Today’s reading is: Acts 19:23-20:1; 2 Cor. 1:1-2:13
Acts Chapter Nineteen
(Outline continues from Day 332)
- Paul’s last day in Ephesus was a riot (Acts 19:23-41).
- Demetrius the silversmith instigated a disturbance at the Ephesus Chamber of Commerce (vv.23-27).
- The Temple of Artemis (Roman Diana) at Ephesus was the largest Greek temple ever built, and one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. Pilgrims came from all over the inhabited earth (v.27) in order to worship there, and return home with their own silver shrine (v.24).
- The idol-makers demonstration threw the entire city of Ephesus into an uproar, and prompted an emergency municipal assembly in the city theater, which seated 25,000 people (v.29).
- Paul, the lawyer, was ready to defend Gaius and Aristarchus, but the Asiarchs (native rulers under delegated Roman authority) kept him from doing so (vv.29-31).
- Another Jewish lawyer (Alexander) attempted to quiet the riot, but was shouted down (vv.32-34).
- The town clerk succeeded in silencing the mob, and ordered for Demetrius’ delegation to file formal charges in the Roman courts (vv.35-41).
- Acts 20:1 is a key moment in the chronology of Paul. The Macedonian ministry mentioned here (and 2nd Cor. 2:13; 7:5) is the setting for Paul’s writing of 2nd Corinthians and places the Asian hardships mentioned in that book (2nd Cor. 1:8-10;4:8-11;6:4-10;11:23-27) into an Ephesian context (also 1st Cor. 15:32;16:9).
Second Corinthians Chapter One
- Paul opens the letter with a prayer for grace and peace from the Father and the Son (2nd Cor. 1:1-2).
- Paul gives the praise to the Father for His faithful provision of comfort (2nd Cor. 1:3-7).
- He comforts us in every affliction (v.4a).
- He intends for believers who receive His comfort to extend that comfort to others (v.4b).
- He increases the comfort when the sufferings are increased (v.5).
- He designs the affliction of spiritual leaders to minister to the affliction of the flock (v.6).
- He designs prayer to be the means by which believers can share in the mutual affliction and comfort (vv.7,11).
- Paul’s Ephesian afflictions were a matter of life & death from his perspective, and an opportunity for the Corinthians to join with him in them through prayer (2nd Cor. 1:8-11).
- Paul hopes that the Corinthians will understand his letter, but knows that they already have a number of problems with his previous letters & visits (2nd Cor. 1:12-14).
- Paul explains that his previous intention to make two more visits to Corinth has been changed (2nd Cor. 1:15-2:1).
- Paul affirmed that his ministry is as faithful as the Father and Son Who works through him what is pleasing in Their sight (vv.18-22).
- Paul stated that he was led to forestall his visit to Corinth so as to not cause extensive sorrow (vv.23-24 & 2:1).
Second Corinthians Chapter Two
- Paul’s sorrowful letter was designed to show his love, and to inoculate them from Satanic exploitation (2nd Cor. 2:1-11).
- The man of incest responded to the sorrow by true repentance. This was a source of gladness for Paul (v.2).
- The Corinthian believers failed to revoke the punishment when the repentance occurred, and therefore caused excessive sorrow (vv.6-8).
- Lack of forgiveness gives Satan a fertile ground in which to sow his seeds of division (v.11).
- Paul describes his spiritual unrest over the Corinthians’ treatment of Titus—especially when Titus did not meet him in Troas as expected (2nd Cor. 2:12-13).
(Chapter Two continues tomorrow)