We had an awesome sermon this week at Valley Church! We’re working our way through the book of Acts and are up to chapter 18. Here’s the reference if you’d like to follow along: Acts 18:8-17
A few takeaways:
1. The passage begins with Crispus as the ruler of the synagogue in Corinth. He and his family believed the gospel from Paul and were baptized. Likely leading to his removal in that office.
2. Paul is used to getting negative receptions in these towns. He’s been beaten and imprisoned. Now God says that he will be protected. Even the beatings were done before for the purposes of God.
3. Maybe 18 months later there is a new leader in the synagogue by the name of Sosthenes. Remember this name!!!
4. Sosthenes riled up the Jews and took Paul to speak to the proconsul with half true charges, hoping for a quick precedential ruling against Christians.
5. Paul was about to defend himself, but the proconsul cut him off and dispersed the Jews with prejudice. Paul got the win and didn’t have to do anything more than show up, and even that wasn’t his own doing!
6. Finally, the jews who had been influenced by Sosthenes (remember the name!) had to use their energy somewhere. So they turned on Sosthenes and gave him a beating which is what he had intended for Paul!
Here’s the payoff. All this happened in Corinth, and later Paul opened a letter to the Corinthian church like this:
1 Corinthians 1:1 ESV
Paul, called by the will of God to be an apostle of Christ Jesus, and our brother Sosthenes
Sosthenes had been a false accuser of Christians and an enemy of the gospel. Now he is in glory, and I can’t wait to hear his firsthand account of how God used His church to save even the leader of the synagogue in Corinth. Not once, but twice! Of course, Paul knew what it’s like to be an enemy of the gospel and then to come to faith in Jesus.