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Sin City

Wisdom for the Heart / Dr. Stephen Davey
The Truth Network Radio
July 2, 2021 12:00 am

Sin City

Wisdom for the Heart / Dr. Stephen Davey

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July 2, 2021 12:00 am

The more persecution and opposition the Apostle Paul faced, the more confident he became in sharing his faith. But sometimes even Paul's faith was tested to the limit. In this lesson, it took a vision from God in the night to bring him back.

Truth Talk
Stu Epperson
Summit Life
J.D. Greear
Encouraging Word
Don Wilton
Core Christianity
Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier

Don the first of the elect in Corinth is also amazing to me that a sovereign God knows of the elect are what amazes me is that there are elect incarnate, not in the city that is sitting not in this town and you notice, God said, I have what many people you want to underline that word and let it encourage your heart when things are dark and ministries like a lot, you're chipping away at it and those peers around you could care less. I have many people in the city to work.

The city is ready for the wisdom back to our vintage wisdom archives and bringing you a series from the book of acts Stephen baby has a three-part series. Through this book and this is the third in that series. Looking closely at the life of Paul. You know, the more persecution and opposition, Paul faced the more confident he became in sharing his faith. But sometimes even Paul's faith was tested to the limit. Has that ever happened to you in this lesson. It took a vision from God in the night to bring him back here Stephen with today's message called sin city. We arrived this morning at chapter 18 in the book of acts. The first phrase of verse one reads this. After these things he that is Paul left Athens and went to current and as I studied the city and the differences between Corinth and Athens are obvious and rather start. Both are searching for the QR now and in need of direction, but each city seeks more than different place where the Athenians dialogue. The Corinthians drank it back during Paul's day on the theater stages of that part of Greece with the Corinthian order that actor was on stage playing the part of the Corinthian.

He was usually drunk while Athens dialogue and Corinthians, drank, also saw distinct difference in that the Athenians had 10,000 idols. Corinth had 10,000 religious prostitutes in this day of when abortion was a blight on its society. Infanticide as well day when the practice of having a baby that you didn't want you to put that baby on the stoop, especially if it were a girl and unable to carry on the family name and the slave traders would come by and pick those little baby girls up.

By the time Paul arrived in Corinth 10,000 of these little girls had been enslaved to the Temple of Venus and every night. It was their role to descend on the city of Corinth and reenact the religion of this city where Athenians debated in philosophy, Corinth was addicted to pornography. By the time Paul arrives here this incredibly wicked city. The Greek word Corinthian had already become a nickname for immoral immorality. Currently odds of my attached to a woman would be saying that this woman was loose if you call the man a Corinthian man in Paul's day, that meant he was dishonest he was in adulterer was a fornicator. That word had come to mean any form of immorality, dishonesty, or debauchery that you could imagine. One author that I read referred to Corinth as a riproaring town where none but the tough could survive well in a do by way of introduction, here is just simply draw out of this passage is Paul approaches this evil and needy city, six principles of your following your note you may care to do so. Principle number one is this, there has never been an easy place to live for Christ and climbing the sandals of the apostle Paul, and you will likely never complaining about how tough it is to live for Jesus Christ in your city but you don't know the temptation you will know my my pressures, you will know my peers my professors my family know my friend. You do not know Corinth.

This place was sin city that for the apostle Paul. There were a number of reasons, just at the outset of his ministry that created the great and difficult chapter in his life and give you three of them. First of all, as I already mentioned he faced only spiritual but moral darkness, with its primary religion of immorality place where every vice would be out in the open homosexuality was rampant divorce was epidemic. In fact, by this time the hybrid women of Greece. It was said of them that they would take their name their years by the names of their husband also said that the city of 200,000 people was a sweltering reflection of inner-city New York, Las Vegas, and Hollywood sort of all walls up in the one city. Paul would confront it all with the gospel of Christ.

Third or or secondly, Paul experienced financial difficulty in Corinth.

To make matters worse back verse two tells us that that that when he arrived he eventually moved in with some tentmakers.

