Is God opening a great door for you to speak?
1 Corinthians 16:9 because a great door for effective work has opened to me, and there are many who oppose me.
Paul knew God had opened a great door in Corinth for God’s work through Him, and he knew many were going to oppose him. He knew they were not opposing him personally, but they would oppose God and the truth of the gospel message about Jesus Christ our risen Lord, but at the same time he knew many would receive Christ through the message, because He knew God was opening a great door for His message of the Cross, and it is through His power the words are heard. Some there truly wanted to embrace the truth, and loved the truth.
Paul knew His Heavenly Father would always open a door for His message of the gospel through the Cross. He knew anytime he spoke the truth of the gospel message there could always be someone that may oppose God’s words and truth, but that never stopped Paul from telling His truth anywhere God sent him. Paul knew God loved the Jews, Gentiles, and lost souls of the world, and that included all people. He knew no one was righteous, and all fall short of the glory of God, and needed to hear His truth.
Paul knew that is why they needed to be told, to save them, not to condemn them, whether all the people knew or not Paul did. Paul knew His Father had poured into Him through the Holy Spirit all He needed of Himself to be poured out, and Paul was God’s drink offering being poured out where ever Paul was sent in the lost world. Regardless of who they thought God was; Paul knew the truth of who God was through Jesus Christ, His life, crucifixion, and resurrection by His given Spirit.
All these experiences of the life of Jesus Paul experienced within Himself through His Spirit's presence and teachings. Paul had been crucified through the Spirit of Christ, and He also had been redeemed and resurrected by that same power and Spirit that resurrected Jesus.
Unfortunately, those who love darkness and not the truth will hate hearing His truth, discussing His truth, and worshiping His truth any way they can because they hate their evil deeds continually being exposed. Those who love the truth do not mind if their deeds are exposed by His light because they know the truth of Christ sets them free from sin and evil having power over them.
Those that love God and His truth, love hearing, talking, discussing, worshiping, and praising Him and His truth any time, and any way they can because all that is being done in and through them has been done through the Power of God. Which one are you, the one who hates the truth, or loves the truth? That is the verdict we all need to address.
John 3:19 (Jesus tells, a religious Pharisee, Nicodemus, who came to see Jesus in the ‘dark’ secretively because Nicodemus was afraid of the other “religious” people that still lived in the dark) This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what he has done has been done through God.
Paul, the disciples, and apostles of Christ know this truth, and have already answered this verdict. God has exposed the nature of man through Christ and His light but not all want the light, they want to remain in darkness. Jesus revealed Paul’s evil deeds, he repented of his sinful nature, and was saved for God to work in and through for His purpose. Paul was shown God’s truth by the right hand of God, Jesus Christ, and we are too on our own path seeking the answers. I hope when His light is revealed to you, you will not remain in darkness, oppose his truth, but embrace it, speak it and live it out all the ways He gives you. He knows who will and who will not, but we do not know until He reveals His light in them.
We can see Paul’s response to the people that received Christ and his response to those who did not in God’s Word from Acts 18. We also can read, and picture within our own mind from God’s understanding the vision Jesus gives Paul because of the persecution Paul is receiving from the Jews, and the Greeks in Corinth.
Remember, these are religious people who think they are loving God the right way, they are being deceived by darkness, and think they are living in the light and they do not realize what they are doing. This is not all “lost” Gentiles, or pagan believers, but the Jews. Every Sabbath Paul tried to reason in the Synagogue, trying to persuade Jews and Greeks. Then his brothers in Christ joined him and he devoted himself exclusively to preaching, testifying to the Jews that Jesus was the Christ, our Savior of the world!
Acts 18:5 When Silas and Timothy came from Macedonia, Paul devoted himself exclusively to preaching, testifying to the Jews that Jesus was the Christ. But when the Jews opposed Paul and became abusive, he shook out his clothes in protest and said to them, “Your blood be on your own heads! I am clear of my responsibility. From now on I will go the Gentiles.”
Paul appears angry here, but he was more passionate then angry, pleading with them rather than hating them or wanting to kill them. He knew what would happen to them if they continued to live as they were living, and the most important thing to Paul was God’s interest in other people. He always focused every thought He had to being obedient to God through Christ.
Paul told them he had done all he could for them, He was so upset at their response he shook the "dust" off his clothes in protest. He told them your blood is now on your heads not mine. He was clear of his responsibility. God spoke to Paul the same words he spoke to the prophet Ezekiel, and God spoke the same words to Paul Jesus told the disciples. He speaks these same words to those who belong to him today.
