Our text is Acts 18:1-17.
Have you ever felt spiritually exhausted? Have there been times in your life when you were under such intense pressure, or such a great trial you didn’t know how you could hold on another day? Tired saints can draw much hope from the account of Paul’s visit to the influential and immoral city of Corinth. There the apostle was absorbed in work, weakened by trials, and then rejuvenated by our merciful, sovereign Lord.
Children’s Message: Pastor Chad Sadorf has been including a series of Children’s Messages. These messages will parallel the sermons from Acts to help guide the children through the concepts that are taught in the sermon. Today’s message is provided as a video; this link appears just after the Gloria Patri in the service (where it would normally occur in our church service). Click on these links for a children’s bulletin and printable coloring page to accompany this message: Children’s Bulletin and Tentmaking coloring page.
Service for Family Worship:
Call to Worship: Psalm 47
1 Clap your hands, all peoples! Shout to God with loud songs of joy! 2 For the Lord, the Most High, is to be feared, a great king over all the earth. 3 He subdued peoples under us, and nations under our feet. 4 He chose our heritage for us, the pride of Jacob whom he loves. Selah 5 God has gone up with a shout, the Lord with the sound of a trumpet. 6 Sing praises to God, sing praises! Sing praises to our King, sing praises! 7 For God is the King of all the earth; sing praises with a psalm! 8 God reigns over the nations; God sits on his holy throne. 9 The princes of the peoples gather as the people of the God of Abraham. For the shields of the earth belong to God; he is highly exalted! (ESV)
Almighty God, you are infinite, eternal, and unchangeable in your being, wisdom, power, holiness, justice, goodness, and truth.
You are the standard of perfection.
And for your own glory, you have foreordained whatsoever comes to pass.
We your children have come here today to publicly acknowledge and proclaim your infinite worth. We thank you so much for the privilege of gathering in your name, and for the many blessings that are so evident in our lives.
Everywhere we turn, and even when we don’t look for it, we see your hand of mercy, sustaining, guiding, loving, and satisfying. And even when the trials come, while the pain is no less real, you are with us and you bring us through that too.
So Father, we praise you this morning, not only because of what you have done, but because you are worthy.
Enable us by Holy Spirit to worship you this day in spirit and in truth. And prepare our hearts to confess our sins together as a portion of your law is read. In Jesus’ name, and for his sake. Amen.
This hymn, written in 1707, is sometimes entitled, “How Sweet and Awful Is the Place”, but don’t get the wrong idea. “Awful” once meant:
awe-inspiring; awe-invoking; full of awe.
In our hymnal, it is entitled “How Sweet and Awesome Is the Place”. It teaches a doctrine that you don’t hear addressed that often in hymnody, which is God’s effectual calling of sinners to himself and his choosing of those sinners in his love to be the recipients of his saving benefits. The last verse is a great prayer of hope to see the church grow and be “full”.
Corporate Scripture Reading: Exodus 20:14
14 “You shall not commit adultery. (ESV)
Gracious Father, it is your will that we should love you with heart, soul, mind, strength, and our neighbor as ourselves, but we are not sufficient for these things. We confess that our affections continually turn away from you:
from purity to lust,
from freedom to slavery,
from compassion to indifference,
from fullness to emptiness.
Have mercy on us. Order our lives by your holy Word, and make your commandments the joy of our hearts. Conform us to the image of your loving Son, Jesus, that we may be a light to the world to your glory. Amen.
Assurance of Pardon: : 1 John 4:9-10
9 In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him. 10 In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. (ESV)
Through the instrument of saving faith, we are utterly forgiven of all our sins. Glory be to God!
Affirmation of Faith:
The Westminster Larger Catechism
Q. 138. What are the duties required in the seventh commandment?
A. The duties required in the seventh commandment are, chastity in body, mind, affections, words, and behavior; and the preservation of it in ourselves and others; watchfulness over the eyes and all the senses; temperance, keeping of chaste company, modesty in apparel; marriage by those that have not the gift of continency, conjugal love, and cohabitation; diligent labor in our callings; shunning all occasions of uncleanness, and resisting temptations thereunto.
