Acts 18* Paul at Corinth, with Aquila and Priscilla. (1-6) He continuesto preach at Corinth. (7-11) Paul before Gallio. (12-17) Hevisits Jerusalem. (18-23) Apollos teaches at Ephesus and inAchaia. (24-28)1-6 Though Paul was entitled to support from the churches heplanted, and from the people to whom he preached, yet he workedat his calling. An honest trade, by which a man may get hisbread, is not to be looked upon with contempt by any. It was thecustom of the Jews to bring up their children to some trade,though they gave them learning or estates. Paul was careful toprevent prejudices, even the most unreasonable. The love ofChrist is the best bond of the saints; and the communings of thesaints with each other, sweeten labour, contempt, and evenpersecution. Most of the Jews persisted in contradicting thegospel of Christ, and blasphemed. They would not believethemselves, and did all they could to keep others frombelieving. Paul hereupon left them. He did not give over hiswork; for though Israel be not gathered, Christ and his gospelshall be glorious. The Jews could not complain, for they had thefirst offer. When some oppose the gospel, we must turn toothers. Grief that many persist in unbelief should not preventgratitude for the conversion of some to Christ. 7-11 The Lord knows those that are his, yea, and those thatshall be his; for it is by his work upon them that they becomehis. Let us not despair concerning any place, when even inwicked Corinth Christ had much people. He will gather in hischosen flock from the places where they are scattered Thusencouraged, the apostle continued at Corinth, and a numerous andflourishing church grew up. 12-17 Paul was about to show that he did not teach men toworship God contrary to law; but the judge would not allow theJews to complain to him of what was not within his office. Itwas right in Gallio that he left the Jews to themselves inmatters relating to their religion, but yet would not let them,under pretence of that, persecute another. But it was wrong tospeak slightly of a law and religion which he might have knownto be of God, and which he ought to have acquainted himselfwith. In what way God is to be worshipped, whether Jesus be theMessiah, and whether the gospel be a Divine revelation, are notquestions of words and names, they are questions of vastimportance. Gallio spoke as if he boasted of his ignorance ofthe Scriptures, as if the law of God was beneath his notice.Gallio cared for none of these things. If he cared not for theaffronts of bad men, it was commendable; but if he concerned nothimself for the abuses done to good men, his indifference wascarried too far. And those who see and hear of the sufferings ofGod's people, and have no feeling with them, or care for them,who do not pity and pray for them, are of the same spirit asGallio, who cared for none of these things. 18-23 While Paul found he laboured not in vain, he continuedlabouring. Our times are in God's hand; we purpose, but hedisposes; therefore we must make all promises with submission tothe will of God; not only if providence permits, but if God doesnot otherwise direct our motions. A very good refreshment it isto a faithful minister, to have for awhile the society of hisbrethren. Disciples are compassed about with infirmity;ministers must do what they can to strengthen them, by directingthem to Christ, who is their Strength. Let us earnestly seek, inour several places, to promote the cause of Christ, formingplans that appear to us most proper, but relying on the Lord tobring them to pass if he sees good. 24-28 Apollos taught in the gospel of Christ, as far as John'sministry would carry him, and no further. We cannot but think hehad heard of Christ's death and resurrection, but he was notinformed as to the mystery of them. Though he had not themiraculous gifts of the Spirit, as the apostles, he made use ofthe gifts he had. The dispensation of the Spirit, whatever themeasure of it may be, is given to every man to profit withal. Hewas a lively, affectionate preacher; fervent in spirit. He wasfull of zeal for the glory of God and the salvation of precioussouls. Here was a complete man of God, thoroughly furnished forhis work. Aquila and Priscilla encouraged his ministry, byattendance upon it. They did not despise Apollos themselves, orundervalue him to others; but considered the disadvantages hehad laboured under. And having themselves got knowledge in thetruths of the gospel by their long intercourse with Paul, theytold what they knew to him. Young scholars may gain a great dealby converse with old Christians. Those who do believe throughgrace, yet still need help. As long as they are in this world,there are remainders of unbelief, and something lacking in theirfaith to be perfected, and the work of faith to be fulfilled. Ifthe Jews were convinced that Jesus is Christ, even their own lawwould teach them to hear him. The business of ministers is topreach Christ. Not only to preach the truth, but to prove anddefend it, with meekness, yet with power.
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