Ezekiel 3:18 When I say to a wicked man, ‘You will surely die, and you do not warn him, or speak out to dissuade him from his evil ways in or to save his life, that wicked man will die for his sins, and I will hold you accountable for his blood. But if you do warn the wicked man and he does not turn from his wickedness or from his evil ways, he will die for his sin; but you will have saved yourself.
Luke 10:11 Even the dust of your town that clings to our feet, we wipe off as a testimony against you. Yet be sure of this: The kingdom of God is near.'
What did Paul do after shaking his dust of his clothes, and tell them he was clear of all his responsibilities; their blood was on their own hands? He went next door calmly to the house of Titus Justus, a worshiper of God. He did not give up. He continued speaking God’s truth everywhere He went. That is exactly what I would have done, gone to someone else that maybe wants to hear, and embrace His truth. Paul knew God had opened a door in Corinth, and he was going to continually walk through it.
Crispus was there, and he was the ruler of the synagogue Paul just left. His entire household heard God's truth and they believed in the Lord; and many of the Corinthians who heard him believed and were baptized! What a different response!
Acts 18:7 Than Paul left the synagogue and went next door to the house of Titius Justus, a worshiper of God. Crispus, the synagogue ruler, and his entire household believed in the Lord; and many of the Corinthians who heard him believed and were baptized.
After all this one night Paul was pondering his day, and wondering what God had in store for him the days to come. Like we all do who belong to Him. Paul must have been tempted by fear not to continue speaking in Corinth, in fear of something happening to him, or discouraged, tired of dusting his clothes and feet off, and others not responding to God’s truth. Jesus comes to his rescue!
Acts 18:9 One night the Lord himself spoke to Paul in a vision or a dream of some kind. “Do not be afraid; keep on speaking, do not be silent. For I am with you, and no one is going to attack and harm you, because I have many people in this city.” So, Paul stayed for a year and half, teaching them the word of God.
These are some of the most beautiful words our Lord tells Paul, and to us who belong to Him and Him alone. Others will always try to keep His children from speaking his truth. Many will oppose His truth, but don't give up. Paul continued there a year and a half putting up with persecution after persecution, but many wanted to hear His truth and Jesus knew who they were! We have our own temptations to quit speaking His truth, and I know Paul did, but Jesus always comes to our rescue!
We could be tempted by fear of losing a relationship with friends or even family members. I wonder if Paul lost any relationships with any of his family members due to His family being “religious” law giving, and living Jewish up bringing? Many of us may get discouraged from our own temptations that try to get us to stop. Jesus knew Paul was getting discouraged and afraid. That is why He came to him in a vision or a dream. He will always come to our rescue!
We today can be afraid for many reasons. Afraid of of pleasing people at our work place instead of speaking His truth in fear of losing our jobs. We can even be afraid in our church communities due to losing our relationships we have with them.We can be tempted not to speak His truth because we may lose a close friend that we went to school with or grew up with. Truly we do not know what God’s word will do in a person’s heart, and He will always open a door for His true child to speak His message of saving Grace, some may oppose us, and some may hear his truth, and he will never tell us to keep silent!
Jesus always tells those who belong to him, “Speak my words, and do not worry.” The question he gives us, is do we truly belong to Him, do we love Him above all, and if we do will we be His witnesses?
He is always with those who belong to Him, who love Him more than themselves, others, and things of this world, and life itself. He is always with those who want to embrace His truth, and live in His light, more and more. He tells those who belong to Him, “Don’t worry, for I am with you, and no one is going to harm you, because I have many people who truly want to hear my truth in this place I have put you, so keep on speaking my truth I know my sheep and my sheep know my voice.”
After Paul had finished speaking in the synagogue to people that had opposed His truth, He dusted His feet off, announced his responsibility had been fulfilled, their blood was on their own heads, and God continued to send Paul next door through His Spirit.
He did not have to go far! Paul had no idea Crispus, the synagogue ruler, of all people, would love His truth, but our Father did! Jesus told Paul in his vision there was more there that wanted to hear! He told Paul to keep speaking, don’t be silent. Keep walking through all the doors through my Spirit I give you because I have many people who need my truth, and want to hear my truth!
He says these same words to His children today, with the same love He had for Paul, and through Paul He has for others who loves His truth, and is not afraid to come into His light! Are you afraid your deeds will be exposed? Come into his light, embrace His truth,and be cleansed of the darkness! Like Paul, we do not know who they are, until they hear, but our Heavenly Father does! When you do hear His truth, embrace it, and tell others how He cleansed you! Don't be silent when He opens doors for you!