Sermon Summary - Jesus Is With Us In Our Fears - Acts 18:1-17
Jesus Is With Us In Our Fears
Paul, one of the most influential people in the world, is a model of encouragement for everyone. The lesson of the sermon is that the Lord is faithful in our lives, if we belong to him, and our call as believers is to trust Him despite the sufferings and setbacks we experience. There are three major realities in Paul’s missionary trip to Corinth that we can relate to. First, every Christian goes through trials. Second, in all of them the Lord is faithful. Third, we are called to be faithful servants of our Lord.
During Paul’s visit to Corinth, he experienced stress, weakness and fear which came from his previous experiences on his second missionary journey. After the Holy Spirit prevented him from going to Asia and Bithynia, he went on to Macedonia. He got publicly beaten and jailed in Philippi. He incited a riot in Thessalonica, which could have been dangerous. This caused him to flee to Berea only to have the same thing happen again. He got ridiculed in Athens by the philosophers and continued alone to Corinth. He had also run out of money. It was in Corinth where he met Priscilla and Aquila and where he had to use his trade of tentmaking to support himself. Paul had the fear of death, felt discouraged, lacked funds, and was probably still healing from his wounds. This is the first major reality, that we all experience hardships, which brings us to the second major reality: the Lord’s faithfulness.
The Lord aided Paul by the return of Silas and Timothy from Macedonia, who came with good news that the church of Thessalonica had continued in faith and love (1 Thessalonians 3:5-7) and with a generous financial gift from the church in Philippi. This enabled Paul to devote himself full time to the word (Phillipans 4:15-16). The Lord also provided Paul with friends in his lonely time in Corinth, Pricilla and Aquila. They were of the same trade, and later accompanied Paul to other cities to help with the ministry. The Lord encouraged Paul with the conversion of Crispus and many Corinthian Gentiles despite the people who opposed and reviled him (Acts 18:6). Right when Paul needed God the most, He spoke to him 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” (Acts 18:9-10). This emboldened Paul to continue preaching in Corinth. The Lord was faithful to Paul and continues to be faithful to his saints. He knows what we fear, what we lack, what we can bear, and He provides.
Paul understood the words of Jesus in John 6:37 “all that the Father gives me will come to me.” His understanding of salvation fueled him to be faithful in preaching the gospel for the sake of the lost sheep, which is why he endured “everything for the sake of the elect, that they also may obtain the salvation that is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory” (2 Timothy 2:10). We are called to serve the Lord in faithfulness because the Lord is faithful, his word is true and we should continue to follow Jesus’ command to “make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you” despite the culture’s opposition, despite our fears, because Jesus said “I am with you always, to the end of the age” (Mathew 28:19-20).
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