There are several lessons to be learned from chapter 18. One is that the Gospel is suited to the cultured cities such as Athens, as well as the pagan cities such as Corinth. It is interesting to see how the pagans and sinners of Corinth responded better to the Gospel than did the cultured centers of Athens! (Read I Corinthians 1 in relation to this.) Today, we also find it very hard to reach the cultured and educated people. Seemingly, those of higher education cannot accept the simplicity of the Gospel of grace and are more interested in trying to work out their own salvation. We must remember that there is a way that seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death. There is no way for the cultured and educated, or pagan and uneducated, to be saved except through the Lord Jesus Christ. Jesus said, "I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father but by me.".
The second lesson we should learn is that Christians should work together. Paul was a great man of God, but he valued the help and friendship of the two humble Jewish tentmakers. However small the talent God has given you, He wants it used for His honor and glory. Paul, a man of multiplied talent and education, had the ability to do many things; yet he still needed the help of Aquila and Priscilla.
The third lesson we need to learn is that whenever Christ begins to change men's lives, we can expect opposition from Satan. Satan, the prince of the power of the air, will not allow God's work to go on unhindered. He works in the areas where he knows he can be most devastating. Remember, however, that in every situation, God and you are a majority. The power with which you have to fight Satan comes from a daily reading of the Word of God and continual prayer.
In chapter 19 we find Paul in Ephesus, with the city in an uproar, because he is preaching against the images of Diane. By preaching Jesus Christ, and against the silver images, Paul was really endangering the income of the silversmiths. For this reason, the people were very irate and sought to get rid of him. Satan definitely did not want a church at Ephesus because idol worship was so great there. God overruled and did establish a great church there. As we will see later in our readings, this was perhaps the most spiritual church Paul ever founded.
Index of Daily Devotions