Obviously, in order to make ends meet. Fortunately, you fall back on the street that he learned his little boy rabbis used to teach if you don't teach her some trading teach about a steel so the trade he evidently learned as a boy, was how to make a tent with course go tear or leather. It was a difficult time because we find him having to make 10 to survive to put food in his stomach. Third, Justin setting the stage up all the dirt off the physical and emotional discouragements will get into that a little bit but for now the snow that he just completed a 500 mile walk. He had been beaten some time ago, he fled three cities already. He just left the city with very little result in Nymex's long journey with this time is alone.

His companions are in another town, so he arrives in Corinth with no place to stay very little money. In fact, in need of money. He doesn't know anybody make matters worse, he's arrived at one of the ungodly is city planet Earth please me to the second principle. There is never a time when you will not benefit from friends of like spiritual passion, verse two, and he found a certain Jew named Tukwila, a native of Pontus, having recently come from Italy with his wife Priscilla because Claudius had commanded all the Jews to leave Rome. He came to them and because he was of the same trade.

The Western text inserts and of the same tribe.

He stayed with them and they were working for by trade, they were tentmakers and most believe it.

That, and Priscilla were already believers.

Having come to faith in Rome, where church already existed. We do know by putting the clues together that they are a tremendous couple who knew the word well enough so that in a few verses are going to straighten out this visiting preacher named Apollo who was a little off.

They will also by the way follow Paul to Ephesus.

They become team members of the apostle Paul author that I read some time ago said that every believer has in their lives a couple of different people.

There are those who sap your spiritual passion and there are a few who share your spiritual passion we all use a little more than right. Well, this couple was a couple that I shared Paul's spiritual passion and maybe you're thinking this this is what I'm missing in my life where is my Tukwila lawyers might Priscilla learn to make them find me well if you look closely, you'll discover that they didn't find Paul. Paul found verse two and he found them to Paul. He found kindred spirits who shared his spiritual passion, there's more encouragement ahead along this line. Notice verse five, but when Silas and Timothy came down from Macedonia, Paul began devoting himself completely to the word solemnly testifying to the Jews. The Jesus was the Christ, that we know from other scriptures that Silas and Timothy bring with them. Monetary gifts from the believers are in Philippi the only church to support Paul as he mentions later financially and in you notice the result here always able to devote himself completely to the word.

In other words, he can set aside his needle and is is go tear his letter, it is not to make tense. Now he's supported in the ministry full-time. What a delight. That must've been so Paul receives good news grocery money. Godly fellowship there is any time in any of our lives, we can use a little more one of those things right. What he got all three here and what a great day. Principle number three. There's never been a great opportunity without great opposition. Look at verse four and he was reasoning in the synagogue every Sabbath and trying to persuade Jews and Greeks skip to verse six and when they resisted this word literally means when they lined up in battle array. This isn't just okay we don't hear that know they are doing supper ready to go to battle with this man that had invaded their synagogue with the truth of this Messiah that they could care less of an they ultimately blasphemed. Paul shook out his garments. The text says and said to them, your blood be upon your own hands or heads. I am clean from now on I shall go to the Gentiles. Now the Old Testament to pack two different phrases were highly significant that you've read I'm sure Paul uses one of them here. A person who has blood on his hands is is meant to indicate that this person bears the responsibility for the life and death of someone else there blood is on his way to have blood on your own head.

As Paul says here means that you are responsible for your own death and the judgment that you will incur one day from a holy God will be all it your own full blood is on your head is what Paul told responsible. Having heard the truth. You will stand before God one day having heard the truth and judgment will come and you will have no one to blame but yourself was very happy. Now Paul declares he's going to preach to the Gentiles. With that, he sort of shakes the dust off his garments is about one a that stuff. Clinging to Mandy's as medical preach to the Gentiles, and he does leave, he goes all the way next door, but verse seven and he departed from there and went to the house of a certain man named Titus. Just as a worshiper of God, whose house was next to the synagogue are getting very far away. Fact that you're probably still your preaching notice verse eight and Crispus, the leader of the synagogue, believed in the Lord with all his household. While the enemy was angry at Paul before he's lived in now. Why is his work.

Where's the states in reference to this paragraph, Satan knew that Paul was invading his territory and liberating slaves, and there is never an opportunity without accompanying opposition. You want some trouble in your life is like a little trouble.