Tentmaking for Jesus (Click here to link to the video of the Children’s Message)
(You may want to take a moment to pray with your child or children for your family, your church family, our country and world.)
Offertory: Psalm 96:8-9
8 Ascribe to the Lord the glory due his name; bring an offering, and come into his courts! 9 Worship the Lord in the splendor of holiness; tremble before him, all the earth! (ESV)
(Online giving is now available for your convenience. This link, https://www.faithpresarp.org/give/, will take you to the page that explains this process and includes a button which will redirect you to the secured giving platform.
In the month of September, our focus will be Psalm 46. In introducing this psalm, Charles Spurgeon wrote, “Happen what may, the Lord’s people are happy and secure, this is the doctrine of the Psalm, and it might, to help our memories, be called THE SONG OF HOLY CONFIDENCE, were it not that from the great reformer’s love to this soul-stirring hymn it will probably be best remembered as LUTHER’S PSALM. ” And in the words of Martin Luther, “We sing this Psalm to the praise of God, because God is with us, and powerfully and miraculously preserves and defends his church and his word, against all fanatical spirits, against the gates of hell, against the implacable hatred of the devil, and against all the assaults of the world, the flesh and sin.” from The Treasury of David, by Charles Spurgeon, www.spurgeon.org/treasury/treasury.htm.
Pastoral Prayer: (Click here for the Pastoral Prayer)
Sermon: Gospel Ministry in a Pagan Culture
This hymn was written in 1871 by John Wigner, the son of an English Baptist minister. Wigner was blessed with twelve children. He earned degrees in both Arts and Science, and became a senior officer in the India Office, previously the British East India Company. The words of the second verse of our hymn picture wandering sheep, much like the Hebrews in the wilderness, wandering and lost sheep, weary and tired. Verse 3 pictures the free offer of the gospel – for everyone to hear that call and come in faith to Jesus and find rest in him!
Benediction (Click here to hear this week’s benediction)
Questions for Further Discussion
1. What kinds of trials had Paul experienced before arriving in Corinth? What additional trials did he encounter there?
2. What facts about Aquila and Priscilla most resonate with you?
3. Why does Paul keep preaching to the Jews in the synagogue?
4. Why should the conversions in Corinth encourage us?
5. How did the Lord rejuvenate Paul? (18:9-10)
6. What should Christians do when experiencing weakness and fear?
Tentmaking for Jesus
What is an idol?
What kind of job do you want to have when you get older? Today in our message we are going to learn that Paul, Aquila and his wife Priscilla, all made tents for a job, but they were also able to take time to tell others about Jesus!
In Acts 18:1-3, it says – 1 After this Paul left Athens and went to Corinth. 2 And he found a Jew named Aquila, a native of Pontus, recently come from Italy with his wife Priscilla, because Claudius had commanded all the Jews to leave Rome. And he went to see them, 3 and because he was of the same trade he stayed with them and worked, for they were tentmakers by trade. 4 And he reasoned in the synagogue every Sabbath, and tried to persuade Jews and Greeks. (ESV)
• Have you ever stayed in a tent – for a sleepover or maybe for camping?
• Tent-making was a very good job which made good money in Bible times.
• Tents have been around for thousands of years.
• Tents made great temporary shelters because you could move them.
• Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob lived in tents.
• For 40 years after the Exodus from Egypt, God’s people lived in tents in the wilderness.
• Armies needed 1,000s and 1,000s of tents for soldiers marching off to battle.
• People who traveled and did business stayed in tents.
• Many people required tents, today too, to live in the desert, they are called nomads and Bedouins.
• Young Jewish boys, like Paul and Aquila, would often learn a trade like tentmaking.
Paul tells us in the Bible about his job making tents, that “he worked with his own hands; often harder than anyone; he worked night and day so not be a burden to anyone; his own hands supplied his own needs and the needs of his companions.” He said, “In everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help others…”
Remember, whatever job you have, you can still find time to tell others about Jesus – just like Paul and Aquila and Priscilla.
“Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men… You are serving the Lord Christ” (Colossians 3:23-24) (ESV)