The Spirit Explodes
Part 17 of 22
The magnificent couple
by Roger Kirby
I am going to cheat a little in this study! All our recent ones have been determined by geography – following Paul’s travels. If we do that here we shall have a very short study on Corinth followed next time by a very long one on Ephesus, so I am going to focus on Aquila and Priscilla, the most significant couple in the early church. Our study will cover them in both Corinth and Ephesus and glide over the fact that in between those two cities Paul finished his second journey, spent time at Antioch, and then started his third journey.
Corinth was an unpromising place. It was more important than Athens in all except cultural matters. It was a seaport on the narrow isthmus of land between southern and northern Greece (as we call it now). It was a vigorous commercial centre notorious for loose living. Yet it proved to be more receptive to the Gospel than many other quieter cities.
Read Acts 18:1–4.
These verses introduce us to Aquila and Priscilla. Presumably they had been converted in Rome. It has been suggested that not all the Jews in Rome can have been thrown out – since there were about 40000 of them, that would have been difficult. So perhaps they had been treated as troublemakers because of their belief in Jesus.
This passage tells us more about what Paul did than we have been told previously. All Jewish men, however study minded, were expected to learn a trade. Paul was a worker in canvas and leather, probably cutting and stitching at a bench or sitting cross-legged with them in a small open fronted shop in the street of the tent-makers. The three of them, working together, would have had many opportunities to chat with the passers by and tell them about Jesus.
Question 1: What are the advantages and disadvantages in working while also being a pastor or evangelist?
Read Acts 18:5 – 11
Question 2: What about where you are? Does the Lord have many people in your city, as yet unrecognized as Christians as is implied in Corinth? Have you any assurance about that?
Read Acts 18:12 – 23.
Question 3: What would you infer from that?
Read Acts 18:24 – 28.
Question 4: How can we avoid that sort of human weakness?
Question 5: if that is so, what is it implied that he did not have, that was much more important than a mere matter of baptism?