The right kind of trouble live for Jesus Christ. There on a jobsite bow your head before you eat. Stir things up, mentioned the name of Christ as someone that you're devoted to stirred up like the way Spurgeon said. He said it really well and that Satan never kicks a dead horse, just the life.

However, in spite of all of this incredible fruit here in these courageous advances into this territory. Principle number four given to read further, there is never a moment when the strongest quality of your testimony does need to be carefully guarded in the middle part of verse eight in many of the Corinthians, when they heard were believing and being baptized as an expression of their belief that is verse nine and the Lord said to Paul in the night by a vision to not be afraid any longer but go on speaking and do not be silent. The site is. This is rather shocking news.

Paul afraid this is the man who said and wrote what became the foundation of what was just on I am not ashamed of the gospel of Jesus Christ. For it is the power of God and the salvation when here fear clutches his throat see something was happening during the events of the last part of verse eight. While people are hearing and believing and being immersed aptitudes on top. Something is happening to Paul. That's exactly the opposite of what you expect to be happening to Paul, the original verb translated there in your Bibles. Do not be afraid is a present, imperfect, with a negative, which means that that the Lord is telling Paul to stop an action that is already in progress. The next verb translated. Do not be silent as different air subjunctive with a negative that means that the Lord is preventing or attempting to prevent an action is about to begin. I did that just not so. You know I did my Greek homework but as you probably need a little proof because here's what's happening here.

In other words, Paul. If you can believe it is already afraid he stole the stop being afraid is an action in progress and then he isn't on top of that, contemplating resigning as the chief spokesman of the Corinthian crusade.

I am stunned by this revelation of Paul, the fearless one whose afraid why. When I told but I had a week to come up with a gift we take what I think is going on. Think about what happened to Paul we been studying his life in every city to do until this European tour begins in Macedonia happens he's beaten with rods and thrown into prison, he leaves there and he goes to Thessalonica. God is at work.

God is moving people are coming to faith in Christ and in the city is set in an uproar and a mob is incited to seek to take his life and he flees in the night to save his life. He flees to Maria and things are sorta clicking there and the church is being established. The people there are coming out of Christ and and then Thessalonians common inside a mob at Berea and he again as the fleet in the night to save his life. Now he's in Corinth that I believe with with every new convert with every advance with every incredible testimony something in Paul's stomach begins to churn and fear begins to grip at his throat.

Another right another mob of angry killers.

Another painful beating another night in jail. The reason why think this guesses true.

This is why Paul is afraid is primarily because of what the Lord will say to them that I think further clarifies a look at verse 10 where the Lord says, all in a vision. I'm with you, and no man will attack you in order to harm and was followed happened back in those other cities but is not going to happen here that I'm so glad this is been revealed.

Paul because he he becomes a lot more like us to, which is encouraging because then maybe we can become a lot more like him. Fearing the future had had seriously deflated his confidence in the direction of the Lord and his own personal courage and Annie begin to borrow the worst possible scenario from a future without ever asking the Lord. He was sure it was going to happen to the point where he was real with fear and was already contemplating packing his bags and leaving while they getting out was good and many of us are good at that. We we're professionally borrowing trouble. We know the worst is going to happen only we suffer a thousand tribulations just waiting for the tribulation occurred, sometimes attending the Kerr Ken Hughes writes an interesting story of the lesson.

Abraham Lincoln learned that he would use later as a president when he was surrounded by bad news honey in his circuit riding days as a lawyer Lincoln and his companions writing to the next session of court across many swollen rivers at the Fox River was still ahead of them on this one journey and they said to one another. If these streams give us so much trouble. How do we get over the Fox River. When darkness fell, they stopped for the night of the long tavern where they ate with other guests, among them the presiding Methodist elder of the district to row to the country and all kinds of weather and knew all about the Fox River. They gathered about him and asked him about the present state of the river. Oh yes reply the circuit riding preacher, I know all about the Fox River across that often and understand it well, but I have one fixed rule with regard to the Fox River. I never cross it till I reach it. Paul was convinced that the future held an uprising of beating a mob but God knew that up ahead was a revival and an extended ministry and the greatest comfort to Paul by the way are in those first few words of verse 10 look back for I am with you. Which leads me to principle number five. There's never been a challenge or crisis that leaves you on your own now. Paul didn't have a copy of Matthew in his hip pocket that he could pull it under and in Matthew chapter 28. Read the promises of God. He didn't have that where God told the church and and we have it in our hands and in our laps go and make disciples, baptize them and teach them in low I am with you always, even unto the end of the day, he couldn't pull that out, dusted off and reread it's of Dante Newman division and gave him basically the same promise is acting was fascinating to me how Matthew 28 is fulfilled.

