God Has Overlooked the Times of Ignorance

In every place, Paul shares the message of life through faith in Jesus Christ. In Athens, Paul speaks to them about the unknown God, the God that many only recognize as a shadowy concept that they can’t really understand. But God can be known and he is known through Jesus, the risen Christ. As Paul moves on to Corinth, in Acts 18:9–10 And the Lord said to Paul by a vision in the night, “Do not be afraid, but speak and do not keep silent, 10 because I am with you” and this is an admonition we can take for ourselves, to “speak, and not keep silent”. 

God Has Overlooked the Times of Ignorance

Acts 17:30-34
Paul is in Athens, an old culture that recognized many gods and prided themselves on their acceptance of new ideas. So Paul takes their own altar as his starting point in

Acts 17:23 For as I was passing through and observing carefully your objects of worship, I even found an altar on which was inscribed, ‘To an unknown God.’ Therefore what you worship without knowing it, this I proclaim to you—

and from this, he declares the gospel of salvation through faith in Jesus Christ:

“(1) God is not the made but the maker; and the one who made all things cannot be worshipped by anything made by human hands … (2) God has guided history … (3) God has made human beings in such a way that instinctively they long for God … (4) The days of feeling our way and of ignorance are past … now in Christ the full blaze of the knowledge of God has come … (5) The day of judgment is coming. Life is … a journey to the judgment seat of God, where Jesus Christ is Judge. (6) The proof … is the resurrection. It is no unknown God but a risen Christ with whom we have to deal”.1

Do Not Be Afraid, But Speak and Do Not Keep Silent

Acts 18:1-11 

This Man is Persuading People to Worship God

Acts 18:12-17
Paul comes to Corinth in Acts 18:1 and the Lord encouraged Paul to speak out and he did for a year and a half in

Acts 18:9–11 And the Lord said to Paul by a vision in the night, “Do not be afraid, but speak and do not keep silent, 10 because I am with you and no one will attack you to harm you, because many people are mine in this city.” 11 So he stayed a year and six months, teaching the word of God among them.

Then, a new governor was named, in Acts 18:12 “when Gallio was proconsul of Achaia” and the Jews thought this was an opportune time, to get favor from the new proconsul so in

Acts 18:11-12 “the Jews rose up with one purpose against Paul and brought him before the judgment seat”.

Corinth was the capital of the region and this position, “was reserved for the governors of settled provinces, which were placed under the Roman Senate, and is never given in the New Testament to Pilate, Felix, or Festus, who were but procurators, or subordinate administrators of unsettled, imperial, military provinces”.2

This position was also a political track for “Marcus Annaeus Novatus (who) was a brother of the famous Stoic philosopher Seneca; he was the son of a Spanish orator, and on coming to Rome he was adopted into the family of Lucius Junius Gallio and took the name of his adoptive father. Since Achaia was a second-rank province, it was governed by someone who had not yet attained the rank of consul (the senior Roman magistracy).36 Gallio accordingly came to Achaia after being praetor and before being consul”.3 but even though he was fresh in this position, Gallio was not swayed, and clearly understood the role of government was to deal with “crime or wicked villainy” in Acts 18:14 so he responds in

Acts 18:15 “if it is questions concerning a word and names and your own law, see to it yourselves!” and the case was dismissed.


Strengthening All the Disciples

Acts 18:18-23
Paul in Acts 18:18 “after remaining many days longer” begins to make his way back to Antioch in Acts 18:22 and greets the churches on the way. Then in

Acts 18:23 And after spending some time there, he departed, traveling through one place after another in the Galatian region and Phrygia, strengthening all the disciples.

Likely following the same route as in his second and third missionary journeys, Paul would pass through Tarsus, his home town, Derbe, Lystra, Iconium, and all of the churches he had planted in “the Galatian region and Phrygia”.

He Knew Only the Baptism of John

Acts 18:24-28

Did You Receive the Holy Spirit?

Acts 19:1-10

Study Verses

Today’s Reading

  • Acts 17:30-34
  • Acts 18:1-28
  • Acts 19:1-10


  • 1. Barclay, W. (2003). The Acts of the Apostles (3rd ed. fully rev. and updated., pp. 154–155). Louisville, KY; London: Westminster John Knox Press.
  • 2. Jamieson, R., Fausset, A. R., & Brown, D. (1997). Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible (Vol. 2, p. 190). Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.
  • 3. Marshall, I. H. (1980). Acts: an introduction and commentary (Vol. 5, p. 314). Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press.