“After this, Paul left Athens and went to Corinth. There he met a Jew named Aquila, a native of Pontus, who had recently come from Italy with his wife Priscilla, because Claudius had ordered all the Jews to leave Rome. Paul went to see them, and because he was a tentmaker as they were, he stayed and worked with them. Every Sabbath he reasoned in the synagogue, trying to persuade Jews and Greeks. When Silas and Timothy came from Macedonia, Paul devoted himself exclusively to preaching, testifying to the Jews that Jesus was the Christ. But when the Jews opposed Paul and became abusive, he shook out his clothes in protest and said to them,”Your blood be on your own heads! I am clear of my responsibility. From now on I will go to the Gentiles.” Then Paul left the synagogue and went next door to the house of Titius Justus, a worshiper of God. Crispus, the synagogue ruler, and his entire household believed in the Lord; and many of the Corinthians who heard him believed and were baptized. Acts 18:1-8
I believe I see something in this passage. Something that can be easily missed in everyday reading, but I still see it now. What I see is the body of Christ reaching out and giving accountability and encouragement to Paul.
Before Silas and Timothy arrived in Corinth Paul was going to the synagogue and REASONING with the Jews and Greeks trying to PERSUADE them and it seems like he was not getting very good results. However, as soon as Silas and Timothy show up Paul completely changes his message and method away from human reasoning and persuasion to EXCLUSIVELY PREACHING and TESTIFYING that Jesus was the Christ. I contend that it is quite possible that Silas and Timothy corrected Paul and brought about this change in his ministry in Corinth.
I know I may be reaching here, but when I have shared this with others in the body over the years it has been for the most part well received. One thing for sure is that something changed when Silas and Timothy came to Corinth. I also know that human reasoning and persuasion never bring the type of results that preaching and testifying in The Spirit do. Here we see Paul changing his message and method and right away he gets a response. Sure the initial response is opposition and abuse, but shortly thereafter Paul moves his ministry to a home and then many Corinthians believed and were baptized.
There is a huge difference between using our heads and using our hearts. Knowledge puffs up and can often stand in the way of real Spirit led sharing. I know this because I have been there and I have gladly received correction from the body many times. Paul was human just as we are and he made mistakes just like we do. When we gather with other believers for open fellowship perhaps the main question we ask ourselves when we are about to share is…..Is it me, or is it God? Quite frankly the only way to find out is to go ahead and share and allow the body to judge our offerings. Many are afraid to share because they might be wrong, but in our fear there is so much pride and in our pride so much fear. The only way to work through this with one another is to be honest and allow those we have come to love and trust to judge our sharing. So I say when you think you have something to share… GO FOR IT! Because we can all share in turn and allow the Spirit to work among and in us. It takes the whole body functioning as it should to determine what His message is on any given day. Me? I want encouragement and accountability. When we all share, the message is beautiful and bears fruit. So please share away and allow the body to determine what is good and of The Spirit.
Love and ….
Kirk Out !