Scrabble Do Not Give Up Words

Personal Encouragement from the Lord

Our passage today is from Acts 18:1-17. The church’s sermon is titled “Personal Encouragement from the Lord” This is a summary of Pastor Robbie Symons sermon from Hope Bible Church in Oakville, Ontario. Here you can find a summary for last weekend’s message “Compelled to Witness.” This week’s whole church service is available in the video below.

Personal Encouragement from the Lord Sermon

Overview

Paul had a roller-coaster of a life, but well worth it. Here we will find another battle for the gospel with lots of opposition. The Lord personally loves and encourages Paul in this passage. Paul moved from Athens to Corinth. You can see that on the map below.

Map of Paul's Second Missionary Journey
Paul’s Second Missionary Journey

Do NOT Fear: I Want You to Keep on SPEAKING

Acts 18:9a. Paul had come to a point of exasperation. He had finally had it with Jews.

‘And when they opposed and reviled him, he shook out his garments and said to them, “Your blood be on your own heads! I am innocent. From now on I will go to the Gentiles.” ‘

Acts 18:6

In the midst of Paul’s frustration, the Lord personally draws near to encourage him. Paul would be reminded by God’s promise when He said: I will never leave you nor forsake you (Deuteronomy 31:6). In Romans, Paul wrote that nothing can separate us from the love of Christ (Romans 8:35-37). Jesus said behold I am with you always even to the end of the age (Matthew 28:20). The Lord will often allow us to come to the brink and to the edge. At that moment, God rushes in with strength, grace, and love. Then our faith rises as we are reminded that God has not left us nor forsaken us.

Paul was Afraid

The Lord Jesus told Paul not to be afraid. That means that he was afraid. This encourages us that Paul is human too. This was a personal encouragement from the Lord to Paul.

‘And when they opposed and reviled him, he shook out his garments and said to them, “Your blood be on your own heads! I am innocent. From now on I will go to the Gentiles.” And the Lord said to Paul one night 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 18:6,9-10

Corinth was famous for being a centre of immorality especially sexual sin.

There had been culture shock in Athens, and now Paul experienced moral shock in Corinth. Its sweat and perfume and grit smothered Paul’s righteous soul, and he became distressed.

Kent Hughes

Based on the encouragement from the Lord, Paul encouraged Timothy later to not have a spirit of fear. (2 Timothy 1:7)

For some additional encouragement check out the article called: From Gay to Gospel: The Fascinating Story of Becket Cook.

I Am WITH You: No One Will HARM You

Acts 18:10a. I am with you. This ‘I’ is Jesus the great “I am.” This brings incredible hope. I can’t lose and I can’t be defeated. If God is with me, who can be against me? Today may be difficult, but flip the lens and look at our God, all of a sudden today becomes awesome!

Jesus is saying to Paul and to us: You have my:

  • Presence
  • Protection
  • Purpose
  • Promise

After this word of encouragement, Paul stayed in Corinth for 18 months. The Jews tried to harm Paul. However, when Paul was about to open his mouth to defend himself, Gallio the proconsul shut them up and wouldn’t listen to them. God defended Paul without him having to open His mouth. This reminds me of how God has fought Israel’s battles in the past without them having to fight.

‘But when Gallio was proconsul of Achaia, the Jews made a united attack on Paul and brought him before the tribunal, saying, “This man is persuading people to worship God contrary to the law.” But when Paul was about to open his mouth, Gallio said to the Jews, “If it were a matter of wrongdoing or vicious crime, O Jews, I would have reason to accept your complaint. But since it is a matter of questions about words and names and your own law, see to it yourselves. I refuse to be a judge of these things.” And he drove them from the tribunal. ‘

Acts 18:12-16

I Always Have a PLAN, I Always Have My PEOPLE

Acts 18:10b. God was telling Paul: “You keep speaking, and I’ll keep saving.” God is talking about His elect. God always has His elect in every city. This is the reason for evangelism.

This is a wonderful and personal encouragement from the Lord

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