This great commission to the T in acts chapter 18 God said in Matthew 28.

Go verse one. Paul goes God said make disciples.

This happens in verse eight God said, baptize them. This also happens in verse eight.

Here God to teach them.

Paul does that in verse 11 God promises low. I am with you always, even to the end of the age. He promises that in verse 10 he gives Paul everything that he has given us one more principle quickly.

Number six, there is never an assignment from God that will not yield some eternal fruit. Verse 10 for I am with you, and no man will attack you in order to harm you not notice these next words for I have many people in the city.

I think those words fascinating.

God knows who will believe in him, but more than that. He refers to those who will believe in him in the future as already is in the present.refers to the elect in Corinth. He knows who they are is also amazing to me that a sovereign God knows who the elect are what amazes me is that there are elect in Corinth, not in the city, not in sin city, not in this town and and you notice, God said, I have what many people your underline that word and let it encourage your heart when things are dark and and ministry is like a rock you're chipping away at it and your family doesn't listen and those peers around you could care less.

I have many people in the city towards this city is ready for the gospel not been the Las Vegas and is hard for you to imagine that money will you sever the building fund on a I was a college student traveling for my Christian college in a Christian singing group and we happen to sing at a church in Las Vegas staying in the home of a fellow that night and and couple other bodies from the singing group and his particular job was stocking the Coca-Cola machines and not many of the nightspots and after week, saying Linda's house. Ate supper. He said hey you guys I gotta go to work going to go with me. I give you back tour of Vegas but would you like that I said will you keep it a secret so he took us all through that town and I have to tell you, never once did the thought ever occurred to me as a ministerial student, you know, preparing for the ministry. The thought never occurred to me going to Vegas. How this city is all right harvest field. What a great place to start a church. These people are ready for the gospel of Christ, never. I don't think that ever crossed the mind of coleader and it was time for God to shock him notice verse 11, he only does this in three cities.

This is one of the three cities he settled down there a year and six months, teaching the word of God among John Phillips who was an outstanding British expositor writes these words here in Corinth and the filth capital of the world were many hungry hearts.

There were lonely people people disillusioned by pleasure and worldliness.

People withdrawing from Satan's broken cisterns and cisterns and poison wells, desperate people, people who are not only loss but who knew they were lost.

There were sailors tired of lives of drunkenness and debauchery. There were the broken women. The castoffs of the temple where sin was their daily bread.

There were successful businessmen whose money could buy them everything but happiness were housewives struggling for a decent home life in a city is Fallows Sodom. There were young people whose ideals have been blighted by the disease state of the society in which they lived.

Some were tired of Tinseltown. The fleshly pleasures had lost their traction somewhere suffering deep guilt and an awful emptiness of soul. They were ready to receive Christ. So Paul to the utter surprise of Paul, a man who was ready to give up sin city was ready for the gospel and he learned some valuable lessons here he learned and the reason we know you learned is because of the way he would write to this church that would develop he would write them a letter and and and tell them all.

Listen you remember how when I came to you I I I was filled with weakness and trembling, and much he ends that same epistle by saying to them, my dear friends, be steadfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord.

For as much as you know that your labor is not in vain in the Lord. In other words, don't be quiet, say, the Lord Lord doing work inside of me and Lord do work through me and then in the midst of your sin want to go to work. If you've ever felt like Paul, I hope this message will encourage you to keep at it. Thanks for joining us today here on wisdom for the hearts were currently in a series from acts from our vintage wisdom archives acts is a critical book. As the story of the Bible.

Transitions to the church age. I hope you will be with us in the days ahead for this entire series.

You can learn more about our ministry. If you visit our website which is wisdom Once you go there you will be able to access the complete archive of Stephen's Bible teaching ministry, we have it arranged by book of the Bible that makes it really easy to find what you're looking for.

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