writing you that you must not associate with anyone who calls himself a brother but is sexually immoral or greedy, an idolater or a slanderer, a drunkard or a swindler.
2 standards – we shouldn’t judge the world, but we are to hold fellow believers accountable. • 5:12 What business is it of mine to judge those outside the church? Are you not to judge those inside? 13 God will judge those outside. “Expel the wicked man from among you.”
Paul calls believers to a higher standard. He challenges us to live above the norms of the culture: • 6:18-20 • 18 Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a man commits are outside his body, but he who sins sexually sins against his own body.
Ch. 6 & 7, the relationship between husband and wife is to be held sacred. This is different than the Greek and Roman idea marriage: Mythology - Women created out of anger. Rivalry between erotic love and marriage.
Temple of Aphrodite
The Genesis creation is different. • Christian men and women should have a different relationship than that of Greek/Roman culture. • Paul teaches husbands and wives: • Made for one another • Don’t demean the relationship • They belong to the Lord
6:16-17 Do you not know that he who unites himself with a prostitute is one with her in body? For it is said, “The two will become one flesh.” 17 But he who unites himself with the Lord is one with him in spirit.
19 Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; 20 you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body.
Chapter 7 2…each man should have his own wife, and each woman her own husband. 3 The husband should fulfill his marital duty to his wife, and likewise the wife to her husband. 4 The wife’s body does not belong to her alone but also to her husband. In the same way, the husband’s body does not belong to him alone but also to his wife.
We must treat our bodies with mutual respect and honor the marriage relationship. Our bodies are the temple of the Holy Spirit. We are not our own!
Putting it all together Our loyalty must be to Christ rather than human leaders. Christian leaders are members of a partnership… It’s okay to like your pastor, but keep it in perspective. Christ is the one who saves you!
Putting it all together As Christians, we are to have higher standards for ourselves than the culture around us. We are to aim for pure lives because we have been called to “be holy”. (1 Corinthians 1:2)
Putting it all together Christianity revolutionized relationships. We haven’t always gotten it right, but we’re to respect each other in our relationships: Husband – Wife Male -- Female Slave – Free Rich – Poor Jew – Gentile
Jesus turned the world upside down, and changed our world. Paul challenged the Corinthian church to be different than the world around them. Isn’ t that the same challenge we have today?
We are the Federated Church. Our Mission is to… Seek Christ, Serve Christ andShare Christ.