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The Gospel is Unstoppable (Acts 18:1-17)

March 25, 2015

Reflecting on the Passage:

Here at East Point Church, we have begun a new sermon series entitled “Acts: The Spirit and the Church in the World“. This week’s sermon displays the Power of God in the Gospel. Pastor Duncanson illustrated how the Gospel changes those to whom God choses. The focus of this sermon is on how the Gospel motivates its messengers, moves beyond boundaries, and manifests the power of God and the Grace of God.

The Gospel is Unstoppable: Motivating the Messenger

After this Paul left Athens and went to Corinth. And he found a Jew named Aquila, a native of Pontus, recently come from Italy with his wife Priscilla, because Claudius had commanded all the Jews to leave Rome. And he went to see them, and because he was of the same trade he stayed with them and worked, for they were tentmakers by trade. And he reasoned in the synagogue every Sabbath, and tried to persuade Jews and Greeks (Acts 18:1-4;ESV).

Paul, once persecutor of the Church, is now preacher of the One to whom he ran from, namely, Jesus Christ. Although Paul lacked financial support when he first arrived in Corinth, this inconvenience did not prevent him from teaming up with Aquila and Priscilla so that he could continue proclaiming the good news of the Gospel in this city. Perhaps, Paul worked as fellow tent-maker throughout the week, then preached on the weekends.

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The Gospel is Unstoppable: Moving beyond Measure

When Silas and Timothy arrived from Macedonia, Paul was occupied with the word, testifying to the Jews that the Christ was Jesus. And when they opposed and reviled him, he shook out his garments and said to them, Your blood be on your own heads! I am innocent. From now on I will go to the Gentiles. And he left there and went to the house of a man named Titius Justus, a worshiper of God. His house was next door to the synagogue. Crispus, the ruler of the synagogue, believed in the Lord, together with his entire household. And many of the Corinthians hearing Paul believed and were baptized (Acts 18:5-8; ESV).”

When Paul came to a new city, he went to the synagogue (when possible) to preach the glories of Christ because he had a burden to see the Jews saved (cf. Romans 9-10). However, the Jews were not receptive to the message of Jesus as the Messiah, leaving Paul with no choice but to take this message to those who were outside of his natural heritage (cf. Matthew 10:14; Mark 6:11; Luke 9:5; Romans 10:5-21). While the Jews were slow to believe, the Lord prepared the hearts of two Gentiles named Tititus and Crispus, who were only a few feet from the synagogue.

The Gospel is Unstoppable: Manifestly Merciful

And the Lord said to Paul one night in a vision, Do not be afraid, but go on speaking and do not be silent, 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. And he stayed a year and six months, teaching the word of God among them.

But when Gallio was proconsul of Achaia, the Jews made a united attack on Paul and brought him before the tribunal, saying, This man is persuading people to worship God contrary to the law. 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. 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. And he drove them from the tribunal. 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 (Acts 17:12-15; ESV).”

Pastor Duncanson described how the Lord provides encouragement for those carrying the message of Christ by elaborating on the vision Paul received during his time of need (cf. Hebrews 4:16). First, God reminds Paul in the vision that His plans will always be accomplished, regardless of the apparent opposition (Isaiah 55). Secondly, God encourages Paul with the promise of His presence (cf. Matthew 28:20).

Does the Gospel govern your pursuits?

Whether working a secular job or not, Paul’s message of the Gospel was the same. The Gospel governed all of his pursuits, since he understood that through his preaching some would believe in the Christ he proclaimed. If you believe the God of the Universe is with you, you would live differently.

Listen to this week’s full sermon for free and check out the sermon note below.

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