This is part of a Daily Devotional Orwell Bible Church prepares each week. You can get a copy from our Downloads and Literature page.
Corinth was a notoriously wicked city, filled with idolatry and immorality. Paul’s ministry of the Word in Corinth involved walking through Scripture, showing point-by-point how Jesus of Nazareth fulfilled every OT truth about Israel’s Messiah and King, resulting in a new church established (vv. 1-8). Paul responded to Jews’ unbelief and rejection by a drastic, symbolic sign conveying that he fulfilled his responsibility, their judgment was on their own heads, and not even a pebble would be found on him (v. 5).
Having experienced significant opposition from and attacks by Jews and Gentiles in the past, Paul was evidently fearful. The Lord Jesus appeared in a vision, admonishing him to continue, trusting in Jesus’ continual presence, knowing that God’s elect would be saved through his ministry (vv. 9-11).
At the end of this missionary journey Paul made a vow (vv. 18-21). Though the Mosaic Law taught this practice (Num 6:2-5, 13-21), Paul was not under the Law (Rom 7:1-6; Gal 3:2-3; 5:18); he acted as the Jew that he still was, making a vow the way Jews did. Upon arriving at Caesarea, he went to the Jerusalem church, then to Antioch, and then left on his third missionary journey (vv. 22-23).
Truths to Nail Down and Meditate On
- God through Jesus Christ saves and sanctifies the lost—even from wicked cities. Christian witness does not adjust or adapt the gospel and its ministry to gather a crowd and so unbelievers would make decisions. Faithfully ministering the gospel is how God saves his elect; be faithful in it!
- The gospel message (“Jesus is the Christ,” vv. 5, 28) and ministry (reasoning, persuading, testifying, speaking, showing from the Scriptures) remain unchanged today.
- Government should not control or restrain true religion. Regardless of what may happen, Christians must always trust the Lord and be faithful.