Acts 18

* Paul at Corinth, with Aquila and Priscilla. (1-6) He continues

to preach at Corinth. (7-11) Paul before Gallio. (12-17) He

visits Jerusalem. (18-23) Apollos teaches at Ephesus and in

Achaia. (24-28)

1-6 Though Paul was entitled to support from the churches he

planted, and from the people to whom he preached, yet he worked

at his calling. An honest trade, by which a man may get his

bread, is not to be looked upon with contempt by any. It was the

custom of the Jews to bring up their children to some trade,

though they gave them learning or estates. Paul was careful to

prevent prejudices, even the most unreasonable. The love of

Christ is the best bond of the saints; and the communings of the

saints with each other, sweeten labour, contempt, and even

persecution. Most of the Jews persisted in contradicting the

gospel of Christ, and blasphemed. They would not believe

themselves, and did all they could to keep others from

believing. Paul hereupon left them. He did not give over his

work; for though Israel be not gathered, Christ and his gospel

shall be glorious. The Jews could not complain, for they had the

first offer. When some oppose the gospel, we must turn to

others. Grief that many persist in unbelief should not prevent

gratitude for the conversion of some to Christ.
7-11 The Lord knows those that are his, yea, and those that

shall be his; for it is by his work upon them that they become

his. Let us not despair concerning any place, when even in

wicked Corinth Christ had much people. He will gather in his

chosen flock from the places where they are scattered Thus

encouraged, the apostle continued at Corinth, and a numerous and

flourishing church grew up.
12-17 Paul was about to show that he did not teach men to

worship God contrary to law; but the judge would not allow the

Jews to complain to him of what was not within his office. It

was right in Gallio that he left the Jews to themselves in

matters relating to their religion, but yet would not let them,

under pretence of that, persecute another. But it was wrong to

speak slightly of a law and religion which he might have known

to be of God, and which he ought to have acquainted himself

with. In what way God is to be worshipped, whether Jesus be the

Messiah, and whether the gospel be a Divine revelation, are not

questions of words and names, they are questions of vast

importance. Gallio spoke as if he boasted of his ignorance of

the Scriptures, as if the law of God was beneath his notice.

Gallio cared for none of these things. If he cared not for the

affronts of bad men, it was commendable; but if he concerned not

himself for the abuses done to good men, his indifference was

carried too far. And those who see and hear of the sufferings of

God'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 as

Gallio, who cared for none of these things.
18-23 While Paul found he laboured not in vain, he continued

labouring. Our times are in God's hand; we purpose, but he

disposes; therefore we must make all promises with submission to

the will of God; not only if providence permits, but if God does

not otherwise direct our motions. A very good refreshment it is

to a faithful minister, to have for awhile the society of his

brethren. Disciples are compassed about with infirmity;

ministers must do what they can to strengthen them, by directing

them to Christ, who is their Strength. Let us earnestly seek, in

our several places, to promote the cause of Christ, forming

plans that appear to us most proper, but relying on the Lord to

bring them to pass if he sees good.
24-28 Apollos taught in the gospel of Christ, as far as John's

ministry would carry him, and no further. We cannot but think he

had heard of Christ's death and resurrection, but he was not

informed as to the mystery of them. Though he had not the

miraculous gifts of the Spirit, as the apostles, he made use of

the gifts he had. The dispensation of the Spirit, whatever the

measure of it may be, is given to every man to profit withal. He

was a lively, affectionate preacher; fervent in spirit. He was

full of zeal for the glory of God and the salvation of precious

souls. Here was a complete man of God, thoroughly furnished for

his work. Aquila and Priscilla encouraged his ministry, by

attendance upon it. They did not despise Apollos themselves, or

undervalue him to others; but considered the disadvantages he

had laboured under. And having themselves got knowledge in the

truths of the gospel by their long intercourse with Paul, they

told what they knew to him. Young scholars may gain a great deal

by converse with old Christians. Those who do believe through

grace, yet still need help. As long as they are in this world,

there are remainders of unbelief, and something lacking in their

faith to be perfected, and the work of faith to be fulfilled. If

the Jews were convinced that Jesus is Christ, even their own law

would teach them to hear him. The business of ministers is to

preach Christ. Not only to preach the truth, but to prove and

defend it, with meekness, yet with power.
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