devotion 8-11-15

I had "failed to deliver" messages from everyone’s e-mail address this morning, and so, I am re-sending. If you eventually receive two copies, I apologize!Blessings!

Good Morning!

Acts 18:7 – 17

7Then he left the synagogue and went to the house of a man named Titius Justus, a worshiper of God; his house was next door to the synagogue. 8Crispus, the official of the synagogue, became a believer in the Lord, together with all his household; and many of the Corinthians who heard Paul became believers and were baptized. 9One night the Lord said to Paul in a vision, “Do not be afraid, but speak and do not be silent; 10for I am with you, and no one will lay a hand on you to harm you, for there are many in this city who are my people.” 11He stayed there a year and six months, teaching the word of God among them.

12But when Gallio was proconsul of Achaia, the Jews made a united attack on Paul and brought him before the tribunal. 13They said, “This man is persuading people to worship God in ways that are contrary to the law.” 14Just as Paul was about to speak, Gallio said to the Jews, “If it were a matter of crime or serious villainy, I would be justified in accepting the complaint of you Jews; 15but since it is a matter of questions about words and names and your own law, see to it yourselves; I do not wish to be a judge of these matters.” 16And he dismissed them from the tribunal. 17Then all of them seized Sosthenes, the official of the synagogue, and beat him in front of the tribunal. But Gallio paid no attention to any of these things.

Paul, Timothy, and Silas are now in Corinth, along with Priscilla and Aquila. Notice, Luke returned to the third person when referring to the group when they left Philippi – did Luke remain in Philippi to assist the church there? There is even a tradition that Luke married Lydia, but there is no evidence of that in scripture. Now in Corinth, Paul is once again attacked in the synagogue, and leaves the synagogue to preach in the home of a believer named Titius Justus. However, the leader of the synagogue, a man named Crispus, became a believer along with his household. Note: once again we see an entire household believing and being baptized. Many of the Corinthians became believers and were baptized.

Paul had another vision at this time, in which the Lord told him to stay there in Corinth and not to be afraid to preach the good news of Jesus Christ, for God would be with him, and God had many people there who needed to hear the word. And so, Paul stayed in Corinth for a year and a half.

But after a while, again the Jews of the synagogue mounted an attack against Paul and brought him before the proconsul, a man named Gallio. They accused him of persuading people to worship God in a way that was contrary to the law; but Gallio refused to hear the case, saying that it was not a matter to concern him, being only about words and names and the Jewish law, and he dismissed them from the tribunal. The next verse is confusing – who is Sosthenes? Luke says he was the official of the synagogue; this is not the leader who was converted, his name was Crispus – then why was he beaten? Was it because the people who had followed him were disappointed in the proconsul’s decision and turned against their leader? Or because he had the mob primed and they retaliated with violence when they did not get their way? And who was doing the beating? “They” must have been the people who were bringing charges against the Christians in the first place – so they beat up their leader? At any rate, Gallio still refused to be bothered with these people, considering the whole thing a religious dispute that did not concern him. If he had only known! This teaching, by this handful of people called Christians, would soon spread around the world. It is the most powerful force on earth!

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