Chapter Eighteen — Part Two: The Book of Acts

By: Pastors Rodney & Adonica Howard-Browne

Publish date: 07/03/2022

Foundation Scriptures:
Acts 18:9-18

1. Vision.
a. Acts 18:9 AMPC — And one night the Lord said to Paul in a vision, Have no fear, but speak and do not keep silent;
b. Sometimes the Lord gives direction to go somewhere, and sometimes to stay.
c. Sometimes He gives a word of direction for a current situation and sometimes it is for the future—to keep you focused, and on track, through a challenge.
d. Even though Paul was bold to preach the Gospel, the Lord encouraged him to have no fear, to speak, and to not keep silent.
e. Even when we are on the right track, it is good to have some encouragement and reminders along the way, to strengthen us to continue.
f. Acts 18:10 AMPC — For I am with you, and no man shall assault you to harm you, for I have many people in this city.
g. Paul was traveling from city to city, usually being forced to do so by the persecution in each place.
h. Here, he receives instruction to stay, with the assurance from heaven that God was with him, and no one could hurt him.
i. Jesus informs Paul that He has many people in that city.
j. There are many people who are good and fair people, that the Lord will use for His purposes, whether they know Him or not.
k. Also, unlike Athens, it seems that there were many in Corinth who were ripe to receive the Gospel.
l. Acts 18:11 AMPC — So he settled down among them for a year and six months, teaching the Word of God [concerning the attainment through Christ of eternal salvation in the kingdom of God].
m. This was A.D. 54-55 and during this time he wrote the First and Second letters to of the Thessalonians.

2. Gallio.
a. Acts 18:12 AMPC — But when Gallio was proconsul of Achaia (most of Greece), the Jews unitedly made an attack upon Paul and brought him before the judge’s seat,
b. Achaia was the area of all of Greece that was south of Thessaly.
c. Since 44 A.D., Achaia was governed by the Roman Senate, but not as an imperial province.
d. Gallio was proconsul, a sensible and gracious man.
e. He was called Dulcis Gallio—Sweet Gallio, for his sweet disposition.
f. He said to have been universally beloved.
g. His younger brother, Seneca, was Nero’s tutor.
h. Later, they and a third brother were executed by the madman and tyrant, Nero.
i. The Jews had no authority to execute any one in a Roman jurisdiction, which is why they were obliged to bring Paul, and their false accusations against him, to Gallio, who sat on the judgment seat.
j. Judgment seat (Greek bēma) — a seat on a platform on which the judge sat, between the accuser and accused.
k. Acts 18:13 AMPC — Declaring, This fellow is advising and inducing and inciting people to worship God in violation of the Law [of Rome and of Moses].
l. The Romans had no jurisdiction to decide Jewish law; therefore, it is most likely that they were accusing Paul of breaking both Jewish and Roman law, hoping to get the Roman authorities to do their dirty work.

3. Justice.
a. Acts 18:14 AMPC — But when Paul was about to open his mouth to reply, Gallio said to the Jews, If it were a matter of some misdemeanor or villainy, O Jews, I should have cause to bear with you and listen;
b. Fortunately for Paul, there was no need for him to defend himself.
c. What Jesus told him, about having many people there, proved to be true.
d. Gallio replied on his behalf, declaring that there was no cause for them to bring Paul before him—he had committed the equivalent (in our law) of neither a misdemeanor, nor a felony.
e. He perceived that there was no injustice done, and that it was simply a matter of malice and envy.
f. Acts 18:15 AMPC — But since it is merely a question [of doctrine] about words and names and your own law, see to it yourselves; I decline to be a judge of such matters and I have no intention of trying such cases.
g. Gallio had no respect for Jewish Law, but his opinion was that no Roman law was broken; therefore, it was not his jurisdiction and he refused to judge the matter.
h. Acts 18:16 AMPC — And he drove them away from the judgment seat.
i. They must have angered him, or severely tried his patience, because he drove them away from the judgment-seat and paid no attention when the leader of the synagogue (illegally) received a beating from the Greeks.
j. Acts 18:17 AMPC — Then they [the Greeks] all seized Sosthenes, the leader of the synagogue, and beat him right in front of the judgment seat. But Gallio paid no attention to any of this.
k. Sosthenes became leader of the synagogue after Crispus became a Christian.
l. However, he himself also was converted and became a Christian (1 Corinthians 1:1).
m. His name means: “Savior of his nation.”

4. Ephesus.
a. Acts 18:18a AMPC — Afterward Paul remained many days longer, and then told the brethren farewell and sailed for Syria; and he was accompanied by Priscilla and Aquila.
b. Priscilla and Aquila, Paul’s fellow tentmakers, accompanied him on his journey, but he left them in Ephesus when he departed from there.
c. Acts 18:18b AMPC — At Cenchreae he [Paul] cut his hair, for he had made a vow.
d. Cenchrea means “millet.”
e. Cenchrea is the eastern harbor of Corinth, on the Saronic Gulf, where trade was conducted with the Asian side of the Mediterranean.
f. Paul made a vow, most likely a Nazarite vow, that involved cutting his hair.
g. Vow (Greek euchē) — a wish, expressed as a petition to God, or in votive obligation; a prayer; a vow (Acts 21:23; James 5:15).
h. The vow appears to have been completed at Jerusalem (Acts 21:24-27).