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.