The Display of the Sovereignty of God
Jesus promised to build His church, but with the gates of hell working to stop Him, by what means will He succeed? Luke, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, provides three absolutes for Christ’s success; the plan of the Father, the resurrection of the Son, and the ministry of the Holy Spirit (Acts 1:3, 4, 8). The tasks of all believers are also grounded in three absolutes; salvation in Christ, power from the Holy Spirit, and proclaiming the Word of God.
Believers must never surrender dependence on Scripture and the sufficiency of Christ for cheap substitutes, especially in the face of the latest Christian fads. We must always remember that the power of God’s sovereignty controls every level of ministry and is still at work, no matter the circumstances.
In his continued second missionary journey, Paul left Athens disappointed; entered Corinth overwhelmed; encountered growing hostility; and developed weakness, fear, and much trembling. Nevertheless, Paul remained firm in God’s call as an Apostle and faithful to the preaching of Christ and God’s word to the Jews, God-fearers, and Gentiles. Indeed, Paul faced discouragement but not retirement as he moved into this city of immorality and self-indulgence.
In this passage, God’s sovereignty, providence, and grace encounters our weakness, dependence, and discouragement. Every part of our mission work is to be a display of God’s sovereignty.
- The action and message is under God’s plan – Acts 18:1-4
- The success is by God’s purpose – Acts 18:5-8
- The encouragement is by God’s promise – Acts 18:9-11
- The public rejection is under God’s providence – Acts 18:12-17
Points to ponder:
- The emphasis of your life and speech uncovers your passion
- The motivation of your life and speech discloses your purpose
- The reaction to trials verifies your persuasion